One of the major advantages of panelling rather than tiles is its ease of installation. Gone are the days of skimming, plastering, tiling and grouting. All messy, all time consuming and consequently expensive. Our quick guide to installing bathroom cladding will show you that the traditional methods are no longer needed.
And this new approach will result in a modern, easy to live with wall covering that will look good for years.
Many people choose to fit the cladding themselves because it is so easy to work with. And it produces stunning results every time. As long as you take your time and have a reasonable grasp of DIY there is no reason why you cannot fit these panels yourself.
Preparation Prior To Installation
This is where cladding has a critical advantage over tradional coverings – it needs virtually no preparation. It can be installed over:
- existing ceramic tiles
- plastered walls
- timber cladding
- plasteraoard (drywall)
It can even be installed over Artex providing the pattern does not have too many high spots. It can also be fitted over wallpaper if you use a mechanical fixing rather than adhesive. But we would usually recommend removing this (just roughly – it does not need to be a work of art).
How To Cut Bathroom Cladding
Again, cutting bathroom cladding is simplicity itself.
The panels are easily cut with a handsaw or tenon saw – the finer the teeth the better. Lay the planks on workbench or supports and cut.
You can use power tools to cut them but there is more likelihood of the panels chipping or cracking. Jigsaws can be useful for complicated shaped cuts but use a metal-cutting blade or something with very fine teeth and make sure the cladding is supported near to the cut to avoid excessive vibration.
A Stanley knife will help pare back any undercutting until you achieve a perfect fit. It is also to cut the panels with a pad saw, coping saw or even a soldering iron if there are very fiddly cuts required.
We have a guide to scribing panels available. This is a technique used to ensure a snug fit when working with uneven or out-of-true walls. Find out more here.
Stick, Staple Or Screw Into Place
The quickest installation method is to simply stick the panels straight over the existing surface. There are a number of suitable adhesive on the market and all will do the job perfectly. Just make sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of any soap residue or dust.
On smooth surfaces such as tiles a “snake” of adhesive on the back of the panel is fine. On more uneven surfaces blobs of adhesive work best. Just apply the adhesive and push to panel in place loosely. Then apply more pressure until the adhesive blobs are flattened and the panel finds its own level.
On plasterboard, plywood or wooden surfaces a staple gun can be used. This is a very fast method of attaching the cladding. Screwing though the tongue of the tongue-and-groove is another option but is more time-consuming.
Bathroom cladding is not only 100% recyclable it is also totally re-usable if you fit it using the stapling or screw method mentioned above. This is not something that is achievable with any other type of wall covering.
There are several trims available to finish off edges and corner etc.
In most instances these will be either white, black or chrome but some manufacturers might offer other colour options. For internal corners it is possible to just butt-join the panels and seal with a good quality silicone sealant. Trims make the cutting process easier as you have more margin for error. But they are not crucial to the finished job.
External corners will need to a trim to cover the join. A simple plant-on angle trim is the easiest way to go about this. This is just an “L” section trim that is stuck in place using adhesive or silicone sealant.
It is also possible to use a standard tile edge trim for external corner. Choose either an 8mm or 10mm trim depending on the depth of your cladding.
As you can see from our quick guide to installing bathroom cladding there is not a lot to it. Fitting cladding is about as easy as wall coverings get.
The hard part is deciding which of the dozens of attractive designs to choose. This article from our blog might help you decide: