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 the standard size of shower wall panels?

Section 1 cultured granite shower panels 60 inch x 36 inch | innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel Companies | Home improvement ideas | DIY Bathroom Remodel

Just like people – shower wall panels come in many shapes and sizes.

And while I’d like to tell you there’s a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system which trumps (no, this IS NOT a political reference here!) all others, that’s simply not the case.

So, what can you expect to learn in this article about shower wall panel sizes to help you make the best selection for your project? Here’s what:

  • In section 1 – What are the standard heights, widths, and thicknesses in ‘full sheet’ and ‘click-lock’ style shower wall panels?
  • In section 2 – How can I get (or create) custom size shower wall panels? Is a bigger panel better than smaller ones?
  • In section 3 – What questions should I ask when choosing shower wall panel sizes?

Ok, so let’s dig in.

Section 1 – What are the standard heights, widths, and thicknesses in ‘full sheet’ and ‘click-lock’ style shower wall panels?

How to choose the height of your shower (or tub) wall panels.

The first question you need to address when choosing the optimal height of your shower wall panels is do you want your system to reach the ceiling. And I’d answer (if you want to cut down on maintenance) yes, you do want to go to the ceiling.

Ok, that’s unless you have a 9’ ceiling and the wall panels will either be too expensive and/or will look out of scale if you go to the ceiling. Obviously the taller the panels, the more you’ll pay for them (which might be a challenge if you’re NOT independently wealthy).

The most common wall panel heights are:

  • 60” high – used in tub surrounds or bathroom wainscoting.
  • 72” high – used in tub surrounds or short showers
  • 80” high – used in showers (or tub surrounds where you want to reach the top of an 8’ ceiling)
  • 96” high – the most common size used for showers where you want to limit maintenance and reach the top of an 8’ ceiling (which is most common in bathrooms)

Section 1 - 96 inch high laminate shower wall panels bianco marble | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel Home Improvement | Bathroom Remodel Ideas |

  • 108” high – these are hard to find (only one cultured granite manufacturer – Onyx – and one laminate wall panel manufacturer – Fibo – make them this tall). It’s a nice option if you have a 9’ ceiling and don’t want to see a painted wall above the panels. However, I’ll warn you, they’re expensive.

Another consideration with the height of shower wall panels is how much will they weigh and will you be able to get them through the door and up the stairs.

How to choose the width of your shower (or tub) wall panels? (note – widths are more flexible with click-lock panels)

What makes it difficult for wall panel manufacturers to stock every size of wall panels you might want is the infinite number of possible widths.

For example, if you’re looking to replace a ‘standard’ builders grade fiberglass shower you’ll find these panel widths are required:

  • 30”, 32”, 36”, 48”, 54”, and 60”.

And what can make things doubly difficult if you’re looking to buy an in-stock shower wall panel kit is when you combine the possible heights with these possible widths the number of combinations start to blow your mind, and it’s impractical for a stocking distributor or a home center to inventory all options.

However, if you want to get A LOT of selection – and be able to make any width you want, a way to accomplish this is to use click-lock panels. With these panels you can simply click and lock (like laminate flooring) as many panels together as you need to make your desired width. This is one reason companies with click-lock laminate wall panels have a wide selection.

You’ll find vertical click-lock panels stocked in 12”, 24”, and 40” sizes (note – 24” is most popular). The height of these panels is 94.4.”

Section 1 width shower panels 24 inch wide laminate panel | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom remodel Home improvemt

The other thing to consider with your panel widths can be weight and your ability to get them through the door and up the stairs.

Get Free Samples!

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

How to choose the thickness of your shower wall panels?

People always ask me, “Mike, are thicker wall panels better than thinner ones?” I’ll answer this question – yes. Thicker is generally better because thicker panels are less prone to cracking. However, the downside to thicker panels is they’re usually more expensive and heavier.

The most popular wall panels and their respective thicknesses are as follows:

  • 1/16” thick shower wall panels – You’ll usually find this ‘thickness’ (which could be a term used sarcastically here!) in F.R.P. (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) panels. It’s the cheapest stuff on the market because it’s wafer-thin. I’d stay away from this product – unless you need CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP and you’re remodeling a very low-rent home.

Section 1 thickness acrylic shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | bathroom remodel | Home Improvement Ideas | Acrylic Wall panels

  • 1/8” thick shower wall panels – The most common wall panels sold by the ‘bath-in-a-day’ companies are the 1/8” thick acrylic shower wall panels. These panels are simple to install (since they can be glued onto moisture resistant greenboard) and can conform to relatively uneven walls. They’re thin, but functional. In addition, you’ll find most fiberglass shower wall panels are 1/8” thick.
  • 5/16” thick shower wall panels – You’ll find this size in ‘optical grade’ high gloss acrylic panels. They’re cool, contemporary, and sleek. However, you’ve got to be careful cutting and transporting them. These panels are expensive, so if they break, your heart may be broken at the same time (and your wallet may get a good-sized dent in it).

Section 1 high gloss acrylic light blue wall panels in a shower | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel | home Improvement Ideas | High Gloss Wall Panels | DIY Shower Design ideas

  • ¼” thick shower wall panels – You’ll find PVC shower wall panels in ¼” thick sizes. This is a decent thickness, and it helps the product not be too susceptible to cracking. In addition, you’ll find a lot of ¼” thick cultured marble wall panels used in the hospitality market because they’re cost-effective (however, they’re brittle, need to be handled with care, and are only sold in bulk).
  • Get Free Samples!

    Click here to request free samples of our DIY Shower and Tub Wall Panels.

Section 1 pvc diy shower panels white pearl | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Design Tips | DIY Acrylic wall panels | Shower DIY Remodel

  • 3/8” thick shower wall panels – The better panels on the market are 3/8” thick. You’ll find cultured granite panels and laminate wall panels are popular products in this thickness. Cultured granite panels are heavy. The 24” wide 94.4” tall laminate panels – with their click-lock design are only 26lb./panel – yet still rigid.

Section 1 cultured granite shower panels 60 inch x 36 inch | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodel | Shower Solid Surface Wall Panels | Bathroom Remodeling ideas

Section 1 thick laminate shower panels cracked cement stone shower pan | Innovate Building Solutions | DIY shower design ideas | Bathroom DIY Remodel | Custom shower design

Section 2 – How can I get (or create) custom shower wall panels? And is a bigger panel better?

When you hear the word ‘custom,’ does it send shivers down your spine?

‘Custom together with remodeling’ is a phrase you don’t want to hear because it often means you’ll need to bend over and ‘take it like a man’ (or woman … I don’t want to be sexist here) when it comes to cost.

However, with certain wall panels (like the standard full sheet panels you’ll find in your local home center stores), many of them aren’t capable of being retrofitted for a custom shower, and that’s where the challenge begins.

So, if you have a custom shower, you may be wondering what are your wall panel options? Here’s three:

  • Option A – Buy standard wall panels which can be cut (AND have trim pieces to cover the cuts)- What many people don’t realize is some standard wall panels can be cut to smaller sizes (and that’s assuming your size IS NOT bigger than 60” which is the largest width you’ll find in a standard wall panel). However, the key follow on question is are there trim pieces which’ll look good to cover the cut edges.


Section 2 option b custom cultured stone shower walls | Innovate Building Solutions | bathroom Remodel | Home improvement Ideas |

  • Option C- Buy a click-lock wall panel system – What’s cool about the click-lock panel systems is they can be cut to any size and since they’re modular they aren’t a hassle to get into your home, condo, or apartment. For example, with 24” wide laminate shower panels, they’re rigid yet only weigh 26 lbs.. You can click and lock as many panels together as you’d like to make any size you want.
  • Get Free Samples!

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

Section 2 option C 24 inch click lock laminate shower panels | Innovate Building Solutions | home Improvement Home Remodeling in Cleveland Ohio | Bathroom DIY

And lastly – you may be wondering is a bigger panel better. And I say emphatically (my fancy word of the day) the answer is…..

Yes, no, and maybe

I know I’m sounding like a politician in an election year with this answer but there’s pros and cons of bigger panels (or a simpler option can be to select a click-lock system which allows you to get jumbo sizes WITHOUT the negatives of a big panel). However, with that being said, here’s advantages and disadvantages with bigger panels.

Pros of bigger shower wall panels

  •  They eliminate seams

 They’re quicker to install (assuming you don’t kill yourself getting them into through the door and up the stairs!)

Cons of bigger shower wall panels

  •  They’re prone to cracking (especially with brittle materials like cultured stone, or with thin materials like F.R.P. or high gloss acrylic panels)
  • They’re hard to get in the bathroom. If you’ve got a small bathroom – or it’s difficult to haul panels up the stairs, through elevators etc. – bigger shower wall panels can be a P.I.A.
  • They’re heavy – This can be a big challenge with cultured stone wall panels where a 5’ x 8’ x 3/8” thick panel weighs 120 lbs.

Section 3 – What questions should you ask when choosing shower wall panels?

So now that you’ve learned the basics about standard wall panel sizes you may be wondering what questions should you be ‘armed and ready’ with when calling a potential wall panel supplier or hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor? Here’s 7 I’d have at the top of your list:

Question #1 – How difficult is it to cut these shower wall panels? Is specialized equipment needed?

If you want or need custom sizes, the ability to cut panels is critical (and even in cases with ‘standard sizes’ you often need to trim the panels to fit). Ask what’s needed to cut the panels and/or research experiences others have had with making these cuts. Is it a DIY friendly product or will you need an experienced installer with specialized equipment?

Section 3 q 1 cutting fibo shower wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Remodeling ideas | Custom Shower Wall Panels | Cleveland Bathroom Products

Question #2 – Do the panels crack easily?

Just because you’ve got a thick wall panel (and cultured stone comes to mind) doesn’t mean they’re not prone to cracking (and the bigger the panel, the more prone they are to cracks). Research public forums to see if people complain about cracked panels. There’s nothing more disheartening than receiving and/or cracking during installation your wall panels.

Question #3 – Do the shower wall panels look realistic?

Most shower wall panels (acrylic, fiberglass, cultured stone) are molded.

And molded shower wall panels – IMHO – look…well…molded, and fake.

And while these panels are simple to clean, if they look fake – they’ll take away from the look of your bathroom. Get a sample of the wall panels (or better yet if you can find a showroom – or home show- to see them in person that’s the ultimate). Make sure you’re getting a product which improves the look of your new bathroom, so it’ll maximize the value of your home when you sell.

Get Free Samples!

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

Section 3 q 3 realistic aberdeen brick laminate wall panels | Innovate Building Solutions | Bathroom Design Ideas | Aberdeen Brick Bathroom Remodel | DIY Shower Design |

Question #4 – How are the edges of the shower wall panels finished?

Some panels have factory finished edges, some use 3” thick edge trim pieces, some use metal edged profiles (like you’ll see with tile).

And while there’s no one right way to finish the edges, there’s some you’ll like more than others (it’s often about personal taste).

Make sure to ask how the edges are finished so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the job (especially with cheap systems like F.R.P. which are often not even sold with edge trim pieces, and you’ll have to scramble to figure out what to use).

Section 3 q 4 matte black trim profile shower panel system | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel | Home Improvement Ideas | Matte Black Marble Shower Base

Question #5 – What’s the warranty?

As a general rule you’ll find the length of the warranty is directly related to the thickness of the wall panels. Thicker panels usually have longer warranties than thinner panels.

lifetime warranty stamp | Innovate building solutions | lifetime warranty | home improvement ideas | Fibo warranty

Question #6 – Can I get (or make) custom sizes?

Some wall panel systems only come in standard sizes and others can be customized (or joined together to make custom sizes). Ask what’s possible with the product options you’re evaluating.

Question #7 – How is the selection (and colors) affected by the sizes I need?

You’ll find cheaper, thinner wall panels are limited in colors and sizes (of course you can get them in white – but if you want a color other than white, options become limited).

The lines you’ll find the most selection in are laminate wall panels (available from stock) and cultured granite wall panels (which are custom made with 1 to 3 month lead times).

So, do you now have a better understanding of how shower wall panel sizes impact your options? Can our team help you sift through these alternatives?

My goal was to give you a better understanding of how shower panel height, width, and thicknesses impact your choices. Let me know in the comments below if this article was of value to you and additional questions you have.

And if you’d like to get pricing on shower wall panels and/or a referrals to professional contractors to help with your project, call Innovate Building Solutions at 877-668-5888 or request a Free Design Consultation. Our team can get you pricing – and information about these panels and/or refer you to one of our installing dealers.

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 panel sizes. As options 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *