Bathroom pods, also known as modular bathroom pods, are a popular choice throughout the construction industry. These prefabricated, self-contained units offer numerous advantages over traditional bathroom installations including efficiency, flexibility, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.

In many ways, bathroom pods deliver significant benefits in construction and for large-scale projects in particular. They are a go-to bathroom solution for hospitals, hotels, housing in high-rise buildings and public facilities where reliability, quick installation time, and cost savings are key priorities.

This in-depth guide will provide you with everything you need to know about bathroom pods.

What is a Bathroom Pod?

A bathroom pod is a prefabricated, self-contained unit that’s manufactured offsite in a controlled factory setting. Thanks to their innovative design, pods can be dropped into any building or premises that requires a bathroom facility, or they can be assembled onsite in a similar way to flat-pack furniture.

Equipped with all the essential fixtures and fittings of a standard bathroom including toilets, sinks, showers, plumbing, and waterproofing, bathroom pods can be quickly installed into the structure of a building with a lower level of labour skill required.

In the same way that offsite modular construction in general is helping property developers save time and money, there are multiple benefits to working with bathroom pods such as cost, design, production, quality control, and shorter installation times. This makes them ideal for a variety of construction projects including:

  • Projects within secure environments where safety is paramount such as hospitals, hotels, and student accommodation.
  • Projects with tight deadlines and budgets.
  • Projects that could be affected by adverse weather.
  • Projects requiring multiple interior bathroom solutions.
  • Projects with limited tradespeople and resources.

Not only are bathroom pods manufactured offsite as a complete unit, but they are also rigorously tested and quality-approved before they leave the factory, which all adds up to significant savings in construction time and labour cost.

Additionally, less waste is produced in the manufacturing process of bathroom pods with traditional onsite construction methods, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly option.

What are the Benefits of Bathroom Pods?

There are multiple benefits to using bathroom pods such as efficiency, sustainability, flexibility, quality control, and cost savings. Bathroom pods greatly reduce the amount of work required onsite by turning a job that was once complex and labour-intensive into a quick and simple task.

Some of the key benefits of bathroom pods include:

1. Greater Consistency

Factory-built bathroom pods have fewer defects than traditional bathrooms. This is because they are manufactured in a controlled, offsite environment where they can be closely monitored and checked for maximum consistency and uniformity. The same high quality and standards are maintained from the first pod off the production line to the last. When bathroom pods leave the factory, they are rigorously tested and quality-approved before being transported either as a fully assembled unit or for assembly onsite.

2. Quicker Installation

Building conventional bathrooms involves coordinating several trades including plumbers, electricians, carpenters, tilers, and decorators. Managing so many project stages all at once can be a major challenge and delays caused by bad weather on site or other factors can have a direct impact on cost and installation times. As bathroom pods are prefabricated offsite or assembled on location, installation is significantly quicker than traditional building and they also avoid the high degree of supervision required to co-ordinate several teams onsite.

3. More Cost-Effective

While initial costs may be higher, bathroom pods deliver impressive time savings during construction and installation as well as reduced onsite labour costs. Whereas traditional building requires machinery, electricity, and other resources on site, bathroom pods arrive fully assembled and are crane-mounted into their final location, all ready to be connected to the services. With faster installation timelines, bathroom pods may also improve budgets and increase profit margins. Once a budget has been set, there are no further price adjustments or nasty surprises associated with traditional bathroom builds such as leaky floors or hold-ups in the work schedule.

4. Increased Sustainability

Bathroom pods contribute to a cleaner and safer work environment, The prefabrication process uses fewer raw materials due to design precision in a controlled factory setting. Not only that but less electricity and other resources are required in the manufacturing process than with traditional buildings on site. Many bathroom pods are also made with recycled materials so individual parts can be disassembled and reused.

5. Less Waste

The design and manufacture of bathroom pods creates less material waste than traditional building. Factors such as tight quality control in an offsite environment keep waste levels to a minimum. Additionally, offsite welding produces leak-free pods that eliminate cracked tiles or substandard grout and sealant that will need replacing, meaning less waste in the long term and fewer waste disposal fees.

6. Full Flexibility

Bathroom pods can be manufactured and designed in various sizes and dimensions. This makes them a highly flexible option in construction as they can be adapted and customised to suit a wide range of project requirements and measurements, from small builds to large-scale developments like hotels, hospitals, schools, and multiple occupancy buildings. Not only that, but when bathroom pods are placed in a temporary location such as a pop-up setting or festival, they can be transported and reused elsewhere.

What Drainage Does a Bathroom Pod Require?

If you’re installing a bathroom pod, you’ll need an effective wetroom drainage solution to control the flow of wastewater. From floor depth to waste pipe positioning, there are several factors to consider to ensure your bathroom pod functions properly.

As bathroom pods can be installed on timber, solid, and raised floors, you’ll need to select the appropriate drainage. Wetroom drainage typically involves:

  • Shallow drainage for concrete, timber, and raised access floors.
  • Drainage for shower trays and wetrooms.
  • A prefabricated shower base or wetroom floor.
  • Linear and square drain grill options.
  • Bespoke waterproofing solutions.

The drainage solution you’ll need will differ according to the type of floor on which the bathroom pod is constructed.

Timber Floors

Drainage for bathroom pods built on timber floors includes both waterless and standard trap options that take flow rates of up to 70 litres per minute. This solution also includes preformed floor gradients, grill lengths up to 2,000mm, and full flexibility around the dimensions of the shower area.

Solid Floors

Linear screed drains provide an effective drainage option for concrete and solid floors. This solution commonly includes height-adjustable brackets and grill lengths up to 2,000mm, while accepting flow rates of 70 litres per minute.

Shower Trays

Shower tray drainage solutions include an adaptable Lo-Seal waterless trap of only 50mm which is ideal for projects with shallow floor depths. The sealed trap eliminates odours while accepting flow rates of up to 27 litres per minute.

Do You Need to Waterproof a Bathroom Pod?

No, bathroom pods have complete waterproofing solutions built into their design. This ensures the pod is fully watertight when it arrives so that any damaging leaks and repairs are avoided after installation has taken place.

Waterproofing membranes including decoupling membranes and liquid membranes used in the build process are highly effective and extend the longevity of a bathroom pod.

Do You Need a Complete Waterproofing and Drainage Solution for Your Bathroom Pod?

As leaders in wetroom drainage systems, CCL Wetrooms supports bathroom pod manufacturers with unique waterproofing and drainage solutions for pods installed on timber, solid, and raised floors. Download our bathroom pod brochure or contact us today.