Whether you are tired of looking at the same shower wall tiles for years or you need to remodel your bathroom, you are currently thinking of possible alternatives to your shower wall tiles. The good news is: there are many alternatives!
For some people, installing shower wall tiles seems like a costly project that does not necessarily guarantee long-lasting use.
So, many choose to look for alternatives that will cost them less while, at the same time, they will keep some of their bathroom aesthetics. Some other options include PVC panels, acrylic panels, stone resin panels, and stainless steel.
Let’s check out these options and their advantages and disadvantages.
The Best Alternatives To Shower Wall Tiles
1. PVC Panels
Suppose you want something that looks like tiles but actually is not-go with PVC panels. They are very lightweight and affordable compared to shower wall tiles, which makes them a popular choice.
As you might have guessed from the title, PVC panels are made of two joining sheets of PVC with a mesh structure. In addition, they have no seams, meaning it is 100% waterproof so that you can cross out any potential headache over dampness, mold, or leakage.
What about durability? These bathroom wall panels are highly durable and easy to clean and install, so you will not have to wreck your brains because of the installation process.
In addition, today, there are many different styles and colors of PVC panels, meaning that whatever vision you have for the bathroom-it will come true! But, unfortunately, these wall panels have their disadvantages.
Although they are generally very durable, they are susceptible to damage and can tear and crack. However, given their low price and easy installation, you will replace them quickly and without any hassle.
2. Wood Shower Walls
Do you like organic and natural materials that will give your bathroom an aura of warmth? Then, try natural wood shower walls, which are more than aesthetically pleasing and will definitely make your bathroom unique.
This style is definitely ‘out there,’ and it is rarely seen in bathrooms because many go for either modern, efficient, or conventional design. You might have seen it in a sauna because of the aesthetics, but also because wood as a material is an excellent choice for humid conditions.
Even though it will transform your bathroom and give it a luxurious look, wood shower walls have a couple of downsides. There are different types of wood used for shower walls; however, what they all have in common is that they are all susceptible to mold and warping.
That means you will have to install or acquire good ventilation/ fan in your bathroom if you wish to prevent mold and warping. Also, similar to stainless steel sheets, wood shower walls should be cleaned regularly because wood is prone to deterioration.
Still, with the proper maintenance regime and ventilation, they should last at least ten years. The best wood for your bathroom walls is cedar because it is durable.
3. Stainless Steel Sheets
Try installing stainless steel sheets if you want to step out of the box with your bathroom project. These sheets of 28-gauge are an excellent choice for shower coverings and can be used on bathroom walls and floors.
However, they need to be mounted and placed on the concrete board or floor, depending on where you plan to install them. Most require caulking between panels and behind them using silicone, meaning you don’t have to consider installing and maintaining grout.
So, you will probably have to call in a professional to do this unless you are very confident in your abilities. Stainless steel sheets have many advantages; compared to other materials, they are highly durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.
Like anything else made of stainless steel, they will not rust because steel is a rust-resistant alloy, making it a popular choice in various bathroom fixtures.
Today there are various sheets and sizes of the sheets which will allow you to create this modern and unconventional aesthetic in your bathroom.
As a highly versatile material, it can be shaped and cut into various sizes and shapes, so you don’t have to worry whether it will fit your bathroom walls. In addition, you can purchase or order online pre-cut sheets for your bathroom shower wall’s dimensions.
If they are not pre-cut, you will have to employ a professional to cut them for you. Even though it seems that stainless steel sheets are perfect, there are downsides to them: they are a bit pricey, and they need to be cleaned/maintained regularly.
Although it is stain-resistant, if you do not clean it on a regular basis, it might develop discolorations that are almost impossible to erase.
4. Natural Stone
Nothing screams luxury more than a natural stone on your bathroom walls! If you are someone that is really passionate about your interior design and has a big stash of cash to support it, we suggest you go for natural stone. Why?
Natural stone is one of the most durable and visually appealing materials, giving any room an aura of elegance and beauty. However, like many other alternatives to your bathroom walls, natural stone needs to be properly sealed and maintained.
However, its only downside is the price- it is probably the most expensive alternative on the list for your bathroom tiles. Quartz is the most popular and costly type of stone used for walls, which costs approximately $75 per square foot.
Other stone materials such as Corian, milestone, and limestone have a price range from $17 to $53 per square foot.
Marble is one of the most beautiful materials that evoke certain elegance, cleanliness, and luxury, whether it is on the wall, table, or floor. In addition, marble is very durable and robust if properly installed and sealed.
Furthermore, even though marble is considered a very brittle material, it will not chip or easily scratch. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will have to worry about water damage and mold, and it can withstand a lot of abuse. What are its downsides?
As you already know, marble is expensive and sometimes very hard to acquire. Therefore, if you wish to go with marble, not only that sourcing and financing will be an issue you will also have to pay a hefty sum for the installation.
Fiberglass is a highly popular and common material used as a substitute for shower tiles because it is highly affordable, reliable, low-maintenance, and can be easily shaped and molded to create whatever design you have in mind.
With fiberglass, you will not have to deal with grout and leaky seams. However, even though fiberglass has a very ‘attractive’ price tag, it comes with a set of disadvantages. It is not very durable and will crack, fade and scratch, so it is not likely suitable for prolonged use.
On the other hand, repairing or replacing fiberglass is relatively inexpensive, but it depends on whether you have time and will to go through this process repeatedly.
7. Acrylic Panels
Acrylic panels are one of the most common alternatives for bathroom tiles, and for a good reason. As a highly durable material, it will last you a lifetime and will resist stains, cracks, and dents.
It is seamless, so you will not have to worry about mold forming behind the panels and water leakage and damage.
What makes acrylic shower panels a good choice is their accessibility, durability, and versatility. Today you can choose almost any color, style, and texture of the panel or even have it custom-made. They also provide a high-gloss finish and are very easy to install.
However, many do not know that acrylic panels are surprisingly expensive, heavy, and sometimes can give off a very cheap aura. Of course, this depends on your style and preferences.
8. Stone Resin Panels
Stone resin panels are made of acrylic resin, bauxite, epoxy, marble dust, and pigments, making them durable and non-porous. They can withstand a lot of damage without cracking, chipping, or even staining, meaning it’s a lifelong investment.
Given it is made of such dense materials, it is an excellent choice for creating sleek and seamless walls plus, there is a small chance of erosion from prolonged exposure to moisture and heat.
Stone resin panels retain heat longer and are warm to the touch. If you live in a colder environment, this might serve you well. Despite their numerous advantages, stone resin panels are very heavy, which makes the installation and uninstallation process a nightmare.
So, if you go with stone resin shower panels, make sure that it is something you will keep for a more extended period. Otherwise, it is not a wise investment. In addition, they are expensive.
However, it is the most durable material, so you must weigh your options.
Even though tiles are in their lane of durable and resilient materials, they are considered the most popular material for several reasons.
However, today you can choose from several tile alternatives that will provide durability and a modern look without spending too much money, such as PVC panels, acrylic panels, fiberglass, natural stone, stone resin panels, and others.
In the end, the decision is yours, and it depends on your particular needs, budget, size of the bathroom, and style preferences. These are some of the factors that you need to think about before costing the right option!
Have you ever tried replacing your tiles with some of those? Could you share your opinion with us? Also, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!