Pros and Cons of Acrylic Shower Enclosures

What are the Pros and Cons of Acrylic Showers?

Acrylic shower enclosures have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. These enclosures are made from acrylic, a lightweight and robust material that offers several advantages. However, like any product, acrylic shower enclosures also have their drawbacks.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of acrylic shower enclosures to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right shower enclosure for your bathroom.

Photo Source: Newline Showers
Photo Source: Newline Showers


In New Zealand, acrylic showers are usually cheaper than tile showers. This is because they require less material, and lesser labour hours to be installed, when compared to tile shower installations.

This makes acrylic enclosures an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget or those looking for cost-efficient remodeling options. Acrylic shower enclosures provide an affordable way to enhance the appearance of your bathroom without breaking the bank.


Acrylic is a highly durable material, making acrylic shower enclosures resistant to cracks, chips, and breakages.  Not all acrylic showers are the same, it is important to buy good-quality acrylic showers so that the product can retain its appearance and functionality over an extended period of time.


Acrylic shower enclosures offer a good range of configurations such as 2-sided, 3-sided or alcove, neo and curved options. Their shower walls or acrylic wall liners can be either flat, corner, moulded or recessed. However, in New Zealand, most acrylic wall liners will be available in white only.   

Easy Maintenance

Maintaining an acrylic shower enclosure is quite simple! Acrylic is non-porous, meaning it resists the growth of mould, mildew, and stains. Cleaning an acrylic enclosure requires only mild soap and water, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals or specialized cleaning products. Furthermore, acrylic does not require regular sealing or polishing, reducing maintenance efforts and costs in the long run.


Acrylic is a lightweight material, making the installation of acrylic shower enclosures easier compared to heavier alternatives like tiles or glass. The lightweight nature of acrylic enclosures also minimizes stress on the bathroom walls, making them suitable for older or structurally weaker buildings. Additionally, if you ever decide to remodel or relocate, acrylic enclosures are easier to uninstall, and transport compared to bulkier materials.

Cons of Acrylic Shower Enclosures

Scratching and Fading

While acrylic is durable, it is more prone to scratching than materials like glass or stone. Over time, small scratches can accumulate, potentially affecting the appearance of the enclosure. However, minor scratches can often be buffed out with acrylic-specific polishes or cleaners. Acrylic can also fade when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, so it is essential to consider the location and exposure of the enclosure during installation.

Limited Heated Resistance

Acrylic has lower heat resistance compared to materials like glass or ceramic. Excessive heat can cause acrylic to warp or deform, making it important to avoid placing hot objects directly on the surface. This limitation may be a concern if you frequently use hot styling tools in the bathroom or have a steam shower that generates high temperatures.

Susceptibility to Harsh Chemicals

Certain chemicals, such as abrasive or acidic cleaners, can damage acrylic shower enclosures. Harsh chemicals can cause discoloration, scratches, or even weaken the material over time. It is essential to use only mild cleaning agents specifically formulated for acrylic or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid damage.

Leak Identification

We recommend that you get your acrylic shower installed by a professional. If not, a poor installation of an acrylic shower can lead to water leaks in the edges of the panel and can turn into a major issue.  Unfortunately, in most cases this will go unnoticed because the damage behind the shower unit is concealed behind the shower panels.  

In Conclusion

In conclusion, acrylic shower enclosures offer several advantages that make them a popular choice for homeowners. Their affordability, durability, and ease of maintenance make them an attractive option, especially for those on a budget or looking for a cost-effective remodeling solution.  

The versatility of acrylic enclosures allows for various configurations, although color options may be limited in New Zealand. The lightweight nature of acrylic makes installation easier and less stressful on the bathroom walls, while also offering the convenience of easy uninstallation and transport if needed. Furthermore, the proper installation of acrylic showers is crucial to avoid potential water leaks, which can go unnoticed and lead to significant damage behind the enclosure. 

In summary, acrylic shower enclosures provide a cost-effective, durable, and easy-to-maintain option for enhancing the appearance and functionality of your bathroom. By weighing the pros and cons outlined in this article and considering your specific needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right shower enclosure for your home.


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