What is the Best Type of Bathroom Wall Panels?
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What is the Best Type of Bathroom Wall Panels?

Bathroom wall panels are available in a variety of materials. Each has their own properties which offer both advantages and drawbacks. It’s only natural that you’ll want to know about all of them to make an informed decision.

So, which one is right for your bathroom? Below we explore three different types of wall panels and the benefits of each, as well as discussing some key considerations when choosing your bathroom wall panels.

What is the best type of bathroom wall panels?

There are several types of bathroom wall panels to choose from, including PVC, acrylic and laminated MDF/solid core panels. The best option depends on durability, water resistance and cost – alongside your colour and style preferences.

Types of bathroom wall panel

PVC bathroom wall panels

PVC is a synthetic plastic and a lightweight and affordable option for bathroom wall panels. These panels have a hollow construction, which allows a slight flex in the material. They are also ideal for bathroom walls, even if applied over imperfections.

This material has many benefits when used in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms. It is incredibly hard-wearing and super simple to clean – just wipe with a cloth.

One of the most useful aspects of PVC is that it’s waterproof. This is ideal for bathrooms as water penetrating walls can cause mould and expensive damage.

What’s more, these panels are easy to install. As a result, they are suitable for DIY projects and are more affordable than tiling. To ensure good quality, it’s often best to purchase thicker PVC panels for long-lasting durability.

Acrylic bathroom wall panels

Acrylic is another example of synthetic material used in bathrooms. Looks-wise, it has similar features to PVC. However, panels are typically slimmer with a composition that actually makes them denser.

Bathroom panels in acrylic are often created in bold and block colours. The appearance can sometimes look semi-transparent. Many people like the effect of acrylic as it offers a glass-like look. It is also waterproof and highly durable.

All that said, the main downside to this material is the price. Compared to PVC, it is more expensive, and due to its weight, costs can be higher for home delivery and installation.

MDF laminated/solid core bathroom panels

Solid core or MDF laminated panels are made from plywood or MDF. This material is covered by waterproof laminate to ensure durability. This panel option is another popular way to cover bathroom walls, as they are typically easy to install and reasonably affordable.

However, when selecting solid core panels, it’s best to opt for high-quality over low-end examples. This is due to their construction. As the core is wood-based, water may penetrate the panel and warp the core. To reduce this risk, purchasing plywood over MDF can help.

Key factors to consider when buying bathroom wall panels

The above examples of wall panels each have pros and cons for bathroom use. When choosing the best option, there are a few things to consider to get the right solution for the space, including…


PVC, acrylic and solid core panels all provide some degree of durability. This factor typically comes down to quality. Not every panel is created the same so check for thickness and composition to get the best options.

For example, high-quality PVC panels are not only hard-wearing, they also have a scratch-resistant surface.

Water resistance

One of the most important aspects of bathroom panels is water resistance. PVC and acrylic are 100% waterproof. In comparison, solid core or MDF laminated panels can warp if water penetration occurs.


Are you installing the bathroom panels yourself or getting a professional to do it? If your answer is a DIY project, PVC panels are the perfect option. They’re simple to install and use a tongue and groove system, which provides a seamless finish. Plus, the larger sheets ensure an easy installation without visible joins. The end result is the same great quality without a high installation cost or a stressful process.

Easy to clean

Bathrooms are notoriously frustrating when it comes to keeping moisture and mould at bay. So when you choose bathroom panels, cleaning and maintenance come into consideration.

The above examples are all easy to clean. However, some materials may need specific cleaning products, so you don’t tarnish the surface. This is particularly relevant for MDF laminated or solid core panels, as damage to the material can lead to water ingress.


Colour, design and texture all create your perfect bathroom interior. PVC, acrylic and solid core offer a range of looks depending on your tastes. One of the best all-rounders is PVC due to the variety of aesthetics it provides.

Choose from wood or stone effect panels. Or opt for block colours and luxe marble looks. Examples such as acrylic typically offer bold and semi-transparent surfaces, sometimes limiting design ideas.


Cost is a major factor when renovating a bathroom, which is why it’s worth comparing the cost of the three options available. Acrylic is a more expensive option, while solid core panels vary depending on the quality.

One of the most cost-effective choices is PVC. High-quality panels are affordable without any compromise on durability or water resistance.

Choose the best panels for your bathroom with Igloo Surfaces

There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right wall panels for your bathroom. Cost, installation and durability top the list for functionality. But we can’t forget the importance of style and design..

At Igloo Surfaces, our PVC wall panel range is one of the best choices for your bathroom walls. The collection is made using high-quality PVC in various colours and designs. What’s more, they’re affordable and really easy to install and maintain.

PVC panels are always popular for cost-effective and stylish bathroom interiors, so check out our range for inspiration. Need help installing them? Our handy guides take you through the process, but you can also call our team for advice on 01709 329117 or email [email protected].

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