It used to be that the only way to get the tile look was — to install tile. Tile can take days to install, is difficult to clean and has to be maintained to prevent mold and water leakage. In the past, you couldn’t have both the visual appeal that comes with tile with easy maintenance too. Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre now has an answer that will satisfy both desires: MAAX Utile.
Here’s how Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre’s plumbing experts compare traditional tile to Utile.
Style & Design
Because Utile comes in a variety of colours and textures that are more sophisticated than an ordinary tub surround, you can match the look of custom tile. MAAX Utile looks like tile, complete with the aesthetic appeal of grout lines. Some even have funky patterns, like the Vertigo pattern pictured below.
Tile can take up to three days to install properly and a custom tile shower is highly specialized work, especially if it contains patterns with multiple colours. First, each tile needs to be glued and set in place for 24 hours. If there are any mistakes, or the spacing isn’t right, any adjustments will cost even more time. Then after the tiles are set, the spaces between the tiles need to be grouted. This can take hours, and the grout needs another day to set. Once that’s complete, the grout needs to be sealed with a grout sealer and left to dry.
MAAX Utile, on the other hand, can be installed by most handymen in less than a day. Your installer only needs to cut holes for plumbing, then slide the walls into place and lock them with MAAX’s patented Ulok system.
Utile is easy to maintain as well. While the grout between tiles needs to be maintained to stay watertight, Utile is completely non-porous. Simply spray your shower with your preferred cleaner, then wipe and rinse.
With tile, you need to scrub the grout lines to prevent mildew and soap scum buildup. This is more time-consuming and will be unsightly if cleaned improperly.
Both tile and Utile are durable over long periods of time. While it’s not likely that you’ll damage the tile in your shower, big swings in temperature can cause them to crack. Replacing tiles involves removing the broken tiles, re-setting, grouting and sealing the new ones. If the manufacturer of your tile discontinues your pattern in the meantime, you’ll be stuck with a non-exact match.
Utile is durable and long-lasting as well. Because the walls are each one thick polymer piece, there is nothing to chip or crack. Utile also comes with a 10-year limited warranty should it prove defective.
Summary: Custom Tile Vs. MAAX Utile
|Custom Tile||MAAX Utile|
|Stylish design with a variety of colours and textures||Stylish design with a variety of colours and textures with the aesthetic appeal of grout lines|
|Specialized work — can take up to three days to place, grout and seal||Most handymen and plumbers can install in less than a day|
|Requires scrubbing of grout lines to prevent mildew||Simply spray with your preferred cleaner, wipe and rinse regularly|
|Damage to grout can lead to water leakage||With Utile’s patented Ulok system, these shower panels interlock without any water leakage|
|Durable, but chipped or cracked tiles can be difficult to replace||Durable and long-lasting, with a 10-year limited warranty|
It’s rare for a product to achieve so much visually with very little downside, but as you can see, Utile is an innovation that could change shower design forever. It cleans just like a regular tub surround, but carries the look of high-end tile.
For more information on Utile and Robinson’s available products, call or stop by your local Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre.