Shower Wall Panels vs Ceramic Tile

Is it better to use a waterproof, grout-free shower wall panel system or opt for a completely customizable ceramic tile shower?

The following are the pros and cons of shower wall panels vs ceramic tile.

The Pros (Advantages) of Shower Wall Panels Over Ceramic Tile

1. No grout Maintenance of grout joints requires scrubbing grout joints.

Shower and bathtub wall panels are easy to maintain.

2. Faster installation

Tile is time consuming, dirty and expensive!

The process is simple for all bathroom wall panel systems. With many wall panel systems like acrylic, cultured stone, decorative PVC composite shower panels and high gloss you simply do the following:

  1. Put up moisture resistant drywall
  2. Apply adhesives to the wall panels or drywall
  3. Hang the sheets up and seal the joints.

If you want to spend more time and money remodeling your bathroom, choose tile. If you want to get in and out, shower wall panels are the choice for you.

3. A clean installation

Cutting tiles, working with thin set and tile grout is messy.

With laminate shower wall panels, you can use common woodworking equipment.

For less mess stay away from ceramic tile and the dust and cement-like adhesives that come with it.

4. Shower wall panels are easy to maintain

Shower wall panels are non-porous so they can be wiped down.

With ceramic tile, if you do nothing to clean the walls, you’ll eventually see visible soap scum, get dark and moldy joints. It won’t take long for things to look YUCKY.

5. You’ll save money with shower wall panels vs. ceramic tile Or you can pay a professional high-end contractor to do a custom-tile job (and a grout company to clean it)

Shower walls are cheaper than tiles.

The prices of shower wall panels vary greatly. At the bottom – if you want cheap prices – you’ll find fiberglass and acrylic panels. They look like plastic, but if you want a quick-fix, or have a property you’re looking to flip, they may work for you.

Mid-priced wall panels, decorative PVC wall panels, solid surface panels and laminate wall panels are sound choices.

If you’re looking for a sleek, modern look that you can’t get with tile, then check out designer shower wall panels. They look amazing, and you’ll save maintenance costs down the road.

6. With shower wall panels you don’t have to worry about ‘springing a leak’ The grout joints in ceramic tiles absorb moisture and tend to leak.

Because shower wall panels are non-porous you don’t have to worry about leaking and spending money on a VERY expensive redo which not only includes ripping out and replacing the shower, but also your ceiling, subfloor and furniture below.

The Advantages of Ceramic Tile over Shower Wall Panels

  1. ‘Faux grout joints’ on some shower wall panels look fake. (if a customer wants the tile look without to maintenance, most wall panels can be designed to look like tile.)
  2. Ceramic tile showers give you more customization options.
  3. Some wall panels are heavy and a pain in the rear to get into the room
  4. It’s easier to tile curved walls
  5. It’s eco-friendly than many of the shower wall panels
    Ceramic tiles and glass walls are smart choices for their durability and organic roots.

Wall panel products like shower walls and one-piece surrounds aren’t as environmentally-friendly options.


At TubToday we only offer shower wall panels for the above reasons.

For Chicago area bathroom remodeling and installation of shower wall panels, shower enclosures and shower bases call TubToday or contact us online.

Shower Wall Panels vs Ceramic Tile