The material used for shower walls has a significant impact on the feel and look of your whole bathroom. It can also dictate how calming and comfortable your showers are. So, what is the best material to use for shower walls, and how do you pick the right one for your particular bathroom? This article will cover different materials and how they can fit your bathroom, depending on your needs and taste.
What is the Best Material to Use for Shower Walls?
The best shower walls material should be water-resistant, easy to clean, attractive, and one that doesn’t degrade quickly. One such material is acrylic.
Acrylic is not a tile but a sheet installation with a glossy finish. It is cut in large pieces to fit perfectly into your wall, and that makes it easy to install. Also, it is easy to clean, as there are no grout lines involved.
Acrylic is among the most durable and affordable materials used in the shower construction industry. It does not peel, chip, crack, and requires low maintenance.
It is highly resistant to mold and can be customized to accommodate safety options like barrier entry, built-in shower seats, and grab bars.
Nonetheless, this does mean that acrylic is the only option for shower walls, as it will be described below, you have a myriad of shower wall materials to choose from.
Shower Wall Materials – Pros and Cons
Shower walls have to be covered to prevent water damage, but the material used can vary depending on your particular needs. Here are the most common ones.
Natural stone lends the showers a sense of luxury since they can fit in contemporary décor as well as a rustic one. It either has a matte or glossy finish.
The rough stone finish can add textural interest to your bathroom while the smooth surface will create a lustrous, modern look. Moreover, it comes in an array of coloring and patterns.
However, the stone material is porous and will absorb water, soap, and water minerals and grime. Hence, it needs to be sealed and resealed regularly. Besides, the stone material is usually expensive, less durable, and hard to clean.
Marble is a popular material for shower walls, but like stone, it is majorly used for appearance purposes. The white marble is especially predominant for its light, luxurious color. It looks opulent but is not as durable as other options that you have in the market.
Marble needs to be sealed to resist water and staining from soap and mineral deposits. It can also be hard to clean, especially if it has a rough surface. Some have more veining and inclusions, and that increases their risks of damage.
Glass is a less common choice for shower walls, but it comes with its advantages. Its selection of colors and sizes is vast, and since it reflects light, it makes your bathroom feel larger.
Some are translucent, and that gives more depth to the color. They are beautiful shiny, and unique, and are exceptionally easy to clean.
However, glass is expensive, and since they are brittle and easily damaged, installation can be challenging. It doesn’t hide soap scum and other buildups and might require cleaning after every shower.
Moreover, it is slippery, and hence it is not an ideal choice for a shower wall that might be grabbed for support.
Ceramic and Porcelain
While porcelain and ceramic are substantially the same material, they have different properties. Ceramic is easier to cut and less expensive than porcelain. Porcelain is more water-resistant, denser, and durable than ceramic.
Ceramic and porcelain come in different colors, textures, sizes, and qualities, making them ideal to fit any design and budget you might have in mind.
They are incredibly durable and require low maintenance. But, they can be complex to install. Also, they can be traditional and would fit best with conventional décor schemes.
Designed as one large sheet, fiberglass is easy to install and a friendly option for people working on a low budget. It is usually thicker compared to acrylic, and that makes it soundproof.
Since it doesn’t have grout lines, it is quite easy to clean, and the chances of mold and mildew growth are minimal.
On the downside, fiberglass is prone to scratching and yellowing than other shower wall materials. Also, patched cracks and holes can become visible after some time.
Shower Wall Materials Buying Considerations
Before making the purchasing decision on the shower wall material, take your time to consider the options from the following standpoints.
Besides their decorative role, a shower wall should be able to prevent the growth of mildew in the bathroom. So, choose a material that is resistant to moisture or is fortified with a waterproof layer.
The shower wall material you choose should be of high quality to ensure the plaster beneath is protected from wetness or discoloration for a more extended period.
Ease of Cleaning
Mineral deposits and mold are facts of life in a shower. Porous and semi-porous materials offer places for them to buildup and grow. The easiest materials to clean should be smooth, have fewer grout lines, and few hiding places for mold spores.
Design and Colors
The end-user will typically determine the design and color choice. Your pattern, color, and design for the material should suit your personal taste as well as the preferences of those who will be using the bathroom.
Since shower walls come in various sizes and features, they have a wide range of prices. With that in mind, the wide variety allows you to choose the material that suits your budget needs.