Acrylic Wall Surrounds vs. Tile Wall Surrounds: Which Is Better?
So, it’s time to spruce up that dingy old shower. Whether the remodel involves your master suite or a small guest bathroom, one of your most important decisions will be which material to use for the shower walls. As you research various designs, browse photos, check out samples, and narrow down your choices, the process may ultimately come down to choosing between two options: an innovative acrylic wall surround or a traditional tile wall surround. Both are popular among homeowners, and each has various pros and cons. Which is right for you? Here is some information to help you decide.
Tile Showers & Wall Surrounds
A mainstay of bathroom remodeling, tile has been used in showers for decades and remains a popular choice among interior designers, architects, builders, remodelers, and homeowners. Prized for its aesthetic versatility and unique character, tile is available in a virtually endless array of colors, textures, sizes, and styles. Plus, you can find tiles made of all sorts of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass, slate, or a manmade composite. With tile wall surrounds, you can create a shower with an appearance unlike any other.
The tradeoff to the visual appeal of tile is the work required to maintain it. Cleaning is a challenge because there are two very different surfaces at play: the smooth tile and the porous grout that secures it. Water splashed onto tile shower walls collects dirt and travels to the lowest point, which is the grout lines. As the water evaporates, the dirty cocktail remains in the porous body of the grout. Over time, grime will accumulate in the grout, causing it to gradually darken in color. With regular scrubbing and a special grout cleaner, it may be possible to keep filth accumulation at bay in the short term, but eventually restorative maintenance will be required to improve the appearance of the grout.
Another problem with tile is that the grout can crack, allowing water to seep in and cause extensive—and expensive—damage. Grout cracks often develop due to improper installation techniques, but they can also occur as the house “settles” or simply due to its age.
Acrylic Showers & Surrounds
In comparison to tile, which has been around for centuries, acrylic is a much newer option for bathroom remodeling. The acrylic used for shower wall surrounds is specially formulated for bathroom use and is highly resistant to chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading. Installed as a single unit, an acrylic shower is inherently durable and, because it is grout-free, simple to keep clean.
A more cost-effective choice than tile, acrylic is available in many colors and textures, some of which convincingly emulate the appearance of tile. However, unlike tile, which can often be replaced at the individual level, an entire acrylic wall surround may need to be replaced if damaged.
An Industry Leader’s Opinion
Highly acclaimed for our technical innovations, BathWraps is one of the fastest-growing acrylic manufacturers in the bathroom remodeling industry. And in the battle between acrylic vs. tile showers, we have our money on acrylic. That’s why we offer customized bathing solutions crafted from the highest caliber of American-made, nonporous acrylic. When you choose an acrylic shower from BathWraps, it will be flawlessly installed by our certified technicians—in as little as one day—and guaranteed for as long as you own your home.