Shower Surround

 

Below are a few different types of shower surround materials and some things to keep in mind when choosing the correct type of material for your bathroom shower design.

 

Tile 

Have been a go-to for years. Tile is looked at as being high quality, and stock tile can be inexpensive. So, you can have a high perceived value with a less expensive product. Ceramic, porcelain and glass are the most popular tiles for bathtubs and showers.  The look of stone or marble are some of the newer tiles offered.  What’s great about tile, is that you have a large variety of options with sizes for your design.

 

Fiberglass, ABS and PVC Plastic

These are the least expensive option. These are designed for the DIY-er and are easy to cut and install.  Unfortunately, the material is thin, and the finish may be rough and porous making it difficult to clean. Color choices and styles can be limited but you can easily find these at your local home improvement store.

 

Cultured Marble

Are a man-made composite consisting of crushed limestone and resin.  The finish is a gel coat that is sprayed on and hardens and can have a finish that resembles real marble or not. Cultured marble has a luxurious, high gloss look and is resistant to most products like shampoo, easy to clean but it does scratch easily but chips can easily be repaired. Color choices can range from solid colors to marble and granite patterns.  It is heavy and

 

Acrylic

Looked at as being a higher quality, the material is thicker, light weight, non-porous and has a smooth and easy to clean finish. It is offered in a wide range of colors and patterns.  Acrylic can be thermoformed with return edges, so it can be installed over existing ceramic tile walls. It is a very tough and durable man-made plastic. The color goes all the way through the material, so if scratches were to occur, it would be the same color.  You can easily have light scratched or blemishes buffed out. Being of higher quality, it usually has a longer warranty.

 

Solid Surface

This is made of a different man-made plastic composite that can be cast or molded. It also includes materials such as engineered stones like granite, marble or quartz chips mixed with a resin (glue). Once hardened, it has a polished smooth finish.

A solid surface can be on the more expensive side for a surround because it is a thicker material.   It’s also heavier than acrylic or fiberglass.

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