What Can I Put on My Bathroom Walls Instead of Tiles?
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What Can I Put on My Bathroom Walls Instead of Tiles?

With so many options out there, it’s not easy to decide on the kind of wall covering for your bathroom. For many years, tiles have been the go-to choice for most families. It’s not hard to see why. After all, tiles are relatively durable and provide a traditional look. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, they also come with their fair share of disadvantages. To start with, a full-bathroom tile installation can be incredibly challenging – particularly if you’re set on doing it yourself instead of paying a professional. As well as a wide arsenal of tools, you’ll also need mortar and grout to complete the installation. Not only is installing tiles very labour-intensive, but it can also get quite expensive.

But the worst thing about ceramic tile showers is how high maintenance they are. Simply put, it doesn’t take long for them to look worn. The grout joining the tiles attracts a lot of dirt – which can become mould if it’s not taken care of. And trust us – taking care of it is an absolute pain. If you want to keep your bathroom tiles mould-free, you’ll have to clean every nook and cranny with a very small brush on a weekly basis.

Is that how you want to spend your Sunday mornings? Probably not. So, what can you put on your bathroom walls instead of tiles? Let’s have a look…

Tile alternatives for bathroom walls

Looking for tile alternatives for your bathroom walls but aren’t sure what to go with? Read on as we break down the main pros and cons of every alternative…


Paint is by far the cheapest way of giving your bathroom walls a makeover. But as you can imagine, not all kinds of paint work for bathroom walls. You have two different options – water-resistant paint and waterproof paint. The former is cheaper but not entirely waterproof – meaning you’ll have to replace it fairly often. On the other hand, the latter is completely waterproof and often includes mould-resistant primers to make it more durable.

That being said, even the best kind of waterproof paint for bathroom walls will start to deteriorate and peel after a few months. Painting your bathroom walls can be a decent, cheap short-term alternative for people who want to make improvements on the house they’re currently renting. But if you’re a homeowner and want your tile alternative to last, we strongly advise you to stay away from bathroom paint.


Wallpaper can seem like an affordable tile alternative for home-owners keen on giving their bathrooms a strongest character. With bold patterns and colourful prints, wallpaper offers a wide array of customisation options for bathroom walls. On top of that, it’s also a lot cheaper than tiling. But what are the cons?

We’ll start by addressing the elephant in the room – yes, wallpaper gets wet. And yes, lingering humidity turns into lingering moisture and mould. This can cause wallpaper to peel, as it’s not designed to fend off water and steam. Worst of all, chances are that you won’t even notice that your bathroom walls are getting mouldy, as it’s all happening behind the wallpaper. It’s only when the wallpaper starts peeling that you’ll realise there’s a nasty surprise waiting for you.

Unless you’re desperate to decorate your bathroom walls with quirky prints, stay away from wallpaper. Fortunately, there are better tile alternatives in the market.

PVC bathroom panels

More and more homeowners are deciding to adorn their bathrooms with PVC bathroom panels instead of tiles. Want to know why? To start with, PVC bathroom panels are completely waterproof. Unlike tiles, you don’t depend on the grouting surrounding them to fend water off. Because the surface of PVC bathroom panels is completely impermeable, it will never be affected by water.

On top of that, these bathroom panels are designed to fit together seamlessly. This means that not even the smallest water droplet will get between them. It also means that installing them is a lot easier – and cheaper – than tiling an entire bathroom wall. In some cases, you can even fit them over existing tiles, saving you time and money.

The verdict is in – it’s hard to see anything better than PVC bathroom panels from the tile alternatives currently available. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into their benefits…

The 3 biggest benefits of PVC bathroom panels

It’s fair to say that PVC bathroom panels have revolutionised the bathroom design industry. And it’s all thanks to polyvinyl chloride – an incredibly versatile material that offers many different applications – from making window frames and bathroom panels to footwear and packaging.

We could spend hours talking about the benefits that PVC bathroom panels have brought to the table. Instead, we’ll keep it short and sweet – these are our three favourite advantages of PVC bathroom panels.

1.    They look great

The received wisdom around PVC bathroom panels is that they’re more convenient than tiles but they don’t look as good. Well, not anymore. While it’s true that the first PVC panels ever made were quite sober and plain, technology has advanced so much that PVC panelling now looks as good as tiling. If you don’t believe us, check out this stylish black marble panel or this modern graphite panel.

2.    They’re low maintenance

One of the worst things about tiles is that you have to get down on your knees and scrub at grout every other week. With PVC bathroom panels, those days are over. Because PVC panels are installed with no (or minimal) grouting, water doesn’t accumulate between the panels – hence the elimination of moisture and mould.

3.    They’re easy to install

From cutting tiles to shape to grouting them, tiling a bathroom wall is a painstaking task that usually requires professional help. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with PVC panels. PVC panels are usually tongue and groove, so they barely require any additional sealing or grouting. In fact, you can even install them yourself with an all-in-one panel kit.

Breathe new life into your bathroom

Looking for a tile alternative that will make your bathroom look as good as new? Then look no further than PVC bathroom wall panels. At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a wide range of PVC panels suited to shower cubicles, bathroom walls or bath surrounds. Want to hear more? Just ring us on 01709 329117 or email [email protected] for expert advice.


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