Bathroom Cladding Explained

Our video “Bathroom Cladding Explained” is ideal if you are unfamiliar with this product.

Cladding can prove a little confusing because it is a relatively new product, especially when compared to long-established coverings like tiles. So here is a little more information to help explain what bathroom cladding is, what it does and where it can be fitted. You can also view our video by clicking the link on the left which will give you more information on bathroom cladding.

Bathroom cladding is a modern wall panel system. The material is usually made from PVC and is tongue and grooved so that each panel slots into the next. It is light, easy to cut and easy to install. And being made from plastic, it is totally waterproof.

Choosing Wall and Ceiling Cladding

One advantage that cladding has over other coverings is that it can be used on both walls and ceilings. Usually, a lighter (or white) panel is used for the ceiling while a decorative cladding with a more definite colour is applied to the walls but they are both essentially the same product.

The basic rule with both and ceiling cladding remains the same. The more of this product you install, the less maintenance you will have in the long run. Painted ceilings and tiled walls both require a fair bit of work over the years.

Ceilings can develop mould spots on the paint. Or the paint can start to flake when moisture gets behind it.

Tiles also suffer from mould. This develops in the grout under the moist conditions found in bathrooms. Good ventilation can help but even then you might well see the grout start to discolour. Once this starts it is a one-way process and can only be eradicated permanently by raking out the grout and starting again. See this article for more details on grout problems.

And for more information on wall and ceiling cladding click here

Plastic Cladding Has A Long Life

Our “bathroom cladding explained” video shows several of the materials used to manufacture the panels, with plastic (PVC) being the most common material.

Other materials are used such as acrylic, laminated plywood, laminated MDF and even timber but these are usually referred to using different terms such as bathroom wall panels, tile panels etc.

Plastics have a bad reputation environmentally but their longevity can be a real bonus when used as a building product. One great advantage of plastic cladding is that it can be recycled. Not only that, it can even be re-used if removed carefully. This start to balance things out a little and when you add in the fact that no strong chemicals are required to keep it clean it almost tips the balance towards cladding.

You can find out more about plastic cladding here


Internal Cladding

Cladding is an ideal product to use in the bathroom because of its waterproof nature. But its maintenance-free qualities make it a perfect wall covering for other rooms around the home as well. Any internal room will benefit from its good looks and easy-to-live-with practicality.

There are some PVC products that are designed to be used outdoors. But plastic bathroom cladding is only suitable for use on internal walls. The printed surface will fade if exposed to too much UV light. And the plastic itself will deteriorate with exposure to sunshine and large temperature variations.

Find out more about internal cladding here

Replacement Cladding

If you are looking to undertake a bathroom makeover very often you will be looking for a replacement for your tiles. Cladding is the ideal product for such projects as it can be installed over existing tiles so the work can be completed quickly, cleanly and with a minimum of disruption.

Tiles have quite a few downsides, as mentioned previously. But they provide a perfect, flat surface onto which replacement cladding can be installed.

The only thing you need to take into consideration is that the cladding is 8-10mm thick. This has implications for things like shower valves. Surface-mounted valves will usually have enough “play” in the pipework to accommodate the extra thickness. But recessed valves might require the pipework to be extended, especially if the pipes are buried.

Discover how replacement cladding can work for you