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Types Of Shower Wall Materials With Pros & Cons: Which To Choose?

Making the most of your space in terms of both aesthetic appeal and efficiency is easy when you choose the appropriate materials for your shower remodeling project. Based on our research, in this post, we will cover the most popular shower wall materials on the market right now, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Here are the different shower wall materials you can choose from:

  • Acrylic: You have a wide range of design options. This material is resistant to cracks and molds. The disadvantage is that a professional installer is needed.
  • Glass Tiles: Glass will make your space look brighter and bigger. It is resistant to stains and mold, requiring less maintenance. However, it is prone to scratches and needs a professional installer.
  • Stone Tiles: The stone finish gives a distinctive design, is less slippery, and is long-lasting. However, it requires regular sealing.
  • Non-tile: These are affordable, lightweight, and can be customized in various finishes. They can be easily installed yet are not as strong as tiled walls. Another disadvantage is that they are purchased in large sheets, making them unsuitable in small bathrooms.
  • Fiberglass: An inexpensive option with many hues and earth tones. However, it is less durable and comes in one piece, so transporting and installing it is challenging.
  • Laminate: Highly waterproof, this is a popular choice. The product design affords easy installation. However, this is the most expensive, with limited design options. It is also less durable and not environment-friendly.

If you're thinking about buying a new shower for your home, you're probably examining a lot of different options before investing. Shower wall material is a crucial consideration in this decision-making process, so without further ado, let's get started.

A huge bathroom with a vanity top with two bowls and a wide mirror with lights A bathtub and the wall cov, Types Of Shower Wall Materials With Pros & Cons: Which To Choose?

Types Of Shower Wall Materials

You must carefully weigh your shower wall options, whether you're upgrading your bathroom or creating a new shower room. 

Check out these common shower wall options to see which best suits your demands and your bathroom's aesthetics, budget, and needs.

Modern bathroom interior, having an oval white ceramic bathtub with a curtain

Acrylic

interior design of a bathroom with purple tiles in a modern style.

An acrylic shower wall is one of the best options for your bathroom. It is important that you're aware of its benefits and drawbacks before making a choice. Check out the list below:

Pros

  • More resistant to cracks and dents as well as the formation of mold and mildew than conventional enclosures, such as fiberglass.
  • Variety of designs that range from modest and conventional to futuristic and sophisticated.
  • Installation may be finished in one to two days, even with an acrylic bathtub.

Cons

  • Challenging to customize to your preferences.
  • A professional installer is required.

Glass Tiles

A large, luxury double shower with marble subway tile walls, marble hexagon floor, and black hexagon tile

Since glass tile is impermeable, it is ideal for surfaces that withstand dampness. Glass tile is also suitable for outdoor use because it is UV-resistant, frost-proof, fireproof, and heatproof. Check out more details about glass tiles.

Pros

  • It is the most attractive, cutting-edge backsplash material available, thanks to its translucence and limitless color options.
  • It is highly reflective, making your bathroom appear brighter and bigger.
  • It's immune to stains, water damage, mold, and mildew.
  • It can be easily be cleaned with a little soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner.

Cons

  • Professional installation is required, leading to high project costs.
  • Prone to scratches. Regular cleaning is needed with non-abrasive tools.

See this glass tile on Amazon.

Stone Tiles

old dark grey stone wall for bathroom

Stone tile installation can be challenging. Given that it is one of the heaviest stones, if your subfloor is not perfectly level, your tile may crack or break. Check out more details about stone tiles.

Pros

  • Gives a distinctive appearance among other bathroom design.
  • Less slippery, which is perfect for children.
  • Long-lasting and highly durable.
  • It is also well-insulated.

Cons

  • It is a natural mineral, making regular sealing necessary to prevent stains, which translates to heavy maintenance.
  • Stone is cold, so walking on it could be somewhat uncomfortable.

Non-Tile

Rectangle bathroom with vanity, mirror and wall decorated with art frame and hangers

Non-tile shower walls provide a fashionable and waterproof enclosure for your shower without taking a lot of time or money. Read more about them below.

Pros

  • A variety of finishes.
  • Affordable and lightweight.
  • Simple to install.

Cons

  • Less resilient compared to stone or tile.
  • Trim elements make the shower enclosure look less expensive.
  • Large sheets could be difficult to manage in a small apartment or bathroom.

Fiberglass

Decorative fiberglass wall panels for modern designs for bathroom

Fiberglass is frequently selected over alternative shower materials for several reasons.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Since it comes in various hues and earth tones, it easily complements any color scheme.
  • A panel's surface can be easily restored after many scratches.

Cons

  • Less resilient and lasts for a shorter period.
  • It comes in one-piece construction; hence, transporting and installing it could be challenging.

Laminate 

The laminate shower wall panel stands out because it has the broadest selection of ornamental options. It is the most popular option for wet wall applications because it is among the thickest waterproof panels on the market.

Shower walls made of lamination are constructed using synthetic materials that are wood-plastic panels rather than porcelain or genuine stone.

water drops on whit pvc sheets and panels on the wall

Pros

  • The material is incredibly waterproof, making it a popular choice.
  • Grooves and tongues at the sides afford simple and convenient installation.

Cons

  • Most expensive and not resilient compared to stone or tile.
  • Due to its artificial nature, it is not environmentally friendly.
  • Compared to ceramic tile, its selection and design options are limited.

See this laminate panel on Amazon.

How Do You Choose A Shower Panel?

Bathroom interior with white walls, a shower cabin with glass wall, a toilet and sink

If you're trying to upgrade your bathroom to give it some aesthetic appeal, you may find it difficult to select the ideal shower panel for your requirements.

There are a lot of options available on the market, so you might not know where to begin. It is necessary to understand how the shower panel functions. 

A panel, usually several feet tall and at least a foot wide, with many shower heads and body sprayers embedded into the surface or projecting from the top or sides, replaces your present shower head.

It could be difficult to sort through the options and choose the perfect one. Select the ideal shower panel for your bathroom using this guide.

The following are the things to consider before making a purchasing decision.

Design

Choose a design that complements the bathroom's current decor. Make sure that the shower panel will look good in your bathroom.

If your bathroom is more classic in style and has wooden cabinets, pick a hardwood shower panel.

Purchase a modern shower panel made of clean, basic stainless steel if your bathroom has a minimalist design.

Water Pressure

You should choose a model that meets your installation needs because each has unique features that affect water pressure.

The best option would be a shower panel that enables each element to operate independently without influencing the water pressure in the entire shower.

Because the simultaneous operation of many functions tends to lower water pressure, some systems do not enable it.

See this shower panel system on Amazon.

Features

The majority of shower panels have remarkable features. But you don't have to choose the expensive models with integrated radio, Bluetooth, and massage jets.

Just choose the one that is most appealing to you. It is highly advised to use a shower panel with temperature and pressure control options.

Warranty

Some shower panel system models include a restricted warranty that addresses component damage.

Since components sometimes don't function as intended, you should be cautious if the maker of a certain shower panel doesn't provide a warranty.

Review performance

Read reviews on each shower panel that you are thinking of purchasing. It is important to take temperature and water pressure complaints seriously.

In Closing

A huge bathroom with a vanity top with two bowls and a wide mirror with lights A bathtub and the wall cov

We have discussed the pros and cons of shower wall covering options. Based on your preferences and budget, choose the material for your shower wall.

The strength, water resistance, design, and installation method of your preferred shower wall should also be considered.

For more information, check out these related articles:

What Is The Best Solid Surface For Shower Walls?

Can You Use Floor Tile On Shower Walls?