Expert comment on shower enclosure panelling from Steph Harris, Product Manager at Showerwall:
"We have noted a definite shift in perception in favour of using wall panelling in the bathroom for shower enclosures, feature walls and around baths.
Consumers and installers now have a greater understanding of the benefits panels have over tiles because of their easy maintenance, the superior aesthetics of large expanses of seamless surface and the huge choice of fashionable designs now available with a realism we haven’t experienced before. Panelling also wins out in terms of installation because it can be easily fitted without the need for wet trades by a plumber, joiner or a competent DIYer.
From a design point of view, there is so much more texture and depth in the décors that are available now, which can realistically replicate natural materials such as marble and stone.
Following our own research and product development, we have just introduced the first synchronised décor to the bathroom wall panelling market. In-line embossed printing technology, as it’s known, has transformed the fortunes of the flooring industry enabling products to achieve exceptionally realistic looks and we aim to transform bathroom panelling using the same technology.
The increasing use of sheet materials in bathrooms has really captured the consumer’s imagination and they are much more open to experimenting with, for example, custom printing on laminate and acrylics. We have already seen an upturn in our digital printing solution for wall panelling because it allows them to stamp their individual style on the space by choosing from our library of distinctive designs or having a favourite place or personal photograph digitally printed.
I would say the choice of material does depend on budget. In the wall paneling sector alone, there is a wide range of price points to suit most consumer budgets in the lower to mid-end of the market. In the mid-market, customers will use high pressure laminate to achieve the look and feel of more expensive materials such as marble and stone at a realistic price point.
At the lower end of the market, PVC panelling can achieve similar
aesthetics. Ironically, one of our most popular sellers in our
Proplas PVC range is the ‘tile’ collection, because it features a realistic-looking
grout line design and appeals to customers who like the look of real, large
format tiles but favour the mess-free installation and low maintenance of PVC
The header image of this article shows Showerwall in Herringbone, which is taken from the Custom collection - a library of exciting designs with the option of custom digital printing. The Showerwall Customs and Acrylic ranges have a polished, glass-like finish and are available in two sizes, 900mm x 2440mm and 1220mm x 2440mm. As with all Showerwall panels, they are easy to install and can be fitted over existing tiles.
The entire Showerwall collection is available from IDS and for registered users, can be purchased directly through this website.