p20 BKU-DEC20 Mermaid_bku 02/12/2020 12:27 Page 20

Mermaid shower panels: why the tile alternative is growing in popularity


he surfaces market has seen huge growth in recent months, as many

homeowners have sought to update their interior during lockdown and the trend for improving rather than moving took a firm hold. The mid to premium end is particularly flourishing, as consumers seek out high-end materials and finishes to give their home a luxury look. Trends within this market show a growing desire for personalisation in the bathroom along with the wish for a more hygienic solution, which has resulted in laminate shower panels coming to the fore, an easy to clean and simple to fit alternative to tiles.

Advantages of shower panels Shower panels can offer more choice in terms of variety and décor than tiles, with the most innovative and advanced solutions providing the added advantage of post-formed edges which create a seamless finish that doesn’t require any trims, making it easier to keep hygienically clean. This in turn makes shower panels ideal for shower cladding, bath surrounds, splashbacks and feature areas in family bathrooms, wet rooms and en- suites. The panels themselves can be manufactured with a waterproof core and post-formed edges, which creates a beautiful design feature out of external corners. Designs in wood effects, marble styles, terrazzo trends and concrete imitations

enable homeowners to emulate on-trend materials and finishes without the high maintenance, price tag and installation issues to match. Other designs include acrylic panels available in bold modern colours, softer more calming shades and acrylic patterns and prints as well as composite waterproof panels that provide the look of a metro tile.

Benefits for consumers Firstly, moisture and humidity do not affect acrylic, glass or composite shower panels so there’s no need for homeowners to worry about mildew or mould ruining their new bathroom space. There is a huge choice in terms of design and style; the latest trends can be integrated into the bathroom with ease as shower panels can emulate the luxury look of wood or stone while being fully waterproof at the same time. The long-lasting, durable properties of laminate panels are, in fact, even better than the real thing when it comes to practicality and they are far more cost-effective too. One of the biggest benefits that market leaders of shower panels can offer are trimless panels which feature post-formed edges to eliminate the need for grouting. Grouting is notorious for discolouration over time and requires lots of maintenance to keep clean, so trimless solutions can completely eliminate this common pain point for homeowners. Shower panels are also gaining increasing interest in both DIY and

installer channels thanks to their simple and hassle- free installation process. Versatile, flexible with a range of styles and

colours available, coupled with the benefits of cost, installation and hygiene, could shower panels be the solution to triumph over tiles?

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