4 Shower Wall Options For Your Next Bathroom Renovation

Are you renovating your bathroom and hoping for something a little more exciting than the same old, same old? Maybe you’re looking for a particular style, but the costs of installation are too high?

Shower walls need to be water-tight, stylish, and easy to clean. If you’re considering your shower wall options, don’t decide until you’ve weighed up all of the possibilities.

If you’re looking to beautify your bathroom walls but are unsure as to the most appropriate approach for your pocket, you’ve come to the right place.

shower wall options

The Best Shower Wall Options

Acrylic And Fiberglass

bathroom walls
Wall tiles can take an age to install. You’re endlessly cutting the tiles and fitting them around pipes and awkward corners. And then there’s the grouting!

A more modern and straightforward approach to waterproofing your shower wall is to use prefabricated acrylic and fiberglass panels. They attach to the wall in a single sheet, and if you’re looking for inexpensive shower wall options, these sheets instantly introduce a stylish aesthetic from a relatively modest budget.

Installation is relatively painless – requiring a heavy duty construction adhesive, the entire sheet adheres to the wall in one go. Much simpler than tiling!

However, this is likely to be a two-person job, so if you’re a lone-tiler, you may need an assistant.

You can purchase multi-part kits, including shower pans or bathtubs and watertight seals for corners. Alternatively, they’re available as single wall kits; without the shower pan, bathtub or doors. These prefabricated wall sheets make for super-simple installations that anyone with a confident grasp of DIY should manage to install.

shower wall panels

There’s a wide array of design options available, from plain white in gloss or matte (the most common choice) or textured, stone-effects. The sheets are also available in adventurous colors and patterns, so do shop around because you can really create an impact.

Fibreglass and acrylic look almost identical, but they are a couple of differences to take into account when considering your shower wall options. Acrylic usually has a high-gloss finish and is more durable than fiberglass, which is more prone to scratching and fading. Fiberglass is the cheaper of the two options, but if care is taken to maintain it, can provide an attractive patina for several years.

Cleaning a sheet shower wall is really easy, with few crevices for mold to infiltrate. However, it’s important to pay particular attention to corners and edges as mold can still flourish here.

The main drawback with wall sheets is that they don’t age as well as more conventional wall tiles. They are prone to yellowing and scratching; they show their age more quickly. Holes and cracks can be patched up, but they’re unlikely to be invisible.

But if cheap and easy are your priorities, you can’t go wrong with shower wall sheets.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic and Porcelain shower wall

Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer a water-tight surface with endurance and are often the choice if you’re looking for a higher-end finish. Available in a vast array of styles and designs, the trickiest part is choosing from such a wide range.

Ceramic is usually a little cheaper than porcelain which is denser, more water-resistant, and more durable. However, both ceramic and porcelain wall tiles are there for the long-haul, with a normal life-expectancy of several decades. They’re more likely to go out of style before they degrade.

This category of tile is significantly resistant to water and staining. The grout that’s applied between the tiles to complete the water-tight surface is easy to clean and relatively simple to replace when it becomes discolored over time. Grout attracts mold, so it’s important to keep it clean and for your bathroom to have decent ventilation to extract excess moisture from the air.

It’s relatively straight-forward to replace a single tile if one gets cracked, broken, or falls off.

It’s advisable to keep a few tiles when the job is complete, because new batches may differ slightly in color (or they may be discontinued).

Installation is more complex than acrylic wall sheeting. Tiling is a particularly messy job, with a fair amount of tile cutting to accommodate awkward corners. Achieving a perfectly flat surface takes some mastering, but most simple tiling projects are achievable by confident DIYers.

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles have become particularly popular over the past decade or so. With a wide array of colors, shapes, and designs, there are a plethora of choices to make your shower wall really spring to life. And, for glass shower enclosures, glass tiles look amazingly stylish.

Glass reflects the light, giving your shower wall a feeling of greater expanse, making them the perfect choice for the smaller bathroom. Glass tiles have a fascinating translucency that lends depth as well as color.

Installation can be a little tricky with glass tiles. Glass is more brittle than porcelain or ceramic, so it’s generally recommended that you have them professionally installed if there’s going to be a lot of cutting required during your fitting. A great option, if you’re aiming for more inexpensive shower wall options, is to integrate some select glass tiles into your porcelain or ceramic tiles for an exciting accent.

glass shower wall tiles

Glass tiles are really easy to clean – just a spray of a glass cleaner and a soft cloth will do the job, so you can keep your tiling pristine for longer. However, glass doesn’t hide soap buildup at all well, so it’s some relief that it’s easy to clean.

The surface is particularly tough, so it’s unlikely to blemish or scratch – but if it does, it’s very visible and likely to ruin the finish. It’s never advised to use anything more abrasive than a soft cloth to clean your glass tiles, therefore.

Glass is slippery, so it’s not the best choice for shower floors. Mosaic glass may provide a little more traction, as you grip the grouting more than the glass, but this is still a major safety consideration, and definitely not to be considered if installing for someone who is unsteady on their feet.

Glass tiles are more expensive than ceramic or porcelain and, because they’re more of a challenge to install, it’s usually recommended to get a professional to do the job for you; further adding to the cost. But they look fantastic – if your budget can stretch, go for it.

Stone Tiles

Stone tiles are a celebration of nature’s diversity and look fantastic in bathrooms whether the home is modern or more traditional. There’s a wide range of stone tiles available these days – from slate, marble, travertine, onyx, and granite.

Stone tiles lack the uniformity of glazed tiles, but this is part of the attraction – each one is completely individual, and brings a real sense of luxury to your walls or floors.

Stone tiles contribute texture as well as natural marbling and variation in tone and color. Travertine, particularly, is rough to the touch, adding a real sense of luxurious, textural interest to your shower wall.

Natural stone is more porous than the other types of wall covering, so stone tiles require sealing to prevent grime getting into the grain of the stone. The sealant requires fairly regular re-application – every three years is quite common; so stone needs a little more maintenance than other styles of tile.

Each stone type certainly looks fantastic, but there are downsides – marble may look super-opulent, but can stain; slate is robust and durable but is particularly tricky to install due to the natural variation in thickness; travertine is beautiful on the wall, but susceptible to stain and scratches.

Although stone looks fantastic, it’s expensive and not always as durable as the other types of wall coverings. Bathroom renovations are generally not cheap, so carefully consider if you want the additional cost of natural stone added to the final price.

Other Items To Consider

If you are making changes to your bathroom then there are a few other items you should consider installing at the same time. This will save you time and money in the long run.

After all – no-one like a cold bathroom right?

Consider Your Shower Wall Materials Carefully

If you’re looking at your shower wall options, then consider the day-to-day use that your bathroom is likely to endure. If you work in a coal-mine, for example, avoid stone tiles, because they’ll stain (and do you really want to be surrounded by more stone when you’re relaxing in the shower!?).

Consider the ease of cleaning, the durability, and your budget. If you’re looking for a quick installation with a small budget, go for fiberglass. If you want something with a little more “wow” factor, and you have a larger budget, consider glass, porcelain or stone.

Pricing last updated on 2018-11-18 at 06:04 / affiliate links - Details

Share this post!

Related posts

1 thought on “4 Shower Wall Options For Your Next Bathroom Renovation

  1. I’m getting a custom shower for my new bathroom renovation, and I want to have a shower wall with some kind of tile. You broke down the pros and cons of each type very well, and I’m especially interested in the glass tile you mentioned. My old shower had lots of soap build up in the tile, so the fact that glass tile is resistant to that makes it very appealing for my needs.

Leave a Comment


Want an answer to your question quickly? Join our private Facebook Mastermind Group here.

Before you go...
Did you find this article useful?

Don't miss out on anything... Enter your email below and stay up to date with all the latest guides, reviews and tips.
Follow us on social media too to stay 100% up to date
Ryobi Problems?
Stay up to date with the latest solutions

Enter your email below and we will send you the latest fixes as we learn about them.
Pellet Stove Info
Want to be kept up to date on all the pellet stove news?

Subscribe below and we will keep you in the know!
Heating & Cooling Guides
Want to stay cool in summer and warm in winter?
Subscribe below and stay up to date on all the latest info!
Cookware Guides
Interested in cookware and want to stay up to date?
Enter your email and we'll let you know when we have new info to share.
Want Home Improvement Hacks?
Interested in Home Improvement and DIY?

Let us send you all the best info, guides, reviews and tips directly!

Simply enter your email below.
Follow us on social media too to stay 100% up to date
Cleaning Hacks
Sick of cleaning? Us too!

Enter your email below and we will send you tips and tricks to make your cleaning chores easier.
Want Perfect Lawns?
Use our lawncare hacks, guides and tips and you can have the best lawns on the street!

Enter your email and stay in front of the competition!
Get Inspired
Subscribe, and we will send you, for free, our curated list of...
The 10 Best Home Improvement Blogs
Thank you
Please check your email to confirm your email address.

The guide will then be emailed to you.
Learn 16 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds In Your Lawn
Subscribe and get
notified of Black Friday Deals
name
e-mail
We will not share your details with any 3rd party.