When decorating the walls of a bathroom, most people choose tiles. The reason tiles are so popular is because of their waterproof properties - they can be an effective way of protecting the wall beneath from water damage. Tiles are also much easier to scrub dirt away from than surfaces like paint or wood panels. On top of this, tiles can also be a great decorative feature.
On the surface, tiles may seem like the best option for decorating bathroom walls with. But what if there was another solution that was even better suited to your bathroom?
Shower panels may be just that solution. Not only are shower panels waterproof and easy to clean, but they also have added benefits. Below are just some of the reasons why shower panels could be a better option than tiles.
What are shower panels?
Shower panels are large panels usually made out of a plastic material like PVC. They can be manufactured to look just like other materials including wood or stone. You can even buy shower panels that look like ceramic tiles.
Shower panels are fixed onto the wall using an adhesive glue. This is very different to tiles, which are applied to a wall using grouting - a mix of cement, water and sand. Another key difference is the fact that individual shower panels are generally much larger than individual tiles. You can buy shower panels as metre wide strips, while tiles are typically 60cm by 60cm.
Why choose shower panels instead of tiles?
There are several reasons as to why you may want to choose shower panels instead of tiles. These reasons are listed below.
They’re more affordable
Covering a bathroom wall with tiles can be expensive. The price could be particularly high if you choose to hire a professional tiler - which most people find is the most convenient option given that it can be quite intricate work.
When choosing shower panels, you often get more value for money. While custom shower panels can be quite pricey, shower panel kits tend to be a lot cheaper. The fact that you can more easily install them yourself also makes it easier to save money on labour.
They’re less fragile
Once applied to a wall, tiles can be quite robust. However, a lot of people end up breaking tiles while fitting them - especially ceramic tiles - by dropping them or applying them incorrectly.
With shower panels, it’s much more difficult to damage them while handling them. If you’ve had experiences with broken tiles in the past, it might be worth switching to shower panels.
They’re simpler to install
Tiling can require a lot of precision. You need to make sure that the surface is totally smooth and prepared before adding tiles and you need to make sure that grouting is applied smoothly and evenly. Many people hire a professional tiler to do the work for this reason.
Shower panels are contrastingly fairly easy to fit. Firstly, there are much less panels to install than tiles, reducing the time it takes to install them. You don’t have to worry about grouting as it’s all glue-based. Cutting shower panels into shape can also be easier.
They’re simpler to maintain
While tiles can be easily wiped clean, the grouting between the tiles can be trickier to keep clean. If you’re not careful, grouting can become discoloured as a result of scum and mould. It may require rigorous cleaning to get this grouting looking new again - or you may have to regrout the wall completely.
Shower panels do not use grouting, so you don’t have to worry so much about stubborn mould growth or tough dirt stains. If you find cleaning the bathroom a chore, switching to panels could make your life a lot easier.
They’re available in a much more diverse range of styles
Tiles come in all different colours and sizes nowadays. However, they don’t have anywhere near the same limitless possibilities as shower panels when it comes to styles. Tiles will always look like tiles, but shower panels can be designed to look like any other surface.
You can buy shower panels that look like distressed oak timber boards. You can also buy shower panels that look like concrete, marble or granite. You can even buy panels that look like tiles - which could be a good option if you like the look of tiles, but also want the practical benefits of shower panels. Alternatively, you can explore an endless range of synthetic and futuristic textures from white and glossy to black and sparkly.