Tiles are among the most common features in bathrooms across the UK. They provide a waterproof covering for the walls and floors around baths, showers, and toilets. But hidden in that covering are plenty of nasty surprises.

In this post, we’ll look at four ways bathroom tiles can cause a filthy problem in your home.

1. Dirt builds up in the grouting

Bathroom tiles are non-porous, meaning they don’t absorb anything that splashes or runs onto them. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the grouting that holds them in place. Sitting in between tiles, grouting provides the perfect place for dirt and bacteria to gather and build up.

Needless to say, this is far from hygienic for anyone touching those surfaces. Over time, it can even lead to grouting becoming discoloured. When you consider why it’s discoloured, it’s enough to make anyone think twice about tiling their own bathroom.

2. You can’t clean it

The worst thing about dirty grouting around tiles is that you can’t just wipe it away. Unlike wall panels, which can be easily wiped clean, grouting requires special solutions and lots of elbow grease.

Scouring the internet will bring up suggestions for bicarbonate of soda, old toothbrushes and lots of elbow grease just to get it looking partly clean. That’s hardly ideal in a room where you’re supposed to be cleaning yourself.

3. Rot underneath

Tiles are seen as a waterproof solution for bathroom walls and floors. However, even the smallest gap in the grouting lets water through. Once it gets underneath the tiles, it can allow mould to grow and lead to the wall or floorboard underneath decaying and rotting.

The worst bit? You won’t see the damage developing because your tiles are covering it. This can lead to truly filthy revelations should you pull your tiles off, which could cost lots to repair depending on how long it’s been happening.

4. Filthy removal

The final filthy part of tiles? Removing them. Raking out the grout and chiselling away at tiles will leave your bathroom an absolute mess with cracked tiles, dirty grouting, and heaps of dust all over the place.

That’s not even considering the state your wall will be in, with cracks and lumps the best-case scenario.

What’s the alternative?

Whether it’s the grimy grouting build-up or the potential water ingress and rot, bathroom tiles are far from a clean option for your home. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Bathroom wall panels are made from waterproof PVC, making them the perfect alternative to bathroom tiles.

There’s no need for masses of grouting, just a small amount of silicone between each panel. Much larger than bathroom tiles, they can also be easily wiped clean with soapy water and a soft cloth.

Best of all, wall panels can be installed over tiles, so you don’t need to embark on a messy removal to renovate your bathroom. At Igloo Surfaces, our bathroom wall panels even come with a 10- to 20-year guarantee depending on the specific product, so you can rest assured they’ll stand the test of time.

There’s no shortage of new products for your home, which aim to make life easier and more efficient. Some stick around, like the virtual assistant, while others simply fade away. Anyone remember mini-fridges?

So, where do shower panels fit in? Relatively new onto the scene, shower panels act as an alternative to tiles and other water-resistant surfaces for your shower. In this post, we’ll explore whether they’re a good idea that’s here to stay or an unnecessary trend that’s already on its way out.

Do they work?

The first check for any good idea is whether it works. Shower panels pass that test with flying colours, as long as they’re from a good supplier.

Made from PVC, shower panels are completely water resistant. They’re hard-wearing to hold up against the inevitable knocks and bumps of a shower, and can even be wiped clean for minimal maintenance.

Filling a gap

The old saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s why the next test for shower panels is whether they improve on the status quo. Namely – tiles, which are the most popular option for showers and bathrooms.

Quite simply, the answer is yes. Shower panels are a superior alternative to bathroom tiles, both in form and function. They reduce the need for grouting, which is essentially tiles’ Achilles heel. With just a small amount of sealant required, there’s far less chance of anything wearing away and letting water through.

Will they last?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing when it comes to your home. Whether it’s a cheap contractor or a budget vacuum cleaner, so many investments prove unwise after a few months or years of use. Fortunately, shower panels aren’t one of them.

At Igloo, our shower panel kits come with a guarantee of 10 to 20 years depending on the specific product. That means you can rest assured they’ll grace your home or commercial property for years to come.

The installation hurdle

While longevity is crucial, many people realise something was a bad idea when they come to install it. That’s certainly the case with cheap flat-pack furniture, for example. Fortunately, the same isn’t true for shower panels.

We’ve designed our shower panels with easy installation in mind. Kits come with everything you need, from trims and end caps to adhesives and sealants. Crucially, that’s paired with clear instructions and even online help guides to make sure you install your panels like a pro.

Best of all, you can even install them over tiles as long as the surface is flat and nothing is loose. That means there’s no need to spend hours chipping away at your walls.

How about the looks?

Finally, there’s the appearance. By now, we’re all well aware that products have to look the part as well as walking the walk. Thankfully for shower panels, they fit the bill yet again.

Unlike tiles, which are actually quite restrictive and dated in their appearance, shower panels come in an array of styles and colours. Go for a classic clean white, get a natural look with marble and stone effects or choose from a selection of vibrant colours.

Shower panels allow you to achieve whichever look you want. Modern or classic, bright or understated – the choice is yours.

See for yourself

Whether it’s their performance, appearance or longevity, shower panels are a good idea across the board. At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a wide range of stunning shower panel kits which give you everything you need to put shower panels to the test and see the amazing results.

Need any more information? Give us a call on 01709 329117 to discuss your project.

Wet wall panels are a great way to renovate your bathroom without the hassle of tiling. While they’re naturally cost-effective, many people look to save even more on the job with cheap wet wall panels.

Good idea? Or something you’ll regret? In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of cheap options and determine the best wet wall panels for your home or commercial property.

Pro – A cheap price

As the name suggests, cheap wet wall panels are certainly cheaper than their high-end counterparts. The obvious benefit here is that you will save money right now. That makes it more affordable to renovate your bathroom in the short term.

Con – Cheap performance

Unfortunately, that cut in price comes at a cost to the performance. Cheap wet wall panels are unlikely to be as hard-wearing as top-quality panels. They’ll get damaged by knocks and bumps leaving your bathroom looking tired and worn. In some cases, they won’t even protect your wall from the splashes and spills in your bathroom, leaving damp to develop underneath the panels.

Con – Cheap appearance

Cheap wet wall panels might look the part from afar, or on nicely doctored product images. That’s not the case up close. Anyone using your bathroom – whether it’s customers, guests or just you and your family – will be able to tell the difference between good wet wall panels and their cheap counterparts.

Con – Poor installation

The best wet wall panels have been designed with ease-of-use in mind. They come with clear instructions and can be fit over existing tiles to save you time and effort. Cheap panels, on the other hand, will often leave you to fend for yourself with a lack of instructions and no idea about best practice.

Con – False economy

With the tacky appearance, sub-rate performance and imperfect installation, it’s only a matter of time before you decide to replace your cheap wet wall panels. If you stick to your guns with the cheap option, that means forking out again and again for more of the same. It’s not long before your initial cost-saving has vanished.

In contrast, high-quality wet wall panels give you years of style and function. Over time, they work out as a more cost-effective option, making cheap wet wall panels actually more expensive in the long run.

Top quality wet wall panels

The saying goes “buy cheap, buy twice.” That’s certainly the case for wet wall panels. At Igloo Surfaces, we specialise in long-lasting quality over a race to the bottom when it comes to your walls.

Our bathroom and shower wall panels are stylish, hard-wearing and easy to install. Available in a range of colours and finishes, our wet wall panels even come with a 10- to 20-year guarantee. That means you can rest assured you’ll be getting plenty of use from your investment.

Save money on Bathroom Panels,  Shower Kits, Kitchen Panels and more with 10% off our entire range in January.

Simply enter the code JAN10 at checkout for your 10% discount.

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Shower panels or tiles? It’s a question faced by many property owners when they’re designing or redecorating their bathroom. Both have some essential qualities, not least that they are waterproof. However, delve deeper and you’ll see all sorts of reasons to choose shower panels instead. This post looks at why shower panels beat bathroom tiles hands down.

The popularity of tiles

When you’re choosing a wall covering for your shower, you need something that’s waterproof, durable and easy to clean. That’s why, for years, tiles have been the most popular choice. They aren’t affected by water from the shower, they can’t be damaged easily and they’re mostly easy to clean.

Over time, however, dirt will build up within the grouting, which looks terrible and is tricky to clean. Even when cleaned, the new appearance of your tiles will be diminished. Tiles are also a pain to install. Any old tiles will need to be removed, before the walls are prepared and all tiles are laid carefully in the right place.

On top of all that, tiles have become quite dated in their appearance, meaning they stand out in otherwise modern design schemes. And despite each tile being affordable, the cost can soon stack up when you’re covering a whole room.

When there was no real alternative, people had to put up with these drawbacks. However, as manufacturing has improved, the shower wall panel has become a popular alternative…

Shower panels – a practical alternative

Like tiles, shower panels tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality. Made from PVC, they’re completely waterproof and can be wiped clean with no hassle whatsoever. Their PVC surface also makes them impressively strong and durable, so you can expect your shower panels to stay in great condition well into the future.

In contrast to tiles, shower panels are easy to install. With a much larger surface area, you don’t need anywhere near as many to cover the wall. This has the added benefit of cost-efficiency – and they can even be installed over tiles in many cases.

Modern and stylish

What really sets shower panels apart is their appearance. With a sleek appearance, they don’t look out of place in modern design schemes. Even better, they come in a wide range of styles. Whether it’s a black sparkle effect, simple white or striking lime green, there is a shower panel perfect for every bathroom.

High quality shower panels

Igloo Surfaces specialises in high quality shower panels for both domestic and commercial bathrooms. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, our PVC shower panels will keep your bathroom looking its best for years to come. We even offer ‘all in one’ shower kits that include everything you need for a 2 or 3 wall shower. Sound good? Take a look at our bathroom wall panels and shower kits today to find the perfect style for your bathroom.

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