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Wetwall shower in Portland, OR

Pros and Cons of Wetwall Waterproof Shower Wall Panels

Shower walls are an essential component of any bathroom and can impact the style, cost, and functionality of the space. In the product market of bathroom shower walls, Wetwall waterproof panels have emerged as a compelling choice. However, as with any remodeling decision, there are pros and cons to consider with Wetwall shower wall panels.

At Lamont Bros. Design & Construction, we’ve guided dozens of homeowners through their bathroom remodel journey. We understand the nuances of selecting materials that strike a balance between form and function. When it comes to Wetwall panels, there are several pros and cons to weigh before making a decision.

In this article, we’ll navigate the waters of Wetwall waterproof shower wall panels, delving into their pros and cons and what that might mean for you. By the end of this read, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed choices for your bathroom remodel. Specifically, we’ll discuss:

Pros of Wetwall Waterproof Shower Wall Panels

As a waterproof synthetic material marketed for its ease of installation and low cost, Wetwall can be a great option for homeowners who are looking for a more stylish choice than a fiberglass shower at a lower cost than custom tile. Here are a few reasons why you might consider Wetwall for your bathroom.

Cost-Effective Option

Wetwall panels offer an attractive alternative to tile showers, particularly for budget-conscious homeowners. When compared to the cost of purchasing and installing individual tiles, Wetwall panels can save up to half the cost. This affordability makes them an appealing choice for those looking to keep their bathroom renovation costs in check.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

One of the standout advantages of Wetwall panels is their ease of installation. These panels come in large slabs that cover the entire shower wall, eliminating the need for meticulous tile placement or on-site cutting. A team of experienced carpenters can install an entire Wetwall shower in less than a day of work. This convenience not only speeds up the installation process but also reduces labor costs.

Maintenance is also a breeze with Wetwall panels. The absence of grout lines, which are common in tile showers, means less scrubbing and cleaning. Wetwall panels feature a smooth surface that is easy to wipe down, making them an excellent choice for homeowners looking to simplify their cleaning routine.

Customization Options

Wetwall panels come in various colors, patterns, and designs, offering homeowners the flexibility to match different styles and aesthetics. Because it is a synthetic material, Wetwall can be manufactured in a wide range of colors and can even be made to look like stone or wood, as well.

Whether you prefer a sleek, modern look or a more traditional appearance, Wetwall panels can be customized to suit your preferences. This versatility makes it a great option for any bathroom, regardless of its specific design style.

Few Additional Materials Required

Whereas tile requires extensive waterproofing and additional materials, such as backer board, waterproof membranes, mortar, grout, and sealant, Wetwall requires very few additional materials.

These include an adhesive to attach the panel to the wall and a panel sealant for the edges. Because the panels themselves are waterproof, Wetwall requires no additional waterproofing and can even be installed directly on top of drywall.

Wetwall shower installation video

Cons of Wetwall Waterproof Shower Wall Panels

Before committing to a Wetwall shower, it’s also important to recognize some of the potential disadvantages that this material may bring to your bathroom. Specifically, some critics voice concerns regarding its aesthetic and many are largely uncertain of its longevity.

Plastic Appearance

One common criticism of Wetwall panels is their appearance, which some find less appealing compared to tile or stone. Wetwall panels can be made to resemble other materials, but may not offer the same high-end look as actual materials themselves. Achieving a luxurious or sophisticated bathroom ambiance with Wetwall panels can be challenging due to their plastic-like finish.

Limited Durability

While Wetwall panels are relatively durable, the product hasn’t been around long enough to gauge its longevity over long periods of time. It’s possible that Wetwall may not match the longevity of materials like tile or stone.

Over time, wear and tear can become more apparent on Wetwall panels. Due to their size and composition, repairing or replacing Wetwall can be difficult, especially if the manufacturer discontinues a specific style. Homeowners seeking a shower solution that can withstand heavy use for years may find Wetwall panels do not measure up to other materials on the market.

Lack of Redundancy in Waterproofing

Unlike some other shower wall options, Wetwall panels do not always include an additional waterproofing layer behind them. This means that the panels themselves are responsible for waterproofing your shower.

While this can save money in materials costs, some homeowners may have concerns about relying solely on the panels for waterproofing, especially because in the event of waterproofing failure, there are no other measures to protect the home from water damage.

Comparisons to Alternative Shower Wall Options

Are you curious about Wetwall, but want to know how it measures up against other shower wall options? Here are the major differences between Wetwall and the other 3 most common shower wall materials.

Fiberglass Inserts

Compared to fiberglass inserts, Wetwall panels offer advantages in terms of customization and aesthetics. While fiberglass inserts are often more affordable, Wetwall panels provide homeowners with the opportunity to create a unique and stylish shower space. However, Wetwall panels typically cost 20-30% more than basic fiberglass inserts.

Tile Showers

In contrast to traditional tile showers, Wetwall panels offer easier installation and lower maintenance requirements. However, tile showers are known for their versatility and high-end appearance, with vast customization options in terms of shower shape and tile styles. At the same time, tile is much more labor-intensive and costly to install. Homeowners must weigh the aesthetics, cost, and maintenance considerations when deciding between Wetwall panels and tile.

custom tile shower
Custom tile showers are highly customizable but require more maintenance.

Slab Showers

Wetwall and slab showers are very similar in that they both use full-size panels to cover the shower wall. However, whereas Wetwall is synthetic, slab showers are made of natural stone or porcelain. Often the most expensive option, slab showers offer unparalleled visual appeal and durability, but at a cost often more than double that of even tile. Slab showers are also notoriously difficult to install due to the weight of the panels. For those willing to shell out the cash, the visual style of slab showers far exceeds that of Wetwall.

Ready to Learn More About Bathroom Remodeling?

By now, you should have a strong understanding of the pros and cons of Wetwall shower wall panels. After reading this article, do you feel more confident deciding whether Wetwall is right for your bathroom remodel? If so, take the next step in your remodeling journey by downloading our Ultimate Bathroom Remodel Guide. In it, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bathroom remodeling so you can begin the remodeling process informed and equipped to make decisions for your home.

Think it’s time to start designing your new bathroom? Click the button below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our design team. We’ll guide you through every step of the process so you never have to face the challenges of remodeling your home. Let’s turn your current home into your dream home!