When it comes to decoration, the walls will always have the greatest surface area. So your choice of wall covering will have a great effect on the overall look of the room. Bathroom wall cladding is the ideal choice regardless of your existing decor. And you can see that it makes perfect sense when you factor in its many advantages.
Advantages Of Bathroom Wall Cladding
It has long been known that wall tiles have some major drawbacks so it was no surprise that people started looking for better alternatives. Cladding is one such product. This innovative material first started appearing in the 80s, born out of the desire to eliminate the need for grout and has grown in popularity ever since.
And here are some of the reasons why it has become so popular
- no grout – so nothing to bleach or scrub
- wipe-over surface – easy to keep clean with just a soft cloth
- totally waterproof – 100% leak-free every time
- no preparation – will go up over rough, unprepared walls
- easy to cut – no special tools or skills required
- easy to fit – probably the easiest wall covering to work with
- it looks amazing – and it stays that way
We can look at each of these in a bit more detail to really get to know the product and find out exactly how it manages to be so good at what it does.
Cladding Uses No Grout
That’s right – there’s no grout.
This is a huge advantage over tiles on its own, regardless of all of the other areas where cladding scores highly.
Grout is a nightmare. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, how much you clean it, or how often you bleach it, it still ends up looking grubby. And there are numerous reasons why this is the case. So we have written an article explaining what exactly is going on and how you can overcome the common problems with grout – here
But back to bathroom wall cladding. Each panel slots into the next, without grout, to provide you with a completely waterproof surface. And at the end of the day, that is what you want from your wall covering. Incredibly, many tiled walls end up not being waterproof – and that is totally down to the grout.
This is another benefit of there being no grout.
The cladding provides a smooth, continuous surface that is not interrupted by grout lines. So you can just wipe over the surface with a soft cloth to keep your panels in tip-top condition. There is nothing to scrub. You won’t need to get the beach out and you can put away the grout pen.
Many landlords love fitting this in their properties because if they have tenants that are not very good at cleaning they know the bathroom can be returned to a pristine condition with a quick wipe over.
Tiles are waterproof. Everyone knows that. But the same cannot be said about grout.
Not all formulations of grout are waterproof. And most are not designed to be used in showers. There are special mixes and sealers required to enable the grout to perform adequately in this demanding environment. But many installers either don’t know or choose to ignore this fact and just end up using the cheapest grout they can find.
There are even some tiles that are not waterproof – especially those made from natural stone. While they will stop water from penetrating all the way through to the wall the tiles themselves can be slightly porous and retain moisture. This can lead to staining and will also speed up the deterioration of the grout.
Cladding has no such issues. It is ideal for use in showers and will perform perfectly with no leaks and no maintenance headaches.
This is such a big advantage.
Tiles require an almost perfect surface onto which they are applied. Any imperfections will kick the tiles out. And the grout lines will highlight any unevenness on the wall. The smaller the tiles the worse the problem is. So mosaic tiles will highlight any bumps, dips or protuberances very quickly. There is mosaic effect cladding available that eliminates these problems.
So walls need to be skimmed and then plastered to achieve the level surface that tiles need. This is a slow, messy and costly process because it requires skilled tradesmen. Plastering is not a process that is easily undertaken by a DIYer.
It is usually undertaken while the whole bathroom has been ripped out. This is another problem with tiles – the installation process is slow and inconvenient.
But bathroom wall cladding will fy up over unprepared walls with no issue.
Cladding Is Easy To Cut
“Is cladding easy to cut?” A question that is asked frequently. And the answer is simply “Yes” It is one of the easiest materials to work with and cutting is simplicity itself.
Tiles are notoriously hard to cut and require special tools and even diamond cutters for specialist cuts. They are brittle and frequently do not break exactly where you want the cut to be. It can be highly annoying (not to mention costly).
Cladding offers no such hurdles. It can be cut with any fine-toothed saw. Tenon saws are perfect but standard handsaws can also be used. The finer the teeth on the saw the neater the finish and also the less chance there will be of any chipping occurring. You can also use jigsaws, craft knives and even soldering irons to make holes or to follow complex curves.
See this installation page for more hints and tips.
It’s Easy To Install Bathroom Wall Cladding
As previously mentioned, cladding is easy to cut and requires no preparation. So as you can imagine, it is also very easy to install.
You can stick it in place, screw it, fit it to battens, nail it or use any combination of these methods. The panels are relatively light and easy to manoeuvre into place.
The whole surface floats over the substrate because each piece slots into the next one, effectively creating one large sheet.
The whole system is designed with DIYers in mind. This enables someone with reasonable skills to create a fantastic finish with very little effort.
The Finished Result…
The finished results speak for themselves. You can create professional, stylish, practical bathrooms in next to no time with a minimum of effort.
Here are some examples that illustrate just that: