How to Choose Shower Wall Panels

confused man shrugging

Shower wall panels offer more design choices and easier maintenance than traditional tiles, providing greater design possibilities and maintenance convenience. But what should you look for in a quality panel?

Easy installation is guaranteed when using these panels; their tongue and groove design makes assembly effortless, without the need for massive grout lines that attract mould and mildew growth. Also, their lightweight 10mm thickness keeps installation costs down.

bathroom interior design with white panels and plant

1. Material

Tile remains the go-to material for shower stalls and other water-exposure areas, yet it has its drawbacks. While offering plenty of design possibilities, installing it requires extensive labour-intensive work that results in higher costs; additionally, grout can become discoloured over time due to soap scum buildup if not regularly maintained.

Bathroom wall panels, on the other hand, are easy to install and come in an array of designs and colours to complement any space and design scheme. In fact, today’s market includes bolder patterns alongside more classic marble looks.

Most products with waterproof backing feature a plastic core for easy cleaning, while many uPVC options are free from phthalates and BPA, making them more eco-friendly as well. Furthermore, tongue and groove systems keep panels watertight, deterring mould growth beneath their surfaces.

2. Style

Bathroom shower panels come in many styles to meet any taste or decor preference. There’s even the option of creating and having custom images printed onto them, adding an individualistic flair to any space.

PVC wall panels are among the easiest and most popular of the wall covering options available today, as they’re simple to install while remaining hygienic and can even easily fit onto walls that may not have as smooth a surface as plaster.

If you want to upgrade your bathing experience with something extra luxurious, acrylic shower wall panels offer an exceptional level of quality and durability. Plus, their water-resistant properties reduce mould and mildew buildup risk! Plus, they come in various designs, from marble effects to sleek modern ones!

3. Installation

Shower panels are an easy DIY project (though high-end materials such as cultured stone or laminate may need professional installation). They typically arrive oversized; to cut them to their proper dimensions, you’ll need scissors or a utility knife.

These 10mm-thick panels lock together easily in a tongue-and-groove style for effortless installation, as well as offering a fully sealed surface that resists mould and mildew growth. Plus, no grout is necessary so these low-maintenance alternatives make great alternatives to tiles!

Before applying panel adhesive and sealant, it’s advisable to perform a dry fitting test in order to verify that all panels fit together as planned when completed. You can use masking tape if necessary to keep panels in their proper positions during this step. It would also be wise to perform this step prior to installing interior corner trim, as this makes it easier to check whether panels are level.

4. Maintenance

Bathroom wall panels make cleaning much simpler than tiles; all it takes to keep them looking their best is wiping down with a damp cloth for maintenance and removal of dirt, mildew, and mould buildup. Thanks to being composed of nonporous materials, all it takes to keep these nonporous materials looking their best is a simple wiping down with a damp cloth!

Manufacturers typically provide care procedures for their panels. Ideally, it’s advisable to test any cleaning solutions on a small area of your panels to ensure they do not cause damage to their surface.

Notably, bathroom panel kits typically include any trims or sealants necessary for installation, making the process even smoother. Just ensure that the area you are working in is free from personal items and that all necessary tools (spirit level, measuring tape, pencil, utility knife, and fine-tooth saw) are readily available before cutting your panel, using masking tape strips around its back to avoid adhesives sticking prematurely!

Shower Wall Panel Styles and Patterns

Professionally installed shower wall panels offer an elegant alternative to tiles for bathrooms of smaller dimensions, such as cloakrooms. Easy to maintain and durable, these budget-conscious options provide easy upkeep while remaining stylish.

Wall decals tend to be cheaper than their acrylic counterparts and come in various designs and patterns. They can be installed onto surfaces made up of any material; however, new plastered walls make an ideal base.

Tile Effect

There are a few brands that specialise in creating shower wall panels that look like tiles, typically using simpler models with tile shapes on their surfaces but now digitally printed patterns make it easier than ever to replicate mosaic patterns or more elaborate large tile designs.

PVC-constructed models are among the cheapest on the market and come in an assortment of designs, such as stone, marble, and granite finishes. Easy to install without the need for grouting or maintenance costs incurred with other forms, they make great additions to bathrooms, ensuites, or cloakrooms alike.

Alternative acrylic panels come with thicker and heavier construction and come in various colours and styles. You’ll also find textures to suit all kinds of situations; these panels have tongue and groove fittings that allow them to be attached together using special joints for seamless, waterproof surfaces.

Wood Effect

Shower wall panels are an emerging bathroom trend, offering quick installation times and additional protection for walls near splash zones. Furthermore, they enable the quick setup of accessories like grab rails and shower seats without damaging them in any way.

Wood effect panels add an exquisite finishing touch to any style of bathroom decor, from traditional to contemporary styles alike. Natural-finish wood panels showcase their natural grain patterns for an organic aesthetic that works well in both traditional and contemporary spaces. Stained versions offer more colour variety to meet every bathroom palette.

Wood panelling should be treated as part of a humid environment; therefore, bathroom panels need to be designed accordingly. Look for moisture-resistant panels or water-proof paint coatings; for something truly bespoke, some manufacturers offer custom panels where you can upload photographs or designs directly for a truly custom touch.

Geometric Pattern

If you prefer the simplicity and architectural clarity of Scandinavian bathroom style, geometric pattern shower wall panels might be right for you. Smith & Fong’s Futura range of carved panels uses compositional geometric shapes to form squares and nested geometric patterns that are expressive yet interpretive of expression and interpretation.

Geometric bathroom cladding can be found on shower walls constructed with all kinds of materials, ranging from PVC and acrylic to high-pressure laminated vinyl on an MDF core. For an exclusive finish, bespoke panels made to your specifications with a variety of designs and colours are the way to go. Compared with tiles, most wall panel materials require less daily maintenance and cleaner options, such as cultured marble shower panels, which make deep cleaning between tenants much simpler, but note that cultured marble may be sensitive to steam or hot water.

Floral Patterns

Floral patterns are an effective and subtle way to add colour to a space, working well when combined with other decorative materials like wallpaper, fabric, or furniture or used alone for an updated and modern feel.

Utilising florals in your bathroom can instantly elevate its luxurious atmosphere and is especially suited to those who enjoy botanical-inspired aesthetics. Vivid floral patterns add a summery flare, while more subdued patterns are perfect for year-round use.

Florals don’t need to become permanent fixtures in your bathroom; you can add just a bit of floral inspiration through accent pieces such as throw pillows and wall art, or more permanently by installing framed floral print panels onto walls for instant chic and elegance.