The Best Way to Install Acrylic Shower Panels 5 Steps
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Tired of cleaning ceramic tiles in your shower? The modern acrylic shower panels are the perfect alternative. The panels can be made to fit into any bathroom and are easy to maintain compared to tiles. They are completely waterproof and are available in a variety of sleek designs and colors.
Apart from installing them on walls, these panels can also be used as bath panels to make your bath fit into your overall bathroom décor.
Why You Install Acrylic Shower Walls
Are they any advantages of installing acrylic shower panels over regular bathroom tiles? Certainly!
First, it is a lot easier and quicker to install acrylic walls than tiles. Considering the time, effort, and technical know-how required to install tiles correctly, it is best to hire a professional to handle the project. But with acrylic walls, it doesn’t matter whether it is a DIY project or it is done by a tiler specialist; your shiny new shower will be ready in far less time and with the least effort. No grout or cement is required, and there’s no need to remove old tiles from your walls. You can fit the panels above any existing wall coverings.
It can be easily installed in tricky angles or areas due to the light nature of acrylic materials.
Acrylic walls are customizable. That means you can get them in individual panel forms that are specifically tailored to suit your shower area or bathroom.
There is less maintenance requirement with acrylic shower panels. Keeping the walls clean only takes a quick wipe using a damp piece of cloth. Vinegar water or acrylic cleaner is more than enough to remove any dirt buildup or stubborn stains.
They are non-porous or waterproof; therefore, they keep your bathroom walls from damage caused by water.
Most importantly, acrylic bathroom wall panels are cost-effective with a wide range of options that can suit different budgets.
How to Install Acrylic Shower Panels
Now that we’ve seen why acrylic walls are a better option, let’s take a look at the steps to install them in your shower.
Inspect the panel for defects or color issues before installation as any warranty usually doesn’t apply after installation. Make sure to install the painted side (not the decorative face) of the shower panel against the wall. Plan and measure your shower space before you start cutting the boards. Ensure that the walls are smooth, dry, clean, and no foreign materials are protruding from them.
Pro Tip: Store your acrylic shower panels lying flat to prevent the sheets from bowing. Never use cutting implements such as a knife to open the cartons as that can damage the panels.
Step 1: Measure and cut the panels to fit different spaces of your shower walls. When cutting, use a clamp to secure the sheets to prevent chattering. You can also use a “sacrificial board” when cutting through your panel to avoid vibration. Use a blunt drill to make holes in the panels. Do not fix or screw anything directly into the panels. Make sure to pre-drill all holes before mounting the panel to the wall.
Step 2: Apply premium quality adhesive approximately 6mm diameter beads 100mm apart. Make sure to apply the beads to cut-outs.
Step 3: Place the shower panel to the wall within 30 minutes of applying adhesive. Use a straight edge to apply sufficient and evenly distributed pressure to the sheet to ensure a uniform finish. Allow a 3mm expansion gap between sheets. Properly press the panels into your wall to compress the beads to the 3mm space and allow for stronger adhesion. You can use double-sided tapes to hold the sheets in place while the silicone cures.
Pro Tip: Remove the protective film from the painted side before installing the panel. Only remove the protective film from the front side (decorative face) at the end of the installation.
Step 4: Seal all edges, cut-outs, and perimeters with a neutral cure silicone extending approximately 50mm from the edge of the panel. Also, run the silicone down all internal corners to seal them and prevent water from getting into your walls.
Step 5: Clean up your site and remove the thin protective film from the decorative face of your newly installed acrylic shower panels. Do not use any abrasive cleaner or materials on your panels. Warm water and mild detergent are more than adequate to keep your shower panels clean.
Just Before You Buy and Install…
Okay, so what’s next? Place an order and get on with your DIY project, right? Well, not really! While it is a great idea to upgrade your shower from tiles to acrylic walls, you need to consider a couple of things.
First, there is little to no room for mistakes when installing acrylic shower panels. You may have to buy new panels if you make some mistakes. For example, you can ruin your acrylic panel if you make an opening in it that is too large for your shower faucet. Measuring errors can lead to excessive holes, so you need to be extra careful when taking measurements. Keep in mind that you can increase the size of a small opening, but you can’t reduce a large hole in your wall panel.
A lot of DIYers rush into trying their hands on these charming acrylic panels only to find that they have bitten more than they can chew. Sometimes, it is best to let experts handle your project instead of embarking on a job you won’t or can’t complete.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of professional guidance and services on the web. You can save yourself a lot of stress by talking to a plumber or an expert if you need help with remodeling your bathroom or installing new acrylic wall panels. An expert can also guide you in choosing from the variety of options and brands available.
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