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What Is The Best Solid Surface For Shower Walls?

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Do you have plans to repair or renovate your bathroom at home or at work? You might want to consider replacing the bathroom tiles with a solid surface that is easier to clean but still looks good. If you're undecided on which solid surface to choose for the shower walls, no worries! We investigated the facts available, and here's what we have discovered.

Polyester-based and acrylic-based solid surfaces are the best choices for shower walls. This is because of their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. You might think about employing them when upgrading your bathroom at home or at work.

We explored the benefits and drawbacks of each type to help you make the best decision possible. Continue reading to find out which option suits your style and budget. 

Modern luxurious shower area and a floating cabinet on the vanity with white countertop, What Is The Best Solid Surface For Shower Walls?

Why go for polyester- and acrylic-based solid surfaces?

Let's look at the following benefits of using polyester-based and acrylic-based solid surfaces for shower walls:

Durability

The strength of materials is the top priority in any renovation. Building materials should be durable and long-lasting. They should be able to withstand temperature changes and harsh impacts over time.
 
Both polyester-based and acrylic-based variants are strong and long-lasting, but because they are primarily made of resin rather than stone, they are susceptible to heat damage. When exposed to direct heat, solid surfaces can be severely damaged. Hot showers, on the other hand, are not harmful to them.
Minimalist inspired bathroom with solid tile tiles and a white bathtub

In terms of material strength, polyester-based solid surface is brittle and consequently more prone to breaking than acrylic-based solid surface. The greatest danger of damage, however, is induced by shipping and manufacture, rather than by customer use. Manufacturers can transfer and produce acrylic-based solid surfaces with less danger of product damage because they are stronger. As a result, the most durable option is an acrylic solid surface.

Aesthetics

Since the bathroom is used often for both quick showers and long relaxing baths, you would want it to be aesthetically pleasing for a cozier effect.

Solid surfaces can be formed into various shapes and sizes making them easier to fit into various surfaces and bend into customizable designs. Manufacturers offer solid surfaces that come in different colors and patterns which makes them more appealing and pleasing to the eyes of the consumers.

If you prefer brighter colors and designs, the polyester solid surface may be the best option for you. Colors are easier to impart on polyester solid surfaces because when they are sanded and polished, they produce a more brilliant and glossy finish.

Classic inspired bathroom with gray painted cabinets matching a round mirror with wall lamps

Avonite presents a collection of solid surfaces with vibrant colors.

However, if you prefer a simpler design, the acrylic solid surface is ideal. Despite having less visual depth, it looks best when polished to a lower gloss. 

Acrylic solid surfaces are also a good choice for people who want to modify the material by thermoforming it into the desired shape and design. This is due to the fact that they bend more easily than polyester.

The technique of thermoforming involves molding a material into the desired shape. This entails heating the materials in an oven until they become flexible, then bending them into the desired shape.

Maintenance

Both polyester and acrylic solid surfaces are easy to maintain and less likely to harbor bacteria. This is due to their high resin content which makes them non-porous and more water-resistant, making them the best choice for use in high moisture areas such as the shower.

Because of the non-porous nature of the materials, solid surfaces do not require periodic resealing.

Both polyester and acrylic solid surfaces are simple to care for. They can be cleaned with a damp washcloth dipped in soap, rinsed with water, and wiped dry. Tougher stains, on the other hand, can be removed by sanding or using household cleaners.

Polyester solid surfaces may require more frequent polishing than acrylic solid surfaces. However, stains can be easily removed even without polishing.

Although solid materials are softer and less resistant to scratches, repairs are relatively simple. It could be restored to its original state by sanding down scratches.

Cost-Effectiveness

Solid surfaces are more expensive than traditional shower wall tiles, but they are more durable and easy to repair.

Solid surface prices typically cost between $100 and $200 per square foot. Acrylic solid surfaces are generally more expensive than polyester solid surfaces. So, if you're looking for a less expensive option, polyester is the way to go.

Corian solid surfaces are estimated to cost between $3,100 and $4,700  for a standard 70-square foot shower. Labor is estimated to cost around $1500.

Corian offers a great selection of quality solid surfaces with a variety of designs and colors. You can get a quick estimate for your solid surface shower panels and installation from Fixr.

Is a solid surface a good investment?

White and wooden inspired bathroom with a glass walled shower area

Solid surfaces make excellent investments. Although they are more expensive than traditional materials, they are more durable, require less maintenance, and are simple to clean and repair.

It may be expensive on the first purchase and installment, but it is well worth it. One of the most important reasons is its durability, which can withstand harsh conditions and impacts over time.

Periodical resealing and regrouting is no longer needed because it is grout-free, thus reducing maintenance efforts. Reparation is also simple as scratches can easily be removed through sanding and polishing.

These qualities of a solid surface will save you money, energy, and effort in its maintenance and repair.

Are solid surface shower walls easy to install?

Yes, solid surfaces can be easily installed. Setting them in place takes less time than laying tiles as solid surfaces come in larger pieces. These solid surface panels can easily be customized because standard woodworking tools can be used to cut them. So installation would be a breeze for you even if you do it yourself.

Once you have measured your shower wall and have decided on a design, you may follow these steps in installing your solid surfaces:

  1. Cut the panels, bearing in mind the size of the wall and the fixtures. If you have prefabricated solid surfaces, you may skip the first step.
  2. Trim, scribe, or sand the panels if needed.
  3. Remove all fixtures.
  4. Dust, clean, and dry the walls.
  5. Apply silicone sealant to the back side of the panels before pressing them against the walls.
  6. Apply sealant on joints and wipe any residual adhesive.
  7. Allow the walls to dry before cleaning and using the shower.

Watch the full installation tutorial video here:

What is the best material to use behind shower walls?

Shower wall panels made of solid surfaces must be fastened to a level surface. A sheathing is thus required. Moisture-resistant walls are highly recommended backing materials for solid surface shower walls.

Installing them on cement, fiber-cement, fiber-reinforced gypsum, glass mat gypsum, and fiber mat-reinforced cement backer panels is an option. You can also use marine-grade plywood, moisture-resistant drywall, or sheetrock as an alternative.

Minimalist inspired modern bathroom with a vertical window and a white bathtub

Are solid surfaces safe for showers?

Yes, solid surfaces are safe to install in showers. It does not only lessen the accumulation of bacteria and mold formation but also lessens slipping accidents because solid surfaces are textured.

Larger panels and a smooth finish make solid surfaces easier to clean, preventing bacteria and mold from growing on them.

Because they are non-slip, they are also suitable for use in showers. Solid surfaces may have a glossy finish or sheen that makes them appear slippery, but they are softly textured, making them a safer choice.

How do you clean solid surface shower walls?

A wooden floating cabinet with a long span mirror and white countertop

Use a moist cloth or a sponge to clean solid surfaces. Brushes and abrasive cleaning products should not be used on solid surfaces since they scratch easily. If you use severe chemicals with strong acids or bases, your solid surface may be damaged. Instead, use a mild soap or an ammonia-free cleaner to clean solid surfaces. These include common glass cleaners and all-purpose cleaners.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Clorox Scentiva is an excellent choice if you want a scented shower wall while keeping it clean and free of grime, stains, and bacteria. It comes in a range of scents from which to choose.

Click here to view this product on Amazon.

In Closing

Modern luxurious shower area and a floating cabinet on the vanity with white countertop

The best solid surfaces for shower walls are polyester and acrylic. Which material you employ in your personal bathrooms will be determined by your aesthetic choices and cost estimates.

In terms of longevity, aesthetics, maintenance, and cost-effectiveness, we highlighted their benefits and drawbacks. We hope this article has provided you with the necessary information to make the best decision possible.

If you need more insight on shower walls, you can check out these related posts:

What Can You Put On Bathroom Walls Instead Of Tiles?

What Is The Best Material For Shower Walls? [5 Options Examined]