The showpiece of most bathrooms, a shower should be both a practical space and a peaceful haven where you can relax or rejuvenate depending on your mood. Nowadays, there are numerous different options for shower bases, with the two most common being tiled walk-in showers and acrylic or polymarble pre-fabricated bases. At My Shower, we are the experts in shower repairs in Perth, and we often get asked if one base is better than the other. Here’s our guide to acrylic and tiled shower bases which may help you decide which one is best for you.
Acrylic and Polymarble Shower Bases
Durable, lightweight and affordable, acrylic shower bases are available in prebuilt form from many building and plumbing supply stores in a range of standard sizes and colours. There are several benefits to choosing this type of base:
• A much cheaper option – small, budget bases can start from as low as a couple of hundred dollars.
• Easier to install – all you need to do is level the base and then install the shower walls around the base. You will need a qualified plumber to do that.
• Easier to clean – there are no grout lines to worry about.
• One of the key advantages is that generally there are fewer issues with waterproofing and therefore fewer issues with leaks that may need shower repairs.
• Shower bases are also great if you have a limited amount of space or if you want to update your bathroom without undergoing major renovations.
A few disadvantages may sway your decision towards a choosing a tiled shower: Though acrylic shower bases are durable, the base flexes under the weight of the users. This means small cracks can form throughout the base, which may cause water leaks, leading to rot and mould in the bathroom. Repairing these small cracks can be very difficult and sometimes the only option is to replace the whole shower base. Some acrylic bases are also prone to discolouring over time as stains may appear from general use of soaps, scrubs and abrasive cleaning products.
Significantly more expensive, this option is entirely bespoke as you can choose to create shower of almost any size and style. A much more complicated process, this option involves many steps which must be expertly completed including a screed to level the floor and give the base the necessary fall for the water to drain away, application of a waterproof membrane and affixing tiles to the floor and walls. This process can take up to a week longer than installation of an acrylic shower.
A tiled shower provides a solid, stable surface that will not flex or bend under the weight of the users. While it is a much more expensive option, it is also considered by many as a more sophisticated look, adding substantial value to a property. There are endless tile colours, sizes and textures you can choose from to create a unique, custom design. Versatility is another huge benefit, if your shower area is an odd size or shape, you can tile the entire space and not have to design your shower around a pre-made base. This may also make the whole room feel larger as the shower base blends seamless into the surrounding floor. Tiled showers may be considered the more luxurious option.
There are some disadvantages in regards to tiled showers. As they are more difficult to install than most acrylic shower bases, they are also more difficult to remove. To remove or renovate the shower, the entire floor and walls must be ripped up and discarded. Tiled showers also may also accumulate stains on the grout in between the tiles, and if not installed and waterproofed properly, tiled showers are prone to needing shower repairs due to water leaks.
There are pros and cons to either type of shower base, so when choosing which is right for you, it is best to take into consideration your budget and design aesthetic, but whichever you choose ensure you engage qualified and experienced tradespeople to undertake the work to ensure it meets all the building regulations specific for wet areas.
Is your shower leaking or is your shower looking old and tired? My Shower are the leading choice for shower repairs in Perth. We only use epoxy grout for long-lasting waterproofing solutions. A WA owned and operated company, our aim is to create permanent cost-effective solutions for leaking showers and offer other long-lasting waterproofing solutions for customers in and around Perth. Contact us today for advice or a free quotation.