Can the panelling be installed over existing tiles?

Yes. But you need to take some things into consideration.


What State Are The Tiles In?

The state of the current bathroom tiles is the first thing you need to think about. You will see that some tiles will be loose if the grout has failed completely. Some may have even fallen off. Tap the tiles and listen to see if there is a “Hollow” sound. This would indicate that the tiles are loose and are being held in place by the grout.

It is probably best to remove the tiles in this situation. The tiles should come off easily if the grout has failed.  There is no need to remove every single scrap of tile adhesive as the panels are very forgiving when it comes to slightly uneven surfaces.

What If Your Bathroom Is Half Tiled?

You can leave the tiles in place if your bathroom is half tiled or you can hack them off.

The old, cemented-on porcelain tiles are a nightmare to remove. They tend to bring most of the wall with them when hacking off. So, leave these in place. Pack the top half out roughly to the same depth. The wall panels can then be installed right over the top.

You can use plywood or hardboard to level the walls. Battens are also an option – the closer together you fit them the more solid the job will be. We would opt for a solid sheet rather than battens.


Tile and Panel Thickness

This is another thing that you have to take into consideration.

Panels vary in thickness depending on the manufacturer. The common thicknesses are 5mm, 8mm and 10mm .

There are things that can be affected by this extra thickness including:

  • bath taps – not enough room behind the taps
  • shower mixer vales – not enough slack in the pipework to move out the the extra thickness
  • door architraves – you might need to use capping trim if the thickness of the panels is too great
  • toilet position – most will shift forward a few mm with no issues but it is worth checking



Wash the walls down to remove any soap reside and then leave them dry thoroughly. Knock off any high spots of adhesive if you have removed the tiles. There is no need to remove every bit of adhesive. Bring the panels indoors and lay them flat. The colder the panels get the more brittle they become and could chip when cutting them. Keep the adhesive warm as it is easier to apply.