Over 12,000 reasons to use Solid Surface in your shower

Did you know most adults will shower more than 12,000 times in their lifetime? That’s a lot of time spent in your shower space!!

There are many compelling reasons to use Corian or other Solid surface materials in your bathroom. These range from aesthetics, to ease of cleaning and its antiseptic properties, to its durable nature. Corian® and solid surface material can be found in virtually any color. There are solids, small and large particles and veined or swirled patterns to choose from. It’s as simple as choosing that perfect color to adorn your walls from the lists of hundreds of solid surface colors available.

Cleaning solid surface is a breeze compared to other surfaces like tile, granite, cultured marble and natural marble. Tile has grout lines
that can collect soap scum and mold; granite is porous and easily stained. Cultured marble has a gel coat finish that is vulnerable to scratches and natural marble can be eroded with household cleaners. You should also be careful not to scratch these products with abrasive cleaners.

Durability is a hallmark of solid surface materials. It is nonporous and invites the use of both abrasive and chemical cleaners. This nonporous quality also effectively inhibits the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria, making it a perfect candidate for your shower. If that’s not enough, soap scum doesn’t stick to Corian panels.

In our 30 year history we have never encountered a stain in Corian that couldn’t be cleaned away with normal cleaning products like Comet and Scotch-brite pads. We’ve done stain test to include butadiene, blood, lipstick, paint, motor oil, wine, permanent marker and more.
Seamless Solid surface wet wall panels can be easily “Right Sized” to your projects specific needs. The best feature of our wet wall systems are seamless panels that reach corner to corner without battens or joints. Choosing tile, fiberglass, cultured stone or other outdated products makes little to no sense. These single piece wall panels install quickly and easily while saving maintenance dollars and replacement cost for years to come.

Hopefully you feel better prepared to do battle with nasty shower walls which have plagued your home? If you still have questions or want to learn more about grout free shower panels or getting a professional shower installation completed please contact Designer Surfaces Unlimited or come by the showroom and see our shower room display!

Q and A

What do I use to clean Solid surface shower walls and pans?

DSU recommends any type of bathroom cleaner available at your local grocer. You can also use a scotch-brite pad and comet cleaner for any stubborn areas. Solid surface walls and pans will look new for decades with little effort.

What maintenance will my Corian or quartz shower surround require?

The Corian or quartz panels need nothing more than routine cleaning. The silicone sealer will need removed and replaced on any shower surround when it shows signs of wear. Usually every three to five years depending on the frequency of use.

Can porcelain tile panels be seamed together without grout or silicone?

No, they cannot, these products require grout in most cases.

Can Corian be installed with less mess and time than a tile shower?

Yes, with prior planning bath and shower surrounds can be completed from contract to installation in 10 days or less.

Does large format porcelain require special expensive jigs to transport and install the panels?

Yes, DSU fabricates large format tile (60” x 120” tiles) so we can give you a non biased answer here. They are fragile and usually more expensive than solid surface. The dimensions of these raw goods rarely yields more than one wall panel per piece therefore were generally ordering more raw goods to complete a project thus driving the cost up..

Does the color/pattern go all the way through a porcelain panels or tile as it does through Corian?

No, the color is only printed only on the face of the tile.

What can be done when the raw edges of tile or large porcelain panels are visible?

You must use a tile that is finished to dress up any exposed edges of a tile panel. This may affect the desired look however it’s necessary to cover the unfinished edges of the tile with something to hide the unmatched center of the tile.

Does a quartz or solid surface shower panel need to be trimmed to cover the edges?

No, the edges of Corian and quartz can be finished since the materials are solid all the way through.

Can my tile or porcelain last for decades like Quartz and Corian?

Yes and no, tile has been used in showers for many years. Though the tile itself wears extremely well the grout and style usually wear out quickly compared to Quartz and Corian.

Will my tile look dated in a few years?

All we can say is watch a few episodes of any home improvement show on HGTV and decide for your-self. Most likely you’ll find that a 10 year old tile shower looks well worn and out of date. DSU has Corian shower installs that are near three decades old and still look fresh and up to date.

Consumer and Professional Comment

“I have had pure white Corian walls in a shower surround for 20 years. In that time, I’ve re-done the silicone caulk seams several times and installed an updated rimless rain-textured glass door unit. It looks as good as new. It is light, bright, clean looking, and time-less. In my previous house, I had a tiled shower and tiled shower pan. I will never do a tiled shower again. Every grout line is a chance to crack and leak and mildew. You are supposed to re-seal the grout every six to twelve months – what a maintenance joke. Of course, once the grout gets discolored, you seal this discoloration in too. Tile fashions change and then you are stuck. Huge over-sized tiled showers with plate glass walls are all the rage now and they look terrific in magazine shots. But they are cold showers that don’t concentrate steam well, you must squeegee them each time or water spots make them look awful, and don’t even get me started on the nightmares possible if they are not PERFECTLY installed and waterproofed, or if you have movement in your floors that flex, etc. Every grout line is a failure possibility. I’ll bet this huge-walk-in-shower-which is-basically- a-tiled-room trend will be out in about 5-10 years when folks realize the maintenance nightmare these showers are and the cost to get rid of them with heavy demolition, removal, and replacement. I don’t want a new home mortgage every ten years due to needing updates on major, heavy systems!”

“As a professional tradesman I can say that solid surface is superior to tile in a shower in nearly every way. Unlike grout, mildew cannot live on solid surface. Grout and thin set are not waterproof, solid surface virtually is. Repairs and alterations are relatively simple.”
“I have one bathroom with solid surface, one with tile. I will eventually put solid surface in the tiled bathroom!!”
“I plan to use Corian for all the reasons cited above. When working on my daughters design, I explained the tile failure and cleaning issues and recommended only a solid surface shower. They opted for the tile and big glass look. Looks beautiful – however, they’ve had significant leaks since it went in and even after the contractor “fixed it”. It is a failure that promises to be an expensive and work intensive situation over time.”

 

solid surface frederick md

solid surface frederick md

This Solid surface surround features a slot drain in a custom pan.
Walls and ceiling are done to match in this nearly 5’ square shower.

 

Here’s a Corian surround with custom niches, one for shampoo and one for shaving!

This Corian surround is done floor to and including the ceiling. Note the custom snorkel in the ceiling, this will allow light to enter from a hidden skylight! The glass enclosure is a center pivot door!! WOW, pretty unique design.

Sometimes it hard to photograph small rooms but we wanted to share this unique design. This enclosure has custom Corian trim around an exterior window. There is more custom Corian trim around the interior windows keeping this trimmed area waterproof and maintenance free. Tie floor to ceiling walls sit on a custom Corian pan allowing full use of the scarce real estate in this room. Kudos to the design team for unique features that substantially open up the room bringing in a flood of natural light.