What Do You Put on Bathroom Walls?
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What Do You Put on Bathroom Walls?

Bathroom walls are from a one-size-fits-all job. To start with, you’ve got several options available – from tiles and wallpaper to PVC wall panels. To complicate things, bathrooms are particularly challenging environments. Because bathrooms are intrinsically humid spaces, you’ve got to be really careful when decorating the walls.

Choose the wrong material and you might need to tear everything apart and start all over again after just a few months. To avoid this from happening to you, you need to be well aware of the different decorating options available for bathroom walls. Read on as we outline the most important ones with some pros and cons…


The cheapest wall decorating option available, paint can be a viable alternative for homeowners on a very tight budget. There are two different kinds of paint for bathroom walls – waterproof and water-resistant. If you’re set on decorating your bathroom walls with paint, ensure you’re using the former and not the latter. Water-resistant paint will peel off in a matter of months.

While waterproof paint is by no means a long-lasting wall decorating option, it will last a little longer than any other paint. This can be a decent option for tenants who want to give new life to the home they’re renting for a short period, but it’s not a highly recommended alternative for homeowners due to how short-lived it is.

Pros and cons of bathroom wall paint

  • Pros: cheap, easy to apply, plenty of colours and styles available, can be done yourself.
  • Cons: short-term solution, not completely waterproof even when using waterproof paint, will inevitably end up peeling.


Like wall paint, wallpaper is a fairly popular bathroom decorating idea for homeowners without that much cash to spare. Bathroom wallpaper does what it says on the tin – it covers the walls with a thin layer of paper. Wallpaper offers an impressively wide array of different styles and patterns, which is why it’s becoming increasingly popular for decorating bedrooms and living rooms.

But does it also do the trick when it comes to bathrooms? Well, not quite. As you can imagine, wallpaper isn’t waterproof. You can minimise the impact of moisture and humidity by using a transparent waterproof coating, but that will only work temporarily. Moisture will inevitably grow behind the wallpaper, rendering it useless after a few months.

Pros and cons of bathroom wallpaper

  • Pros: cheap, relatively easy to apply, many different options available, easy to replace, can instantly give personality to your bathroom.
  • Cons: effectively a mould magnet, extremely short-term alternative even when applying a waterproof coating.

Bathroom tiles

Tiles are arguably the most popular bathroom decorating option in the UK – but are they actually the best? In all fairness, tiles are stylish if you like a traditional look and can easily breathe new life into a bathroom. They’re also a lot more resistant and durable than the two alternatives offered above. With so many different styles available, you can find one that works in your bathroom without much hassle.

So, what’s not to like? Well, to start with, good tiles (the ones that don’t fall down after a year) are very expensive. Apart from that, they’re incredibly high maintenance and costly to install. Speaking of installation – to put tiles in your bathroom walls, you’ll have to grout them.

And that’s exactly the biggest drawback to tiling. Because grout isn’t waterproof, it will need to be periodically removed and re-applied between the tiles to ensure that they don’t fall off. And even if you go to great lengths to keep your tiles in a good state, there’s still a good chance that mould will grow beneath them.

Pros and cons of bathroom tiles

  • Pros: traditional style, many different styles available, long-term wall decorating solution.
  • Cons: expensive, difficult installation, high maintenance, not completely waterproof so there’s always a chance of mould growing.

PVC panels

Last but not least we’ve got polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels. An increasingly popular alternative, PVC panels are a firm and reliable wall decorating option that doesn’t break the bank. Unlike all the other options outlined above, PVC wall panels are completely waterproof. As well as repelling all water droplets coming out of the shower and bath, PVC panels deter mould from growing beneath them. They don’t even require additional grouting – other than a thin line of sealant between panels – making them a very attractive option for homeowners tired of dealing with moisture.

While we’re on the topic of installation, we should also mention that one of the biggest benefits of PVC wall panels is that they’re incredibly easy to fit. Unlike tiles, which have to be cut, measured and grouted together to fit perfectly, PVC panels can be installed quickly and easily without the assistance of a professional. In fact, you can even find complete bathroom and shower panel kits that include all the materials needed to install them.

On top of all that, PVC wall panels come in many different styles and colours. From grey sparkle panels that wouldn’t be out of place at a five-star hotel to stylish tile-effect panels that look just like the real thing, PVC wall panels are the most fashionable wall decorating option on the market.

Pros and cons of PVC wall panels

  • Pros: stylish, plenty of different options available, affordable and cost-effective, easy to install without professional assistance, completely waterproof, low maintenance.
  • Cons: you’ll need to find something to do with the time saved in cleaning and maintenance

Create your dream bathroom with Igloo Surfaces

The verdict is in – no other bathroom wall decorating option compares to PVC wall panels, So, if you are looking for an affordable and long-lasting alternative that is both practical and stylish, you know what to do – make the switch to bathroom wall panels. We promise you’ll never look back.

At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a wide array of PVC wall panels for bathrooms, showers and even kitchen walls. From granite wall panels to give your bathroom an urban look to high gloss white panels to grant your walls a classical touch, we’ve got all the wall decorating panels you need. And with a product guarantee of 10-20 years, you’ll always have your back covered.

If you have any questions, feel free to call us on 01709 329117 or email [email protected].

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