The good news is that you can panel over tiles. That’s right, straight over your existing tiles. No plastering, no hacking off, no fuss, no mess.
Do you have trouble with your tiles? Problems trying to keep your grout clean? Looking for a modern alternative?
You have come to the right place as we have the perfect solution.
There are thousands of people who used to be in the same situation as you but they have solved all of these problems permanently by installing waterproof panels.
Is It Easy To Install Panels Over Existing Tiles?
Yes – it’s about as easy as wall coverings get – so make sure you read on!
What Factors Do I Need To Consider?
The first issue will be the current state of the tiles.
If the tiles are loose then it could indicate a more serious problem. See our guide on tiling and grout problems for more information.
Loose tiles should be removed – ideally the whole wall. The surface does not need to be completely smooth and flat for panels to be fitted. So no re-plastering is required.
Are you are keeping your existing bathroom suite? If so, you need to consider the thickness of the the panels. These are usually usually 8mm or 10mm thick. There needs to be enough clearance behind bath and basin taps to cope with the extra thickness .
Any surface pipework supplying showers needs to be considered. Things like electric showers or mixer valves sometimes have these pipes buried. But either way the pipes will have to be adapted to cope with the thickness of the panels.
Is it possible to cover tiles and cut the panels around basins, electric showers etc? Yes, but this is very tricky and would not be our recommended approach.
Fitting Panels With A New Bathroom Suite
If you are installing a new suite, do not fit the panels behind a bath or shower tray. Fit the bath or shower tray first – this is very important.
For a new installation our recommended order would be :
- fit the bath or shower tray
- panel over tiles
- fit the toilet and basin
This way the bath will be fitted to a solid wall. The panels are hollow so they are not a solid surface.
You do not have to fit all of the panels in one go. You could fit one wall at a time. Fit panels to the toilet wall before the basin wall . It is easier to live without a basin for a few days than the toilet if installation is taking a while.
So What Are The Advantages Of Panels Over Tiles?
- 100% waterproof – perfect for use as shower lining panels
- easy to install – fit straight over your existing tiles
- no maintenance – just a smooth, wipe-over surface
- no mould – there is no grout so nowhere for mould to take root
So if you want to achieve the best result in your bathroom the solution is easy – fit shower panelling instead of tiles.
More and more people are coming around to the idea of bathroom wall panels as an alternative to tiling as there is no grout. So no scrubbing, no bleach, no raking out & re-grouting.
Is There A Lot Of Preparation Needed?
Tiles will need to be cleaned before the panels are fitted. This is to make sure they are free of any soap residue.
The panels are very forgiving when it comes to installation. Just use the recommended adhesive to fit the panels straight over your tiles. The tiles actually provide a nice flat surface. And panels do need a lot of adhesion.
Bathroom wall panels are tongue and grooved so they just slot together to give you a waterproof surface.
Tile Effect Panels – The Perfect Combination
You might really like the look of tiles. But you want all of the advantages of a modern wall panelling system. In this case, tile effect panels are the effect choice for you.
They have a smooth surface with a printed tile design. Made from PVC, they are essentially plastic wall tiles that do away with the need for grout. The smooth surface makes cleaning simplicity itself as they just wipe over. No grout, no mould, no problems.
Can You Panel Over Tiles In A Shower?
That is what they are designed for.
If anything, we would say that they are more suited to use in a shower than tiles are! Tiles themselves are not the problem – grout is.
Grout has a terrible tendency to develop cracks. This can be from tiny amounts of movement of the shower tray. Or it can be from repeated expansion and contraction. Plastic shower panels suffer no such issues and once fitted will last for years.
You might want to cover the whole of the shower wall with one large panel. There are 1mt wide PVC shower panels available. These will be suitable for shower up to 1000mm. Laminate panels are available that are 1200mm wide.
For wall bigger than this you will need to join 2 panels together. Luckily most shower wall panels and tongue and grooved. So they just slot together. There is no need for a joining strip. This gives a very neat finish.
Shower panelling over tiles is the perfect long term solution. They are easy to fit, do not leak and require zero maintenance.
Are These Panels A New Idea?
Panels are a tried and tested method of covering bathroom and shower walls. They have been used on The Continent for over three decades.
Bathroom panels have grown in popularity. This is due to all of the problems with tiles. Tiles are costly to fit and did not always last that long before the grout starts causing problems.
So several manufacturers sprung up providing a modern alternative to tiles.
We would point out that there are a lot of very cheap (and nasty) panels entering the UK market. There is a big difference between cheap and good value.
So, before you panel over tiles, check out the quality by ordering some samples. It is usually very easy to spot inferior quality products once you have them in your hand.
Bathroom Makeovers – Made Easy For You
Is your bathroom décor is looking a little out of date? Then it might be time for a makeover.
Tiles are one the most common forms of wall covering but can look dated after a while. And grout has a nasty habit of turning grubby with time. It can even start to harbour mould.
In this situation the options are:
- remove the existing tiles and re-tile
- tile over the existing tiles
- paint the existing tiles
- remove the tiles and panel the walls
- panel over the existing tiles
Removing the existing bathroom tiles can be quite a task. If there are plasterboard walls the tile removal tends to pull large chunks of it away.
It is possible to tile over existing tiles. But then you are relying on the initial layer of tiles being very sturdy. The tile adhesive on this layer of tiles will have to support the weight of two layers of tiles.
It is essential that the right adhesive is used for this type of operation and the tiles might require priming. Check with the manufacturer to be sure.
There are a number of tile paints on the market. These can be used to over-coat the tiles. But the finish achieved using these products will usually fall short of the smooth, high gloss, glazed finish of the tiles it is over-coating. Any moisture in the grout behind the paint can cause problems. It ca adversely affect the finish and lead to blistering.
So an alternative is needed. Luckily there is a product that fits the bill perfectly – bathroom wall panels.