Wilsonart Wetwall shower panels—Anyone ever heard of or used these? There was this display at Menards.
They also had two other panel systems—Utile by Maax and Jetcoat.
Just was curious!
Reach out to Innovate Bulding Solutions. They've been importing panels like this from Europe for years and have a good system for installation, seams and corners.
Are you building a shower from scratch or are you remodeling an existing shower?
My hopeful ”plan” is to take the tub out and make it a shower.
New Here! Family of 3 living in 888 Sq feet
Moving along ... little by little
Anyone Have the FX180 Formica Countertops?
48"x36" master shower - tile choices
Hi Missi, I discovered the Wilsonart via this blog recently, if memory serves. No experience with any of these panels, unfortunately. I'm in Canada and don't even think the Wilsonart are available here (yet). I know these types of panels are much more common in the UK and Europe. The Maax is available here. Doesn't have stellar reviews though nor is it inexpensive at my local big box. About 3K Cdn for an alcove shower. ETA: Thanks for mentioning Jetcoat. New-to-me. All these grout-less panels intrigue me immensely! I've also recently posted about aluminum ones (Muralux?).
I’ve spent so much time on that blog—there’s a lot of interesting information there. Haven’t heard of aluminum ones, so will check those out too. I looked up the Maax ones and was meh on them.
Some of the panels that look like tile actually have indentations where the grout is-I wonder how that compares to regular tile as far as cleaning etc
Good question. Perhaps I'm naive but I was imagining it simpler to clean than tile and grout since it's all one material. And the indentations can't be that deep that they collect soap scum?
Jeez I wouldn't think they would?? Seems to me like it would be easier to clean. I have tile floors in the bathroom and detest how hard the grout is to keep clean, so much as I like the look of subway tiles on the walls, I don't want to do it and deal w/the aggravation..hopefully this would be better??
I do think this type of material would be easier to keep clean than tile. But how long does the finish last? Does the finish dull (from UV, use, etc.) after a while? I think these panels are fairly new on the market so not sure how much long term feedback I'd find. How solid are the warranties, etc.? It might be less trouble to install than tile but still not something you need to redo in 5 years. I'd also triple check with the manufacturer as to maintenance, wanting to make sure I use only their approved cleansers on it. I know some regular household cleansers have abrasive properties that end up damaging finishes in the long run. (I'm sure I sped up my grout and tile ruination this way. The mold is a different story....) In all cases though, I'm sure the daily maintenance of wiping down the shower after use helps. I know it's key for a tiled shower.
I love the look of subway tile as well, Missi! I'm torn between subway and a larger format tile for my shower. A neighbour is going ahead with subway tile, having faith in grout technology improvement in the last 20 years. I've read the key to preventing grout stains is sealer. Something I regret not doing for my kitchen floor.
Is your bathroom floor grout worn or just stained? Could you get a pro to steam clean it and then seal it to help prevent future stains? I came across this YT video a little while ago explaining the importance of vacuuming tile floors. Restored my faith that I could do this. :P (Still wondering about sheet vinyl flooring for my bathroom though...next owners could rip it up and put down tile if they like.) For my kitchen porcelain tile floors, I've been having success with the Attitude floor cleaner. Don't know if this brand is readily available in the States.
I think the grout is stained..we used a tile and grout from Menards that didn't need to be sealed, tho it's been...10-ish years now, so I could be mis remembering. The grout lines are pretty wide, in my opinion, so husband said at some point he could rip them out and redo it w/smaller lines..but whatever we do for the floor, we'll do when we do the rest of it and replace the toilet since it's sitting on the tiles.
We had sheet vinyl previously, and I swore I'd not do it again (hence the tiles)..buuuut I've come to since figure out that part of that was b/c we had a leak behind the tub, and kids, so water on the walls along the side of the tub, and along the bottom of the tub where the vinyl met the tub, so we ended up w/mold and just gunk all the time. When we redid the bathroom, no one would listen to me, and they put wood trim around the tub...still had littles at the time...still water everywhere...hmmm, the outcome will be...what? Exactly the problem I have now, w/the trim being eaten by mold and gunk and the drywall now squishy on the wall there? The kids are plenty old enough now, but once that stuff gets locked in-it's in until you remove it..so it just continues to get worse and be gross and ugly.
The tub itself, I didn't want, I wanted to just have a shower, got vetoed "you HAVE to have a tub", so I thought at least a one piece deal would be easier to clean, and it turned out to be two--so again, rather than listen to me that I didn't want it b/c it's a nightmare to keep mold out and I wanted it taken back, now I've got mold like crazy in that strip where they connect, no matter what I do.
I'm to the point now where either I'll be listened to or I'll just go get my own damn place and someone else can figure out how to keep that crap clean. "Just tell them not to splash" and "you just have to keep that strip dry"....like, what?? So don't shower in it, and hose the kids off outside, got it.
I'll have to research those panels, the cleaning and the finishes on them. Maybe they're not as good as they seem...but oofda I looked at some of the shower kits you can put in and they seem really flimsy and cheap looking.
Ugh, I hear you on the mold. Once it's in...gah! Hard to know how well our outside-venting fan is slowing down its progression in our bathroom. :( For bathroom trim (where floor meets wall), a friend's contractor recommended vinyl trim because it doesn't suck up water the way MDF and wood do. There's also tile trim if you're doing a tile floor. Obviously, tile trim takes longer to install. But for around the tub, wouldn't a silicone bead be enough?
In this shower wall installation video (starts around the 2:49 mark), the homeowner says he regrets not adding studs to his walls to make the Delta Upstile acrylic panels sturdier. Maybe that's the trick to a less flimsy feel to these panels?
@Missi (4b IA), have you seen the Kholer Choreograph thread? Started a while ago but worth the perusal and someone just shared about Flexstone or Sentrel which also might be worth looking into.
I will check those out, thank you!
Most of these decorative shower panels are just Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. Yes, the same thing used in gas station bathrooms in that pebbly finish. These are just prettier, non pebbled, and have had a trip through a better printer for a pattern. They can be found much more cheaply when there isn’t a “name” attached to them.
The big down fall is the corners and seaming between panels. Those will always require caulk, even if they have snap together moldings. Caulk is the weak point in the systems for both maintenance and waterproofing. They are kinda a lighter thinner version of cultured marble, which still is a viable choice for many applications, if you don’t use the wrong cleaning regimen.
The solid surface panel systems, like Corian and Swanstone, use corner moldings of the same material, and they are chemically bonded to the wall panels, and the wall panels to each other. It’s a much better system, and has almost zero change for mold and leaking. And the panels, being solid surface, are surface renewable, just like a corian countertop. The downsides are the costs are usually at least as much, if not more, than a professionally created waterproofed tile shower.
If you want a laugh, call the local Re-Bath franchise in your area for a quote. 8K for them to glue the same cheap plastic to your walls over your mold is a big giant joke of an hard sell industry.
I’d prefer solid surface over everything else, I’m not sure if anyone around here works with it in a shower type application. Middle of nowheresville.
Don't sell Wetwall short at this time. It appears that no one replying as any experience with Wilsonart Wetwall or has taken any time to research it. From what I have been able to find, this product had been researched for three years before it was placed on the market just over two years ago. The Wetwall product is .43" thick and is available in some standard shower sizes, and allows for size customization.
Wetwall is warranted to remain waterproof and watertight for 10 years from date of purchase as long as it has been installed as per manufacturer instructions. Wilsonart does provides color matched sealant.
Wetwall decorative wall panels are constructed of high pressure decorative laminates adhered front and back with a waterproof adhesive on a homogenous, light weight water-proof core composed of cellulosic materials, glass fibers, polypropylene and a bonding agent, resulting in a durable, waterproof and dimensionally stable panel. (I copied this paragraph directly from their website)
I'm planning on installing this product in my master bath instead of tile, which I already have in our guest bath.
I think that Innovate Building Solutions is where someone else had suggested on a different thread...I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading on there ha!
Search engine "cultured marble showers in iowa" there are many (all over the State) vendors / installers listed. Be aware that there is a huge difference in installation depending on whether your home is stick-built or manufactured. Good luck.
Swanstone does shower panels in a subway tile pattern.