Wilsonart’s Wetwall product is a tongue-and-groove shower wall panel system that aims to rival ceramics, natural stone and wood in looks and performance, and undermine them in ease of installation.
“It’s a high pressure laminate product,” explained Michael Maynard, product manager for Wetwall, a Wilsonart Company, who walked me through the company’s booth at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. It works on a tongue-and-groove system—it locks, very tightly. It’s impervious to water.”
Of particular note for remodelers, the Wetwall panel system, available in a variety of patterns and slight textures, can be installed over not just fiberboard, but existing tile. “It’s a huge benefit, especially for installation in older homes.” Maynard compared the panel system to newer, thinner ceramic slabs that can also be installed over existing tile, but added that the big difference is in weight. “That’s one of the big challenges with ceramic slabs. They’re so heavy it makes them hard to transport and hard to install.”
Wetwall is lighter than ceramic, as well as more durable, making transport and install less labor intensive. “You could install it in two and a half hours,” Maynard claimed.
As of the writing of this article, the product is slated for a Q4 release.