Everybody wants a fresh, new beginning to their day, but where does that start? Just like sleep, a shower is an essential part of your natural desire to relax and refresh yourself ready for what the day has in store. Because of this, we in the UK are investing more and more into creating our own, personal oasis so that we can start our busy days as happy and hassle-free as possible.
When you think about building and renovating your bathroom, ceramic tiles might be the first thing to pop into your head. Tiles are suitable, but after a few years the grout gets dirty, mildew starts to spread, and it’s hard to feel completely clean in a grimy shower. Leaving you to wonder if you should regrout or just retile.
Which is why more and more people are looking into shower wall panels. The thought of retiling and maintaining them (for anyone that’s done it before) is enough to make people ask if there’s a better way to waterproof a wet room.
Shower wall panels are ideal for DIY-ers to create their new stylish ideas cost-effectively and in a fraction of the time. So, we’re going to look into what shower wall panels are and why it’s such a practical choice to renovate your home.
Shower wall panels have four common types:
- PVC or Plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride Panels
These panels are synthetic thermoplastic materials widely used to emulate original products. Due to the absence of mass in the core, it is the lightest and cheapest wall panel commonly used for both residential and commercial establishments. It is a waterproof and versatile material.
- Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) Panels
It is a rigid and less volatile panel material. These panels have no harmful effects associated with conventional plastic products because it has no plasticizers such as phthalates and BPA or Bisphenol A. These wall panels are friendly to the environment as well as to your health and negate most of the disadvantages of ordinary PVC products.
- Acrylic Wall Panels
Acrylic panels are in a slim design with up to 5 mm of thickness but are usually heavier than PVC panels because of its solid core. It has the same effect as glass panels, and it comes in a variety of colour. They are durable and hygienic as PVC but more expensive to buy and deliver.
- Laminated Wall Panels
Laminated panels commonly known as MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) material are the thickest and heaviest wall panels with moisture-resistant core and high-pressure laminate backing designed for a watertight finish.
The most popular option is uPVC as its less expensive than the last two and offers better mould resistance than PVC.
6 Reasons Shower Wall Panels Are Great
- Budget-friendly Cost
Shower wall panels are incredibly cost-effective. The cost depends on the brand, quality and design of the walls. At easypanels.co.uk, the price ranges from £47.80- £59.90 with wide ranges of option that would fit your budget and offers extensive coverage with a width of 1,000 mm (1 meter) and a length of 2,400 mm (2.4 meters) and the thickness of 10 mm. It would enable you to cover shower walls with only a few pieces depending on your cubicle or shower’s size. In a shower cubicle with a scale of 1 m by 2.4 m, you would only spend two panels for approximately £119.8 These panels are either sold per piece or by set which includes different accessories such as adhesives, sealants or wall panel trims for a subtle and excellent finish.
- Prolonged Longevity
These uPVC boards will not rot because of its impermeable structure. It would save you time and money for the fitting and grouting, but most importantly, it can protect your bathroom from moulds and decolourization for an extended period. With proper bathroom maintenance routines, it can last longer than any other popular bathroom cladding options, including tiles.
- Panel functionality and versatility
This cladding can also be utilized in different parts of your room as you can see fit. You can explore different functions to add aesthetic and a touch of colour to different parts of your including your kitchen, laundry room or any other wet rooms. It is a stylish DIY to try if you want fewer joints and thicker panels for your walls.
- Durable quality you can trust
uPVC panels are 100% waterproof. These panels are hygienic and easy to clean as it prevents the growth of moulds and mildews that usually occurs in the grout of tiles. It requires less effort on maintenance as a simple wipe can wash the dirt off and leave a refined finish.
- Diverse designs to choose from
There are various designs that any people could choose from to decorate your walls. Whether you are a fan of a classic look or a medieval style or a lover of sparkling designs, you can select an effect that suits your taste. You can set the right tone for your shower walls from these style choices you could choose from:
• Tile Effect Panels
It is a collection of traditional mosaics, classic stone tiles and marble-effect tiles. If you’re searching for a uPVC panel with a touch of Mediterranean inspiration or a simple tile effect to bring modern simplicity, the tile effect panel collection has something for you.
• Sparkle Effect Wall Panels
If you’re engulfed with sophistication, then, sparkle panel collections would best fit you. These panels emanate elegance with perfectly polished diamond effect finish.
• Brick Effect Panels
Whether you’re after something rustic or just softer modern feel, these panels can give you the freedom to transform your home into an urban-chic Manhattan style of a wet room interior.
• Wood Effect Panels
If you prefer a natural wood finish your bathroom, then these boards would match with your taste with several choices from light oak, to white wood and even timber mosaic.
With the limitless options of wall panel designs, you can get a stunning bathroom that is just as good-looking but much cheaper and hassle-free than tiles.
6. Quick and easy installation
It is entirely hassle-free because the installation process of shower panels is said to be six (6) times faster than tiles without requiring a tiler specialist. It does not require cement or grout, and you won’t need to remove your old tiles, you can just fit it above your existing wall coverings. But how can you fix these boards into the walls?
All you need for wall panel installations are sealant and some tools such as panel trims, sanding pads and a roll of foam tape.
Tenon saw can help to achieve the straight cut and neat finish, but if this tool is not available in your toolbox, a Stanley knife could be an alternative. With a little measuring and cutting and a sealant, your panel would be good-to-go.
But here’s a tip to make your shower wall more professional and sophisticated:
Choose the right panel trim for your bathroom!
Panel trims come in different sizes from 5mm, 8 mm to 10mm. There are different types of trims which serves a specific purpose, but here are two of the most in-demand trims:
End cap panel trim
This panel trim is designed to protect the top of the PVC wall panel and creates a stylish finish. It provides a clean edge with this slot on top of the bathroom wall and leaves your wall impermeable and stunning.
Internal corner trim
Designed for two walls which meet at a right angle, this trim would best fit to shower enclosures or vanity encounters. With the correct choice of trim for inner edges, you can meet your standard for a durable finish. It will make your panel easy to clean and leaves no room for moulds to grow.
These panel trims are specially designed for bathroom moulding and cladding to give you watertight finish. There are more trim options including external angle trim, external corner trim, coving trim, h-joint and quadrant trim. You can explore and use the trim that best suits your wall.
Given the fact that uPVC shower panels are cost-effective, it’s no surprise that many people are adopting shower wall panels. The quality and the convenience it can give reveal the reason why. Here are some reviews of satisfied customers who had experienced the benefits of shower wall panels:
Peter (2017), who had his wall panel installation, appreciated the beauty of his shower walls and never looked back since then. It added a clean, crisp look to his bathroom and made it easy to maintain. He realized that with the right choice of colours, it could become a centrepiece. Another customer, named David D. (2018) observed that the products are of top quality and an excellent choice, making his bathroom stunning.
“They add such a clean, crisp look, are so easy to clean and maintain, and if you pick the right colours, can really become a centrepiece.”Peter A (2017)
Andra J. (2017) was also pleased with such great stuff, and their bathroom looked brilliant and easy to clean. Regarding the installation, she observed that fitting was not an issue. Most of the problem she had were due to the small size of the room. Loszie (2013), who purchased a sparkling effect shower wall panel, has good reviews with the design and installation because it looked great and easy to cut. Her husband even completed it in half of a day, which means that it is quick to install. The sparkle effect also looks great with the light through the window.
“Great stuff, our bathroom looks brilliant now and much easier to keep clean. Fitting was not an issue, most of the problems we had were due to the small size of the bathroom.”Andra J (2017)
For some, it might seem to be an expensive product at first. However, it is of excellent quality and has extensive coverage with just one or two panels; the panels are easy to cut and trim and fit together very neatly and securely. Many people were generally surprised with how fabulous the product is and was pleased with their break from dirty tiles/grout.
It is indeed a highly cost-effective solution and a good alternative in decorating your bathroom. However, along with its benefits are some limitation of a uPVC product. The choice between juxtaposing wall panels and ceramic tiles depends on a person’s preference after all. But, beyond the hitches, are cost-effective quality and functionality at a price you won’t regret. So, you must’ve made up your mind by now but remember to be sure to think about every detail of your bathroom plan because your shower is your stunning masterpiece and a haven place of comfort to start and end your day.