Wall panels or shower panels? That is the question on many people’s minds. And it’s not an easy one to answer. But fortunately, we’re here to help you make an informed decision on your wall décor. Both shower panels and regular wall panels have become increasingly popular over the years. But what exactly sets them apart? Let’s find out…
Shower panels are flat wall panels which have been designed specifically for the walls around (and possible the ceiling above) your shower area. With that environment in mind, they are always waterproof – or at least they should be!
Shower panels come in a wide range of designs and sizes, but they’re almost exclusively made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). That’s simply because this material offers superb water-resistance without impacting the cost.
On the other hand, wall panels cover a much broader range of products. They can be made from wood, MDF, PVC and glass or even upholstered with fabric. Originally, they were used as a simple way to conceal walls, due to crumbling plaster or rising damp.
However, they have now become a sought-after look in their own right – with many people using them on walls that are in a near-perfect condition. They can be used throughout the home to add texture to previously flat walls.
While many modern wall panels aren’t known for their function, the term does also cover insulation panels. These are made from insulative materials like foam or cork, which can be fitted to a wall to prevent heat passing through.
Another very functional offering are bathroom wall panels. These are a specific variety of wall panels, similar to shower panels, which can be used in bathroom environments. They’re generally made from PVC, making them completely resistant to water and humidity.
The first difference is where these two types of panels can be used. As the name suggests, shower panels are suitable for around and above your shower. They’re waterproof, so they will protect your walls and ceiling from splashes and humidity.
In contrast, the room you use wall panels for will depend on which type of panels you purchase. You can indeed find bathroom wall panels which are waterproof and suitable for humid environments. The same is true for kitchen wall panels, which are water-resistant.
Beyond that, they can also be used throughout the home purely for aesthetics. Wooden panels are particularly popular at the moment for adding depth to your design – just make sure that’s not in high-moisture environments where they’re not fit for purpose.
As we’ve touched upon, wall panels can vary massively in their appearance, due to them being made from a range of different materials. Glass wall panels are particularly decorative, being used to reflect light within a room. In contrast, wooden wall panels offer a choice of both modern and traditional styles.
As for shower panels, they have the same basic design, which is a flat, smooth surface. However, that water-resistant surface can be produced in all kinds of different styles, from black marble to water droplet effects. It's worth noting, that this can also apply to wall panels, but only those for bathrooms and kitchens!
Function-wise, it’s easy to differentiate between shower panels and the broad category of wall panels. Shower panels are solely focused on water-resistance. They stop water getting at the walls around your shower and aren’t affected by the room’s humidity.
As discussed, wall panels can offer the same qualities if they’re made from PVC. However, in many cases, they are purely aesthetic – though they can also be insulative in the case of foam panels or cladding.
The installation process for wall panels depends entirely on which kind of panels you’re working with. One thing that’s common is that panels are sold separately, so you need to measure your space and decide how many panels are required – as well as cutting them down.
On the flipside, shower panels often come as kits. Shower panel kits include everything you need to fit them, including two or three panels, trims, caps, sealants and adhesives. That makes them ideal for covering the space around a shower. However, if you want to cover a larger area, like your whole bathroom, then waterproof wall panels are the better option.
To sum up, the difference between wall panels and shower panels is largely semantic. Wall panels are a broad category which can be waterproof and used in the bathroom, while shower panels are a very specific type of wall panel which is always waterproof and always used in the bathroom.
Looking solely at bathroom wall panels vs shower panels, the difference comes down to size and numbers. Shower panels are used for the area around your shower, whereas bathroom wall panels can be used for the entire bathroom.
If you’re looking to redecorate your bathroom with wall panels, you’ll simply need to make sure they’re the right kind of wall panels – using PVC rather than any of the other materials.
At Igloo Surfaces, we have an amazing collection of panels and kits that are waterproof, durable, and easy to install. Even better, they come with a guarantee of 10-20 years, so you can rest assured they’ll stand the test of time in your bathroom.
And if you have any questions about our products, don’t worry. All you need to do is to call our team on 01709 329117 or email us at [email protected]. Just let us know what your requirements are, and we’ll give you the best advice you can get!