Wet Panels VS Tiles: What’s the better bathroom alternative?

Wet Panels VS Tiles: What’s the better bathroom alternative?

Sep 1, '20

Whether you’re weighing up your options ahead of a bathroom renovation, or you’re looking for cost-effective ways to revamp your bathroom on a budget, one of the more popular questions you’re likely to find yourself asking in the process is this: what’s actually better for a bathroom, wet panels or tiles? 

Whilst opting for tiles is the most common, traditional solution to a bathroom renovation, in recent years, waterproof bathroom panels have grown exponentially in popularity as a stylish, modern alternative due to a number of factors including cost, ease of installation and style.

Keep reading as we walk you through our guide to bathroom wet panels here at The Panel Company. From price and value, longevity and style variations in comparison to traditional tiles, we’re here to weigh up all options to ultimately help you make the best decision when it comes to finding your ideal bathroom solution.

What’s the best material to use for shower walls - tiles or panels?

Typically - ceramic tiles are used mainly because of their water resisting capabilities, as the nature of tiles allows water to glide straight off. This doesn’t make them completely waterproof though, as, over time, the grouting can begin to gradually break down and allow water to seep in and harbour dirt, which leads to draining issues and could potentially lead to mould and mildew developing in your bathroom. 

In terms of style, tiling has also become quite dated over the years as the robust nature of tiles doesn’t leave much room for new variations or creative styles, leaving those who seek modern, stylish bathroom improvements looking for other decorating alternatives. 

And whilst tiles don’t necessarily take the lead in terms of appearance, they aren’t the recommended material to use in your bathroom either. If you’re looking to renovate your bathroom, removing existing tiles, cutting tiles and taking out all existing grouting before replacing with new tiles can make for a lot of mess, time and inconvenience. Whereas waterproof, wet bathroom panels are easy to install and are a lot easier to clean and maintain and can also be fitted over existing tiles, making the job a lot quicker and inevitably less stressful.

Though, if you prefer the timeless look of tiles, consider opting for a tiled effect bathroom panel. At The Panel Company, we offer a range of ‘tiled-look’ panels so you can mimic the timeless, traditional look without the work, heavy cleaning regime or traditional tricky grout lines and maintenance. From large stone graphite tile effects to crisp white tile effect panels, there’s something to suit all periodic decor styles without running the risk of mould or stained grout. 

Ultimately, the right answer to this question comes down to each person’s individual preferences and how much time, effort and money you’re willing to put into decorating your bathroom. 

What’s the cheaper solution, wet panels or tiles? 

Tiles may appear to be a cost-effective solution on the surface, as the mass-produced nature of tiles means the overhead costs can be kept relatively low - but the very nature of tiles means that although this is an affordable option, you’re a lot less likely to find the look you truly envisioned for your bathroom space. This could ultimately lead to you choosing to replace your tiles sooner, which would, in turn, make it a more expensive renovation solution.

With wall panels, this simply isn’t an issue. Wall panels come in an extensive collection of colours, styles and designs, so you’re sure to find the best fit for your design scheme. And whilst they appear slightly more expensive on initial comparison, they’re a lot easier to clean and maintain than tiles, which means you’re likely to get plenty of wear and enjoyment out of wall shower panels over the years. At The Panel Company, we’re home to one of the UK’s biggest collections of bathroom panels, catering to each of our clients’ individual requests. 

Whether you’re looking for contemporary bathroom panels such as our popular concrete or marble-look panels, or you’re looking for a range of patterned panels with a subtle sparkle, our team of panel specialists take the time to listen to each of our clients’ individual requests, so you can be sure we have something to complement even the most obscure renovations.

In comparison to wall tiles and other conventional forms of wall cladding, PVC wet panels are the relatively inexpensive option too. On average, it is at least 50% cheaper to install bathroom shower panels than traditional tiles. When you take into consideration the cost per square foot and the lack of specialists involved to install your wall panels - it makes perfect sense to consider wall panels as a very cost-effective alternative. Anyone with a basic level of DIY skill is able to install our range of tongue and groove wall panels effectively -  if you’re looking for more information on how best to fit wall panels, take a look at our 6-step guide.

Our range of PVC wall panels at The Panel Company are also made of the highest quality and are each 100% waterproof, which means they’re not only one of the cheaper options, they’re likely to last for years to come and offer true value for money. 

Are wall panels better than tiles?

We may be biased, but one of the main reasons why PVC bathroom panels are gaining such popularity is the ease, speed and efficiency in which they can be installed. As we’ve previously mentioned, traditional tiling and other cladding options require skilled DIY artisans and renovations can quickly become bigger, more time-consuming projects. 

Whereas shower panels, particularly those with tongue and groove fixtures like ours at The Panel Company, can be installed within a matter of hours - which offers endless renovation opportunities. Offering clients the ability to completely enhance their bathroom over a free weekend, our tongue and groove boards slot together seamlessly, even over existing tiles. 

This completely eliminates the need for expensive tools, skills or hiring specialists - saving you a lot of time, effort and money to achieve stunning renovation results. Not only could you see an entire bathroom renovated in as little as a day, but there’s hardly any dust or mess involved, allowing you to leave the rest of your property virtually undisturbed. You won’t have an endless array of workmen passing through your home, you can simply make the changes yourself with minimal effort required. 

How long do shower panels last? 

Due to their robust nature, our range of 100% waterproof shower panels will continue to look as new as the day you installed them with the right maintenance, which means they will last for years to come. All of our bathroom wet panels are each stain and scratch proof, as well as being completely water-resistant - which means they’re tough enough to deal with even the most demanding of footfall. 

With a simple cleaning routine involving a minimal wipe clean with warm, soapy water every week, your sleek, bathroom wall panels will remain good as new for years to come, regardless of what you throw at them. Here at The Panel Company, we take personal pride in our array of bathroom tongue and groove PVC panels, which is why we offer a 10-year no-quibble guarantee across our whole bathroom shower panel collection. 

Where do I start when selecting bathroom wet panels?

At The Panel Company, we take personal pride in knowing we cater for all clients’ individual styles and requests, which means that there are hundreds of bathroom panel styles to choose from. Whilst this could be overwhelming at first, it’s actually a lot easier to narrow down your styles than you may initially think. Take a look at our handy guide below as we show you how best to narrow down your choices, to help you visualise your dream bathroom. 

Colour - Be mindful of your ideal bathroom colour scheme when choosing from our range of bathroom wall panels. Are you wanting to use our shower panels sparsely with contrasting paint across other walls? Or are you simply wanting to use panels across the whole of your bathroom space? Whichever you decide, it’s important to remember which contrasting colours will compliment your space best. 

Texture - Are you looking to mimic a tiled, or concrete wall? Or are you simply looking for an array of bathroom wet panels with a sparkled fleck for extra detail? Whatever you decide, our range of shower panels has a vast range of pre-textured designs. From subtle marble patterns to brushed white walls or even panels mimicking a wood feel - we’ve got you covered at The Panel Company. 

Size of Panel -  Are you using panels across a specific space? Whether you’re adding half panels across the bottom of your bathroom walls, or you’re looking to fill your whole bathroom with panels, our shower panels are available in a vast array of sizes for convenience. Need help with sizes? Get in touch with one of our panel specialists and we’ll be happy to assist. 

Wet Bathroom Panels at The Panel Company

Here at The Panel Company, we’re one of the UK’s biggest PVC panel retailers, with physical stores across the country. Whether you’re looking to visit us in-store to witness the premium quality of our wall panels firsthand, or you’re simply looking for extra guidance when browsing through our bathroom panels online, our panel specialists are on hand to offer expert advice. Based in Rotherham, Birtley, Aston and Huddersfield, our physical storefronts showcase the very best of our bathroom wet panels, as well as an extensive collection of regular PVC panels for the home. 

However, if you’re unable to visit us in person and you’re still curious about our range of PVC bathroom panels, our online shop provides an easy, seamless experience. Simply browse through our Bathroom Shower Panels collection online to settle on your preferred panels. We’re so sure you’ll love our range of cost-effective bathroom panels, we offer a 10-year no-quibble guarantee. 


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