What is a Wet Wall Panel?
Wet Wall Panels, sometimes called Shower Panels or Bathroom Panels, are a type of waterproof cladding installed as an alternative to tiles. They are most commonly found in bathrooms but they can be fitted anywhere that tiles can be fitted. Depending on the design of your bathroom they can often be used to cover all of the walls and the ceiling, giving a modern, smooth design. Wet Wall Panels can also be placed over existing tiles.
Wet Walls can be used in kitchens, although here they are generally known as splash-backs. These are the panels found behind the Hob or behind a sink and our suppliers can provide designs that perfectly compliment your chosen kitchen counters. Take a look at some designs.
Wet Wall Panels have become increasingly popular in recent years and we are seeing more and more of our clients opting to install Wet Walls Panels instead of Tiles. However, it is not as simple as a choice between the Wet Wall Panels and tiles; there are also various different types of materials available for panels.
As with anything in your home, it is important you invest in high quality materials to ensure that your house looks better for longer. Wet Wall Panels are a fairly cost efficient way to do this. At Mia Kitchens and Bathrooms we are very careful about the suppliers we use, ensuring that their materials are of high quality so you can rest assured your kitchen or bathroom will withstand a lively home. We do offer Wet Wall Panels in a variety of budgets, but the main thing you have to worry about, is choosing the right design!
Wet Wall Panels Vs Tiles
- Wet Wall Panels work better than tiles on uneven surfaces
- Wet Wall Panels are usually cheaper than tiles, however both products vary significantly in price depending on the quality of the product
- Wet Wall Panels are easier to keep clean and maintain and they are also very hygienic
- Tiles are more prone to discolouration
- Wet Wall Panels are simpler and quicker to install
- Unlike tiles, Wet Wall Panels don’t use grout – we all know how messy your grouting can look after a couple of years!
- At the moment there is a wider variety of styles of tiles available on the market
Which type of materials should you use?
So you’ve decided to go for Wet Wall Panels instead of tiles… but there are a number of different types of materials on offer. The two most commonly chosen by our customers are Plywood and PVC.
Plywood is a type of ‘solid core board’, similar to MDF. However, we encourage our clients to choose Plywood over MDF as it is a higher quality material. The Plywood is coated in laminate which fully waterproofs the panels. Plywood Wet Walls are really strong and durable so at Mia, we like working with this kind of material and we think it is a great option for your home.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a widely used plastic that can be found in many different products. Unlike Plywood, it isn’t a material that is solid through to the core, meaning it is lighter than Plywood. However, it is more dense than most plastics giving it a rigid structure, strong enough to be used as Wet Wall cladding.
- Plywood is generally more expensive than PVC, however, both come in at a reasonable price.
- PVC is more prone to damage than Plywood as it is a more brittle, thinner material. If you bash something hard onto your PVC panels you may need to replace them.
- You can clean PVC panels with almost all bathroom cleaning products or soap and water, however, some products can dull the Plywood panels. If you are unsure about this, we can recommend some cleaning products and tell you which ones to avoid.
- Plywood Panels are more durable and last longer.
- There are significant environmental concerns around the production of PVC – uPVC is an environmentally friendly alternative and it also has very good mould resistance.
Acrylic Wet Wall Panels
A third option is Acrylic Panels, although we don’t usually offer these. They are more commonly used on smaller areas and come in a very
bright, high colour design that looks similar to glass. Acrylic Panels are more expensive than Plywood or PVC so it adds to the cost of your bathroom renovation. Acrylic Panels are also more difficult to install as they are prone to shattering. If you would really like Acrylic Panels, perhaps as a feature panel in the shower area, this is something we can discuss with you.
Installing Wet Wall Panels
The installation of Wet Wall Panels can be tricky, less so with PVC than the other materials, but it is important that all the panels fit tightly. If the panels are fitted incorrectly, water can leak in and cause damage. This can cause problems with damp and the panels will likely need to be replaced. When choosing a bathroom fitter, it is vital you employ someone with the right tools and expertise to carry out the work properly. If only we knew someone like that…
And now the fun part! How do they look? There is a range of designs available for both PVC and Plywood. Plywood designs are usually muted tones and resemble other materials such as wood, marble, graphite or quartz. However, you can find more unusual designs, some even resemble a starry night’s sky.
PVC is similar in that there are many marble and stone style designs. However, there are more varieties of colour, with bold reds and purples available from some suppliers. PVC can also come in a sparkly finish and some are made to look like bricks, tiles or have geometric patterns. There is definitely more variety in PVC designs, however, some may prefer the Plywood finish. You can check out one of our supplier’s websites to see some examples.
If you are fed up of constantly cleaning and re-grouting those tiles, its time to think about Wet Wall Panels and Mia Kitchens and Bathrooms can help. Fill in our contact form: https://miakitchensandbathrooms.co.uk/contact/ or phone 07464 752 439 for a chat, our friendly team are ready to take your call. It’s time to Love the Way You Live.