Quartz stones for your shower walls offer several benefits, but there are also some disadvantages to consider before you make this important decision. Quartz is an expensive material, so it may not be the best choice if you’re on a budget. However, it’s benefits far outweigh the downsides.
Quartz shower walls are more durable than natural stone, have many design options, are easy to maintain, provide a consistent experience, and are very beautiful. However, they’re costly to install, heavy on the floor, and get easily damaged by harsh cleaners some of which are household cleaners.
What is a quartz shower wall?
Quartz shower walls are made of quartz material which is an engineered stone shower wall made up of 93% natural quartz and 7% pigment and resin in sheets ¼ or ½ inches thick. This thickness is less than the quartz used for countertops and quartz shower tiles hence easier to install. 1cm (0.39 inches) thick quartz slabs are also common for shower walls.
With quartz shower walls, there are no joints for caulking hence very few leaks from the material. These shower walls are also easy to clean and maintain. Quartz is nonporous hence resists the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria.
However, quartz has a brittle nature which makes it prone to chipping especially during installation. Quartz shower walls should be properly supported before being installed so as not to fall off later on. It can chip if too much weight is put on it depending upon how well it was mounted onto the studs backing up the drywall board. If proper support cannot be given then another material with higher strength could be used for installing these walls instead of quartz.
Quartz comes in many colors, prints, patterns, and sizes. You can also choose quartz slab shower walls with different textures such as natural stone or ceramic tiles and many others.
Quartz shower walls pros and cons
|Many design options||Easily damaged by harsh chemicals|
|Easy to maintain||Costly to install|
Quartz shower walls pros
Some of the benefits of using quartz shower walls include the following:
Quartz shower walls are highly durable because they don’t easily chip or break. They are highly scratch-resistant hence won’t get dents during normal usage. It also has a high resistance against weathering, chipping & breaking under heat exposure. Quartz has heat resistance up to 150°F (65.56°C).
Quartz is highly resistant against mold and mildew growth which makes the surfaces easier to clean in comparison with traditional options such as ceramic or porcelain tiles. Quartz is nonporous so it does not absorb water or support bacterial growth making it easy to keep clean when compared to other materials used for showers such as marble or limestone. Limestone and marble can be porous allowing bacteria to build up over time.
You have to be careful since mold and mildew can still grow on quartz especially behind the surface when there are leaks in the wall. You have to seal the spaces between the quartz slabs properly to prevent this.
Many design options
Quartz also comes in a variety of colors, which is great if you want to coordinate your tile with the rest of your bathroom. Many professionals and users prefer quartz shower walls because they can be manufactured to look the way you want with different colors, textures, and other elements. Since quartz is man-made, the design options are virtually limitless.
You can have distinctive, fine, or no veining at all, matte or glossy finishes, and even have the quartz slabs finished to look like gravel, leather, marble, ceramic, or other finishes.
Easy to maintain
Shower walls made from quartz are easy to clean and do not require much ongoing care once they have been installed properly. Professionals recommend this material for those who want their showers to look good without too much work involved on an ongoing basis.
You should clean quartz shower walls by wiping them with a damp cloth and a mild, non-abrasive cleaner such as a glass cleaner. You can also mix water with white vinegar to clean quartz surfaces by spraying the mixture on the surface then wiping them dry.
Slabs made of quartz are the most consistent when it comes to durability, thickness, color, texture, and level of maintenance. They won’t change over time unlike other materials such as tiles which vary in quality and durability.
Quartz is very beautiful, with its glass-like sheen, modern look, and wide range of colors all of which give it a luxurious look. It also comes in a wide range of colors to choose from. Quartz creates a clean and minimalist look since it doesn’t include grout lines which mess up the look of your shower walls. Unlike tiles, you can have very large slabs which reduce the number of joints as well. The slabs also look great whether you have framed or frameless shower doors.
It is also very strong, which makes it durable and long-lasting, as well as resistant to scratches and stains from water or mildew. This means it’ll keep its great looks for a long time. Quartz is not, however, stain-proof since harsh chemicals such as acids can still stain it.
Quartz shower walls cons
The disadvantages of quartz shower walls include the following:
Costly to install
Quartz can be quite expensive due to the materials needed for its construction (labor is also costly), making it more suited for those with high budgets who want something luxurious. This does not mean that cheaper versions cannot be found as they are available but they may not have all the qualities mentioned above.
It costs about $70-100 per square foot to install quartz on a horizontal surface like a countertop. However, that cost goes up significantly when it’s on a vertical surface such as a shower wall.
The materials for a quartz shower wall cost about $50 to $100 per square foot with a total of about $5,400 for most shower walls.
Quartz is quite heavy compared to other types of materials such as fiberglass and tiles. It can be tedious to install because of its weight.
Besides that, it heavily weighs down on the floor hence the need to know the weight limits of your floor before installing quartz slabs in the shower.
Quartz has almost equal weight to granite which is 20 to 25 pounds per square foot. The weight depends on the size and thickness with 2cm (0.79 inches) quartz slabs weighing 12 pounds per square foot while 3cm (1.18 inches) quartz slabs weighing 18-22 pounds per square foot.
However, quartz slabs for shower walls are much thinner at 1/4 or 1/2 inches of thickness hence weigh much less.
Easily damaged by harsh cleaners
Quartz can be damaged by extremely harsh cleaners making the surface dull in the process. These include both highly acidic and alkaline substances although the chance of having such a harsh chemical in the shower is low. As such, keep harsh cleaners away from quartz surfaces if you want to keep them looking great for a long time.
How to install quartz shower walls
Install quartz shower walls in the following steps:
- First, measure the size of your shower walls then purchase quartz slabs to fit these measurements.
- Start with the back slab first and mark the cutouts for spouts and any other protruding pieces. Drill these holes on the quartz slabs.
- Mix the epoxy glue and evenly spread it on the back of the slab.
- Firmly press the slab on the backerboard on the wall of the shower. Move it up and down and sideways to completely attach the slab to the wall. Finally, let it rest on the wall and the shower pan or shower tile.
- Next up, install the side slabs in the same steps as above. If you’re using more than one slab on one wall of the shower, apply glue or epoxy between the two slabs then press them towards each other. Scrap off the excess epoxy and wipe the epoxy haze off with a cloth dampened with acetone.
- Brace all the slabs against each other and against the shower pan for at least 24 hours or until the epoxy dries up.
- Remove all the braces from the slabs then apply silicone caulking. Use a putty knife to remove any excess caulking then let it dry for at least 72 hours.
- Refit the fixtures that were removed during the installation.
After 72 hours of drying, your shower will be ready for use. Besides this method, you can also choose laminated wall panels which are attached to an OSB board then sealed and trimmed to complete the process.
Quartz shower walls cleaning guide
To keep shower walls made of quartz clean at all times, follow these tips:
- Clean with mild soap and soft clothing. Normal cleaners such as dish soap are great at this.
- Never use alkaline or acidic cleaners. Harsh cleaners such as pine-sol, undiluted vinegar, and others shouldn’t be used to clean quartz surfaces.
- Use warm water and baking soda for tough stains. Soak the stain in a solution of warm water and baking soda then clean it off with soft clothing.
- Avoid bleach. Bleach will discolor and damage the surface of your quartz shower walls and should be avoided.
- Avoid scrubbing hard. Forcefully scrubbing the surface will dull and damage the surface.
Generally, most traditional bathroom cleaners aren’t safe for use on quartz since they’re too harsh.
Is quartz good for shower wall?
Quartz may be used for shower walls with no difficulties. Because there are few seams with no grout for dirt and debris to get trapped in, cleaning the surfaces is very simple. When cleaning the surface, avoid using acidic or alkaline cleansers since this might discolor your quartz.
Quartz is suitable for bathrooms in general. It’s a very versatile material. It may be used to make beautiful, elegant additions to any part of the bathroom, including shower walls, bathroom floors, shower floors, countertops, surrounds for Jacuzzis and bathtubs, and bath benches. To obtain truly waterproof, low-maintenance, and beautiful surfaces in your bath, consider replacing tile with quartz.