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

What’s new in shower wall panels?

What’s new in shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Wall Panels | Shower Design | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel

Shower wall panels – (just like the Virginia Slims ad titled You’ve Come a Long Way Baby promoting a woman’s right to smoke with the ‘thinner cigarette for feminine hands’ … for a laugh, check it out below) –have come a long way baby. And here’s why:

Shower wall panels are no longer white, plastic, and boring.

Shower wall panels are no longer thin and cheap.

Shower wall panels are no longer ONLY available in standard sizes.

Shower wall panels are no longer simply fake replicas of the real thing.

Shower wall panels have certainly come a long way baby!

However, knowing that you (unlike me) aren’t a shower wall panel geek traveling the country attending (and displaying at) events showing the latest and greatest in shower wall panels you may be unaware of what’s new with these products. And I’m quite sure you’re not stocking, wholesaling, and installing wall panels or living and breathing the advancements in this product like me (some people just have the life – ha! ha!).

So, given this fact – and knowing that you may not know what’s new and cool – you may (by default) choose a traditional tile shower – and ‘get’ (sarcasm intended) all the ‘fun’ maintenance work which comes with it.

But seriously, whether you choose tile – or shower wall panels – I want you to make an informed decision.

And towards this end I’m going to share 11 ‘new’ facts about shower wall panels you may not be aware of. At the end I’d love to hear what was ‘news’ to you, and if I’ve swayed your thinking to consider this option. So, let’s check out the ‘new’ facts about shower wall panels.

Fact #1 about shower wall panels – They aren’t all made in a mold

In the past all shower wall panels (like fiberglass, acrylic, and cultured marble) were manufactured in a mold. And if you had a faux subway tile design, for example, it well, looked like a fake subway tile design. The ‘real thing’ (actual tile) looked waaaaay better than it’s molded replica.

Well – the good news is you’re no longer limited to molded shower wall panels – and even the ones which are molded have been improved.

With laminate wall panels – where the ‘faux grout joints’ are created when a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine routes out the joint, you’ll get the natural three dimensional quality which resembles the real tile. And the ‘grout joints’ with this product will contrast the color of the tile or stone design (unlike it’s molded competitors).

Fact 1 White Subway Tile with matte black profile | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel | Bathroom Design Ideas | home improvement ideas

And today there are even some manufacturers of acrylic wall panels who have a limited selection of panels with laser etched grout joints which have ‘kicked up’ the realism of the product.

Fact #2 about shower wall panels – Wood look patterns are here!

Whether you want a dark, rustic wood look – or a lighter colored Scandi style wood decor, you can now get it with shower wall panels – as well as tile.

Get Free Samples!

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

Fact 2 light wood Scandinavian bathroom and shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel | Home Design Ideas | Scandinavian Bathroom Wall Panels

But what’s nice about shower panels is you’ll get a product which is guaranteed FOR LIFE, and you won’t be ‘working it’ with a scrub brush week after week (like you will with a tile shower).

Fact 2 wood look avalon pine laminate shower panels black trim | innovate building solutions | Bathroom products | Bathroom remodeling ideas

Fact #3 about shower wall panels – You can buy them in ‘complete shower kits’ to save money

You no longer need to ‘figure out’ on your own the right shower base or glass shower door to use with your wall panels.

Now, you’ll find complete shower replacement kits where you can not only buy a high-style shower wall panel system, but also get a sturdy shower pan, and thick, frameless glass shower door to go with it. And get this – you’ll also save on shipping costs because you’re buying them together.

Shower Kit Replacement Guide

The Ultimate Shower Replacement Kit Guide

Clear advice on bringing your bathroom to the next level

Fact 3 shower replacement kit White Marble No Faux Tile Pattern 2 | innovate building solutions | bathroom remodel | Home design ideas | No faux tile bathroom design

Fact #4 about shower wall panels– You can get stylish vertical or horizontal accent tiles, or even a unique feature wall for your shower surround panels

In the ‘old days’ (as my kids used to say to me), buying shower wall panels was a ‘one pattern fits all’ situation. You had to use the same pattern on all walls of the shower. While this one-color shower wall package was functional, it couldn’t be classified as interesting or cool.

Today – this lack of style options has been turned on it’s head.

If you’d like a vertical accent strip in your wall panel surround you can get it with Fibo wall panels.

Fact 4 matte black vertical accent in shower wall panel system | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodeling | Bathroom TIps

If you’d like a horizontal accent strip in your wall panel surround you can get it with Onyx wall panels.

Fact 4 horizontal accent in cultured granite shower wall panels | Innovate Building solutions | shower design ideas | bathroom remodeling ideas | shower wall panels

If you’d like a different colored ‘feature wall’ in your wall panel surround you can get it in a number of product lines.

Fact #5 about shower wall panels– Thin isn’t in, AND it’s not your only choice

While thin can be ‘in’ if you’re desperately trying to shed a few pounds off our waistline, when it comes to shower surround panels thin often IS NOT a good thing.

When you look at 1/8” wafer-thin systems like F.R.P. (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic), fiberglass, or acrylic – thin can be equated with cheap, flimsy, and easy to break during installation.

In today’s shower wall panel world, you CAN get sturdy shower wall panels.

Take, for example, these 3/8” thick laminate wall panels. They’re not only sturdy – but they’re simple to install, and available from stock.

Fact 5 thicker laminate shower panels being installed | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodeling | Shower Design ideas | DIY wall panel for shower remodel

Or another popular thick shower wall panel system are 3/8” thick cultured granite wall panels. They’re built ‘like a rock,’ because they’re an engineered stone, but they are made to order, so you’ll usually wait 1 to 3 months to get them.

So – when it comes to wall panels – thin IS NOT the only thing that’s ‘in stock,’ or your only choice.

Fact #6 about shower wall panels– You DO NOT have to buy this product installed at crazy-high prices from ‘bath-in-a-day’ franchises

If you called a ‘bath-in-a-day’ franchise to give you an estimate and were blown away (and I don’t say this in a good way) by the installed prices of their thin acrylic shower wall panels, I’m here to tell you – this IS NOT your only option.

You can now buy (even as a DIY’er) ¼” thick PVC systems, or 3/8” thick laminate wall panels directly and forgo the HUGE installation fees built into the pricing by the bath-in-a-day franchises.

And if you’re not a DIY’er, I’d recommend finding a shower remodeling contractor who IS NOT part of a franchise network and IS NOT burdened with the big sales and marketing costs which often drive their high prices.

Fact 6 high prices from bath in a day franchises | Innovate Building solutions | cleveland Bathroom remodel | High price bathroom products | DIY cheap bathroom products

Fact #7 about shower wall panels– You can ‘see’ how the finished pattern looks BEFORE plunking your money down

Have you ever bought a product for your home based on a small sample? Then it was installed. Then you thought to yourself, I DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS PATTERN, DID I? WHAT WAS I SMOKING?

This very thing happened to me years ago. I looked at a small carpet runner sample for my basement stairs. After it was installed I was sure I couldn’t have picked out something THAT UGLY! However, yes I had.

Well – when it comes to a shower surround system – whether you choose tile, or shower wall panels, you’re coming ‘face to face’ with your selection every single day (unless you don’t shower every day – and that’s a subject for another blog!). And the ‘price’ of a bad choice will be far worse than the ugly carpet runner I chose for my basement (since most of the time I don’t see it because the basement door is closed!).

However, what’s new in shower surround panels today is you can use a bathroom visualizer to see what the finished patterns look like BEFORE spending your money on a choice you hate.

Get Free Samples!

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

Fact 7 shower and bath visualizer Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom remodeling companies in cleveland, ohio | bathroom design ideas | shower design ideas | bathroom remodeling tips

Fact #8 about shower wall panels– You can buy cool-looking panels which won’t come off the wall (or be too heavy) even if they’re ‘on the road’ or ‘on the water.’

In the ‘old days’ if you worried about investing in a tile shower where the tiles could fall off the walls of your RV, trailer, tiny home, or houseboat – you likely felt you were stuck with white, ugly, plastic shower wall panels. And to be honest – they ARE the pinnacle of tackiness.

However, it’s comforting to know today you can get a lightweight, yet stylish shower panel system which is fully capable of ‘traveling.’

One option are ¼” PVC wall panels which are digitally printed with marble designs on the front.

Fact 8 tiny home shower with PVC wall panels North Carolina | Innovate building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel tips | akron ohio bathroom remodeling tips

Another option are 3/8” thick laminate wall panels. And even though they’re thick – they’re not heavy. These 23.6” wide x 94.4” tall panels, which click and lock together, are only 26 lbs. per panel.

Fact 8 smaller shower Bianco marble wall panels and niche Details | Innovate Building Solutions | Shower Design ideas | bathroom remodeling tips | Bianco Marble for bathroom walls

Fact #9 about shower wall panels– The ‘shower accessory game’ with wall panels is far better today.

I don’t know about you – but when I see molded corner caddies and shelves in one piece fiberglass surrounds, acrylic wall panels, or cultured marble shower panels – the only word which comes to me is UG-LY!

And given the need for more storage (and in my home my wife has her extensive collection of beauty products – and this is likely why she looks pretty, and I DON’T!) the need for upgraded shower accessories with wall panels is essential.

So, I’m happy to report you can not only get stylish oversized vertical and horizontal recessed niches, but also grab shelves (for support AND storage), and stylish fold down seats.

Ultimate Shower Accessory Guide

Get Our Shower Accessory Guide!

Making the most out of your bathroom remodel

Fact 9 matte black niche and matte black grab bar | Cleveland Bathroom Contractors | Bathroom remodeling on a budget | Shower Remodeling tips

Shower wall panels DO NOT force you into ugly accessories any longer, even if you’re building an age in place shower.

Fact #10 about shower wall panels– You can get ‘complex tile patterns’ without complex (and costly to install) tile pattern prices

If you love tile patterns like 45 degree herringbone or hexagons, but then had a tile setter quote a price – and dropped off your chair, you’re not alone.

However, one of the cool advancements with shower wall panels you’ll be glad to know is you can get complicated patterns at down-home-affordable prices.

Check out these projects with a 45 degree white herringbone and black hexagon looking ‘tiles’ (OK, they’re not tile, but even if they’re installed in your home, you don’t have to admit it to anyone). These surrounds are the height of style, yet they’re affordable…and maintenance free.

Fact 10 45 degree herringbone wall panels glass block shower | Innovate building solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel | Herringbone pattern | Bathroom Design ideas Fact 10 black hexagon bianco marble wall panels | Innovate building solutions | Bathroom remodeling ideas | Shower design ideas | Black Hexagon Shower Design

Fact #11 about shower wall panels– You’re not stuck with a gloss finish

While there are reasons to use gloss finishes (they can make a small bathroom feel brighter), today the trend in bath remodels are matte finishes for the relaxed spa feeling. You see this trend when buying shower fixtures in brushed nickel, matte black, and brushed brass.

And with new wall panel surrounds it’s nice to know you’re no longer forced into glossy wall panels.

For example, you can get ‘moody, maximalist shower panels like this charcoal design.

Fact 11 charcoal black shower and bathroom wall panels | Innovate building solutions | bathroom remodel | Black Shower Design ideas | home Remodeling

Or how about the rustic feel of these antique gray wall panels if Modern Farmhouse is your vibe.

Fact 11 antique gray bathroom wall panels Modern farmhouse | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel | DIY Bathroom remodel ideas | Home Remodeling in Cleveland

Bottom line – if you want the ease of shower surround panels – you’re not stuck with gloss designs any more.

Get Free Samples!

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

So, have these new options in shower wall panels changed your mind about this option? What questions can I help you with? 

So – tell me the truth, has this article taught you something new about shower wall surround panels? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below (and don’t be afraid to tell me your real feelings, no matter what they are).

Has your opinion about shower wall panels changed, or have new questions now bubbled up to the surface (like how expensive are these panels could certainly be one question you have)?

If you want to learn more about nationwide wall panel supply call Innovate Building Solutions at 877-668-5888 or ask for a Free Design Consultation. Our team can get you pricing – and more information about these panels and/or refer you to one of our installing dealers.

And lastly if you’re looking for an Akron or Cleveland bathroom remodeling contractor call 216-531-6085. Our northeastern Ohio team would love to help.

And if you’re a bathroom contractor, a kitchen and bath showroom, or multi-unit property owner (or buyer) looking to purchase shower or tub wall panels call me at 888-467-7488 or visit the wall panel dealership or multi-unit wall panel supply areas of our site.

Thanks for reading and learning about shower wall panels. As selections have grown, it’s tougher than ever knowing what to choose, so let us help you.

And BTW – if you’re an installing contractor and would like to learn about becoming a dealer of laminate wall panels manufactured by Fibo (and other bath/shower products) call me 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

Comments (4)

  • Building a few apartments would be interested in buy panels size and price important chuck 8520861299

  • Michael – I certainly think we’d have someone to help you. I’ll email you and you can then reach out to me directly.

    Thanks – Mike

  • Mike, I looked at your product about a year ago and was not able to find an installer in my area than had sufficient credit to order the supplies needed without prepayment. This was a big red flag for me. I was worried he would cash my check and never be seen again. Therefore, I moved forward having my hall bath tiled. I am now ready to do my master bath and would like to consider your product again. Do you have legitimate qualified installers in the Greensboro, NC area?

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