Tiles have been around for thousands of years and are the first thing people usually think of when looking to cover the walls of their shower.
But tiles have known issues that can (and do) cause problems. It is usually not the tile themselves but the grout used to fill the gaps between them that causes headaches.
So is there a better solution?
Yes. There is.
Shower wall panels are tried and tested products that are the modern alternative to tiles. There are many advantages to using these rather than tiles – here is a list of the main plus-points:
Easy To Install
A big drawback of tiles is that they need to be applied to smooth, preferably plastered, surface. Any irregularities in the wall will kick the tile out and will make itself seen in the grout lines – the lines will not run straight. The worse the wall is the worse the finished job will look.
If you choose shower wall panels they can be fitted over some very rough surfaces without it affecting the overall finish. By applying blobs of adhesive to the panels you can then press them home and they will find their own level.
The panels are extremely easy to cut and work with – they are about as easy as wall coverings get.
Fit Straight Your Over Existing Tiles
If your tiles are on solidly but the grout has turned mouldy then you can leave them in place and panel straight over the lot. This avoids having to hack off the tiles and re-level the wall or re-plaster the wall.
Any mould in the grout will die off as it requires permanent moisture to survive. Once the moisture is removed it will die.
Shower Panels Are Cost Effective
Shower panels are not an expensive system. In fact many designs are actually cheaper than a lot of tiles. But they are not designed to be cheaper – they are designed to be better. The fact that they are cheap is an added bonus.
And when you factor in to the equation that they require next to no preparation (which can be the most expensive part of tiling) they start to look very attractive indeed.
Being very easy to fit means you could even undertake the job as a DIY project and save yourself even more money.
The panels themselves are made from PVC so the material is totally waterproof. If you are joining the panels together to cover a larger wall then they are tongue and grooved on the edges. A small bead of silicone inside the groove (where it cannot be seen) ensures a watertight finish.
The main reason for leaking showers is cracked grout but the joint between the tray and the wall is another problem area. If you ensure that the shower tray is rock solid any sealant that you apply will remain intact for years – movement is the main cause of this joint failing.
They Look Amazing
They are not just a practical solution, shower wall panels can be worked into some stunning bathroom designs. And the range of colours, styles and finishes available these days is bigger than ever.
There are a growing number of designs that look just like tiles. But they have no grout – just a smooth wipe-over surface. You can see more tile effect panels here. The designs include large tile formats as well as mosaic effects.
And all of these beautiful designs will continue to look good for years. They do not deteriorate over time so there is no maintenance. The grout line is part of the smooth, printed surface. So it will not attract mould and will not start to look grubby after use.
All PVC panels are suitable for use in showers, be that over a bath or inside a shower cubicle.