Shower Walls – What are the Options?

There are tons of different options on the market for shower walls, making it difficult to choose what’s right for your bathroom. Your bathroom is a space to make your own, just like any other room in your house. You may find yourself looking for a different look or more functionality, which is when knowing your options becomes important. The main shower wall types are: glass tile, stone tile, ceramic, and acrylic.

Glass Tile

Close up of glass shower tile.

Glass tiles are exactly what they sound like, they are translucent tiles that give an extra shine to your bathroom. They come in small tiles that when added together in a pattern will create the base for your wall. Glass tiles give your bathroom a sleek look that may be harder to achieve with other materials. Due to its fragile nature, glass is not typically recommended for shower flooring, but can make a great statement piece on shower walls.

Glass is a sustainable option for your shower, as you can use recycled materials to build your design. Similarly, your glass shower wall can eventually be recycled into something else should you want to renovate later. It tends to be more resistant to chemicals from cleaning supplies and bacteria buildup, making it a cleaner option than some of its competitors.

Though glass tile is beautiful when used for shower walls, it is the most fragile and scratch-prone of the options available. Like any other glass furniture or item, you run the risk of cracking or scratching your glass shower, leaving a costly bill to fix the mess. Beside the potential cost to fix any damage, glass is expensive in general to incorporate into your bathroom. Some opt for glass accents instead to compromise on the cost.

Pros: Shiny, Unique, Easy to Clean

Cons: Expensive, Brittle, Easily Damaged

Stone Tile

A bathroom with stone tile.

Stone tile uses natural stone to create a modern design. It looks beautiful in your shower, and typically incorporates slate, marble, or granite. Using stone tile in your shower incorporates a natural element, resulting in a spa-like and perpetually cool environment. There are many ways to incorporate stone into your shower, on the walls being one of them.

Choosing the right type of stone to use in your shower can make or break your experience with the material. There are options for rougher or smoother stone, one being better for the wall and one being better for the floor. Wherever you use stone, you will need to ensure you are sealing the material at least once a year. Considering on the design you choose, you are constantly dealing with soap, hair, grime, and other unwanted things in the cracks and crevices. This makes sealing extremely important but, ultimately, this will be a problem in your stone shower wall regardless.

Pros: Strong, Natural Texture

Cons: Expensive, Easily Stained, Hard to Clean, Slippery

Ceramic

 

A bathroom with gray ceramic tile.

Ceramic tiles tend to be a bit larger than glass or stone tiles, making your shower wall look a little different than traditional tile. Ceramic is similar to porcelain, so the same material that a toilet is made out of. It is a very classic shower look and can be seen in many homes. This has its pros and cons. Many see ceramic as an outdated style in the bathroom. It is widely used and not very unique, adding little to no re-sale value. Additionally, ceramic tile attracts mold and scum in the grout lines. You add more cleaning onto your list, leaving you in a similar situation as stone tile.

Though not very unique in nature, ceramic is customizable to your needs. Whatever design you wish to have for your shower can be achieved with ceramic tile, including curved walls and large tile flooring. With more design comes more complexity and more costs. Though ceramic tiles can be customized, the material is very complex and requires expert installation to achieve your desired look.

Pros: Inexpensive

Cons: Dated Styling, Complex/Involved Installation

Acrylic

An all-white bathroom with an acrylic shower surround.

Acrylic is a versatile material that is impact resistant, structured, and fully customizable. In a shower, it is cut in one large piece to fit your shower wall using a sheet installation process. Your acrylic shower wall can be designed with laser edged tile, marble, and other patterns. The material creates a glossy finish and is easy to maintain. Because of its antimicrobial nature, you won’t have to worry about scrubbing as you do with other materials.

Though you might lose some of the style you’d get with stone or glass, acrylic will last you for far longer. It is scratch-resistant and much sturdier than glass or ceramic. Plus, acrylic retains more heat than other materials, giving you a comfortable bathroom experience. Your non-slip acrylic shower pan will keep you warm and safe, two very important features.

Pros: Slip-Resistant, Mold-Resistant, Variety of Color & Texture Options, Inexpensive, Easy Installation

Con: Nothing Notable

OUR SHOWER WALL RECOMMENDATION

We recommend acrylic as the best shower wall material. Acrylic is the best system to use for shower walls because it is the safest, least high maintenance, and easy to install, meaning your shower could be done in as little as one day. Acrylic is one of the most durable materials used in the shower construction industry, and for good reason. It is guaranteed not to chip, peel, crack or fade over time, and it is highly resistant to mildew or mold.

West Shore HomeĀ® prefers using acrylic material for our showers because it is the best for you, your home, and your wallet. We offer different styles and textures that can make your shower match your vision. In addition, our showers can be made with customizable accessibility features such as low or no barrier entry, built-in seating options, and grab bars.

If you are interested in a new shower, we guarantee acrylic is the way to go. Set up a consultation or get a free quote for your new shower with West Shore Home!