Acrylic VS Tiled showers


“The first mechanical shower, operated by a hand pump, was patented in England in 1767 by William Feetham, a stove maker from Ludgate Hill in London. His shower contraption used a pump to force the water into a vessel above the user’s head and a chain would then be pulled to release the water from the vessel.”*


Now, in the 21st century, there are many different ways to shower and many different types of showers to do so in. We install Acrylic, Tiled, Seratone, and Novastone showers. There are also showers that are a mixture of different manufactured materials including tiled and acrylic components and so it makes the options available quite diverse.

For the purposes of this blog post we are going to focus on acrylic and tiled showers although we will list other options near the end of our post as well.

Acrylic showers

Modern acrylic showers are well known to be the most budget friendly shower choice but that is not to say they don’t look just as good as tiled showers. In fact, it really is a personal preference when it comes down to the look of your bathroom.

Acrylic showers come in all different shapes and sizes. You can get square (two-sided), alcove (three sided), angled (two-sided with angled glass) and curved (two-sided with curved sliding glass doors).

Square acrylic showers feature two walls of acrylic liner and two sides of glass (a door and a return). Square acrylic showers don’t necessarily mean they are square, as these showers come in different sizes, your “square” acrylic shower may actually be a rectangle! These are quite a popular shower with many of our acrylic shower installs being the 1200 x 900 size for that extra space to stretch out and enjoy.

Alcove acrylic showers feature three walls of acrylic liner and one wall of glass (the door). These are generally installed into ensuites and smaller bathrooms where there is a little cosy spot for them to position into. If the space is slightly too big, we can pack the wall out a little to get the perfect fit.

Angled acrylic showers feature two walls of acrylic liner and three walls of glass. That is two shorter return panels and an angled hinge door that sits in between them.

Curved acrylic showers feature two walls of acrylic liner and then a four panelled door and return set that means you slide each door open and closed to meet in the middle. This design of shower is a fantastic option for smaller bathrooms where you don’t have space to have a hinged door opening into the space and impacting other bathroom fittings or just your space to move in general.

With curved and angled acrylic showers you do lose a bit of space on with of the corners being cut off for the curve or angle, so if you can fit it, we recommend a step up to a 1000 x 1000 size instead of the standard 900 x 900 size shower.

Acrylic showers also come with the option of a flat or moulded wall liner. This just means that you either have a flat wall or you have a shelf moulded into the liner. You don’t have to have anything special set up behind the moulded wall liners as the shelf is sculpted outwards. The back of the liner still sits flat against the wall.

You can also get framed or frameless styles. Framed acrylic showers come with a white, chrome or coloured frame that sits around the glass. Frameless showers tend to have much more minimalistic framing and hardware to give a slightly more upmarket look. Lower profile trays are also available from some manufacturers to add that extra bit of class to your bathroom renovation finish.

Atlantis Ellure panelling is also another option for your liner style, with a tiled look acrylic liner.

The main pros and cons of acrylic showers;

PROS

  • Generally inexpensive to purchase and install
  • Quick to install
  • Multiple options for size and shape
  • Built in shelving with the moulded option
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy and easy to seal

CONS

  • Limited colour options for hardware
  • Generally only white liners and trays stocked

Tiled showers

Tiled showers can open up your world with the abundant selection of tile shapes, sizes, finishes and colours. Not to mention grout and trim colours to work with it for that spectacular look. Tiled shower purchase and install costs can be two to three times acrylic shower purchase and install costs. So it really is your personal preference and those pesky budget limitations that will steer you towards the right shower for your needs and space.

Tiled showers, although it may be hard to tell when looking at a finished one, generally come with a tile-over-tray and glass/hardware package. We plumb the tray onto your floor, waterproof the shower area, and a few steps later we then tile over it all for that glossy, luxurious finish.

Shelving in tiled showers can come as niches which are recessed into your wall (see our blog post here), or glass shelving which we can install in at the last stage.

The main pros and cons of tiled showers;

PROS

  • A huge range of tiles to choose from, which can completely change your look from one to the next.
  • You can match your shower to the rest of your floor and/or walls and tiles in other area’s of your home.
  • More options on size and shape, especially if you get custom made glass and tray.

CONS

  • Can be more expensive than acrylic showers .
  • Takes more time to install.

Other types of showers

Acrylic and tiled showers are two main options when it comes to showers. But in New Zealand these days you can get many different types of showers. One option is to have an acrylic tray with tiled walls. Another option is to have an architectural finished tray (stone or metal look) in an acrylic shower, or a Novastone tray (solid surface) in a tiled shower. Glass also comes in different thicknesses, hardware comes in different colours, and doors can open and close in different ways too.

The best way to decide on a shower and get a professional install is to get in touch with us and chat about your specific bathroom space and needs. We can measure and quote for your next shower or bathroom renovation. Contact us

*Wikipedia

Consider installing a Niche in your next shower

The Atlantis EasyNiche

What is a Niche?

In bathroom terms, a Niche is a recessed shelf in a shower or bath installation. The word Niche (pronounced “neesh”) is French and simply means recess. It originates from the Latin nidus meaning “nest”. It originally described recessed shelving in architecture that housed statues and ornaments.  

When we are stripping out a bathroom for renovation, it gives us the opportunity to nog behind the gib, where the framing is for a Niche (or two)! Having one in your shower gives you extra storage, and style. Depending on what look you are after, we can install an acrylic niche into your tiled shower as is but for that extra luxurious look, we recommend continuing the tiles through the Niche.

You may see most Niches in tiled showers, but you can actually install a Niche into an acrylic shower too. Acrylic showers generally come in two options for shelving, when you purchase them. “Flat” showers are simply ones that don’t have any built in shelving into the white acrylic liner or backing. “Moulded” acrylic showers are ones that have shelving moulded into the liner. Quite often these moulded showers protrude outwards rather than recess into the wall. Of course they give you a substantial amount of shelving but the con of this means that it would affect the framing location too much to be viable for recessed shelving moulded into the liner.

The Niches we use come in a variety of sizes and can be installed horizontally or vertically for a different appearance or to fit a different space.

If you are renovating your bathroom it is definitely worth considering installing a Niche as it is the opportune time to do it. We especially recommend it if you are after a tiled shower.

Contact us for a quote.

What Decisions Go Into A Bathroom Renovation?

Your overall floor plan layout

A great deal of work goes into a bathroom renovation, and so it would be wise to carefully plan out exactly what you are going to do before you start. Measuring up your bathroom space and doing a floor plan is a good place to start. From here, you will be able to see what size fittings you can put in and where. As a general rule, you can move your shower, vanity, bath and toilet plumbing whether you are on a wooden, chipboard or concrete slab floor. You don’t need to stick to your current bathroom layout if it isn’t working for you. When you strip your fittings out to redo your bathroom it gives you the opportunity to get in behind the wall and underneath the floor to move plumbing to suit. We can help you with floor plan advice and design your entire floor plan if you renovate your bathroom with us.

Building

You’d be forgiven for thinking that for a bathroom renovation; a plumber is required to do most of the work. Surprisingly, it is actually the builder that does a bulk of the renovation. To be fair, there are many trades that are required to put work in to get it done. Keep reading…

Shower, bath, vanity and toilet installation

Your bathroom fittings installation is best done professionally. Showers and baths and all those plumbed items that go into a bathroom renovation aren’t always cheap and so to ensure that they last their lifetime they need to be installed properly. But how do you even choose what fittings to put into your new bathroom? Good quality product doesn’t always have to be expensive. We can help you choose the best product to work for you.

Check out our blog on “How To Choose The Best Bath For Your Bathroom Space”.

Waterproofing & Showers

Waterproofing, you may ask what that even is! Waterproofing is quite simple really. It is a liquid and membrane waterproofing system that is required behind tiled shower walls, seratone showers and in wet (level entry) rooms. Basically, we apply waterproofing bandage and liquid coating on top of your villaboard, which is installed after nogging. This system is set up to keep water from penetrating into your wall. Water travels behind tiles and grout and so this gives you peace of mind when it comes to your stunning tiled shower installation.

An acrylic shower doesn’t need waterproofing and there are tonnes of superb shower choices on the market today. From curved to square, large and small, framed and frameless. One style of shower can come in many configurations so you can select the right one for your bathroom.

Tiling

Along with your tiled shower, you may wish to tile your flooring, skirts, splashbacks and even walls. Tile pricing is on a spectrum so it really depends what tiles you go for as to what it may cost for your bathroom renovation. It’s best to get these laid professionally to get the most beautiful finish out of your tiles.

More flooring options

There are different flooring options for your bathroom renovation at different price points.

You can get gorgeous lino or planking that works for a bathroom space. Floating flooring is a newer option on the market too, with stone based flooring being a water resistant choice that is put down over your current bathroom floor.

Alternatively, if you have an existing wooden floor this may be a top choice to keep it as is, or do some maintenance to bring it up fresh level of finish.

Gibstopping, painting, decorating

It’s not just about the fittings! There may be some gibstopping and painting to do if you have replaced gib in your bathroom. Here you can make your bathroom cool, calm and inviting or fresh bright and happy, or even moody and luxurious. Matching your colours for painted coving, scotias, skirting and window jambs is ideal with a different, styled colour for your walls to make it pop.

Electrical

Show us the light… You may be considering some extra lighting in your bathroom. Apart from your standard ceiling light, a light above your vanity is a neat option with some super slimline styles available on the market. Or you may opt for an LED mirror that lights up with just your touch. Choose from cool or warm light to set the tone.

These are just some of the choices to think about when renovating your bathroom. If you feel like you could benefit from some expert help, get in touch with us for advice and fixed price renovation packages. We can take care of it all!