Updated March 3, 2019
If you’ve got a custom sized shower or tub and HATE tile you know what a pain it can be finding a long-lasting, good looking alternative. You may struggle locating any decent looking panels which don’t know look like a cheap Home Depot special. Even if you do find a nice bathroom wall panel, then you get “the pleasure” (sarcasm intended) dealing with your stuck-in-the-mud general contractor who refuses to install anything but tile (another remodeling hurdle for you). If you decide to DIY this job you may not have the right tools or experience to cut the panels or end up breaking one and costing yourself more money (ouch!). The question is who you gonna call (Ghostbusters doesn’t do construction work) to figure this doggone project out?
Here’s a quick and painless solution for you. Read below about the 5 pains of custom bathroom walls panels. You’ll learn not only about the hassle of bathroom wall panels, but most importantly get ideas to fix these problems without pulling out your hair (or yanking out your husband’s few remaining hairs either).
Pain #1 – Finding a shower or bathroom wall panel system which doesn’t look butt-ugly
Walk into Home Depot, Menards, Lowes or any big box stores and you won’t have a hard time finding standard fiberglass replacement shower wall panels. Most are available in common sizes (48 x 36 or 60 x 32) in a plain white color (or if you get really lucky a sexy bone color or one with a little outdated 4” x 4” tile pattern– ha! ha!). Unless you’re putting a wall panel system in a rental property where you’re buying things cheap, cheap and cheaper – you won’t find much to be proud of on the shelves of the big box store. So where do you look?
I would recommend going to the net and start searching. Search terms like custom DIY shower wall panels, contemporary wall panels, laminated wall panels or stylish shower and tub panels. Three products which fit these descriptions are super sleek high gloss wall panels, laminated wall panels and solid surface. High gloss panels are fun to look at and easy to maintain (but a bit pricey). The solid surface product is geared at more traditional or transitional home for someone more price conscious. The product with the greatest interior design range are the laminate wall panels shown below.
Pain #2 – Your “I’m not going to try anything new” general contractor
As a guy who got a minor in Economics at Carnegie-Mellon back in the day I learned a thing or two about supply and demand. What I know boils down to this – if there is a lot of demand and not a lot of supply the person with the supply has the upper hand (this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about who had “hand” in a relationship – it’s a hilarious – but I diverge). Today your bathroom remodeling general contractor has “hand.” There are more people wanting his services (assuming he/she is any good) than he has time and manpower to go around. Since he is in demand why should he risk installing wall panels he isn’t familiar with when he can just tell you he only does tile?
How can you get the wall panels you want since he may refuse to install them for you? The simple answer is work around him. But home, you ask?
The way to do this (even if you aren’t one of the Property Brothers or Chip or Joanna Gaines) is to get shower wall panels cut to size for you.
Ask your contractor to do what he knows best. Have him gut the space, put in the shower pan and install the plumbing. You take care of the installation of the pre-cut wall panels yourself. But wait (you may be saying) – I don’t even know if I have the tools to do this job. OK then – go on to pain #3.
Pain #3 – You don’t have, can’t find, or don’t want to buy specialized tools to do a custom shower or tub wall panel project
I can totally feel you on this one. If you ask my wife Rose when she asks me to get out power tools to even put up a frame in the home I’ll get that sour look on my face and ask her, “Isn’t there a handyman you can call?” (now mind you I’m in the home remodeling and improvement business as well!). The solution to this dilemma is to get your bath and shower wall panels made to order. By doing this you won’t have to deal with many tools (almost none) and can simply apply the adhesive which comes with the custom pre-cut panels and slap them up.
If you say, “Mike I’m OK doing my own cutting – but finding the tools may be another story, then I would say you probably want to get a garage workbench organization system to make life easier.
Pain #4 – Getting patterned wall panels to line up (it’s like reliving the wallpaper job from hell)
Did you ever tackle a wallpaper or wall panel job and when you tried to match up the pattern from one wall to next you got so frustrated if you were a violent person you would have punched a hole through the wall? Home improvement of any type can be a frustrating process, but matching up patterns can be a real pain.
Wouldn’t it be to get stone tile or subway tile wall panels pre-matched for you? The good news is – you can. With new custom solid surface wall panels, you can not only choose 51 different colors and 4 textures – but can get the panels pre-cut so you won’t have to worry about wall A matching wall B.
You only need to put the wall panels up in the right order (which in most cases is to put the back-wall panel up first and then the 2 side wall panels next). Now – that is remodeling made easy.
Pain #5 – Crappy equipment and cutting blades leading to bad edges and a poorly finished project
You can always tell a craftsman vs. just some construction dude or unprofessional DIY’er (who shouldn’t have done the job in the first place) by the quality of the “finished” edges. A good product poorly finished ends up being a bad job. You don’t need to sweat the edges. Get your pre-cut custom shower wall panels with edges which are smooth and polished for you.
Now you’ve got no cutting and no finishing to worry about – how cool is that?
Trying to get a custom sized shower or tub project done without using tile can be much easier with bathroom wall panels which are prefinished, pre-polished and pre-cut for you. Why continue pulling your hair out?
Can I (or a member of my team) help you?
I hope you found this article showed a simpler way to get your custom shower or tub wall panel project done (so you don’t have to put up with tile). If would like to learn more about pre-cut shower and tub wall panels give us a call (we offer a line of solid surface wall panels, glossy wall panels which can make your home look nice and are simple to install) which can supplied nationwide direct to you by calling 877-668-5888. If, on the other hand, you’d love to find a contractor who can do the complete custom shower panel installation for you call Cleveland Design and Remodeling at 216-658-1270 or The Bath Doctor of Columbus at 614-252-7294.
If you’re a remodeler or builder and want practical advice on remodeling products, industry trends, marketing and sales tips to grow your business (and cut day to day hassles), start reading my newest blog – Innovate Builders Blog. It’s packed with ideas you can use now. Click here to Sign Up for the Innovate Builders Blog.
If you’re in the building business, click here if you’d like to learn how to become a shower wall panel dealer or call and ask for Mike at 877-668-5888.
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