Alternatives To Bathroom Tile

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Shower tile is beautiful and makes your bathroom look great, but many homeowners seek alternatives due to the high cost.
There are 10 shower tile alternatives worth considering, and they include wood, PVC panels, and marble.
Whether it be differences in style, installation, or cost, let’s take a look at the 10 best shower tile alternatives.
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There is nothing like the durability and moisture resistance of tiles, and when it comes to showering these two things are key.
Your shower is going to see a lot of use over its lifespan so it’s crucial that you choose the right material. Tiles are hard-wearing, easy to clean, resistant to mold, and can look elegant in the proper applications. Acrylic panels, PVC panels, marble, stone resin panels, and stainless steel decorative panels are the best alternatives to shower wall tires. For a modern, luxury look, you can install wood shower walls or natural stone instead.
For cheaper options, use fiberglass or use bathroom-ready wall paints. Acrylic panels are the most common option as its less likely to crack or harvest mold. While tile may be the first choice that comes to mind, many folks consider it to be either too expensive or simply outdated. So, if you’re searching for an alternative to shower tiles, you’re not alone. Tile is considered the most popular material for shower walls, but it is far from the only option. Some shower tile alternatives include acrylic panels, marble, PVC panels, stone resin, stainless steel, wood, and even paint. Let’s take a look at each of these options to help you decide which alternative to shower tile works best for your individual situation.
Made from sheets of acrylics that are reinforced with glass fibers, acrylic panels provide an excellent alternative to traditional shower tiles. They are also hard wearing and entirely seamless, which reduces the risk of leakage and water damage along the shower’s seams. Additionally, with acrylic panels, there is a very limited possibility that mold will form behind the panels. The seamless nature of this alternative can also create a statement wall in your bathroom.
You also have a variety of colors to choose from in order to achieve the desired aesthetic – from a bright red for a pop of color or a white shade to yield a basic shower design. Acrylic panels also do a good job at resisting stains, denting, cracks, and scratches. As a non-porous material, acrylic is entirely water-resistant which will ensure that your shower looks great for a longer period of time.
These panels are comparable to shower tiles when it comes to durability. Though they tend to be more expensive, the extended lifespan makes up for it in the long run. Materials cost an average of $650 for acrylic panel shower walls, but they can cost over $1,000. Acrylic panels last over 10 years, but they don’t always last the average 20 years that standard shower tiles last. You can make an acrylic panel shower last for 20 years or more if you use efficient ventilation and reduce mold and mildew conditions. If you’re looking for a custom option for waterproofing your shower, consider marble. Although marble is a lot pricier than alternate materials, it can be easily milled into whatever shape or size your project requires.
Custom-made so that each individual design is completely unique, marble can transform your bathroom. When marble is properly maintained and cared for, it will last in your shower for years without showing any visible wear. It is resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, scuffing, and mold. Despite the high price tag, marble is an incredibly desirable material that will immediately increase the value of your home.
This allows to regain on your original investment, and then some! Homeowners spend an average of $1,800 in material costs for marble shower walls, but it can cost more with professional help. However, it is worth the cost to hire a professional because marble is expensive and difficult to install. Luckily, the density of marble shower walls is what makes them so energy efficient, durable, warm, and comfortable. On the lower end of the price spectrum, fiberglass is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to shower tiles on the market.
It is often the ideal choice for homeowners that are looking to give their bathroom a quick upgrade before listing or for someone who enjoys renovating on a regular basis. Like acrylic panels, fiberglass is seamless so there is never any worry about leaking behind the unit or mold. As an added benefit, if fiberglass gets damaged it is much less costly to repair or replace than many other alternatives. Though, it’s worth mentioning that when damage does occur, it can cause staining and cracking – which will lead to mold growth. Once the surface does experience any sort of wear, it will chip and crack until repaired.
While fiberglass is easy to repair, it is highly susceptible to damages and scratches. The surface also loses its shine and luster over time and the color can also fade easily. Finally, due to the heavy and bulky nature of the design, it can be difficult to transport without damage. The main benefit of fiberglass showers is that they are a budget option at $750 on average for installation and materials, but they don’t suffer quality.
Prefabricated fiberglass shower stalls are an easy-to-install shower tile alternative, and you can expect it to last over 10 years. Similar to fiberglass, PVC panels are among the most affordable shower materials on the market. PVC is more flexible than fiberglass, but not as strong. The panels are incredibly durable and entirely seamless, which doesn’t allow for mold to form behind the unit or on the panels themselves.
PVC panels are inexpensive to buy and install, serving as a great solution for adding a new look and feel to your bathroom without breaking the bank. Though, like fiberglass, they are susceptible to damage, it is both easy and inexpensive to repair or replace PVC shower panels. Due to the low weight, this material also performs well on ceilings in addition to walls. One major benefit of PVC panel shower walls is that they don’t require grout so you won’t have to worry about redoing it every 8 years or so. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on installation with PVC panels if you install it yourself. The average homeowner can expect their PVC panel shower walls to last for up to 25 years, and that is a big selling point.
Stone resin is another great alternative to shower tile as it is durable, sleek, and incredibly strong. It can be used on both the shower floor and walls as an effective water-proofing material. A stone resin shower can withstand a lot of abuse without chipping, cracking, or experience any damage. Stone resin shower walls are generally made of a mixture that includes acrylic resin, stone dust, and epoxy. The density and non-porous nature of stone resin reduces the risk of mold, mildew, and erosion from prolonged moisture. Consider a stone resin shower wall or pan if you want a safe, durable, and timeless shower wall alternative.
You can expect your stone resin shower to last a lifetime and since you’ll never have to redo your shower, it is well worth the investment. The surface of this material tends to be slightly warmer to the touch than other options. This feature is great for those who run a bit cold, live in colder climates, or, like me, enjoy an especially hot shower. To prevent slips and injury, the tray usually comes textured – a feature that can be incredibly beneficial for individuals with kids. While not your traditional look or feel for a shower, stainless steel can provide a very modern, unconventional design. 28-gauge stainless steel sheets are the ideal choice for shower coverings. To install these properly, they must be mounted on top of the concrete board.
The intricacy of installing a stainless steel shower may require the help of a professional.
Stainless steel is an incredibly versatile material, allowing the flexibility to be cut and shaped to fit any type of shower.
  • It’s also very durable and serves as a long-lasting alternative to shower tiles.
  • The only downside to stainless steel showers is that they can be difficult to seal unless you use a strong silicone caulk.