The Importance Of Wet And Dry Zones In Your Bathroom Design


One of the most important current trends in bathroom design is finding stylish ways to separate the wet and dry zones of your bathroom.

Successfully dividing the space will vastly improve the layout of your bathroom, make your fittings stand out as design features, and allow your lighting to highlight the room to best effect.

Here are some essential tips for creating harmonious wet and dry zones in your bathroom.

What is the wet zone?

The wet zone is the area of your bathroom where most of the water-based activity takes place. It needs to contain your shower and bathtub, as well as towel rails close to hand.

What is the dry zone?

The dry zone is the more commonly used area of the bathroom, containing the toilet and vanity. As this area of the room is used by your guests as well as you and your family, it is important to keep it dry, so they don’t have to wipe their feet after using the bathroom.

Why design separate wet and dry zones?

This is the most practical bathroom layout, as it creates two distinct usable spaces. The messy water activities all take place in one designated area. This makes your bathroom easier to keep clean, and helps to protect it from damp and mould.

You can separate your wet and dry zones in a number of ways to achieve a highly functional bathroom design that also looks stunning. In a larger bathroom, you can create a partition wall to keep your two zones separate. However, if you choose a full-length partition wall from floor to ceiling, you need to make sure that your bathroom does not look cramped, and that both zones can still receive plenty of natural light.

If the layout of your bathroom does not lend itself to a full-length wall, you can create a half-wall, or construct the top half out of glass, so natural light can still flow through the entire space.

For smaller bathrooms, there are still many clever bathroom ideas for separating your wet and dry zones. You can install an enclosed shower cubicle, or use a shower panel or shower doors to create a partition. Clear frameless glass is the best option for keeping the room bright and spacious.

For a truly innovative design, create a split-level effect in your bathroom. The different floor heights will clearly mark the two zones, as well as giving your bathroom design an extra touch of celebrity chic!

What about a wet room?

A wet room is essentially an open-plan bathroom, with drainage in the floor so the whole room can safely be used as a shower area. The entire room needs to be tiled and waterproofed, and the plumbing and drainage must be excellent.

You can still divide a wet room into two zones by installing low walls, and if you choose a wall-hung vanity and toilet, you can keep these dry elements off the floor.

Alternatively, you can enjoy the best of both worlds by creating a walk-in or walk-through shower area. This is partitioned off from the rest of your bathroom using either a dividing wall or glass shower screens. The shower section operates like a wet room, with drainage in the floor, but the rest of the bathroom remains dry.

Consider lighting and ventilation

A wet room or wet zone needs to be extremely well-ventilated so it does not become damp. Install extraction fans which carry the moist air outside, and position your windows so they can cross-ventilate the room.

Keeping the room well-ventilated will also prevent your bathroom mirrors from steaming up, and make your bathroom easier to clean by eliminating mould.

The lighting in your bathroom also needs to be planned carefully, so both zones can be lit in a practical way. A ceiling light may be the easiest option, but it doesn’t enable you to see yourself clearly in the mirror. Choose spotlights in the ceiling and lights either side of the mirror for an all-round ideal lighting design.

Tips for Bathroom designs

It makes sense to locate your wet zone at the end of the room furthest away from the door, as this reduces the amount of water being dripped throughout the house. Position your towel rails within easy reach of the shower to keep your dry zone pristine and your bathroom looking beautiful.

You can also help to keep water out of the dry zone by positioning your shower taps carefully. If they’re located directly beneath the shower head, you’ll most likely end up being sprayed when you turn on the shower. To avoid this, position your taps further away from the shower head, or even on a facing wall.

Including seating in your bathroom is highly practical. It can be used as a handy storage spot as well as a place to sit, and can also act as a demarcation between wet and dry zones, especially if you opt for bench-style seating.

To complete the perfect dual-zone bathroom, don’t forget the heating. This will keep your bathroom warm and comfortable, as well as helping the wet zone to remain free from damp. Stylish heating solutions include heated towel rails and wall-art heaters; or for a completely invisible option, choose underfloor heating for a luxurious feel.


To explore the full range of options available to you when designing your new bathroom, visit one of our designer showrooms across Melbourne, and chat with our friendly staff.

We’ve also put together a free guide to help you Design Your Dream Bathroom, so be sure to download your copy today.