|1. Topp Dec Gradient||2. Hardiebacker™
Tile Backer Board
|3. Waterproof Matting|
|This ensures the water is able to flow consistently and directly to the gully (plughole)
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Topp Dec Gradient
|A water resistant alternative to plasterboard or plywood giving added protection
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|Waterproof matting creates a highly efficient barrier to any waste water, ensuring no leaks.
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For many, the bathroom is the area in the home where they can spend time at the end of a busy day relaxing and unwinding. Because of this, many homeowners are now going above and beyond fitting a standard bathroom suite and introducing an element of luxury into their property by installing their own wet room in their home. Though fitting these correctly was once the preserve of professionals, it has become far easier to create a wet room in recent years, with manufacturers introducing easy-to-fit materials and products that can be bought off-the-shelf.
If you are considering fitting your own wet room in your home, you should review the materials you will need and take a look at our helpful How-To DIY guides available from Topps Tiles before you start work on the project.
A wet room is a space that is completely waterproof and therefore is usually tiled throughout. Because of this, the look and the feel of the tiles used in a wet room can help set the ambience for the whole room and should be chosen with care. Wet rooms have come to be characterised by a walk-in shower area on a floor the same level as the rest of the room, and typically this is teamed with an underfloor heating system for a higher level of comfort. To ensure the space drains effectively, wet rooms incorporate a gentle sloping floor unit, known as a ’top deck former’, which slopes towards a drainage gulley encouraging any moisture from the shower area to flow away. Any remaining moisture is dried by the underfloor heating system, which also provides warmth underfoot, ensuring you never need to feel that initial chill when stepping out of the shower.
When constructing a wet room, the area is built up around the main component, the top deck former, also known as a ’wet room tray’. The sloped gradient of this tray is central to the functionality of the whole room and as such, it’s incredibly important that it is installed correctly. The deck will usually feature a gradient of approximately two degrees in order to encourage water in the room to drain into the gully. These decks are available in a range of sizes to fit different bathrooms and when installing your own wet room it is the size of this item you should design the rest of your wet room around. It is advisable to buy a top deck former slightly bigger than your shower area will be to give you ample space. As well as building in a draining mechanism, it is necessary to completely waterproof the floors and walls in a wet room. To ensure there are no gaps between your tiles and features, be sure to create a proper seal through the use of tile grout and silicone sealantDone properly, this should protect your wet room from wear and tear, but be sure to review the sealant regularly to prevent any problems occurring.
A HardieBacker board can be fitted to achieve an even floor level between your top deck former and bathroom tiles in place of plasterboard or plywood and creates a good surface for tiling. This cement-based board features a water-resistant formula with special Mouldblock™ technology to inhibit the growth of mould and harmful bacteria and thus keep your wet room looking and feeling spic and span. One of the most important features of HardieBacker board and one that distinguishes it from other materials used in tile-backing, is the way it provides a consistent level of dimensional stability even when exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. This is a great benefit when creating a wet room, as the dimensional flow of moisture needs to be maintained in order to prevent water from pooling on the floor.
Another product used to prevent damp problems when fitting a wet room is waterproof matting. A layer of this is used to cover the walls and floor of the wet room just before tiling begins. This waterproof wall matting helps ensure a complete waterproof seal, and prevents any moisture that does happen to pass through the tiles or grouting from reaching and damaging your home. If an underfloor heating system is to be installed, it will be laid on top of this matting, ready to heat the tiles that will make the surface of your wet room and set the feel of the room.