View Full Version : Ceramalite or laminex panels for shower walls?

5th Jun 2006, 10:45 PM
Can anyone relate good or bad experiences using either of these products? They seem pretty similar. One advantage of the laminex panels is availability of mouldings for joins. I need to install three walls, 1800H x 900W.

5th Jun 2006, 11:11 PM
It is cheaper to tile than use them, nearly twice the cost. You can buy decent tiles for about $14 m2 plus a tub of adhesive for $32 + grout, 5m2 would be sufficent for 3 walls around the average shower.
If the walls are in good codition iwould tile, as on top of those pannels you need there adhesive ( liquid nails works)
As limipanel is about $200 a sheet, you would save some money

6th Jun 2006, 12:28 AM
We installed the Ceramilite, quite happy with the results.

Different materials, ceramilite is basically tempered hardboard (masonite) covered back & front with a hard proprietary coating; lamipanel is phenolic laminate (ie. thick laminex).

If you go the ceramilite, get twice as much adhesive as you need, then return what you don't use. Our shower was prevously tiles over a sound cement screed. The tiles came off OK, leaving the screed in good nick, but we used more adhesive than the directions stated, ended up doing the midnight run to Safeway halfway through a sheet for more liquid nails.

Good luck...........cheers............Sean

6th Jun 2006, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'd tile if I was confident of doing a good job, but I'm not. Having never tiled before I'm afraid I'll end up with a botched job that looks lousy or ends up costing me more to fix.

6th Jun 2006, 02:16 PM
Can anyone relate good or bad experiences using either of these products? They seem pretty similar. One advantage of the laminex panels is availability of mouldings for joins. I need to install three walls, 1800H x 900W.

I installed Ceramilite in the en-suite around five years ago based on SWMBO desire to eliminate the grout joints which over the years discolour.

Would I use it again - no

Why - When scrubbing the silicon lines along the bottom of the shower with a tooth brush, (I did use the Ceramilite silicon sealer) I found that when scrubbing into the corners with a toothbrush, the head hit the opposite wall causing bruising of the masonite and the finished surface has lifted. The masonite colour contrasts markedly against the pale white/blue pastel colours of the ceramilite. Still trying to come up with a suitable fix.

A very sharp, fine toothed saw is also required to cut the ceramilite without chipping the finished surface.

6th Jun 2006, 02:37 PM
Personally I'd always prefer tiles. However, some people hate cleaning tiled shower enclosures, hence a preference for this stuff, although as Kev has pointed out, that might not be all it's cracked up to be.

We have Lamipanel in our shower (put there by previous inhabitants). It's OK to clean but the joining strips and so on look a bit tacky.

Tiling isn't that hard, you just need to lay it out right. Having said that, I just paid someone to do ours because I hate it. It's about $30-35 a sq. metre to lay.

6th Jun 2006, 05:40 PM
I have covered the walls of our shower with a product made by Hardy's which was a cement sheet with a baked on smooth white enamel type surface. I bought it when Bunnings took over Hardwarehouse and stored it for about 4 years untill I was ready to use it. It has been in our shower for about 6 years and no problems.

It was about the same cost as tiles but my wife preferred it as cleaning it is so much easier. At the time I let her make the choice of this or tiling and she is still happy not having to clean the grout between the tiles. It was easier to install as well.:D


10th Jun 2006, 01:37 AM
I did my mothers bathroom in lamipanel a number of years ago.
I have no beef with the panel its self, but the extrusions for joining & trimming it are crap.
I would look for an alternative trim option.

10th Jun 2006, 11:21 AM
I agree with soundman on this one.

Have lamipanel in bathroon for at least 10 years. Has worn well and is easy to clean but joins are rubbish.


10th Jun 2006, 08:23 PM
Many thanks for the responses.

I've bought two inside corner trims which I agree look cheap and nasty, but do they work and last? If not I'll look for alternatives (does anyone know of any), but if they work okay then I think I could live with them.

11th Jun 2006, 12:43 AM
The Halifax Vogel Group (and I'm not talking about English folk dancers here) have a brilliant product called Seratone (http://www.halifaxvogel.com.au/Product-Detail.asp?ProductID=1110). It is a high density, oil tempered fibreboard coated with a 120 & 160 micron polyurethane paint.

This stuff looks fantastic, is hard wearing and it is available in a good range of colours esp. metallics. It is ideal for wet areas. It is also good for splashbacks, the metallics look like glass.

The joiners are colour matched anodised aluminium and are good quality.

Check out the installation instructions (http://www.halifaxvogel.com.au/images/documents/SeratoneInstallationMarch2006.zip) so you can get a better handle on what this product is like.

journeyman Mick
11th Jun 2006, 12:04 PM
The Halifax Vogel Group (and I'm not talking about English folk dancers here)...............

we're not that silly, everyone knows that they make bread don't they?:confused: ;)


11th Jun 2006, 12:46 PM
Didn't Rebecca Gibney star in that ? :)

pedro the swift
5th Jul 2006, 02:20 PM
Hello to all, new here. Looks like I will be looking in fairly often to get tips.
Re Ceramalite vs Lampanel.
I did a bathroom/shower recess many years ago in another state with Lamipanel. My first adventure in bathroom reno. It went very well and I was extremely pleased with the result. Found Lamipanel easy to work with and install.
I definetly prefer it to tiles, particularly in timber walled framed homes as they tend to move and tiles crack off the wall. Grout is hard to clean and also needs redoing every so often.
I have recently completed a reno to our ensuite shower etc in Lamipanel and it turned out very well.(my opinion). If I work out how to I may post some pics.
I looked at Ceramalite but decided against it because it seemed to be a lot thinner than Lamipanel and I didnt like the "tile" lookalike grooves.
I am planning to do the main bathroom again in Lamipanel because the tiles are coming away from the villaboard. Its only the grout holdong them in place.
I have seen a friends place where they had what looked like Ceramlite around the bath/shower and it had stared to delaminate badly due to moisture getting under the edge, I suspect. They replaced it with tiles!

6th Jul 2006, 12:49 AM
Welcome Pedro. A couple of questions...did you fix the Lamipanel to cement sheeting or similar, or ust onto ooden studs?

What about the joining and trimming details. Are you happy with them, or did you find some alternatives?

pedro the swift
6th Jul 2006, 10:57 AM
Hi Jb, When I did the ensuite(two years ago) I fixed the lamipanel to the wall sheeting as it was in relatively good condition. I had to do the job as the tiles in shower recess were bulged out about two inches. a good knock and the whole lot would have fallen off! dangerous.
When I pulled the tiles off I found the waterproof villaboard had a large crack in it and I had to replace it. That was a bit of fun as I had to cut the new piece into two to get it in the recess. one was cut to shower recess height((1800) and next piece was placed above it to ceiling.
I left the tiles on the shower hob , just scuffed them with a diamond wheel and covered them with lamipanel.
Also put lamipanel around the rest of the ensuite up to waist height (900mm or so).
The bare villaboard was covered with waterproofing compound ( two coats, used the whole four litres) , Copper tray in shower recess looked ok, floor tiles in ensuite and shower were ok so they were left.
Used the supplied cornices and edge capping supplied by Lamipanel and no problems encountered with that. Biggest headache was wether to mitre the junctions of vertical corners and capping or leave it a straight cover over.

It turned out to a rather satisfactory job (in my opinion) and looks good. I am planning to redo the main bathroom similarly (when time permits) in similar fashion.
If I can find out how post pics I would.
PS if you are gonna paint using second hand paint make sure its all the same colour (dont ask)

6th Jul 2006, 09:55 PM
Biggest headache was wether to mitre the junctions of vertical corners and capping or leave it a straight cover over.

Why would you need to mitre these? Aren't they covered by the joiners or trim?

Thanks for your post. Hope to start fitting lamipanel in a month or so when villaborad etc is fitted. Expect more queries about then!

pedro the swift
7th Jul 2006, 10:45 AM
Where the joiners in internal corners or such meet the top capping, the dilemma was wether to have the internal corner stop at the top of the sheet or have the top capping over the corner joiner or to have them meet via a nice mitre. Since my mitring skills are not exactly the best I chose to have the top capping above the corner joiner (if that makes sense to you or anyone).
I will try to post pics if I can.

As far as that goes it took me two trips to the hardware store and two lengths of cornice before I worked out how to cut it to fit into the existing cornice. Nothing more frustrating than cut to cornices and then finding one has done it in reverse or cut it 100mm short.:D

pedro the swift
7th Jul 2006, 10:47 AM
I noticed that there may be some confusion about just what I meant . I meant the corner joining strip and top capping strip not the sheet itself.

7th Oct 2006, 11:14 AM
Has anyone used Ceramalite in the Kitchen as a splashback? How has it lasted? Will it take heat?

7th Oct 2006, 09:54 PM
I have used ceramalite and lamipanel in shower recesses/bathrooms over the past several years and they are both great products. They look great in display bathrooms in shops and showrooms. The only problem they have is when you add water and soap.

24th Jan 2008, 08:16 PM

any other opinions on lamipanel versus tiles ?