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Choosing the Right Shower Wall Panels

Shower wall panels can be a great way to tie your shower in with the rest of your bathroom’s decor. Installing wall panels in your shower instead of going with tile also eliminates the problems caused by grout, which can become overrun with mold and mildew and difficult to keep clean. Shower wall panels are also a lot more affordable and inexpensive than tiling your the walls.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding on the right shower wall panels for your bathroom.


Sentrel Shower Wall Panels
A new and interesting product on the market is the Sentrel tub and shower insert. Sentrel is a PVC backed composite that combines a high resolution digital image and scratch resistant hard coat to create the look of real stone at a fraction of the price.

Acrylic Walls
Acrylic shower and tub wall surrounds have come a long way since their originally planned purpose of covering old tile in hotel bathrooms with plain white walls. They now come in an assortment of colors and patterns, including natural stone and tile patterns. Acrylic wall panels are thinner than Sentrel and can be a little more difficult to work with, especially in cold temperatures due to the natural expansion and contraction of the material. Acrylic shower wall panels can be an inexpensive solution to old and dated walls.

Solid Surface Shower and Tub Surrounds
Solid surface surrounds, like those manufactured by Swanstone, are one of the best choices for shower wall panels. A leader in the industry, Swanstone, offers panels that come in different sizes and several different colors. The panels can be a little more difficult to handle, while installing, because each weighs approximately 50 to 60 lbs. per section. However, the benefits of the finished product, over all other shower wall panels, is worth the work.

Installation Tips

The surface that you are covering with your shower wall panels should be solid and free of any dirt or dust. Use a moisture resistant wall board with a mold inhibitor in the facing as well as the core. Never use standard “sheet rock” or “drywall”. If it comes in contact with moisture, it can be a breeding ground for mold.

Before starting, check to make sure your walls are plumb. The more walls are out of plumb, the more trimming is required. In severe cases you may need to fur out the wall.

Use the mastic (adhesive) that the manufacturer recommends. Sometimes silicone caulk is used as an adhesive. Once you have applied the mastic, pull the wall panel away from the wall to see if the panel and mastic have made good contact. Don’t leave the panel until the mastic has set up enough to hold the panel in place.

Always use high quality caulking, this isn’t a time to save some money on material. Re-caulking isn’t a pleasurable experience. Also use a caulking tool for a nice even, slick look.

If you are installing bathtub surrounds over an existing bathtub, check to make sure the tub is level. If the tub isn’t level, this may be a sign of subfloor or structural problems, which is why it is very important to check the level and plumb of the existing shower area before installation.

FaucetDepot carries a large selection of beautiful and durable shower wall panels at the best prices around. We are one of the top retailers of shower wall panels from the finest manufacturers in the industry including Swanstone and American Standard. Our shower doors will be a beautiful and durable addition to your bathroom for years to come.

Swanstone Shower Panels