material for shower wall

What is the best material to use for shower walls?

If you are starting a new remodelling or a new construction project, one important thing item to consider is the bathroom shower. Whether you are a pro or require the expertise of a bathroom installer, you first need to understand some of the technical know-how and basics of what constitutes your bathroom shower. You want your shower structure to be robust, water-resistant and durable as you wont be changing or rebuilding your bathroom shower every now and then. The first question you should ask yourself: “What is the best material to use for shower walls?

There are so many different types of shower which exist out there on the market, namely mixer, digital, eco, gravity systems, main pressure systems, and so on. The list goes on and on.

Therefore, choosing the right material to build your shower walls is really very important as these shower systems and accessories will be affixed on these walls. And you would not want them to collapse or sag off for not making the right decision in choosing the correct material of shower wall.

Even though, you might have a shower expert to install your shower wall, it is better that you have an idea of what he will be using to know whether he is choosing the right material. There are so many fake shower experts out there who want to cut cost on the choice of material and making you pay to fill out their pockets.

Additionally, sometimes, it is no expert who will be building the wall but only a mason, who has no real expertise on what material is really needed for a good shower wall to be solid and durable.

It is not common knowledge to be aware of all the materials used to build shower walls. I will present all the different options prior to giving our proposed opinions.

What is the best material to use for shower walls?

1. Glass Tile

Glass tile showers offer a  contemporary look that is refreshing and unique.  It create a unique opportunity to create an eye-catching statement with your shower.  Design ranges from a soothing blue and green tones for coastal cool look, ideal for rest and relaxation, to neutral hues for a sophisticated, spa-inspired oasis.

They have the following pros and cons:

ProsCons
Glass tile is relatively low maintenance, all you need to keep it clean is window cleaner and a cloth, making it an ideal choice for the shower where you will experience soap build up that needs to be cleaned regularly.Glass tile in the shower requires more care during Installation, especially if you have architectural details in your shower that require special cuts and may require a professional installer.
Glass tile is impervious to water, and will not stain.Glass tile can be higher in price.  If Glass is over your budget, you may want to consider using glass as accent, rather than covering large surface areas. 
Glass tile is beautiful and offers your bathroom a unique visual appeal, and with an enormous selection of colors and mosaics to choose from, your design options are literally limitless.Although glass is easy to clean, its reflective surface highlights imperfections.  This means it will require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
Glass reflects light, making your shower appear larger.
Glass tile is translucent, therefore, unlike any other surface material, that beautiful color you picked out will show all the way through the tile, providing an additional sense of depth and dimension.

A glass tile shower is an ideal choice if you are looking to add something a little different to your shower design. Click for more info.

2. Stone Tile

Stone tile is tiling that looks like a natural marbling. It is similar to granite in appearance. They are also are installed one-by-one on your wall. Stone is a wonderful choice for a shower because it is resistant to certain substances found in modern hygiene products often used in the shower. Since granite is a common choice for bathroom counters, many homeowners choose it for the shower as well.

What is the best material to use for shower walls? - Stone Tiles

Stone wall tiles offer the following advantages and disadvantages:

ProsCons
Strong, natural-texture.Expensive, easily stained, hard to clean.
Makes a bold statement of elegance and style.Stone is brittle. Somewhat surprisingly, natural stone is not nearly as strong as ceramic tile when it comes to holding up to flexing and expansion. Natural stone tiles break rather easily.
High strength and durability.Stone floors may require structural adaptations. Stone is very, very heavy and is susceptible to cracking. This may require substantial (and expensive) reinforcement before stone tile is installed.

3. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a classic choice for shower tile design.  Whether you’re covering a floor, a shower wall, or even a tub surround, ceramic tile offers a timeless look that will make your shower the center of attention.  Although ceramic tile is considered a traditional shower tile choice, your tile design style doesn’t necessarily need to be traditional.

ProsCons
Price is one of the biggest pros when it comes to ceramic tile.  Ceramic tile comes in a variety of price ranges, offering something for every budget.  This also makes it a great choice for larger surface areas such as the floor, ceiling, and a walls. Ceramic tile is handmade which means slight irregularities should be expected, this adds character and an artisanal feel but generally means it’s best to hire a pro to handle an intricate bathroom installation.
Ceramic tile is one of the most durable materials you can choose for your shower.  It will stand the test of time against daily wear and tear, and with the right grout and regular care, ceramic tile it will be fairly low maintenance.Certain ceramic tile in the shower is prone to staining from water after long periods of time. 
Ceramic tile has a variety of trim and architectural moldings to choose from, allowing you to add the perfect finishing touch to your tile design. Bullnose pieces create the perfect clean edge to a shower surround and quarter rounds help finish edge details such as an inset shelf or a shower pan.
Ceramic tile is a classic and timeless, making it a sustainable design choice.

Ceramic tiles tend to be a bit larger than glass or stone tiles, making your shower wall look a little different than traditional tile. Ceramic is similar to porcelain, so the same material that a toilet is made out of, it is a very classic shower look. Click for more info.

4. Acrylic Tile

The combinations and possibilities of acrylic walls are extensive. Acrylic shower walls can be defined as big sheets of hard plastic that are glued on a surface using a heavy-duty adhesive. This makes them one of the most customizable and versatile options for wall surrounds. They can be custom designed to mimic the looks of tile.

ProsCons
Acrylic eliminates the possibility of your shower or tub leaking over time because it is installed as panels on the wall.Acrylic is a cheaper material, and that means it’s not so tough.
Acrylic wall surrounds are highly durable which makes them resistant to scratches or chipping.And once part of your acrylic wall is damages, you usually can’t repair the damaged piece—instead you have to replace the whole wall. That can get expensive, fast.
The smooth surface of acrylic walls makes it easier to clean, as it requires a damp cloth and a quick wipe down.Acrylic wall surrounds are available in limited color options such as gray, white, beige, and blue.
Acrylic surrounds are generally less expensive.
Acrylic material is much lighter and can easily be installed in tricky areas.

Conclusion: What is the best material to use for shower walls?

As a matter of fact, there are several materials available on the market to use for your shower walls. However, the right choice for the type of material can be assessed by weighing the pros against the cons for each material.

Whether you choose acrylic or tile shower walls depends on your personal taste, budget, and your bathroom’s needs. But we wanted to lay out the basic pros and cons of each material for your shower surround walls so that you can make an educated decision, and love your bathroom for years to come.

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