News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

15 Places You Should (and 5 Places You Should Not) Use Fibo Laminate Wall Panels

OPENING Pinterest 15 Places You Should (and 5 Places You Should Not) Use Fibo Laminate Wall Panels | Cleveland, OH | Bathroom Remodeling In Cleveland Ohio | Bathroom Companies near me

OK, I’ll come clean (no shower wall surround pun intended) right up front. Fibo laminate wall panels are the most popular panels my nationwide bathroom products wholesale business (and Cleveland bathroom remodeling) company sells. And they’re growing like wildfire. Frankly, they’re critical to our company’s success.

And while this is true, it DOES NOT mean Fibo wall panels are right for every project. And as a guy who leads a business which sells various wall surround materials (including solid surface, PVC, and high gloss acrylic), we owe it to every prospect to recommend the right product for the right application.

Or as the famous O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran once said, “If it don’t fit you must acquit!” And OK – I realize that bit of legal showmanship didn’t exactly get to the truth – but you know what I mean.

Given this, my goal in this article is to give it to you straight (unlike Johnnie Cochran). First, you’ll find 15 places you SHOULD use Fibo wall panels. Second I’ll look at 5 places you shouldn’t. Finally let me know if there are any applications you hadn’t consider before, or if you need more insight using Fibo panels in your home or business.

15 Places You Should Use Fibo Laminate Wall Panels

#1 – In shower surrounds.

Cleaning grout between tile shower walls – or ‘trying’ to clean dirt off a fiberglass surround – are reasons people are dying to switch to easy-to-clean shower surround panels.

However, there’s one big problem they encounter when researching panel options. When they look at the popular (and well-advertised) molded wall panel materials (acrylic and cultured granite to name two), they aren’t inspired by what they see.

And this is exactly where Fibo laminate wall shower surround panels come in. They look like real tile or stone (because the faux joints are different colors than the ‘tiles’). They are simple to install.

cracked cement laminate panels with glass block shower | bathroom shower remodel | Bathroom design Ideas | Akron, OH Bathroom Remodel

Get Free Samples!

Click here to request free samples of our Laminated Waterproof Shower Wall Panels.

#2 – In tub surrounds.

There’s nothing different about tub surround wall panels with Fibo, than there is about shower surrounds. The material is installed the same (by clicking and locking panels together) and the choices you have for showers are also available for tubs.

The only difference is, if you have an 8’ ceiling, you’ll cut the top of the Fibo panels (which come in 94.4” tall sizes) to fit between the tub deck and the ceiling. And the good news about making these cuts is you can take these pieces and use them as a bathroom vanity backsplash if you like.

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#3 – On your bathroom walls.

If you hate maintaining painted bathroom walls (which become moldy), or tile wainscoting (which has seen its better days, years ago), why not extend your wall panels beyond the tub or shower alcove?

The reason most people haven’t done this is the ‘standard’ wall panels don’t look good enough to showcase on the main bathroom walls.

Well, this is no longer the case. Not only can you extend the Fibo panels behind your vanity or toilet, but you can even vary the patterns from what you used on the alcove walls to add style.

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#4 – On the ceiling of your alcove tub/shower.

If you’re got a low ceiling in your tub/shower alcove you may get the ‘pleasure’ (sarcasm intended) of seeing mold or flaking paint on the ceiling. And this is the perfect opportunity to take your low maintenance tub/shower to the next level by using the Fibo panels on the ceiling. It’ll be one less maintenance hassle to put up with.

#5 – As a kitchen backsplash.

Tiling a kitchen backsplash is not only expensive and time-consuming, but even after you get the job done, you’ll be stuck cleaning the grout joints after they get stained and dirty from the messy ‘cooks’ (and yes, I’m using the term lightly here) who come in and blow up your kitchen.

Keep your kitchen looking stylish – and easy to clean – with grout free Fibo kitchen backsplash panels.

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#6 – In the laundry room.

OK – I’ll grant you these laundry wall panels won’t help one iota finding extra socks which have magically disappeared so you put together a pair, but they will give you a simple to clean surface which will stand up to detergent spills, water damaging your drywall walls or needing to repaint – EVER! Doesn’t that sound good?

6 you should Fibo wall panels in laundry room | Cleveland Remodeling Ideas | Bathroom Cleveland | Bathroom Design DIY

#7 – In a commercial kitchen.

Commercial kitchens are not for the faint of heart (and I’m sure my son Parker, who is in the restaurant business can attest to that!).

With water going everywhere in dishwashing stations to food being splattered on the walls during the lunch and dinner rushes, the walls of restaurant kitchens aren’t given a lot of T.L.C.

It’s for this reason durable Fibo laminate wall panels are a sound choice. And what’s nice to know (for the budget-conscious owners out there), is this product has a 15 year guarantee in commercial settings. The fact is these maintenance free walls will, in most cases, outlive the restaurant!

7 should have Fibo panels in a commercial kitchen | Cleveland OHIO | Commercial Building Materials | Commercial Kitchen Ideas

#8 – In a public bathroom.

Have you been grossed out using a public restroom? If you said never, I KNOW you’re lying through your teeth!

Public restrooms in short-staffed businesses (which seem to be all businesses these days) usually ARE NOT described as spotless. And most companies don’t invest the time for their staff to clean out the grossness in the tile joints which have been splashed with ‘liquids’ I won’t even mention here.

So – how can an owner keep their public restrooms in tip-top shape, and save on the labor costs cleaning them?

Well – a smart way is to use realistic grout free wall panels like the Fibo units. You’ll get an upscale tile look (which WILL NOT resemble cheap plastic bathroom walls you see in dive truck stops), yet your staff can clean it in a jiffy.

Fibo laminate panels commercial public restroom | Bathroom Remodeling | Commercial Public Restrooms | Laminate Wall Panels

Get Free Samples!

Click here to request free samples of our Laminated Waterproof Shower Wall Panels.

#9 – In a home which ‘moves’ (a la an RV, manufactured home, modular home, or houseboat).

Since most of us live in homes which are built on a foundation (and have never been ‘in motion’) we’re not aware of the challenges of choosing building materials where the home will travel from the factory to the home site (like a manufactured or modular home) – or a home constantly in motion (like an RV or houseboat).

And if you want your ‘moveable home’ to not have a ‘wrong-side-of-the-track’ appearance, you want materials which look upscale but won’t pop loose or break with the vibrations caused by travel (and won’t be too heavy to use).

Motorhome/ camper going on vacation

And this is where Fibo laminate wall panels come in. Since these 23.6” wide x 94.4” high x 3/8” thick panels only weigh 26 lbs. and ARE NOT grouted together (but click and lock with a tongue and groove design) – they’ll travel like a champ.

#10 – In a school or hospital – where your staff is fighting against germs.

From snotty-nosed preschoolers to sick patients, germs penetrating wall surfaces are not good if you’re running a school or hospital.

You need walls which aren’t porous. You need walls which are simple to clean. You also want walls which add (not take away) from the looks of your spaces (after all parents and patients have choices – and if your facility looks outdated or unsanitary it’s not a good sign your business with stay in business).

This is where laminate wall panels are a natural choice. They blow up the grout joint- but give you the upscale look of tile, or even a modern minimalist cracked cement wall (for a fun, contemporary vibe).

#11 – Where you want the peace of mind with a looooong guarantee.

Have you ever asked a tile setter, or your bathroom remodeling contractor, what the warranty of your tile shower wall will be?

If you haven’t I’m not surprised. Many people spend a ton of money on tile walls (especially showers, tubs, or bathroom walls) but never ask about the warranty. And maybe the reason they don’t is they’ll be sick when they hear the answer (note – in most cases you’re lucky to get a one year warranty against leaking with a tile installation!).

So, if you plan to be in this home or commercial building for a while wouldn’t you appreciate the peace of mind of a long guarantee? For residential projects Fibo panels have a lifetime guarantee and in commercial projects it’s a 15 year warranty.

11 - you should fibo lifetime residential wall panel warranty | Cleveland Remodeling and Design | Interior Design | Lifetime Warranty Bathroom Remodel

#12 – In a health club or spa.

Let’s face it, showers and shared spaces take a beating in a health club. Unlike in a home, these showers could be used 8 to 10 times a day.

You need stylish shower wall surrounds – but also ones which are tough enough to be used multiple times a day. Laminate wall panels stand up to the rigors of showers used continuously.

12 - you should cracked cement laminate panels in a health club shower | bathroom remodeling ideas | Health Club shower wall panels | Cleveland OH

#13– Where you want an intricate tile pattern, but you don’t want to pay for it.

It’s fun looking in high-end kitchen and bathroom magazines and seeing intricate hexagon and herringbone tile patterns.

However, when you ask your contractors to replicate these looks – all is well U-N-T-I-L you get the price! Ouch!

Intricate tile patterns are expensive (and time-consuming) to install. In many cases these cool designs get scrapped during the design phase because they’re budget-busters.

However, with Fibo laminate panels the ‘faux grout joint’ patterns (no matter how sophisticated they are) are CNC routed at the factory. It’s not more expensive to install fancy patterns than common running bond patterns you’ll find in a classic brick or subway tile design.

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Get Free Samples!

Click here to request free samples of our Laminated Waterproof Shower Wall Panels.

#14– Where you want a time-effective, simple installation.

The cost of wall surrounds go beyond the price you pay for materials.

As you know, in addition to material prices – you’ve got to get the product installed. And in today’s day and age, wall surround installations are increasingly expensive given inflationary wages.

And if you buy heavy stone shower surround panels they can be a back-breaking hassle to put up (besides the concern of cracking panels in the installation process).

And if you choose tile, your tile-setter can be transformed into the reincarnation of Eldon the Painter (from Murphy Brown fame for those of you old enough to remember this sitcom). They’re on the job, on your ‘payroll,’ and in your home waaaay longer than you’d like!

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So, how can you make this project simple on your back (if you’re DIYing the installation) and time-effective to install (if you’re the one paying expensive contractors to do the job)?

Well – with Fibo panels (which only weigh 26 lbs. and click and lock together), you’ll save on labor costs, yet not sacrifice finished quality.

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#15– Where you want to officially retire your scrub brush.

If you’re the one who’s been ‘elected’ (by default) to clean tile shower, tub or kitchen walls and you get that ‘bad-cheese’ look when you stare-down your tile scrub brush to put it into action, it’s high time you insist on grout free wall panels.

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Stand up to family members who want tile – but they want to stick YOU with the cleaning job. No matter what wall panel material you choose – getting rid of tile grout joints will help you hold a funeral for your old scrub brush (and stop calling the ‘Grout Doctor’ out one more time to service your tile joints).

And now, let’s look at 5 places you shouldn’t use Fibo laminate wall surround panels.

5 Places You Shouldn’t Use Fibo Laminate Wall Panels

#1– On a ‘horizontal’ surface like a floor or shower bench seat.

I’m often asked if the Fibo panels can be used on the floor or for a shower bench seat, and unfortunately the answer is no. This product is designed for vertical wall surfaces only.

#2– In a steam room.

There are very few grout-free wall panels approved for use in a steam room – and Fibo wall panels also fall into this category.

So, if your heart is set on a steam room, you’ll likely end up with a tile shower surround. And if a tile steam room is your choice, pay attention to the grout you use and the wall backer board behind the tile (and urethane grout and extruded polystyrene wall backer boards are two smart choices).

Should not - 2 - you should not tile steam shower credit | bathroom remodeling ideas | Cleveland OH
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#3– Where you want (or need) the cheapest wall surround possible.

While Fibo wall panels aren’t expensive, they also aren’t the cheapest way to finish a wall.

If you’re looking for bargain-basement shower/tub wall options consider F.R.P. (fiberglass reinforced plastic), fiberglass or acrylic. They come in thin sheets – and will keep costs to a minimum. However, know they won’t win many style points – and their warranty is as ‘thin’ as the product itself.

Where Fibo is a good fit, is where you want a mid-priced product which will get rid of grout joints, but also has an upscale look.

#4– Where you want a horizontal shower accent trim.

Fibo panels are a ‘vertical’ system. Seams run up and down the wall. And in a wet space (like a shower or bathtub) where they’re used most, doing a horizontal accent border isn’t possible.

However, if you do want the look of an accent, a decorative vertical accent laminate panel can do the trick quite nicely.

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#5– Where you need to cover a curved wall.

The good news about Fibo wall panels is they’re rigid.

The bad news about Fibo wall panels (if you have a curved wall) is they’re rigid.

You can’t bend these panels to conform to curved walls. If you do want a slightly curved grout free wall, investigate PVC shower wall panels.

Should not - 5 PVC curved shower wall | Cleveland Ohio | Bathroom remodeling ideas | Bathroom Curved wall

So, do you understand where you should (and should not) use Fibo laminate wall panels? How can me and my team help next?

In this article my goal was not to try to make you a wall panel expert, but it was for you to know the basics on where you should (and should not) use Fibo wall panels.

Yes – this material is versatile, but no, it’s not the ‘end-all-be-all’ wall surround which is right for every project.

And even though I know this article has primed you on the possible uses of the product, it hasn’t answered all your questions (like what will it cost, can I do it myself or get it professionally installed in my area, for example).

So, if you want additional input on Fibo laminate wall panels – or shower bases, glass doors, accessories, vanities or how to pull other bathroom products together, call an Innovate Shower Specialist at 877-668-5888 or request a Free Design Consultation.

And if you’d like to see what Fibo panels will look like on your walls, check out this Bathroom Visualizer. Here you can change out Fibo wall panels, shower pans, glass doors, niches, vanities, counters and even floors and walls. There’s nothing like seeing bathroom products together in 3 room scenes to know what is (or is not) a smart selection for you.

Thanks for reading – AND putting up with my humor!


And BTW – if you’re an installing contractor and would like to learn about becoming a dealer of laminate wall panels (and other bath/shower products) call Mike at 888-467-7488.

Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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