How to Repair Shower Wall Panels
Shower wall panels are quickly becoming a popular trend as an alternative to ceramic tile walls in the shower. These panels are easy to install and available in quite a number of designs, color, and styles. They offer flexibility in installation and provide durability; however, like all other walling materials, shower wall panels are not immune to damage. They can be cut, sliced, or scraped off the wall. They may also need to be repaired when other installations in the shower are required. In order to repair damaged shower wall panels, total panel replacement may not be necessary. A good method is to patch up the damage to reduce repair costs. Read on for instructions.
Step 1 - Determining the Extent of Damage
If the shower wall panel has been sliced open or torn apart, the best way to repair it is to patch it with a square or rectangular replacement panel. Determine the area that needs to be patched by measuring the extent of the damage. It can be patched using a square or rectangular panel that will cover up the damaged portion. Measure the longest width and length of the damage to determine the dimensions of the patching panel needed. For example, if the width of the damage is 2-inches and the length is 5-inches, then the patching panel should have at least a dimension of 2.5x5.5-inches square (including a 0.5-inch allowance). When purchasing a replacement panel, choose a color or design that exactly fits the other panels. If an exact match cannot be found, then the closest color will suffice.
Step 2 - Cutting the Patch
Cut a panel with dimensions sufficient to cover the extent of damage on the wall panel. Position the patch over the damaged area on the wall and mark the perimeter. Remove the enclosed area that includes the damaged portion using a utility knife. Be very careful when cutting so as not to include the backer board or wall foundation behind the panel. Since the panel has been bonded to the wall with a strong panel adhesive, use of a chisel to remove the damaged panel. Test that the replacement panel fits perfectly. Make adjustments if necessary.
Step 3 - Installing the Patching Panel
Attach the furring strips to the area to be patched by using a strong adhesive. When the adhesive dries, apply adhesive to the bottom surface of the replacement panel and attach it firmly onto the wall. Remove any adhesive that oozes from the sides of the patch. To ensure that the adhesive is properly applied, follow the instructions. If the wall can be stapled, use a stapler to attach the replacement panel for added support after the adhesive dries completely.