Laminate shower panels / tiles

I am interesting in using shower panels and have identified the manufacturers below. However I am pretty surprised at how expensive these things are. More expensive than tiles or laminate kitchen work surfaces. Is there a good reason for their price? Can anybody suggest where to get a simple white shower panel at best value?
Manufacturers of shower panels: www.multipanel.co.uk (aka Grant Westfield) www.wetwall.com (aka www.shorelaminates.com) http://www.decospanels.co.uk / Mermaid Formica Respatex
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They tend to price them in comparison to a professionally tiled wall. I can think of no reason for their ludicrous price. It always amazes me. Aren't they just a board covered in plastic ? Simon.
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It seems that they do. In one of the brochures it talked of 'balancing' the plastic on one side with the same on the opposite side, presumably stopping it warping. But since kitchen worktops don't bend when they get wet (I assume the plastic surface isn't water absorbent) I don't see why it is so nessessary. Even so it would surely not justify the price.
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Since this is a DIY group, has anyone tried making shower panels ? How about plywood with some type of vinyl flooring glued on. With careful rolling out, this could be OK. Simon.
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The bathroom in one of our flats is kitted out with laminate from Shorelaminates, and it didn't cost a penny, courtesy of a tenant who worked there. Great stuff, I'd be happy to pay for the stuff, if I ever needed to do it again.
--
AnneJ



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I've used both Mermaid and (IIRC) Showerwall from Grahams/Jewson. They are both stonkingly expensive but in my opinion far, far superiour to tiles. For wall hung ceramics you get a perfectly smooth mating surface which puts a lot less stress on everything and for wet areas such as the inside of a shower cubicle you completely do away with grout so it looks great years after it was installed - something I've never seen achieved with tiles. The Mermaid version is the "original". It comes in a wide variety of designs and is a laminate construction. The Showerwall is slightly cheaper and is available in less designs. It is an MDF type laminate. To my mind the showerwall is nicer. It's more pleasant to use although cutting a 100 sheet is still stressful !
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Why not use pvc panel comes in 2.4 x 1.2 and easy to stick to most surfaces easy to cut just score with sharp blade and snap
http://www.casupply.co.uk/acatalog/pvc_sheets.html
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