Can You Panel Over Tiles?

All bathrooms have a lifespan.  And sooner or later yours is going to need a makeover. One aspect of bathroom decoration that starts to show its age first is grout. It turns mouldy and makes the whole room look dirty. But the thought of ripping off old tiles, re plastering and re-tiling is very off-putting. Luckily modern bathroom wall panels are an effective solution that eliminate all of the headaches. But can you panel over tiles? The simple answer is yes.

panel over tiles

Removing Existing Tiles

There are several problems that can arise when removing existing tiles.

If you are looking to remove all of the bathroom tiles then you might well need to re-plaster once they have been stripped. Tiles installed on plasterboard can pull away large chunks of the wall when removed. Chiselling away the remnants of adhesive is noisy, time-consuming and messy.

In older properties the tiles are cemented onto the wall. These are notoriously difficult to remove. A drill with a pneumatic chisel attachment is the only viable option. These type of tiles have a nasty habit of taking large sections of the wall with them when they come off making re-plastering essential.

Plastering and tiling are regarded as “wet trades”. They create a lot of mess however careful you are. They are also expensive and take many days to complete even the smallest bathroom.

In most instances there is no advantage in removing existing tiles. It will only gain you a few millimetres and makes the whole redecorating process a lot more involved.


tile effect bathroom wall panels example 2

Bathroom Wall Panels To The Rescue

One of the reasons that people ask if you  can you panel over tiles with this type of product is it sounds too easy. But you can – and this means that the whole job becomes much simpler. Why make life difficult for yourself when there is a proven alternative available.

Bathroom wall panels use no grout. So there is nothing to bleach, nothing to scrub, nothing to turn mouldy. Installing them over existing tiles is very straightforward. It is a much quicker, cleaner process and usually works out cheaper as well. Add in the fact that they last for ages without any maintenance and the decision becomes a no-brainer.

The existing surface is perfect for panelling over. Tiles provide a flat, even surface. Providing they are clean and free of any soap residue the adhesive will stick to the tiles with no issues. And unlike tiles each panel hold the next one in place. So adhesion is much less of a problem than with tiling.

Things To Consider When Panelling Over Tiles

The only real issue when panelling over tiles is the thickness of panels. Make sure there is enough depth behind bath and basin taps. Check whether there is enough play in supply and waste pipes to cater for the extra thickness. The panels are only 8mm thick in most instances so not a lot of slack is required.

It is best to remove the basin and W.C. rather than trying to cut around them. Leave the bath in place and panel down onto the top of the bath surface.

Your choice of adhesive and the quantity used will need to be considered. Panels are 100% recyclable but they are also re-usable if you are careful when removing them. So thinking to the future use a bit less adhesive and opt for a solvent free formulation. Solvent based adhesive has a much stronger bond and will make removing the panels in one piece tricky. You could use screws to attach the panels. This makes removal very easy but it is very time consuming. It is not possible to use staples on tiles.

It’s As Simple As That

We hope this article just how easy it is to panel over tiles. It is a clean, modern approach to bathroom decoration with no downsides. It is a proven method that has been used on the continent for decades.

There are a whole host of designs available – see our article here for more details.