Acrylic vs Tile Shower: Which Is Better?

When planning a bathroom remodel, one of the most significant decisions you’ll make involves selecting the right material for your shower. Two popular options are acrylic and tile. Both materials have their benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice for your space will depend on several factors, including your budget, design preferences, and maintenance willingness. This comprehensive guide will compare acrylic vs tile showers, helping you make an informed decision for your bathroom.

Acrylic and Tile Showers: An Overview

Before we compare the two, let’s clarify what we mean by acrylic and tile showers.

Acrylic Showers

Acrylic showers are constructed from sheets of acrylic material that are reinforced with fiberglass. The sheets are molded into specific shapes to form the shower base and walls, creating a seamless and water-resistant enclosure.

Tile Showers

Tile showers are built with individual tiles adhered to a waterproof membrane or backer board. These tiles can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, stone, and glass, offering endless possibilities for customization.

Now that we’ve defined both options let’s delve into the pros and cons of acrylic vs tile showers.

Acrylic Showers: Durability Meets Ease of Maintenance

Acrylic showers are known for their durability, simplicity, and low maintenance. However, they do have some considerations to be aware of.

Benefits of Acrylic Showers

  1. Durability: Acrylic is a non-porous material that resists cracking and chipping, ensuring your shower retains its sleek look over time.
  2. Ease of Cleaning: Acrylic showers are easy to clean due to their smooth, non-porous surfaces. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaner will keep them looking new.
  3. Installation: Acrylic shower enclosures are faster and easier to install than tile showers, which can save on labor costs.

Considerations for Acrylic Showers

  1. Design Options: While acrylic showers come in a variety of colors and styles, they do not offer the same level of customization as tile showers.
  2. Scratch Potential: While durable, acrylic can be susceptible to scratches. However, minor scratches can usually be buffed out.

Tile Showers: Customization and Style

Tile showers are highly valued for their aesthetic appeal and customizability, but they require more upkeep than acrylic showers.

Benefits of Tile Showers

  1. Customization: Tile showers offer virtually limitless design possibilities. You can select from various tile materials, sizes, colors, and patterns to create a unique look that matches your style.
  2. Value Addition: A well-designed and installed tile shower can increase the value of your home, making it an attractive option for homeowners planning to sell in the future.
  3. Repairability: If a tile cracks or chips, you can usually replace the affected tile without disrupting the rest of the shower.

Considerations for Tile Showers

  1. Maintenance: Tile showers require more maintenance than acrylic showers. The grout lines between tiles can collect soap scum and mold, requiring regular cleaning and occasional resealing.
  2. Cost: Tile showers are generally more expensive than acrylic showers due to the cost of the tiles and the labor-intensive installation process.
  3. Installation: Tiling a shower requires skill and experience to ensure a proper fit and waterproof seal. This process takes longer than installing an acrylic shower.

Acrylic vs Tile Showers: Making Your Decision

The choice between an acrylic and tile shower will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize low maintenance, durability, and lower costs, an acrylic shower might be the right fit. However, if design flexibility, aesthetics, and home value are your top priorities, a tile shower might be your best option.


Whether you choose an acrylic or tile shower, the most important thing is that the final product meets your needs and enhances your daily shower experience. Both options have distinct advantages, so weigh the benefits and drawbacks of acrylic vs tile showers carefully before making your decision. The right choice will contribute to a bathroom you’ll love for years to come.

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