There are two main options on the market today for bathroom remodeling. You can either go the traditional route and use tile and grout to redo your shower, or you can go with a composite or acrylic system. Both of these systems offer the same benefits, so for ease of conversation, we’ll just use acrylic from here on out. There are pros and cons to each, so today we wanted to take some time to clarify the differences between the two and what you can expect long term as your bathroom sees daily use.
The Difference Between Tile and Acrylic
Let’s start with tile because it is a more popular option for homeowners. One of the biggest benefits you have installing tile in your bathroom is the unlimited number of options available to you. We’re sure there’s probably a tile in every color, shape, and size, so you can find something that fits your style and the rest of your home perfectly.
The plethora of options also lends itself easily to being a little more adventurous in your design, whether you want to extend tile all the way around the bathroom walls, whether you want to combine two or three different tiles to make an exciting pattern, or whether you want to install a special trim around the edges of your tub. If your brain can think it, with tile you’ll almost always be able to recreate it in some way, and that’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to do with a single product!
Most homeowners tend to go with tile because of their unlimited number of options, but they don’t really think about the maintenance involved with taking this route. Even with professional-grade sealing on top of your tile, it’s likely that with daily use you’ll end up having to re-grout everything in 10-15 years. Many would argue that after 10-15 years it’d be time to remodel the bathroom again anyway, so it’s not a big deal, but knowing the extra upkeep involved is important to make an informed decision.
Because of the nature of the grout, tiled showers and bathrooms are also more prone to leaking. Once the barrier is broken in the sealant in even a small spot on your bathroom wall, it’s now possible for water to seep down below the grout and eventually turn your backer board moldy. One of the most common problems we see when we rip out old tiled bathrooms is the amount of mold and water damage below the surface that homeowners usually can’t see. It’s not a pretty picture.
But again, mold and mildew behind your tile tends to happen years after installation, so many don’t think about this as an issue when they’re installing. The better you seal your tile, the longer it will last, but it’s not a forever product.
So, how does acrylic stack up to tile? Well, as far as your options are concerned, acrylic tends to have a much more limited number. We currently offer over 30 colors in tons of different layout options which leaves you with quite a few options to choose from, but that’s nowhere near the options available with tile. Depending on your personality though, fewer options can sometimes be a good thing. It keeps you from second-guessing your decision with the plethora of options available.
The true benefits of acrylic come into play after installation, during the time when you’re using your bathroom on a daily basis and cleaning it regularly. Because acrylic is installed as panels on your wall, it almost eliminates the possibility of your tub or shower leaking over time. It’s one of the best materials to install to prevent water damage in your home.
The acrylic we use is also one of the thickest and strongest acrylic products on the market today, which means a stronger and longer-lasting product to hold up against cracks, chips, dings, and even stains. With a patented AcryloBond base, your tub or shower can withstand anything you put in it. But even if something were to happen, we’re also backing the product up with a lifetime warranty, so you can have your whole system replaced if something ever were to happen.
While there wouldn’t be any tile to re-grout, it is possible that your caulking or sealant would need to be replaced every now and again. However, our trained technicians can have this fixed up for you in just a couple of hours, instead of a couple of days, so it’s not as daunting of a task as re-grouting.
All in all, one of the best benefits of choosing acrylic over tile is the amount of time and upkeep it requires to keep it clean. Unlike tile that tends to breed mold and mildew in the grout lines and the uneven surfaces of the tile, acrylic is much easier to clean and only requires a mild soap or cleaner to do the trick. Our systems even have Bio-Lok technology in the acrylic which helps to absorb all the particles that cause mold and mildew to help keep your shower clean. This basically cuts your cleaning time down in half!
So there you have it, a comprehensive look at what makes tile different from acrylic. Lucky for you, American Home Remodeling offers both options for you to choose from in your bathroom remodel. So whether you’re looking for a unique design, or you’re looking for something that will stand up to the wear-and-tear of kids growing up, we can provide you with what you need.
Still have questions? Call one of our helpful representatives at (888) 940-9995 and they can help clarify anything that might still be on your mind. Or, if you’re ready to have one of our experienced Designers come out to give you a free consultation and exact price on your remodel, our representatives can get you set up with that as well!
Jace Darling, Owner, American Home Remodeling