Wet Rooms – The Newest Trend in Bathroom Design

Have you noticed the recent wet room design trend? Wet rooms as extremely stylish and can add a contemporary feel to your home. According to Kitchen and Bath Design News magazine, the formal definition of a wet room is “a bathroom in which the shower is open or set behind a single wall, its floor area being flush with the floor of the rest of the room and the water draining away through an outlet set into the floor.” Wet rooms can be created from both small and large bathrooms, downstairs bathrooms, or as part of a master suite.

Perhaps, a couple of reasons why the wet room has been gaining recent popularity is due to the sought-after spa like bathroom experience. Wet rooms convey luxury with their clean lines and minimal design. They also allow the free standing tubs with the chance to steal the show.

While many wet rooms have recently been found in luxury and larger bathrooms, they previously started out in lower budget and institutional settings. Over recent years, free standing tubs have become a staple in bathroom design and can perfectly complement a wet room. Free standing tubs are often complemented by floor-mounted tub fillers. These might invite some extra splashes and spillage. While this could cause concern, wet rooms have been professionally waterproofed to avoid any possible leaks leading to water damage.

One of the main challenges associated with wet rooms is figuring out an efficient way to keep certain items dry, including towels and toilet paper. One way to keep water from going everywhere is to install a frameless shower screen placed in front or to the sides of the shower. This allows the room to still feel open, while being able to keep some key areas dry. Another way to keep your wet room dry is by adding under floor heating. Adding under floor heating to your wet room is highly recommended. Not only does it mean that you will have a nice, warm floor to stand on, any standing water from showering will evaporate much quicker.

When planning any wet room, it is imperative to choose non-porous and slip resistant water-friendly materials. A couple of suitable materials include ceramic and porcelain. Choosing slate, marble, and limestone may not be the best choice since they are porous and would require sealing every few months to prevent water damage.

*Bonus: Although it may be expensive, a great way to create a luxurious feeling is by installing the same materials throughout the floor and run it to the ceiling.

While wet rooms can be a beautiful addition to any home, having the shower and bathtub in the same space may be a personal preference and may affect resale. If you are considering a wet room, or a bathroom remodel, please consult with a trusted contractor first. Balducci Additions and Remodeling is a well-known contractor and has been serving the metro Richmond area for over 30 years. Please contact us to schedule a free estimate.

Understanding wood paneling like a pro

1. What is wood paneling?
Wood paneling is made up of traditional solid wood, modern engineered wood boards or wood-like products put together in a large sheet or single planks. While engineered wood paneling consists of multiple boards and topped by a veneer layer of genuine wood, solid wood paneling is 100% of a single, solid type of wood in each individual board. Thus, the degree of authenticity between the two can be seen, which will come in handy when it comes to validating its value.
An expert homeowner with high expectations and elegant tastes would be most inclined to go for solid wood paneling, especially the unfinished type, which does have an advantage over any type of pre-finished paneling. Wood paneling fits most interior styles, from commercial design, home applications, cottage architecture to the modern home.

2. Different types and applications of wood paneling

2.1 Wall paneling
Wall paneling which uses timber products makes an architectural statement that shows off your design savvy. Think about the old days when luxurious houses of the affluent used wood for wall paneling to show off their wealth. The sophistication of wood paneling is also found in yachts and luxury ships and vessels. When it comes to choosing wall paneling style, it is important to consider whether you prefer a painted or stained look.
Painted wood is widely popular because it allows you the freedom to tailor your design ideas to suit your style. If you fancy a natural look, you can leave it as it is which allows the display of the knots and grain of the wood to be more vivid. This method also adds value to your home, as not painting the wood prevents the chemicals in the paints from altering inner characteristics of the material.

2.2 Wainscoting
Wainscoting is a paneling system which uses wood boards applied to the lower half of an interior wall.
Because wainscoting is made up of wood, factors like expansion and shrinkage may occur. Depending on the type of wood you choose, real wood, hardwood and so on, the impact of these will vary because wood products respond differently to humidity and temperature conditions.
Among the best suited woods for paneling is teak. Teak performs well in either wainscoting, walling or ceiling, because of its dimensional stability when glued together and applied on the structure framework.
Wainscoting offers homeowners a wide variety of design choices which can be achieved using flat panels or beadboard, whether painted or natural.

2.3 Ceiling paneling
Ceiling panels are designed to withstand pressure and to resist effectively to moisture conditions. Depending on the type of wood you chose, well-made celling panels are built for high performance that can withstand extreme room conditions which will guarantee a comfortable overall temperature and feel in any room.

2.4 Exterior paneling
Besides multiple materials available to build exterior paneling such as fiber cement or plastics, wood paneling proves to be highly sustainable and ecologically friendly. Exterior applications include balconies, outdoor wood siding, among others. Wood paneling lasts longer than vinyl siding and periodic maintenance is sufficient. Wood paneling for exterior applications is usually stained, although some prefer a painted look.

3. Why wood paneling?
Serving as a big design component in home building since the Victorian era, wood paneling was widely used in mid century homes, and it prevails in modern culture with stylistic adaptations. Technological advances in processing offers new choices, from classic to the contemporary design styles. Wood paneling is added as a decorative accent or to cover up damaged areas. It provides added value because it acts as an insulator, Wood paneling keeps the cold out, retains the heat inside, and also performs better at soundproofing than other materials, especially solid hardwood, like teak.
Wood paneling, especially if solid wood, is more durable than wallpapers and wall paint. Solid wood paneling is also a greener choice because it is often harvested in man-made, sustainable forests, where various wood types are grown for multiple timber purposes in an ecologically sustainable manner. Moreover, because of its strong endurance, homeowners are less likely to purchase more wood panels over time, which in turn reduces consumption.
With paneling, it is a clear-cut process of cutting, gluing to its base and nailing into your wall or ceilings. For DYI crowd who want to avoid paying expensive contractors, this is definitely an optimal choice.

4. A few installation tips
Traditionally it was used on kitchen walls and entryways, but todaywood paneling can be found throughout the house, from bedrooms to libraries and in exterior applications like balconies, it has seen a resurgence in its uses and applications.
A popular type of wood paneling is tongue-and-groove. The price of this type can be higher than sheet paneling, however, it is a worthy investment because the added value and attractive look will totally pay off afterwards. It is important to decide how you will lay the panels – vertically and horizontally with careful measurement which should fit with the unity and structure of the house.
It is advisable to reserve a small space of 1/16″ extension joint between each panel so that the panels can increase and decrease without stacking together in times of seasonal changes when temperature alteration is significant, say winter to summer and vice versa.
Wood paneling is not as challenging as wood flooring, but if you are paneling the ceiling, being able to work on a ladder is a necessary, and should consider leaving it to professionals if necessary. For those who are interested in knowing how to install teak paneling on your walls, thorough instructions can be found here.

Recap on the qualities of wood paneling:
1. Wood paneling is made up of solid wood or engineered wood boards put together that comes in a stack or single planks.
2. Wood paneling is suitable for various applications with substantial benefits:
– Wall paneling offers a sophisticated, handsome look
– Wainscoting enhances any interior space
– Exterior paneling is durable.
– Wood paneling is decorative, good insulator, and an ecologically sustainable material.