Porcelain Slab Shower Walls: The Genius Hack No One Tells You About!

I always loved the marble shower look—but I didn’t love the price tag. If that’s you as well, read on! Matt and I figured out a solution (spoiler alert: it’s porcelain slab shower walls!). This solved ALL the problems we came up against while creating the perfect “marble lookalike” shower during our bathroom remodel.

And I didn’t just want a large format porcelain tile shower—I wanted ZERO grout lines. So what I wanted was large format porcelain panels!

During our original planning stages, when I found the shower inspiration pic below, I was sold. Glory, glory hallelujah! It was exactly what I was looking for! The photo showed slab shower walls with zero grout lines, just like I envisioned. It also had the dramatic marble veining I found so strikingly beautiful as a focal point.

Yes, I wanted the ultimate combination:

FUNCTION (slab shower walls, no grout lines)

+

BEAUTY (focal point in bathroom, dramatic marble veining)

But of course, there were some major drawbacks to getting the marble slab shower walls of my dreams.

THE 2 BIGGEST PROBLEMS WITH A MARBLE SHOWER:

Problem #1: Cost

Getting a marble shower isn’t cheap. In fact, to get the large shower size we envisioned, we’d need three marble slabs for our shower walls! That cost was incredibly high and would take a major chunk out of our budget.

Problem #2: High-maintenance

Marble is natural stone, and it’s pretty absorbent. This means that a marble shower can not only get discoloration from standing water or coloring in the shower products you might use, but it’s also more likely to get etched by any acidic materials in your shower products!

I also didn’t like that I’d have to buy special marble-safe cleaning products. I use natural cleaning materials, and my go-to combination of baking soda + vinegar would wreck havoc on our marble shower. (It also doesn’t fit in with the strategy I created and share with you in “The Essential Home Design & Strategy” here!😊)

OUR PORCELAIN SLAB SHOWER WALL SOLUTION!

We share the story of our search for the perfect shower material in more detail here, and we’ll share a brief version of it below as well:

While searching stoneyard after stoneyard for marble panels we could use for our slab shower walls (which also weren’t horribly expensive and had the dramatic veining look I wanted), we came across these large format porcelain panels. They were thin porcelain panels that looked SO much like marble.

It was love at first sight! As soon as I saw these porcelain sheets and the masterpiece of veining work, I knew they were the perfect shower walls for us! (Romantic, no?)

The news got even better once we learned that they were thin porcelain panels. Why? Read on!

BENEFITS OF PORCELAIN SLAB SHOWER WALLS OVER MARBLE

Benefit #1: Porcelain Slab Cost

The porcelain slab cost for three shower walls (to fit our exact shower dimension requirements) was just a fraction of the price of three marble slabs the same sizes!

PS: If you’re looking for the answer to the question “How much do porcelain slabs cost?” we can’t answer for every brand, but ours were just over $1,100 at the time we purchased them.

Benefit #2: Low-maintenance!

I’m not sure any labs have done an exact analysis to achieve a number on what I’m about to say, so I’m making up my own:

Porcelain slab shower walls are 87,000x times easier to care for than marble.

One of my favorite (verified) facts is this: porcelain slab shower walls don’t need to be sealed. I don’t need to be careful of any acidic ingredients in my cleaning or other showertime products. We’re not worried about our shower walls getting stained or damaged. It saves me valuable time. They’re perfect!

porcelain slab shower walls with large format porcelain panels, white
Want to “shop” more of our master bathroom? All of our sources can be found HERE!

Here are more photos of our completed porcelain slab shower walls!

We also have a quick video so you can see our shower in action! 🙂

PORCELAIN SLAB SHOWER WALLS:

Final Tips!

The one temporary drawback we came across was in finding a fabricator who would work with the thin porcelain panels, because they were so delicate. However, we were able to find someone who did a great job, and it all turned out well in the end.

Click to see the final issue we came up against (and solved) with these porcelain slab shower walls—plus a clever solution we found to make large format porcelain panels look even more like real marble!

Because we went with these porcelain sheets, we got our perfect “marble lookalike” porcelain shower walls WITH a low-maintenance material and an intact budget. And we’re so thrilled with our new slab shower walls that we feel like this is news the whole world should know!

PS: If you want to streamline your home (and your life!) like we have, we created THIS to help you do it!

Next…

  1. Our Master Bathroom: The Complete List!
  2. If you’d like our help immediately, check out our Plans & Design Guides page!
  3. Grab our FREE Interior Design Guide!
  4. 21 Kitchen Hacks to Make Your Life Easier!
  5. How we organized our bathroom vanity!

➨ See all of our house renovation projects here!

This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Cindy

    We are having this done RIGHT NOW, thanks to you and your fantastic posts about it! I’m confident it’ll look awesome. One question, though: the fabricator says he’ll have to cut the tile into three pieces to accommodate the shower niche. Did your fabricator have to do the same? It seems like you were able to maintain the look of one piece on the shower niche wall, so I’m just wondering. Thanks!

  2. Laura Beth

    What did you use for the floor? And shelves?

    1. Jess

      Porcelain—our other shower posts go into that in more detail!☺️ Just click on “Our House” and go to our Master Bathroom section!

      Enjoy!
      Jess

  3. Mohan Das

    Thanks for sharing this. How did you find the installer for this?

    1. Jess

      Hi Mohan! We got a recommendation from the supplier we bought it from!

      Matt and Jess

  4. Linda

    Hi! We are getting ready to purchase 3 porcelin slabs for big shower walls. We can’t decide between matte or polished finish. I currently have matte tiles & no maintenance (no water spots) so leaning toward matte finish porcelin. I think polished may show water spots and may need to use squeegie everday. Any suggestions?

    1. Jess

      Hi Linda!

      We went with matte and loved it!

      Enjoy!
      Jess

  5. tamela

    Can i use this for a new build?

    1. Jess

      Yes, absolutely!

      – Jess

  6. Peggy Standifer

    What kind of “shop” do I need to find for these panels. I live in Knoxville, TN area. Thanks, Peggy

    1. Svetlana Hill

      I live in the same area. Did you find a place that does them?

    2. Diana

      Hello Peggy, I too, am from knoxville and was wondering if you have had any success in finding this porcelain solid surface shower walls and an installer for them?

  7. Maggie

    I just picked similar porcelain tile for our shower. I hope it looks as nice as yours does!

    1. Jess

      Awesome! Send us a pic when yours is done, Maggie! 🙂

      Jess & Matt

  8. Stephanie

    Do you find these at a typical stone yard where you would look for granite and marble or did you find these at a tile store?

  9. Renee P

    How did you ensure that no water gets behind it? Especially, if there was no seal.

    1. Jess

      Hi Renee! The porcelain slab is impermeable and the joints are filled with grout to not allow water behind.

      – Matt & Jess

  10. Sarah

    When you say $1,000, is that per slab? And you got three? Thanks!

    1. Jess

      Yes and yes! 🙂 You’re welcome, Sarah!

      – Jess & Matt

  11. Emma Clemantine

    Your solution is really very good! I will also try this out in my bathroom. I am sure it will work wonders for my bathroom. Thank you for sharing this information with us. I really appreciate all the efforts made by you to create and share this article with us.

    1. Jess

      Thanks Emma!

      Matt & Jess

  12. Rajesh Sawant

    Your solution is really very good! I will also try this out in my bathroom. I am sure it will work wonders for my bathroom. Thank you for sharing this information with us. I really appreciate all the efforts made by you to create and share this article with us.

    1. Jess

      Thanks Rajesh!

      Matt & Jess

  13. Nick

    Does anyone know any good porcelain slap installers in the Long Beach CA area?

    1. Jess

      Hi Nick!

      Our recommendation would be to first talk to the shop you’re purchasing your porcelain slab from–they might know of some great installers they’d recommend in your area! 🙂

      Jess & Matt

  14. Danielle

    I tried to find porcelain wall fabricator in Chicago and got one quote for $20,000 and one for 10,000. Why is it so much more expensive?

    1. Jess

      Hi Danielle!

      Does the $10k include materials? They also might be adding a buffer because of the fragility of the material (depending on which one you chose or will choose), but definitely keep shopping around, especially if that quote is JUST for labor!

      Matt & Jess

    2. Steve

      Because the fabricator thinks you might pay it.

      1. Jess

        Definitely always another possibility! 🙂

  15. Erin OConnor

    I have found that the install & fabrication cost of porcelain slab is much greater than granite or marble in Southern California. Have you experienced this?

    1. Jess

      Hi Erin! Happy to help! What costs were you quoted for porcelain vs granite & marble?

  16. Laura

    What was the cost?

    1. Jess

      Hi Laura! Ours were just over $1,100.

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