Granite Shower Walls (Pros and Cons & Designs)

See pictures of granite shower walls including the different design types like panels, tiles & slabs, pros and cons, cost, and effective cleaning tips for granite bathroom walls.
Bathroom with tub, toilet, bidet, mirror, floating countertop, granite shower wall, and glass dividerIf there’s one common dream amongst homeowners, it would have to be having a spacious and luxurious shower area. It can bring so much glamor and excitement to an otherwise mundane routine of taking a bath or showering. More than that, and probably the best part of this is that it can increase your home’s overall resale value. 

There are so many elements that can come into play when it comes to the concept of making your shower area large and luxurious from the glass you use, to the bathroom fixtures and other related hardware items, and so on. One main element that can really take the bathroom design to a whole new level would have to be granite shower walls.

Granite Shower Wall Panels

Bathroom with granite shower wall panels, tub, glass door, vanity area, mirror, and floating sinkGranite shower wall panels are also called granite wall cladding. It’s sort of a generic term for when thin panels of precut granite are installed on your shower walls in place of one huge slab of stone. The main advantage of this is that you get to enjoy the luxuries that granite has to offer without the punishing price tag. 

Although it delivers the much-coveted granite look to some degree, it isn’t quite the same though. They come in very small pieces that are usually pieced together against the wall, very similar to assembling a mosaic.

It’s tedious and time-consuming to install and overall, it has some issues with the overall finished surface texture. It isn’t smooth and seamless like granite slabs. As a matter of fact, it can be quite the opposite.

Granite types of wall cladding can be highly rough and textured. And although there’s a certain appeal and beauty to it, it doesn’t really rival the smoothness and seamlessness of a single slab of granite adhered to shower walls.

Granite Shower Wall Tiles

Bathroom with granite shower tile wall, glass door, towel holder, window, and curtainGranite shower wall tiles work in pretty much the same principle as with a granite slab and with granite wall panels. Although granite tiles are typically manufactured in much smaller sizes than wall panels and granite slabs.

They’re great for interior walls and they can also work perfectly for your shower walls as long as you take extra care in making sure that they are properly sealed and well maintained. 

Also, make sure that they aren’t damaged by acidic solutions in the cleaners that you use to maintain them. They sit at a comfortable mid-range. They aren’t as expensive as whole granite slabs but they’re slightly costlier than granite panels, which makes it fairly easy for you to move around if you want to amp it up a bit but aren’t quite ready for the high costs of granite slabs.

Granite Slab Shower Walls

Bathroom with granite slab shower wall, tub, countertop, sink, and showerheadGranite slabs are the best format your granite can come in with and they’re perfect for your shower walls for as long as you’re prepared for the high price tag that usually comes along with them.

They have no grout lines, they’re very easy to maintain, and the best part of it all is that they look absolutely seamless and clean. Granite is a great and strong natural stone. With the added protection of a layer of sealant, it’s something that will definitely last you for a lot of years to come. 

One thing that you need to be careful about with granite slabs is that the installation needs to be done professionally. Even if you consider yourself as someone a bit handy with construction, this isn’t the type of thing that you should be attempting to do alone, or even with some help from non-professionals.

Granite is a dense and heavy stone and you can damage it easily with improper installation. The slabs themselves will be expensive, but more than that, you also need to make sure that you aren’t skimping on their installation as well. The manufacturers usually pair this up with professional installation.

They usually come insured. If you’ve decided to jump to getting an appropriate granite slab size for your shower walls, you might as well pull out all the stops and make sure that you get the installation done right.

In most cases, the installation might end up costing you almost as much as the material itself. But be that as it may, what you can be assured of at the end of the day is that it will be well worth it. It’s beautiful and luxurious. It will bring a striking and dramatic effect to your shower area. 

In addition, it’s something that you will be enjoying for a lot of years or even decades as long as you maintain it properly. If you end up selling your home further down the road, a beautiful granite walk-in shower design can increase your home’s real estate value. This means your granite slab installation can be considered as a bit of an investment.

Cultured Granite Shower Walls

Bathroom with cultured granite shower wall, glass divider, floating countertop, mirror, and toiletCultured granite is a material that is meant to look and feel like granite, but is actually just a replica of the material. One of its major appeals would have to be the fact that it’s a non-porous material. 

This means that you get an engineered stone that isn’t too susceptible to moisture, unlike real granite. There isn’t any need for you to constantly seal cultured granite. It is also far less expensive than real granite as it’s a manufactured product and not a naturally occurring one.

It can come in a lot more shades and patterns so there’s a lot more flexibility in the design. It is also highly resistant to stains which means it is far easier to clean. Another popular alternative with many of the same benefits is a cultured marble shower.

Granite Shower Walls Pros And Cons

Bathroom with showerhead, glass divider, toilet, sink, mirror, ceiling tiles, and granite shower wallHere we share the advantages and disadvantages of granite shower walls.

Pros of Granite Shower Walls

Bathroom with vanity area, granite shower wall, tub, sink, faucet, and mirrorVersatility in the design: With the innovation brought and advancement brought in by technology and tools, cutting granite and reshaping it into just about any silhouette or shape imaginable has never been easier.

If you have a specific vision for your shower walls, it’s very possible that you will be able to get your granite slabs cut to match that image or those specifications exactly. When you go for more traditional options such as tiles, your options are usually limited to the traditional shapes that the manufacturers produce them in.

This isn’t the case with granite as it is a material that’s highly shape-able and customizable. You can be as creative as you would like to be and the design you come up with is limited only by your own imagination. 

No bothersome grout lines: Granite produces and delivers a much cleaner look for your shower. This is made possible because of the fact that there aren’t any grout lines for you to have to worry about. Granite slabs are usually installed directly against the walls.

There is no visual breakage produced because of this. This means though that the process will turn out to be costlier and far more labor intensive but at the end of the day, what this produces is a look that clean, unencumbered, and perfectly seamless. You can’t achieve this type of effect with regular tiles.

Highly durable: Granite is a really durable rock material. During the process of its installation, a sealant is usually applied in order to provide the granite surface with some additional protection against daily wear and tear.

This extra level of protection paired with granite’s intrinsic durability and hardness makes granite shower walls highly resistant to chipping and cracking. This means that you will be enjoying shower walls that are constantly in pristine condition all year round and with a fairly extended life span as well.

Convenient maintenance: Granite shower walls are incredibly easy to clean. All you really need to do is wipe them down with a soapy rag and you’re good to go.

This is because the extra layer of sealant we’ve mentioned above makes it highly resistant to stains, grime, and all of the other stuff that typically sticks and accumulates on shower walls. For as long as it is regularly resealed at least twice a year or so, cleanup shouldn’t be something you should be worrying about.

Cons of Granite Shower Walls

Bathroom with toilet, window blinds, vanity area, mirror, countertop, and granite shower wallHigh cost: Despite its obvious superiority and advantages, one of the main factors that drive people away from getting granite shower walls installed is the high price tag. It’s expensive. On top of that, because there’s so much care and time that goes into its installation, the installation can tack on to that already fairly high price tag as well.

Granted, granite shower walls will definitely be able to dramatically increase your home’s resale value but it’s still a considerable enough factor for you to consider upfront before you opt for it.

Requires resealing: There is a need for you to periodically reseal your granite shower walls. This is because the material is porous. When used as shower walls, this means that the granite will be constantly exposed to a wet environment.

This could also lead to issues further down the wall if the granite isn’t sealed properly. If you are able to promptly maintain its resealing needs though, what you can be assured of is that your granite shower walls will work for you just fine.

Limited colors to choose from: Granite doesn’t come in a lot of color options. It’s a naturally occurring material, after all and the colors you can find are those that are naturally produced. This means that your color options will turn out to be fairly limited.

Regardless, the colors that they do come in with are fairly stunning and you can be quite guaranteed that they will amp up the elegance in your shower area. For a similar style with more colors one could consider using quartz shower walls.

Granite Shower Walls Cost

Bathroom with granite shower wall, tub, toilet bidet, vanity area, countertop, mirror, and windowsFrankly speaking, granite shower walls do not come cheap at all. On average and depending on your location, granite walls for most types of bathroom showers can range anywhere from $3,000 up to as much as $5,000 or even higher.

Other factors such as the area’s square footage, the kind of granite you bring in, and the labor costs in your area can come into play when it comes to calculating the all-in range for your shower walls but $3000 – $5000 is a pretty good range as an initial ballpark figure.

If you want to be able to break it down to the material alone, a sensible price range to expect would be anywhere from $40 to $70 per square foot. A standard square footage measurement for shower walls would be at around 70 square feet.

That calculates your raw materials to around $4,900 on the high end. Again, this pricing isn’t set in stone. You also need to consider things such as the availability of the material in your area, whether there will be additional freight costs, whether there’s insurance to be paid upfront given the high price tag of the raw material, and so on.

Cleaning Granite Shower Walls

Bathroom with granite shower wall, glass door, mirror, sink, faucet, and towel holderGranite is a strong and durable material. However, it can be highly susceptible to stains caused by soap scum, hard water, and other unsightly dirt and grime that can accumulate in a bathroom’s shower area. This can leave your granite shower walls looking dirty and dull.

Thankfully, there’s something that can be done about it. Here’s how to efficiently and easily clean up your granite shower walls and keep them in top shape all year round:

Habitually clear all the water from your shower walls with the use of a soft rag or a rubber squeegee. This will prevent it from accumulating the buildup of hard water stains, mold and mildew, and even soap scum in the long run.

Use a cleaning fluid that isn’t acidic to clean up the granite. Acidic cleansers can be harsh on the natural stone and can end up ruining its surface if you aren’t careful enough. Dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure that you rinse and dry it thoroughly after application.

If stubborn stains remain, you can apply a mixture of hydrogen peroxide or some ammonia, just a half cup to a gallon of water, on certain spots that need it. Scrub up against it with a soft cloth and make sure you rinse and dry it right after.

For hard water stains, you can buff it out with dry steel wool. Go with the finest one you can get as too many abrasives can end up ruining your natural stone’s surface. Some may also require professional cleaning so after some basic attempts and it doesn’t work, it would be best to call in for some help.

See more related content in our article about epoxy shower walls on this page.

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Written by Kristel - Author

Kristel Coleongco is a published author and a professional leadership mentor with an MBA from the University of St. La Salle. She also sketches and paints, which stems from her interests in creative and fundamental interior design. She is skilled in feature writing and is recognized by the Philippine Information Agency as a national IWAG award recipient.

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