The Buyers Guide to Tiles & Wall Panels

The Buyers Guide to Tiles & Wall Panels

Posted by Kristin Kudeva 17th May 2023

How you finish your bathroom can complete the full look and style, so it’s important that you make the right decision in the tiles or wall panels that you choose.

Each option features various benefits and styles and the decision depends on what would best complement your bathroom environment.

Types of Bathroom Wall Finishing

A Modern Minimalist Bathroom Decorated With Marble-Effect Wall Panels, White Wall-Hung Vanity Unit and an LED Mirror

Ceramic Tiles

Traditionally ceramic is more commonly used as bathroom wall tiles and not as often on floors as they are not as durable within high-traffic environments. Porcelain, on the other hand, is more dense and therefore harder and less water absorbent, so is preferred on bathroom floors, but their extra weight make them less favoured for walls.

Our selection of ceramic wall tiles come in various designs and sizes, allowing you to customise your look.

You’ll find that there’s not a huge selection of ceramic tiles that are recommended for bathroom floors, however we have a wonderful selection you can use on floors which have a special protective glaze, which provides strength and helps prevent scratches and chips.

A Small Modern Grey Bathroom with Pattered Ceramic Tiles, Matt Black Heated Towel Rail, and a Stylish Toilet Unit

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are the ultimate choice for both bathroom walls and floors. The clay used to create porcelain tiles is much stronger than ceramic when fired, which provides a highly durable design.

Porcelain is recommended for high traffic environments like the bathroom and can even be used in your hallway, lounge or kitchen as desired.

This type of bathroom tile can also be used on walls for a coordinated look. Again, our selection of porcelain tiles come in various colours, patterns and styles ranging from small intricate tiles to large square tiles.

Remember If you’re installing tiles the sub floor needs to be secure and overlaid with 9mm plywood or preferably tile backer boards especially in wet areas because excess water and moisture can cause over expansion. If you’re planning a wet room, tiles will be your best option to create a complete watertight seal when combined with our WholeSeal complete waterproofing solution.

Bathroom Tiles Essentials

Grout is the compound which fills the gaps between tiles. To maximise the look of your tiles you can select the colour of grout you wish to incorporate.

At Wholesale Domestic Bathrooms, we have 9 grout colours to choose from including white, grey and charcoal. We recommend using a darker coloured grout on floor tiles and high traffic areas. For further information, have a read at our handy blog on how to tile your bathroom floor for tips and tricks.

Modern Bathroom with White Brick-Effect Tiles, a Shower Bath, a Wall Hung Basin Vanity Unit and Mirrored Cabinets

Wall Panels

Wall panels are made from acrylic or plywood with a high-pressure laminate and are used to protect walls from mould and mildew, making them a fantastic alternative to wall tiles. There are two types of wall panels - unlipped and tongue and groove.

Unlipped Wall Panels require trims because of their straight edges, the trim therefore holds the panels together. These trims come in a range of different shapes to fit every style of bathroom perfectly, these are usually available in silver and white to compliment your wall boards.

Hydro Lock Tongue and Groove Wall Panels click together without the need for a mid-joint, making installation easier and leaving a truly flawless finish.

Both unlipped and tongue and groove wall panels are completely waterproof, easy to install and keep clean and require minimal maintenance. No grout is used in the installation process of wall panels, removing a lot of time and effort in installation and upkeep. Most wall panels come 2400mm in height, which is the size of an average wall.

Our ceiling panels come 2700mm long and either 200mm or 250mm wide and are also tongue and groove meaning no joint trims are required.

Bathroom Tiles or Wall Panels – Which One to Choose?

We know the choice between bathroom tiles or wall panels can be overwhelming, so we’ve rounded up the pros and cons of each to help you decide what’s best for you.

The Benefits of Bathroom Tiles

  • Tiles tend to come in a wider variety of designs, allowing you to customise your design and find something to really suit your space.
  • Many tiles can be used on both walls and floors allowing a continuous look.
  • When cared for properly, tiles can last well over a decade making them a cost-effective investment.

The Downside to Bathroom Tiles

  • Tiles require grout, which needs regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking fresh and prevent the build-up of mould and mildew.
  • In terms of fitting, tiles take much longer to install and can be expensive to fit.
  • Tiles are also generally more expensive to purchase per m2.

The Benefits of Wall Panels

  • Wall panels do not require grout and are easy to clean.
  • They can be fitted over existing tiles in your bathroom.
  • Wall panels come in a variety of modern designs and patterns.
  • In terms of fitting, wall panels are much quicker to install.
  • Wall panels tend to be cheaper than tiles overall.

The Cons of Wall Panels

  • There is not as much design choice of wall panels than there is of tiles.
  • You cannot create a customised style with wall panels.
  • Wall panels generally provide less coverage than tiles due to being one sheet size.

So, there you have it, our pros and cons of bathroom wall panels vs tiles. In our opinion, one is not superior to the other and it all comes down to personal preference when choosing which option is best for your bathroom.

Shop our full selection of bathroom wall panels and ceiling panels online and in-store today.