The high-end, heavy-duty waterproof sheets are available in many colors, textures and patterns.

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Q: We are remodeling our bathroom to include a walk-in shower. We want to design a custom shower, but do not want to use tile. Do you have any suggestions on how we can build our shower stall using alternative materials?

A: Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up. If you’re not going to use tile, usually you need to first choose a premade shower base. Shower bases are factory-made and available in different sizes and materials. A cast-iron shower base can be a unique choice.

For alternative wall and ceiling materials, composite panels are becoming very popular for custom shower stalls. A composite panel is a high-end, heavy-duty waterproof sheet. The special wall sheets are made in many colors, textures and patterns. They can also be custom cut and joined together with special seams to create a one-of-a-kind look.

The main advantage with a composite panel is that it goes up in one piece without any grout lines.

Ed Del Grande is a master plumber and contractor and is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call.” Send questions to