Wall Panels vs Tiles: Which is the Best Choice for You?

Wall Panels vs Tiles: Which is the Best Choice for You?

Revitalizing your bathroom starts with the walls, and one of the most effective ways to achieve a fresh look is with wall panels. These panels not only offer a stylish alternative to traditional tiles but also outlast paint, proving to be a durable and aesthetically pleasing choice.

Known for their easy installation and low maintenance, bathroom wall panels are gaining popularity. With minimal cleaning requirements and a range of designs, these panels have the power to transform any bathroom space. Whether you’re considering a makeover for the entire bathroom or just a shower enclosure, wall panels are available in various sizes and styles, catering to different budgets and decor preferences.

Discover more about the benefits of bathroom wall panels and get insights on how to install them as you continue reading.

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How do bathroom wall panels work?

Bathroom wall panels, crafted from durable acrylic stone resin or moisture-resistant MDF, boast longevity and resistance to color fading, ensuring a waterproof finish. Unlike traditional tiles, installing these panels is a breeze. With large sheets that seamlessly fit together, the panels offer a swift and polished solution, eliminating the need for a specialized tiler and significantly reducing installation time.

How do bathroom wall panels work?

Once in position, these panels not only minimize bacteria buildup but also simplify maintenance with their non-porous laminate covering. Bid farewell to grime and the hassle of scrubbing dirty grout. Whether your bathroom needs a quick refresh, your tiles have seen better days, or you’re in the mood for a change, wall panels provide a speedy solution.

How do Bathroom Tiles and Bathroom Panels Differ?

Tiles, along with paint, have been a traditional choice for rejuvenating bathroom walls, whether it’s the entire space or the area around a bath or shower.

While crafting an impressive feature wall with tiles is an option, the process can be quite time-consuming. It involves purchasing and cutting tiles, hiring a professional for installation, and then attaching them to the wall. The process includes creating a mixture for tile attachment, installing, grouting for moisture sealant, and allowing them to dry.

Bathroom Wall Panel

Not only is this a lengthy procedure, but tiles are also more delicate compared to panels, making this route a pricier option for bathroom renovation.

What makes bathroom wall panels better than tiles?

Let’s break down the cost factor first. Panels are a budget-friendly choice—cheaper to buy, install, and replace if needed. On the flip side, tiles hit you with an upfront cost, often demanding a professional for installation. Tiles can be delicate, and if one breaks, it’s not just a matter of swapping it out. You’ll need to carefully refit it, matching the existing tiles.

Now, let’s talk materials. Most panels are crafted from PVC or water-resistant MDF, making them not only cost-effective but also more durable. Even in the unlikely event of a break, they’re easier on the wallet to replace.

Install the bathroom wall title

When it comes to installation, panels take the lead. Their lightweight design makes them a breeze to install with simple tools like screws and adhesives or by slotting them into place. Unlike tiles, which require meticulous placement of each square, ensuring straight lines and precise grout application, plastic wall panels come in sheets. This not only reduces installation time but also makes it a DIY-friendly project.

How can I install bathroom wall panels?

Fitting bathroom wall panels is a relatively straightforward process that can be accomplished with a few key steps. Here’s a basic guide to help you get started:

  1. Prepare the Surface: Before installation, ensure that the wall surface is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any existing tiles, wallpaper, or debris that may hinder the panel’s adhesion.

  2. Measure and Cut Panels: Measure the height and width of the walls to determine the panel sizes needed. Using a fine-tooth saw or a specialized panel-cutting tool, cut the panels to fit the dimensions of your bathroom walls.

  3. Apply Adhesive: Use a high-quality adhesive recommended by the panel manufacturer. Apply the adhesive evenly on the back of the panels, ensuring full coverage to promote strong adhesion.

  4. Fit Panels in Place: Starting from one corner, gently press the first panel onto the wall, aligning it with the level lines if necessary. Continue fitting the subsequent panels tightly against each other, ensuring a seamless appearance.

  5. Secure Panels: To enhance the adhesive bond, use screws or panel pins to secure the panels to the wall. Place the screws or pins along the edges and corners, ensuring they are not visible on the panel’s surface.

  6. Seal Joints and Edges: Apply silicone sealant to the joints between panels and around the edges to prevent water infiltration. Smooth the sealant with a damp cloth for a clean finish.

  7. Allow for Expansion Gaps: Leave a small gap around the edges of the panels to account for any potential expansion. This gap can be concealed with molding or trim for a polished look.

  8. Finishing Touches: Once the adhesive and sealant have cured, remove any excess material, and give your bathroom wall panels a final wipe for a polished appearance.

Common Question About Bathroom Wall Panels

Question #1: Can you put bathroom wall panels over tiles?

  • Answer: Yes, it’s often possible to install bathroom wall panels over existing tiles. This can save time and effort in removing the tiles, provided that the tile surface is in good condition.

Question #2: What do you stick bathroom wall panels on?

  • Answer:  To stick bathroom wall panels, it’s recommended to use a high-quality adhesive suitable for the specific panel type. This ensures a strong and lasting bond.

Question #3: Can bathroom wall panels be fitted horizontally?

  • Answer: Certainly, bathroom wall panels can be fitted both vertically and horizontally based on your preference and design goals. Horizontal installation can create a unique and modern aesthetic, enhancing the visual appeal of your bathroom.

Question #4: Which option is more water-resistant?

  • Answer: Both bathroom wall panels and tiles can offer excellent water resistance. However, wall panels are often designed with water resistance as a primary feature, making them a reliable choice for wet areas like bathrooms.

Question #5: Do bathroom wall panels or tiles provide better insulation?

  • Answer:  Neither bathroom wall panels nor tiles are known for providing substantial insulation. Their primary purpose is surface covering and aesthetic enhancement. For improved insulation, consider additional measures such as proper wall insulation or radiant heating systems.

Question #6: Are there eco-friendly options for both wall panels and tiles?

  • Answer: Absolutely, eco-friendly options exist for both bathroom wall panels and tiles. Look for products made from sustainable materials, recycled content, or those with recognized environmental certifications.

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