Showers using corrugated metal are becoming popular by bringing modern industrial style to the bathroom.
But corrugated metal is not a traditional material for a shower area. So naturally, many questions will arise if you consider using this material.
You may be wondering will my corrugated tin shower walls rust or create mold? Is it waterproof, and where can it be used in my shower space?
In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and more. There are also tips on installing and cleaning corrugated metal. With the information we present here, you will be able to decide if corrugated metal is the right choice for your bathroom.
Can You Use Corrugated Metal in the Shower?
Originally, corrugated metal or galvanized sheet metal was used in shipping containers and as metal roofing and siding for warehouses and other industrial buildings. But due to its strength and durability, corrugated metal has been adapted to homes.
Is Corrugated Metal Waterproof?
On its own, corrugated metal is not truly waterproof. You must apply a waterproof primer or membrane to make corrugated metal waterproof.
This waterproof primer also must be checked and possibly reapplied every few years so that galvanized steel can maintain the ability to remain waterproof.
Also, any holes or cracks in the metal can allow water to seep inside and bypass the waterproof primer.
Will Corrugated Metal Rust in the Shower?
Since it’s galvanized, corrugated metals are naturally resistant to rust but not immune to it.
So if you create a rustic tin shower with corrugated walls that receive heavy doses of water daily, they will eventually rust. But it would take a very long time, likely 10 to 20 years, for this rust to manifest.
Properly cleaning and maintaining your corrugated metal can help keep the rust away for the lifetime of your shower.
Will Mold Grow On Corrugated Metal in the Shower?
It is possible for mold to grow on corrugated metal, although this type of surface is not mold’s preferred breeding ground.
If mold were to develop on galvanized steel, it would be easy to clean off due to the non-porous nature of this material.
You also don’t have to worry about mold eating away at corrugated metal like it would drywall or wood.
Where Can Corrugated Metal Be Used in the Shower
Shower walls are a popular option when it comes to galvanized sheet metal.
Indoor showers benefit from corrugated metal’s moisture and mold resistance, while outdoor showers benefit from its durability and structural integrity.
Not to mention the rustic industrial flair that comes with shower walls made of corrugated metal.
You will find that corrugated metal works best with walk-in showers. While an enclosed shower is still possible, installing a door can be more difficult.
Similar to shower walls, a bathtub surround is another popular choice when you want to bring galvanized steel into the bathroom.
Corrugated metal acts as a great protective barrier preventing the drywall behind the steel from getting wet. And in bathtubs, splashes are bound to happen.
Also, compared to a more traditional bathtub surround material like tile, corrugated metal is much easier to clean and maintain and less expensive.
How to Install Corrugated Metal in the Shower
Use Flashing Tape
The flashing tape will be necessary for the installation process. You will likely use flashing tape in the corners and anywhere the corrugated metal touches the floor or your tub.
The flashing tape will help protect your tub or floor from being scratched and can prevent water from getting behind the metal and causing damage.
Be Mindful of Your Backing
Your corrugated metal gets screwed directly into the wall, so you should be mindful of what you’re screwing into.
If you lack faith in your drywall, you can place plywood over your drywall and screw your galvanized steel into that. There are also many water-resistant sheetrock options available.
Sealing Your Corrugated Metal
Your galvanized steel should be treated or sealed with a waterproof primer for shower use.
On its own, corrugated metal can resist the damaging effects of water, but if you want your galvanized steel shower to last for many years, you should consider a waterproof sealing product.
Cutting Openings Can Be Difficult
One of the most difficult aspects of installing a corrugated metal shower or bathtub enclosure is cutting the openings for the faucet and showerhead.
Most saws will struggle with this job and you are best off using a pair of tin snips and cutting the openings by hand.
Overlapping Is Okay
There is no problem with overlapping sheets of corrugated metal. However, due to the valleys or ridges in these sheets of metal, they can overlap with ease, making your installation process go much more smoothly.
How to Clean Corrugated Metal Shower
What Should I Use To Clean a Corrugated Metal Shower?
You don’t need to buy any special products from the store to clean galvanized steel.
You can use hot water with soap and a large brush. Hot water and baking soda with a sponge can work just fine for more stubborn stains.
How Often Should I Clean a Corrugated Metal Shower?
At the very least, you should clean a corrugated metal shower at least once a month.
You might be able to get away with cleaning it every other month, depending on how heavily the shower is used. But if you want to keep your steel at a pristine shine, then weekly cleaning should do the trick.
What Products Should I Avoid Using?
Avoid using anything that has vinegar.
Vinegar is a popular home remedy to many bathroom ailments like mold. But vinegar has the ability to create rust on galvanized steel quickly.
Bleach is also not great for corrugated metal, and in most cases, you should avoid any harsh chemical cleaner.
At around 15 to 20 years, the steel’s galvanized protective coating will wear away, causing the corrugated metal to rust. Once it begins rusting, you’ll likely want to replace it, but the actual steel itself can last your entire lifetime.
You can paint over your corrugated metal walls with latex enamel-based waterproof paint. However, while it can be done, painting any type of shower wall opens you up to other issues and, in this case, takes away from the rustic industrial appearance of corrugated metal.