Not only that, it can actually be-re-used.
There has been a lot of conversation around our use of plastic as a society recently. And with good reason.
Many plastic products are finding their way into eco-systems and damaging wildlife. So action needs to be taken. Single us plastics, such as carrier bags, have been targeted as a major problem. But other plastics need to be taken into consideration as well. The fact that they do not deteriorate with time is a major issue as it makes the problem persist for years and years.
But this longevity is actually a plus-point when plastics are used in the building industry. It means things like window frames will last for decades. And they will last without the need to be painted repeatedly (paint itself can contain plastics). They won’t rot – many wood treatments contain very strong chemicals. And they won’ need to be replaced (taking up more natural resources and transport resources).
Bathroom cladding has a very long life-span. There are householders who had the product fitted 20 years ago and it looks the same as the day it was finished.
But if you do want to replace it, cladding can be totally recycled. This is not something that is possible with its main competitor – tiles.
Is Bathroom Cladding Re-Useable?
Providing you fix it mechanically.
If you fit your panels with staples or screws it will enable the cladding to be removed whole. They can then be used in another room or sold on to someone else who might be able to make use of them.
It is always advisable to use screws when fitting panels in certain situations in any case. If you are covering up buried pipework, for example, using screws to attach the panels will ensure they can be removed to inspect for leaks.
What If I Stick My Panels On?
Panel adhesive gets a strong grip on the panels. But the amount of adhesion will vary. Obviously the less adhesive that is used during installation the easier the panels are to remove.
Adhesion will be reduced if the subsurface was dirty during installation. Panels may be fitted on top of wallpaper or straight on to plasterboard. Both these paper surfaces will peel off when removing panels leaving the panels intact.
If the panels seem to be very securely stuck on then you can try to chisel away the adhesive behind the panel. Use a wallpaper scraper and tap it into the adhesive to break the bond. You might get one or two stubborn panels but in general you should be able to save most of them.
Solvent free adhesives (which are better for the environment in any case) tend to have a lower “grab”. This is a better choice if you are thinking of re-using the cladding in the future. Or you could use silicone sealant to stick them which peels off more easily. But again use it sparingly or the panels will break on removal.