Wet wall panels have become the new big thing for showers, leaving the traditional choice of ceramic tiles firmly in the last century. That’s not much of a surprise considering that wall panels need no maintenance, are easier to install and to keep clean, don’t suffer from mold or mildew, and can be used in most kind of showers.
If you are planning on buying bathroom wet wall [also known as shower wall] panels you’ll find this handy guide useful, as it gives you the skinny on what to look for while shopping.
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Useful guide for buying wet wall panels.
When they first came onto the market wet wall panels didn’t come in many colors, and even now the cheaper brands still tend to focus on selling the traditional black or white options, with the odd marbled design thrown in for the older audience. However, there are lots of newer designs on the market these days if you take the time to look for them, some are in quite bold colors too. Some designers are making their panels look like tiles, and there’s even an option to provide your own design or photograph to be used on the panels – for a price. See a range of options here: Shower enclosures and cubicles – wet wall panels.
It used to be thought that wet wall panels should be a particular thickness but this has been challenged too many times now to hold water. However, size does matter when it comes to fitting the panels, as if they don’t fit properly there will inevitably be problems with leaking.
Is installation included?
Always ask this question of the place you are buying the tiles from. Unless you (or a contact) have amazing, advanced DIY skills you are probably going to need to hire someone who knows what they are doing to install the panels.
The choices of material
There are three types of material used to make bathroom wet wall panels, and they are priced according to what they are made from. The three contenders are PVC, acrylic, and vinyl (with MDF core). Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
PVC shower wet wall panels
- These are usually the cheapest option because PVC is easy to source, lightweight, and plentiful. It is also very flexible and can be shaped easily, and best of all it looks more expensive than it is.
Acrylic shower wet wall panels
- These are generally thinner but heavier than the PVC panels, but both are equally long lasting and easy to keep clean.
- Lots of exciting colors are available if you want them.
- Acrylic panels are usually more expensive to buy than the PVC panels, and their extra weight often makes them more expensive to order online and have posted, too.
Laminated MDF shower wet wall panels
- These are the top end panels, being the thickest and often best made; they are also covered with a special backing which makes them 100% waterproof.
- You can expect the biggest choice of designs, and the biggest bill!