Though tiling is the obvious choice for most showers, many people may consider tiling difficult to clean and time consuming to install . Luckily tiles are not the only means of shower waterproofing available on the market today. Although most wall panels can cost slightly more than the equivalent tiles, you should save labour costs on the installation as they take hours not days. Most people opt for these panels as they are so easy to wipe down when compared to the cleaning of grout lines on tiled walls. If you are looking to mix it up a little with alternative shower materials, there are a few different options.
Laminate panels = Manufacturers bond a laminate sheet to a stiff MDF or plywood core. This gives the panel structural rigidity and is more forgiving when it comes to installation. A second sheet of laminate is bonded to the reverse side to stabilise the panel and prevent it from warping. There are some fairly modern versions where the MDF core has been replaced with a fully waterproof Resin core. It might cost more but this is the option if you want peace of mind.
Laminate panels tend to come in two versions. One version is available with a tongue and groove edge enabling them to be joined together to cover larger walls without the need for an obtrusive joining strip. For a finishing panel this type can also come with one edge proformed. The second has a square edge, which are fine if one sheet covers the area you need. If not, a metal joining strip is used which each panel slots into.A second sheet of laminate is bonded to the reverse side to stabilise the panel and prevent it from warping. There are two versions of this panel. One version of these panels is available with a tongue and grooved edge enabling them to be joined together to cover larger walls without the need for an obtrusive joining strip. The second has a square edge, which are fine if one sheet covers the area you need. If not a metal joining strip is used which each panel slots into
Acrylic shower = panels offer a smooth and seamless look to your shower. They are hard wearing and have been reinforced with glass fibres. Due to their seamless nature, there is less chance of water damage and leakage along seam lines and into the foundations of your bathroom. Acrylic is an excellent shower material option because it’s difficult to dent, scratch or crack. There is also little chance of mould growth on or behind the panels. It can be delicate to cut so needs to be fully supported as it is the thinnest of all the wall panels. Acrylic is also a non-porous material so it’s completely water and stain resistant which ensures your shower remains clean.
PVC Panels = This is one of the most affordable shower material options on the market. It is hard wearing, completely seamless and does not allow for mould growth on the panels or behind the shower unit. They are an inexpensive option and if the PVC panels are damaged or cracked it’s simple and inexpensive to replace. They also work well on ceilings as well as walls because of their lightness.
Marble Panels = If you’re looking for a custom-made option to waterproof your shower, marble is the way to go. A little pricier than other materials, marble is a beautifully malleable material can be made to your exact specifications. If correctly cared for, marble is a material which can last a lifetime without scuffing, chipping, fading or scratching. It’s also 100% mould resistant. Despite the cost, marble is a show-stopping material which can instantly add to the value of your home.
Glass shower walls = are a major innovation in bath and shower room design. Seamless, easy to clean, hygienic and fully customisable, glass is the ideal material for a bathroom and will help turn your space into a gleaming spa like sanctuary.
In shower enclosures or wet rooms, glass panels create a smooth, glossy effect that looks sleek and luxurious. They are fixed using a silicone adhesive, so there are no grout lines to spoil the seamless look or to accumulate dirt and mould. Fully waterproof, they will protect your walls for a lifetime and require minimal care – simply wipe them down with a cloth to remove spills and prevent limescale buildup.