There are always a lot of questions when people look into using a new product. And although cladding has been around for many years it is still a new product to many householders. So we have compiled this list of bathroom cladding information that will answer a lot of the regularly asked questions with regard to this modern wall covering.
Materials Used In Its Construction
The most common material used for cladding is PVC. This material is 100% waterproof and has a long service life with no degradation in performance.
Other materials are also used for panels used for lining bathroom walls but they tend not to be called bathroom cladding. The various names are one of the reasons that it can prove a little confusing to those unfamiliar with these various systems.
Plywood and laminate are used for making bigger panels. These are sometimes called shower panels or people also use the names of some of the more popular brands, such as Wetwall.
Bathroom cladding usually refers to smaller-sized plastic panels.
An average-sized panel would be 250mm wide and 2.6m long. Some are a bit wider, some a bit narrower. There are panels made from PVC that are 1000mm wide but at this size, they would usually be referred to as shower panels. This is because they can cover the whole wall of a standard-sized shower cubicle without the need to join them together.
There are also longer-length panels available but these are usually used on ceilings.
The thickness of the cladding can also vary from 5mm to 10mm. The overall thickness does not have any effect on the performance of the panel.
Some situations will require the panels to be fire rated. In general PVC cladding will tend to melt and self-extinguish when exposed to flames but this is not a given.
Each manufacturer will have a slightly different composition of PVC and some will have acquired a Fire Certificate. This will tend to be Class 1 which will be adequate for many situations but the exact requirements can vary depending on the room type and the building type.
Bathroom Cladding Manufacturers
Cladding is made in many countries but the majority is produced in Europe and China. Some manufacturers will be short-lived so check out how long they have been in existence because any guarantees will die with the manufacturer should they cease trading.
There is a lot of cheap bathroom cladding entering the market and the quality can vary considerably. Try and obtain samples before you buy so you can get to look at the quality first hand.
One of the great advantages of bathroom cladding is its ease of installation.
It can be installed by any tradesman or competent DIYer. It does not require any specialised knowledge or equipment. So builders, tilers, plumbers, decorators or carpenters can fit it. We have a quick guide to installing bathroom cladding on our blog – here.