If you have a budget for your bathroom home improvements, you may need to consider the use of tile. Costs can quickly spiral using this, especially if you want tile all over the shower surrounds and areas where there will be water.
As an alternative, you may look at options, and stumble on FRP Panels. FRP panels (Fiberglass-reinforced plastic) seem a suitable alternative and are easy to install around a shower enclosure without grout.
FRP panels are a type of laminated surface wall and ceiling panel that is ideal for wet areas such as bathrooms. Fiberglass is combined with plastic to make tough, durable, and water-resistant panels.
You can cut them to any size, for a full wall or over the tub shower, and once they are glued in position, they can transform your room.
In our guide, we look deeper to see if FRP for shower walls is the answer to your home improvements requirements.
By the end, you’ll know if you can use fiberglass wall panels for shower or you need to pick another alternative. (Learn How To Cover A Window In A Shower)
Can FRP Be Used For Shower Walls?
FRP stands for fiberglass reinforced panels, which are thin, flexible plastic panels reinforced with fiberglass and made of a strong polyester resin.
You can place these directly over drywall, wood, concrete block, and various other solid surfaces on walls and ceilings.
FRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) panels are a laminate surface wall and ceiling panels perfect for damp areas such as bathrooms. Fiberglass is combined with plastic to create robust, long-lasting, water-resistant panels.
Because acrylic is the safest, least high-maintenance, and easiest-to-install material for shower walls, your shower might be completed in two days.
Acrylic is, without a doubt, one of the most durable materials utilized in the shower construction industry.
This alternative for FRP shower wall panels, however, has limitations.
You might be wondering if FRP shower walls can be used outside. Unfortunately, if they were in an outdoor shower stall with no roof and were exposed to the elements, your interior FRP wall panels would yellow and have fiber bloom.
How Do You Install FRP On Shower Walls?
Fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels are a type of laminated surface wall and ceiling panel that is appropriate for damp areas such as bathrooms.
They mix fiberglass with plastic to produce panels you can install in any bathroom area.
Walls remain easy to clean and care for compared to tiles for the life of the installation.
How to Install FRP Wall Paneling in Bathroom
1. Acclimatize Your FRP
Stack the FRP inside your home horizontally in the location where you will have it installed. Allow the panels to adapt to the temperature of your home for at least 24 hours before installing them. This helps prevent the panels from expanding or contracting after being fitted in position.
2. Prepare Your Wall Surfaces
Prepare the surfaces of your walls. They should be clear of any loose paint, wallpaper, grease, or dust and clean, flat, and dry. Anything on the wall, and the back side of the panel, such as nail heads, will show through the panel since FRP adapts to the substrate behind it.
3. Measure Accurately
Measure the area where the panels will be installed and arrange them in a square of equal size and form.
A fine-toothed saw or a pair of shears for small sections can be used to trim the panels to fit the space around your shower enclosure.
Each panel should have a 1/4-inch expansion joint at the top edges and the floor or the bottom if over the tub and a 1/8-inch expansion junction between the seams.
This allows the panels to swell in the presence of moisture without causing damage to the installation.
4. Apply Your Adhesive
Using a trowel, evenly apply adhesive to the backs of each panel. With the teeth of the trowel, groove the adhesive until it reaches an even depth across the panel.
Place each panel on the wall in the desired layout.
5. Use a Laminate Roller
Roll each panel using a laminate roller from top to bottom and side to side.
This squeezes air bubbles and helps the panels seal the adhesive and the substrate better. (Read Alternatives To Glass Shower Doors)
6. Lock The Divider Trim In Position
Place the FRP divider rails on top of the panels to cover the vertical expansion joints. With the trowel, apply adhesive to the back of each rail and press the rails into position, smoothing them out with your hand.
Finish the installation by adding a cap rail to the top of the panels in the same manner.
7. Caulk and Silicone Sealant for Watertight Finish
To seal the walls and around the window or edges, use silicone sealant to caulk the panels’ connections at each divider rail, cap, and the installation’s perimeter of the shower enclosure or around your tub.
Allow at least 24 hours for the adhesive to dry before using your new shower enclosure.
To install the panels, you can use nylon drive rivets instead of adhesive.
Using a carbide-tipped drill bit, predrill the holes for the rivets in the FRP. Each rivet hole should be 1/8 inch larger than the rivet shaft, and the rivet holes should be 16 inches on center on each panel, both vertically and horizontally.
Apply a small amount of silicone sealant to each rivet hole before inserting the rivet to help it stay in place and ensure it is sealed.
Are FRP Panels Waterproof?
Fiber-reinforced plastic, or FRP, is a composite term that refers to a material made composed of polymer and extra fibers such as fiberglass.
FRP panels are used in various constructions because they resist corrosion and are significantly less expensive to install than tile.
Fiberglass is commonly utilized in shower wall construction because it is one of the least expensive materials to have installed.
FRP is a strong but surprisingly light material. Given its size, it has surprising impact resistance, gaining its reputation in the construction business. In terms of endurance, fiberglass outlasts both wood and steel.
FRP is made by pultrusion. To manufacture fiberglass, a continuous and repetitive process of tugging a material is all that is required.
Fiberglass does not corrode or decay; thus, it will not rust even if it is not protected from moisture. Because shower walls are frequently wet, this feature of FRP is excellent.
Because of its excellent quality, FRP can withstand a variety of conditions, but it can also add a splash of color to your bathroom shower wall.
What Tools Do I Need to Install FRP Panels?
You should have several tools before you start installing FRP panels in the shower.
These tools are as follows:
- Silicone sealant and caulk
- Fine-toothed saw,
- A trowel and laminate roller.
These tools will come in helpful when you start installing the fiber-reinforced panels in the shower, but before you start, you should inspect the area where the installation will take place.
Assemble the panels on a dry surface. The ideal temperature to apply FRP panels is 70F, according to FRP installation standards.
The materials should also be dry, as everything should be polished before applying the FRP.
What Is the Best Adhesive for FRP?
Fiber-reinforced plastic has a non-permeable surface; thus, any adhesive will stick to it, but construction adhesive is the best choice. This adhesive is often used to adhere to the drywall, tiles, and other home fittings. For the job, construction adhesive works well in glass and bonds various materials. (Find the Best Paint For Shower Walls)
Different adhesives may work effectively on fiberglass in the absence of construction adhesive. Rubber-based adhesives like contact cement adhesive nicely to FRP panels.
Can I Install FRP Over Drywall?
FRP panels are employed in various construction applications for wet environments.
So, it’s not surprising that FRP panels might be used to cover drywall in your own home.
With this knowledge of FRP, it becomes a viable option to cover a drywall wall, making it tougher and more resilient.
Because FRP is made of polyester resin reinforced with fiberglass components, it is more durable.
Its properties make it an excellent supporting structure for wood, concrete, and other materials when laid atop shower drywall or drywall in any room.
Furthermore, because the FRP is scratch-resistant and comes in many styles, it contributes to the cozy appearance of any interior area.
What Kind of Paneling Can Be Used In A Shower?
The seams in 2′ x 8′ panels are difficult to identify because of the cracked cement laminate panels design. As a result, they are significantly less expensive and easier to install than concrete walls.
Digital printing technology is used to create marbleized PVC composite walls that look like marble and granite but are light and easy to install.
Around a wet shower or your bathroom modal window and tub, distressed wood wall panels provide the look and feel without the upkeep.
You can have a floor to ceiling design in any room of the house, and the pricing is much more affordable than other building materials.
Acrylic molded panels resemble tile but are constructed of plastic using a tile mold.