I've looked everywhere for an alternative to tile in my shower. Here's
the deal, I need something that looks like tile, without the
maintenance. Basically, fiberglass paneling. Which isn't a problem if
you like WHITE. There doesn't seem to be any other colors available
except white/off white. I was looking at Matrex FRP (fiberglass
reinforced panels) by Kemlite which seemed very promising. But I was
informed by one of their vendors, that it isn't recommended for
showers. I'm not being real fussy, I just don't want white! Does anyone
know if anything even exsists? (shower paneling with the "tile look").
I've seen tileboard in a friend's house and that stuff clearly was not
made for the shower. After 2 years it was crumbling.There's got to be
something out there. Any ideas?
Why do you want something that's not tile to look like tile? It'll
look like plastic trying to look like tile. If you like the tile look,
go with tile and pay attention to the installation. It's low
maintenance if the installation is done correctly.
An alternative would be to do the walls in Corian or other solid
Tile itself is great. My shower had it until the late 1980's. But the
grout had mildew and it was falling out in many places. Then I got this
one piece fiberglass unit and couldn't believe how easy and maintenance
free it was compared to the tile. I've never had to wipe it down when
I'm finished using the shower. But I've always prefered the traditional
look of tile over the cheap "prefab" look of those one-piece units. I
suppose nothing looks EXACTLY like the real thing. But "close" would be
good enough for me. Let me throw an idea on the table and you guys can
tell me if you think crazy OR if you think this idea might actually
work: Seeing as white is my only color choice for fiberglass faux tile,
would any of those concrete epoxies/floor paints (for garages floors)
work on fiberglass? I'd have to do each square individually and it
would probably be a major pain in the butt, but it would certainly give
me and endless color pallet. Hell, I could even do that black/white
checkered pattern like some of those old victorian bathsrooms. That
would be cool as long as the paint didn't start peeling after a month
or so. Low maintaince is the whole point here. Will the paint idea
work? If not, I'll probably just reuse my one-piece unit and forget the
You can paint anything, but how long it will remain looking good is
problematic. Let me translate - don't do it. Bathrooms need to be
scrubbed. Paint does not like scrubbing. In your pursuit of
maintenance free you'll be opening a major can of maintenance dealing
with scratched and peeling paint.
Especially don't do the black and white checkerboard thing. It looks
great when you're first done, but it's not a pattern that you'll want
to live with for very long. Waking up in the middle of the night and
sitting down in room with such a between the eyes pattern and the light
is always too bright... I'd hazard a guess that the suicide rate in
those bathrooms is much higher than in a normal color scheme.
It would certainly give me more colors to pick from if I used tiles.
This route gives me zero choices. I can't believe they don't make
fiberglass paneling with the classic 4x4 ceramic tile appearance in
something other than white (almond, bone, neutral, boring, whatever the
hell they want to call it). I'd take blue or green or
yellow....anything, I'm really not that fussy. Screw it, I'll drive
myself crazy trying to find this crap if it doesn't even exsist.
Actually, that WAS the renovation right there. So that's one less thing
I have to do I suppose. If I were a married man we wouldn't even be
having this conversation. I'd be buying her $15,000 granite shower
walls (that's the only bright side to this).
But I _do_ recommend the 1920's style black & white herringbone
mosaic style for the bathroom floor. We had one when I was growing
up, and I discovered that if I sat on the throne and stared at the floor
and crossed my eyes, the floor would magically "float." Great fun!
Corian tiles perhaps?
You can make Corian Tiles.
They are easier to cut and install than ceramic:
1) Cut to size.
2) Bevel to the depth desired with a 90 degree router bit.
3) Stick each tile down with construction adhesive putting a thin bead of
100% silicone sealer between the tiles. Push them tight together.
4) Clean up the adhesives per container instructions and let stand for 24
With this you can mix and match colors - do mosaics and cover many different
surfaces. You will have no nasty grout lines. You can even cut these tiles
with a scroll saw.
Next... Drilling Corian
The OP asked for ideas.
Seriously though there are lots of man made materials that are being used
for shower cubicles. Some look very good, some less so good. Corian comes in
a wide range of colours but some are far too bright for a bathroom (eg
This is whay Dupont suggest for baths etc..
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