Shower Wall Panels vs Ceramic Tiles: Which is Better?


Getting the right wall covering in your bathroom is important both for its appearance as well as its function. And ceramic tiles have long been the go-to choice. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best. In the past decade, wall panels have emerged as an effective alternative to the conventional ceramic tiling in bathrooms.

So, which is better? Read on as we compare wall panels and ceramic tiles.

What’s needed

What do you need from a bathroom wall covering? First and foremost, it needs to be waterproof. Bathroom walls around the bath or shower are within the splash zone. That means they’re going to get wet time and again.

Materials like wood, wallpaper and standard paint are unsuitable as they’ll get damaged by the moisture. The result? Your bathroom won’t look the part and you will be continually paying for repairs.

Secondly, the wall covering needs to look great. It’s not enough to simply keep water out. Homeowners want their bathroom to be modern and stylish. Add to that ease of installation and maintenance, and you have a good idea of what to consider before choosing between tiles and ceramic tiles.

How do tiles stack up?

Ceramic tiles are used mainly because of their water resistance. They allow water to run straight off them. This doesn’t make them completely waterproof though. Over time, the grouting can break down and allow water through.

In terms of style, tiling has become quite dated too. It’s not the modern, clean and stylish look most homeowners are searching for, leaving some tiled bathrooms sticking out in homes.

Arguably the main problem with tiling is installation. Removing existing tiles, cutting tiles and finally grouting makes for a lot of mess, stress and often substandard results. Following that, tiles require constant cleaning, with dirt easily gathering between tiles in the grouting.

And wall panels?

Like tiles, wall panels offer impressive water resistance. Unlike tiles, they don’t have grouting, so they’re 100% waterproof as well as being easier to clean and maintain. Wall panels can be installed over existing tiles and are easily cut to size to fit any bathroom perfectly.

Another benefit of wall panels is their appearance. They’re modern and attractive, giving homeowners the stylish bathroom they have always wanted. And they come in a range of styles, so you can choose the best fit for your design scheme.

The choice is yours

In contrast to tiling, wall panels are a stylish, durable and low-maintenance option for bathrooms. At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a range of high quality bathroom and shower wall panels. With a 10-20-year guarantee, free delivery on orders over £100 and free samples available, we make it easier for you to make the right choice. Contact us today for more information or order your free samples today.

Food for Thought: Restaurant Hygiene Compliance


Since 2008, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has operated a ratings scheme to measure businesses’ hygiene standards. It makes hygiene compliance critical, as consumers can now search for a businesses’ rating online to help them choose where they eat.

Read on as we take a closer look at the ratings scheme and what restaurants need for hygiene compliance.

Introducing the rating scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, to use its full name, gives businesses a rating between 0 and 5. This is based on how well their establishment adheres to hygiene standards, where 0 requires urgent improvement and 5 is very good:

0 – Urgent improvement required

1 – Major improvement required

2 – Some improvement required

3 – Generally satisfactory hygiene standards

4 – Good hygiene standards

5 – Very good hygiene standards

Who gets rated?

Hygiene ratings can be given to anywhere where food is sold, supplied or just consumed, including restaurants, pubs and cafes, but also any of the following:

  • Workplace canteens
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Care homes
  • Hotels
  • Takeaway restaurants
  • Food vans or stalls
  • Supermarkets or shops selling food

How are they rated?

To rate businesses, local authorities send a food safety officer to undertake a full inspection. They check three key areas:

  • Food handling – How safe are practices for food preparation, cooking, storage, cooling and reheating?
  • Physical environment – Is the layout, lighting and ventilation hygienic? This includes cleanliness and pest control.
  • Hygiene management – How does the establishment keep food safe? From staff training to cleaning processes, this gives inspectors an idea of how standards will be maintained or improved following the inspection.

To get the best rating, businesses need to perform well in each of these three elements. Any failures will result in a rating of less than 5 and specific reasons will be given. That way, businesses know how they can work to improve their next rating.

Improving hygiene compliance

So, what steps should restaurants take to improve their hygiene compliance?

Everyone who handles food is required by law to have level 1, level 2 or level 3 food hygiene training depending on the degree to which they’re involved in food handling. This covers the vast majority of food handling hygiene and hygiene management, so most restaurants are well aware of how to handle food safety. With this in mind, step one is to make sure all staff have up to date training.

However, one area where many restaurants slip up is their physical environment. While it’s required by law to keep staff training up to date, many businesses fall behind with the facilities in their kitchen.

To remain fully compliant, restaurant kitchens should be kitted out with hygienic facilities and furniture from top to bottom. This includes surfaces like table tops, floors and even walls. Even with regular cleaning, unsuitable surfaces or those in a poor condition can be impossible to maintain.

Hygienic wall cladding for your restaurant

Flaking walls and hard-to-maintain tiles are no longer suitable for modern, hygienic kitchens. Fortunately, Igloo Surfaces offers an alternative that’s long lasting, cost-efficient and refreshingly easy to install. Our Arctic PVC wall panels are the perfect solution for commercial kitchens of any size. They’re low maintenance, highly durable and have an excellent rating.

Contact us today for more information.

Commercial Kitchen Wall Cladding – 5 Things to Consider


Wall cladding is a smart option for commercial kitchens. It’s attractive, cost-effective and easy to install. And whether it’s for a restaurant, workplace cafeteria or school canteen, there are a variety of features to consider before purchasing wall cladding.

Read on as we look at 5 points to consider when choosing kitchen wall cladding.

1. Hygiene

In commercial kitchens, it’s important to make sure every aspect of your set up is compliant with hygiene regulations. For wall cladding, this means finding something that’s easy to clean and doesn’t harbour harmful bacteria.

PVC is superior in this sense, because it doesn’t soak up any substances. Any stains show up clearly and surfaces can be wiped clean with ease.

2. Fire resistance

Fire safety is paramount in commercial kitchens. From deep fat fryers to hobs, ovens and even electrical appliances, there is a vast array of potential fire starters. What you don’t want is that fire to spread easily.

If they’re not fire resistant, walls can provide a quick route for fire to spread. Fortunately, there are fire ratings on products to protect against this. A class 1 rating means wall cladding allows no surface spread of flame. Class 0 provides an additional level of protection, limiting combustibility.

Don’t compromise on fire safety. Choose wall cladding that is rated for both class 1 and class 0.

3. Appearance

Commercial kitchens need to give off the right impression. This is especially the case if you’re serving paying customers. That’s where your kitchen’s design comes into play – and wall cladding has a pivotal role to play. It provides a backdrop to your kitchen and can make or break the kitchen’s overall appearance.

Look for wall cladding that’s modern in appearance and, again, easy to clean so you can keep it looking great. Ideally, you should choose wall cladding that’s white for practicality. This will make any stains easier to spot and clean.

4. Durability

Commercial kitchens are a harsh environment. That’s the case not only for kitchen staff, but also the equipment and surroundings. Wall cladding needs to be able to withstand constant knocks, spills and heat over long periods every day.

Be sure to choose durable wall cladding or you could end up forking out in the future to replace and repair panels. PVC is a good option because it’s strong, heat resistant and won’t weaken over time like some other materials.

5. Cost

Chances are you have a budget for refurbishing your commercial kitchen. And wall cladding costs can easily stack up if you’re not careful. After considering the key points above, be sure to consider how cost-effective your wall cladding is, factoring in its durability and how much it could save you over time.

Introducing Arctic PVC – Commercial Wall Cladding

If you’re looking for commercial kitchen wall cladding that ticks all the boxes, Igloo Surfaces can help. Our innovative Arctic PVC wall cladding system provides high quality, versatility and durability in abundance. It’s hygienic and fire resistant – rated Class 1/0 – with a 20-year guarantee for complete peace of mind.

To find out more or order your free samples, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


3 Attractive Alternatives to Tiles in the Bathroom


What choices do you have for your bathroom walls? If you think you’re limited to tiles, think again!

While tiles are a conventional choice found in plenty of UK homeowners, they’re also expensive, difficult to install and tricky to maintain. Fortunately, they’re not the only option available. Read on as we look at 3 alternatives to messy bathroom tiling.

Why is it a tricky choice?

Unlike the living room, kitchen or bedrooms, the bathroom is especially difficult to decorate. Why? Its walls are within the ‘splash zone’ from the bath or shower. That means, over time, they’re inevitably going to get wet.

Conventional wall coverings like wallpaper will be destroyed by this moisture, leaving the bathroom looking a mess. That’s why tiles have become the ‘go-to’ option for bathrooms. They’re water resistant, so being in the splash zone is no problem at all. But what other water-resistant options are available?

1. Paint

Yes – it’s true – typically, paint shouldn’t be used in high-moisture environments. However, some paint is produced with a tighter structure, providing a tougher, mildew-resistant finish. The result? A wall covering that is steam and moisture resistant, so there’s no risk of damp on your bathroom walls.

With that in mind, specialist paint provides an easy way to add some colour to your bathroom – though it may need updating every few years as the paint eventually weakens.

2. Laminated panels

Laminated panels have been an alternative to bathroom tiles for years. Generally used in commercial settings, they have a laminated surface often backed with a wood or waterproof foam core. However, they can also be purchased as a laminate sheet. Because they’re laminated with a water-resistant coating, they are a durable option for bathrooms that can last for years.

Because they expand and contract with moisture, however, laminated panels typically need expansion gaps to be left during installation, making things a bit more complex.

3. PVC wall panels

One option that’s completely hassle free are PVC wall panels. Because they’re produced using PVC, they won’t expand, so they’re quick and easy to install. Simply apply good quality adhesive to the panel and you’re ready to go – they can even be fitted over tiles.

PVC wall panels are one of the best alternatives to tiles in the bathroom because – as well as being easy to install – they look superb. With a wide range of colours and finishes, they allow homeowners to personalise their bathroom to match their style to a tee.

High quality bathroom wall panels

If you’re looking for an attractive alternative to bathroom tiles for your home or commercial property, Igloo Surfaces can help. We stock PVC wall panels in a wide range of styles and colours. All of our products come with a 10 to 20-year guarantee, with free samples available before ordering, so you have complete peace of mind.

For more information, get in touch with our team who are always on hand to help.

Good News! Igloo Surfaces Now Deliver on Saturdays


Not available during the week? Not to worry! Igloo Surfaces now deliver on Saturdays.

As part of our mission to constantly improve our service we have taken on board customer’s feedback about making deliveries even more convenient. We understand that not everyone is available during the week to sign for their deliveries and customers told us how much easier life would be if we could provide their orders on a weekend.

If you are unable to accept delivery Monday to Friday due to commitments but require your order urgently, we are pleased to say that we now offer a Saturday delivery. Please select this option when going through the checkout process and you will receive your order by 12.00 on Saturday. The cut off point for a Saturday delivery is each Thursday at 17.00 and cost for Saturday delivery is £45.

We hope this helps you get your products where and when you need them!

For more information on deliveries including Saturday deliveries click here >>

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Wall Panel Supplier for You

Bathroom wall panels are a hygienic, convenient and long-lasting option for bathroom and shower walls. They eliminate the hassle and mess of tiling, as well as being 100% waterproof and easy to clean. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen how dirty and worn tiling becomes after a few months.

But with all this said, it’s still important to choose the right supplier for your commercial job. With the wrong supplier, you could suffer from substandard quality, poor service and unexpected costs along the way. Don’t be caught out.

Read on as we look at 7 important considerations when choosing your bathroom wall panel supplier.

1. Commercial service

First on the list – does the supplier provide a specialist service for commercial and trade clients? Buying from a general retailer means you’ll be buying in bulk without the associated benefits. You won’t get specialist support and they probably won’t be able to facilitate large or repeated orders.

Instead, look for a supplier with a dedicated commercial and trade service to support the needs of your project. They can provide you with a quote for the specific needs for your job, which could save you plenty of money in the long run.

2. Support

When you’re fitting wall panels, you want to make sure everything is right. That’s why it’s essential to find a supplier that offers comprehensive support. As well as support online, by email and over the phone, it’s useful if suppliers provide help guides with videos to make installation a straightforward, hassle-free process.

3. Samples

You don’t want to compromise on quality when you’re buying bathroom wall panels. Nor do you want to order a truck load of the wrong thickness or finish. By finding a supplier who provides samples, you can ensure you’re getting the exact product you need and check its quality before you purchase.

4. Payment

When you do finally make the purchase, you don’t want to be worried about security. Make sure your supplier has a fast, convenient and secure form of payment, such as PayPal.

5. Delivery

How long do you want to wait for your order? For most trade clients, speed is essential. You want your order within a few working days, so you can complete jobs on time. Find a supplier than can match your needs. Some good suppliers will also offer free delivery on orders that meet a certain value, which is worth considering if you want to minimise expenditure.

6. Returns and guarantee

What happens if something is wrong with your bathroom wall panels? It helps to know you won’t be left out of pocket. Find a supplier with a convenient returns policy so you can get a replacement if there are any issues with your order. In the long term, it’s also worth looking for a supplier with a solid guarantee of at least five years.

7. Accreditation

There are a number of organisations providing accreditation to trusted suppliers. With criteria for training, experience and safety practices, they are a good way to separate the cowboys from trustworthy companies. For peace of mind, find a supplier who is accredited by the likes of:

  • CHAS – Contractors Health and Safety Assessment
  • CSCS – Construction Skills Certification Scheme
  • Constructiononline
  • SafeContractor

Make a choice you won’t regret

Looking for specialist bathroom wall panel suppliers? You can’t go wrong with Igloo.

With a dedicated service for commercial and trade accounts, simple delivery and returns, and secure online payment, we provide a reliable service that meets all of your needs. Even better, we provide samples, support and a 10-20-year guarantee. Contact our team today to talk about how we can help you.

Where Can I Buy Ceiling Panels?


Ceiling panels are a fantastic option for both their stylish appearance and practicality. Not only do they look great, but they’re simple to fit, low maintenance and easy to clean too!

If you are considering ceiling panels for your home then one of the first things you need to decide is where to buy them. But as a relatively new entry into the interior design world, its difficult to know which supplier to choose. Read on as we look at the benefits of ceiling panels and where to go to get ceiling panels that are easy to install, hard wearing, long lasting and look fantastic.

A brief introduction to ceiling panels

When bathrooms need a refurb, homeowners have traditionally been faced with the daunting task of re-installing their ceiling. It’s messy and time consuming. That’s where ceiling panels come in. They provide a hygienic, water resistant solution without the hassle.

These advantages are by no means restricted to bathrooms either. Ceiling panels are a stylish option in kitchens, living spaces and even office premises. In any case, they can be installed with minimum effort, they’re easy to maintain and they look superb.

Where not to buy ceiling panels

Understandably, a number of retailers have jumped on the bandwagon with their own ceiling panel offerings. As a result, you can now buy ceiling panels from many homeware stores and ceiling tile retailers. The downside? These companies do not specialise in ceiling panels. They are simply offering them as a secondary product, which could disappoint in its quality, appearance and longevity.

These general retailers will also lack the kind of variety you want when you’re searching for ceiling panels. For interior design, you want to get the exact style and colour to match your design scheme. Anything else is a compromise and won’t look or feel how you want it. Too many stores offer just one style of ceiling panel or don’t stock the right size or thickness for your property.

Where to buy ceiling panels

So, where should you buy ceiling panels instead? Look for ceiling panel specialists, who produce ceiling panels as one of their core products. With this type of retailer, you benefit from the highest standards in ceiling panel manufacture. That means you get ceiling panels that look better, last longer and are super-easy to install.

You also benefit from impressive variety. Because these companies specialise in ceiling panels, they offer a wide range of finishes and styles, from chrome inserts to black marble. And it’s far more likely they’ll have the size you need for your home or property refurbishment.

With ceiling panel specialists, you also avoid the possibility of paying more. While some retailers will sell other companies’ products, specialists sell directly to you, so you save money as well as getting the best products and service. Plus you get their ‘on tap’ installation experience to help you complete your project.

High quality ceiling panels

Searching for ceiling panels for your bathroom, bedroom, living room or office? Igloo Surfaces can help. We are UK ceiling panel specialists with a wide range of high quality, stylish products available. All of our ceiling panels are easy to maintain and clean, with hassle-free installation as standard. For more information, feel free to get in touch with our team online.

Spring Decorating Ideas: 5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Home This Season


Spring has sprung. For some, that means more than just spring cleaning. Homeowners want to refresh their properties. And why not – in the season that’s all about ‘out with the old and in with the new’?

The problem is keeping it manageable. It’s easy to take the wrong route and, before long, find yourself knee deep in flatpack furniture. Instead, read on for our top five ways to refresh your home this season without any hassle.

1. Rejuvenate the kitchen

When it comes to redecorating, most people start in the living room. The problem? Most improvements here are both costly and disruptive. Instead, look at the kitchen or dining room. Small changes here can make a big difference and give your room a completely new look. Our contemporary and easy to clean kitchen panels are a perfect example. They make for ideal splash-backs and are a great way to update your kitchen in a quick and cost-effective manner.

Here are some other new purchases you can make at a relatively small price:

  • Cutlery
  • Crockery
  • Glassware
  • Tablecloths
  • Seat covers or cushions
  • Coasters and placemats
  • Wall art


2. Looking to the bedroom

Similarly, it’s easy to give your bedroom a new look as we head into spring. No, you don’t have to get the paint out, cover everything and spend hours toiling away. Instead, head out and get yourself some new bedding. Sheets, duvet covers and even throws are an easy way to transform your bedroom and keep things current.

3. A new finish for your fixtures

Of course, it isn’t all about specific rooms. There’s a lot to be said for your home’s fixtures if you’re looking for a change. Doors and windows can make or break a room’s design. As such, giving them a new colour, or just a fresh lick of paint, is a great way to rejuvenate your home’s interiors.

4. Spruce up the garden

In the same sense, refreshing your home doesn’t have to be purely indoors. With spring in full swing, the weather will soon be getting warmer, brighter and all in all more pleasant. With that in mind, it’s certainly worthwhile giving your garden a refresh too:

  • Clean any flagged areas
  • Repaint decking or sheds
  • Add some solar lighting
  • Purchase new garden furniture
  • Mow, trim and fertilise your lawn
  • Plant some colourful flowers


5. A ‘new’ bathroom

Some homeowners steer clear of the bathroom because they think it requires a complete overhaul to refresh. Fortunately, there are a variety of quick fixes that can make your bathroom look completely brand new, without breaking the bank or taking all the time in the world:

  • Bathroom wall panels – These are a stylish alternative to ceramic tiles which provide a quick and cost-effective way to transform the look of your bathroom. They can even be installed over existing tiles.
  • New vinyl flooring – By choosing solid vinyl flooring with no wood content, you can get a new surface in your bathroom that’s hard wearing, cost-effective and looks amazing.

Enjoy Spring Savings

Make the most of spring and spruce up your house over the Bank Holiday weekend. For a limited time only, we’ve dropped the price of many of our best selling products, meaning you can transform your home for less. Shop our spring sale or get in touch with our team for more information.

iPort Doncaster

iPort Doncaster

Igloo were excited to win and commence the installation of over 1,800m2 of PVC wall cladding at the iPort site in Doncaster in 2017.

Our team installed a standard 2.5mm thick PVC wall cladding with both trim and welded joint detail throughout the different locations in the logistic park.

This project took our teams several months to complete as we had to work to the programme of works the main contractor set out from the start which scheduled our works in at different times throughout the programme. However we are very proud that all works were completed within the timescales given by the main contractor with customer satisfaction accomplished.

The 6 million sq ft logistic park on 337 acres of developable greenfield land and an impressive 35 acre Strategic Rail freight Terminal providing units with direct rail access.

iPort Doncaster is located only 4 miles away from Doncaster Sheffield Airport which is the location of our Doncaster office.

Names such as Amazon, Fellowes, Lidl and Ceva Logistics are already committed or onsite at iPort, Doncaster, one of the largest commercial developments in the UK.

Due to the magnitude of works to be undertaken by the main contractor their H&S expectations were very high which here at Igloo we are used to meeting. Our team worked hard to ensure that all H&S needs were met. The H&S credentials that we already hold in place such as CHAS, Constructionline and Safecontractor went a long way to meeting the needs of the main contractor on site. As standard practice our installation team are all CSCS and Asbestos Awareness certified.

If you would like to speak to someone about the products, services and in house installation that Igloo can provide please email us ( or ring 01709 329117.

Igloo Surfaces – the Hygienic Surface Specialists based in South Yorkshire and working throughout the UK.

Refurbishment at Harrogate Hospital

Refurbishment at Harrogate Hospital

A refurbishment project went underway at Harrogate Hospital and the main contractor contacted our sales team to price for the project after hearing our wonderful reputation to install the PVC wall cladding.

From this enquiry Igloo won the contract to install all the PVC wall cladding at Harrogate Hospital to ensure the refurbishment of the hospital was on target and to standard.

Our installation team expertly installed over 500m2 of Altro Whiterock in various colours including white, Dusty Grey and Bergamot as well as stainless steel corners ensuring that at all times that the workmanship delivered was of a high standard and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Our team works very long days and weekends to ensure that this project was delivered within the timescales set by the main contractor on site.

The overall project completed delivered a hygienic finish as well as a welcoming and appealing feel for the patients and staff whom will use the facility fo many years to come.

We are proud that our team were able to assist and deliver what was required for the main contractor and since then we have worked on several other projects with this same contractor due to the high workmanship and expertise delivered on this site by our experienced installation team.

Our team all have the appropriate CSCS qualification and certification, Asbestos Awareness certification and each team have a trained First Aider with them at all times.

Not only do we ensure as a company our team are trained and competently qualified to high standards, but Igloo are a CHAS accredited, Constructionline and Safecontractor accredited company with the necessary insurance policies in place to ensure peace of mind for both parties.

If you would like to know more information on the products and services we provide, or you would like a quote please contact our sales team ( or telephone 01709 329117.

Igloo Surfaces – the Hygienic Surface Specialist based in South Yorkshire and covering UK

Refurbishment at Harrogate Hospital