Poor wet area design or installation can compromise safety, comfort and convenience for building users, and lead to significant structural damage.
Wet areas are the rooms or spaces containing sanitary fixtures and appliances – including bathrooms and en suites, toilets, laundries, kitchens, entries and garages.
They and are subject to high levels of moisture from:
- direct wetting
- high humidity levels
Poor wet area design or installation can increase the risk of slips and other safety hazards, and can compromise accessibility and occupant comfort.
Design and building faults can also lead to damage in building structure or finishes – such as rot in framing; deterioration/disintegration of linings, flooring, and cabinetry; and peeling paint. Structural damage in wet areas is becoming more common. It is often not immediately obvious, but can be substantial.
With good design, detailing and installation of waterproof membranes and impervious finishes to manage the moisture generated, wet areas can be durable, healthy, safe and comfortable, and should not result in damage to the building structure, surface finishes and fixtures.
This section of the Level website is a summary of the BRANZ publication Wet areas.
Updated: 20 August 2013