During repair works in your bathroom you have a wide range of materials for your shower walls which have protective as well as decorative functions. If you haven’t made a decision concerning the material you are going to use, our review will give you a helping hand. We consider it important to get all the needed information regarding repair works and go to the store or shop online prepared to the things you can find there and knowing exactly which material, style, size and color you need. It’s especially essential if you do it yourself without any professional assistance. Of course, specialists can give you advice but it’s better to have some personal knowledge.
Our review will also be useful for starting interior designers which have little or even no experience in projecting shower or bathroom walls. They will learn about a range of available materials, their advantages and disadvantages, have a look at them and will be able to implement the received ideas in their work.
While investigating the topic we have come to a conclusion about five best options will ideally fit into any contemporary bathroom:
- Glass tiles;
- Ceramic tiles;
- Natural stone.
These five are the most common options, but you shouldn’t think that there are no other shower wall materials. We just chose those which are mostly used and rather affordable. Besides, these shower materials are widely presented on the market, so you won’t have any difficulties buying it in any market or online.
If you wonder why there are so many kinds available, we would like you to know that the materials are different, but all of them are rather good if you choose them according to your needs such as style and design, ease of keeping it clean, durability and many others. All of their features, advantages and disadvantages you will find in the following review. We believe that it’s important to know everything about each shower stall material, so you will be able to make your choice on the basis of a lot of information.
The Best Material For Shower Walls
We won’t take the right to decide which material is the best but we want you to see all the possible options and choose one knowing their pros and cons. We have decided to cover five best options in this review. You can get acquainted with all the options available and decide yourself what tile is best for shower walls. Shower enclosure materials really matter when it comes to style and design, as well as convenience of cleaning and durability.
All of the presented shower material options perform their functions perfectly, but there can be differences in installation processes, design features, types of cleaning and etc. we can’t say that any of the options is totally better than the others, but they all have something that can attract their users or some bad features which won’t be estimated well.
1. Glass Tile
Glass tiles happen to be very commonly used shower wall material because it’s perfectly waterproof. Its smooth surface makes the process of cleaning very easy and enjoyable. The tiles as well as the grout between them can be quickly cleaned by any universal cleaner or even some soapy water. It usually doesn’t need any special cleaners in a usual situation, but it’s better to clean it regularly, otherwise later it will be difficult to make them look perfectly clean.
The variety of available sizes, colors and patterns is marvelous, so you will definitely be able to choose the needed ones for your bathroom design. The price of glass tiles usually varies between $600 and $1,350. But you should take into account that glass tiles are rather fragile, so you may need some extra money to pay for its installation by specialists.
- Glass tiles are easily and quickly cleaned;
- There can’t be any mold or mildew growth;
- They don’t absorb water;
- Glass tiles are often constructed of recycled materials, which makes them eco-friendly.
- Glass tiles cost a little more than another options because of their backsplash material;
- You may need to hire specialists to install them.
2. Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tiles are produced in a wide range of sizes, styles and textures. We are sure that you will manage to find the tiles according to your needs. Ceramic tiles are usually constructed through putting pieces of clay into extremely high temperatures.
If your ceramic tiles are installed carefully and accurately, they will serve as shower walls for a very long time. The cleaning here is also simple: you just need to use a rag previously dipped into soapy water to wipe the tiles. If you choose the most endurable backsplash tiles, the cost of them will vary between $3 and $7 per square foot.
Another important fact that if you get bored of the design or color, you can just paint your tiles without the need to replace them. In other words, these are the best shower walls for those who like to change the style of their accommodation.
- The price is amazingly cheap;
- You don’t need professional services to install them;
- Ceramic tiles are waterproof.
- Color variety is not so big as you would like it to be;
- There can appear mold or mildew growth.
The material is designed in a factory and forms one big sheet, which is very easy to install because of this feature. Fiberglass walls are very thick comparing to other different types of shower walls, and this quality makes fiberglass walls extremely soundproof. Fiberglass is considered to be the best shower material for condominiums or houses for several flats because of its functions.
Cleaning fiberglass is even easier than cleaning glass since there are no grout lines. Besides, fiberglass is one of the cheapest solutions for shower walls. Of course we would like you to remember that prices differ in various states.
- You can install fiberglass walls yourself without any extra spending;
- Medium-density and high-density kinds provide good insulation;
- No grout means easier installation;
- Usually comes with a plastic covering serving as a vapor barrier.
- Some scientific research has shown that fiberglass is likely to cause cancer;
- It can be sealed tightly along the nearer ceilings and walls.
Acrylic is usually sold in big pieces which ideally fit onto any shower wall. Acrylic is rather smooth and can offer its users a notable range of designs and styles. You can without any difficulties customize the walls in your shower or bathroom by coordinating the pieces of the material.
Acrylic is constructed in the bathroom with the use of triple-seal technology in order to make the whole construction endurable. The material is made in a way to deal with the harshness of everyday use. Acrylic doesn’t have pores, so there is no place for dirt or mildew or any other unpleasant things. The cost can be different, but usually acrylic is not very expensive for its users. Acrylic is believed to be one of the most practical shower walls materials options because of its qualities.
- It is very endurable and perfectly withstands any cracks and dents;
- You can install it and keep it clean and working without any difficulties;
- The whole construction is lighter than other tiles.
- The variety of styles is not as wide is it is wished to be;
- Acrylic needs professional skills for installation.
5. Natural Stone
Natural stone is a material which makes you enjoy its beauty every day of your bathroom or shower use. In fact, during our research for the review we have found out that stone is believed to be one of the most marvelous shower wall options because of its stylishness and durability. Stone are put onto concrete in order to create a wall. There are several types of stones which can be used for stone walls: onyx, travertine, slate and granite.
The stone has a wonderful feature to absorb water and soap scum, which keeps the shower or the bathroom walls very clean. If you want to make stone walls in your house, you should remember that you will pay from $100 to $300 for one square foot. Of course, this cost includes all the needed materials as well as the work of specialists.
- Stone walls look amazing and very stylish;
- The use and time don’t spoil the material, they make it better from year to year;
- Stone will forever stay an important element of architecture and design;
- It can be in different sizes and forms.
- It is the most expensive among all the mentioned kinds of walls;
- The material is really heavy, so installing needs several people.
What Stone Is Suitable For Shower and Bathroom Walls
Sometimes it’s rather difficult to choose on kind of stones for their shower walls since any of them can look gorgeous when installed correctly. We would like you to learn more about three types of stone which can perfectly fit onto your shower wall. Since we can’t name the best stone for shower walls, we would like our readers to make their own conclusions regarding the material.
This stone itself will be a good choice if you want an elegant and classy bathroom. White type of marble is the kind of stone which will make your shower even gaudier. The cleaning is simple – you only need a high-quality cleaning product from any store.
Granite happens to be one of the hardest natural stone on our planet. You can’t do anything to it which will harm it, besides, there are no cleaning difficulties. Though it’s a stone, there are a lot of colors available.
The material is made of water, which makes it ideal to be put in wet circumstances such as showers and bathrooms. You should only be careful and keep the grout lines very small in order to prevent water from coming into the stone and destroying its structure.
What Is Usually Put Behind Any Shower Walls
We all should remember that shower walls can’t guarantee 100% water defense, so you will need to add somethings in order to keep the walls from extra moisture. If you build your own bathroom for the first time, or you have decided to do repair works in your old one, you should take into account that you will need some waterproofing materials. Below we would like you to learn even more about types of waterproofing materials.
- Drywall, or Greenboard
If you want to use drywall or greenboard, you can put it beside high-quality acrylic surroundings. The surround won’t let water damage the walls.
You should remember that you need to put polythene before using the surrounds.
- Tile enclosures
If you need to safe the places of tile connections, you will need FibaTape in order to prevent extra moisture. You can also install polythene under the main parts of the tiles. In this way the tape will be saved from any moisture effects.
Which Surface Is The Easiest To Clean
Fiberglass is the easiest material to clean since it is produced in one big sheet, which is simple to be kept away from mold and mildew. For keeping fiberglass clean, you will need the following items:
- A sponge;
- A spray bottle;
- Baking soda;
- White vinegar.
The steps to clean your fiberglass walls will be the following:
- Put white vinegar into the spray bottle; shake it and the spray on the wall including any cracks. Let it stay for thirty minutes.
- Sprinkle some amount of baking soda onto the fiberglass. Take a sponge and make some circular moves with it wiping your walls. When soda and vinegar mix, they create some foam.
- Wash the walls with hot water and then let them air dry.
Shower Wall Panels VS Tiles
If you already have shower wall panels in the bathroom, we believe that you should know that they are better than tiles in many features:
- For cleaning shower wall panels you need only some antibacterial spray, while tiles have grout gaps which potentially gather dirt and other unpleasant things, so cleaning takes more time;
- Panels have a simple and nice design. One panel takes a huge area while using tiles you need a lot of them. Besides, panels can be fit very conveniently, while when you work with tiles, you need to make them dry, measure several times and cut before installing.
In fact, all materials, as well as presented above, have their own pros and cons. The choice of the fabric is up to you according to your needs and wishes and abilities of your shower or bathroom. We hope that our review will help you to make a choice which you will enjoy for a long time, even if you choose anything from other types shower walls!