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Are wall panels better than tiles?

Technology and overall design used in bathrooms has moved along quite a long way in recent years, especially since people got over the green bathtub (remember those?). From shower enclosures, to freestanding tubs right through to wet rooms – where the whole bathroom is turned into a shower cubicle. Today, bathrooms are even easier to keep clean, maintain and make into more luxurious spaces thanks to bathroom panels and the innovations made in that area.

Wall panels in bathrooms, in general, are a relatively new concept and while they certainly do seem to be full of promise, are they any better than tiles? That's something that we aim to explore here.

Are bathroom wall panels any good?

Bathroom wall panels, in general, can be a great alternative. For one thing, they can cover a larger space for less financial outlay than wall tiles. When it comes to design, there is also very often more options to choose from. There are several other advantages that panels have over tiles, including:

Easier to replace

They can be easier to fit

Panels can be easier to keep clean than tiles

A bathroom wall panel is, essentially, a hard-wearing and waterproof covering that is designed to be fitted within ether a shower enclosure or general bathroom area as an alternative to wall tiles. These panels are often, but not always, sold in kit form – they are also sold as separate items as can be seen in the collections here.

There are lots of colours and designs to choose from too, from marble effect to something a little more dazzling like the Black Galaxy option perfect if you want some sparkle in your life. Many panels are also perfectly suited to be placed directly on top of tiles, making your design life even easier.

With bathroom wall panels are non-porous, they are very easy to clean and keep clean – very often requiring just a cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner.

What is needed in a wall panel?

What is required in a bathroom wall panel? Firstly, and most obviously, the panels need to be waterproof. Your bathroom walls, either around the bath or a part of the shower enclosure, are within what is called the ‘splash zone’.what does this mean? It means they are going to get wet. A lot.

Wallpaper is generally completely unsuitable, even though many people still use it around the bath. Wood and regular paint are also not good choices, and this because they are just going to get damaged by moisture – either by direct contact with the water or by the way of steam. In the end, going for one of these options, you are either going to end paying through the nose for repairs and touch-ups or you will just have a bathroom that you won't want to spend any time in.

As with tiles, bathroom wall panels provide excellent water resistance. Where they surpass tiles in this regard though is the fact that they do not have grouting. What this means for you, apart from being easier to install, is that wall panels are completely waterproof.

Your bathroom walls are also going to have to look amazing, right? Just keeping water and moisture out isn’t going to be enough – not when the bathroom is supposed to be a space where you can relax after a tough day. There is also the fact that bathroom wall panels are much easier to fit and maintain. Keeping those points firmly in mind, you are going to have a much easier time in deciding whether to go with tiles or panels.

Another massive benefit of the bathroom wall panel is purely aesthetic. Panels are attractive, modern and they can give you the bathroom that you have always wanted with the minimum of effort. With lost of design styles to choose from too, you won’t be soon disappointed.

The overall style that you are looking for is going be a factor too, of course. Bathroom wall panels say 'sleek and modern' while tiles are more 'traditional and 'safe''. Whatever your taste is, and the styling of the bathroom as a whole, will play a role in your decision making.

In conclusion

Bathroom wall panels have a lot going for them, but so do tiles. In the end, it is going to come down to personal taste – as well as maybe a few other considerations too:

They are faster to install

You usually require fewer panels than you do tiles (much fewer)

No special skill-set is required – there’s generally a knack to installing tiles

Even if the above considerations are not an issue for you, it is still a matter of personal choice. All in all, though, wall panels are usually the better option for many people.