Tile effect bathroom wall panels are a perfect combination. They provide the look of tiles, that so many people want for their bathroom. But they also offer all of the practicalities and advantages of a modern wall panel system.
The examples above give you a great idea of the types of effect that you can achieve with wall panels.
In the first example we see a mosaic tile effect panel used above the basin area and also inside the shower cubicle. The rest of the room is finished in a much lighter coloured panel to emphasise the difference.
Example 2 has a larger tile design. By using a modern 3D printing technique a very realistic looking grout line can be achieved.
The shower in example 3 has used a two-tone designs by employing one lighter and one darker panel. This is a great technique used as a way of adding visual interest in a bathroom design.
Mosaic tiles can be a nightmare in the bathroom as there is so much grout – and grout can cause problems. But the mosaic design in example 4 is actually a wall panel so there is no grout used at all.
The photos also illustrate how you can mix and match different panels to differentiate between certain areas of the bathroom. A feature wall is a great way to add visual interest. Mosaic tile effects can be a bit overpowering if used around the whole room. But when they are kept to one specific areas, like a shower or above a bath) they look amazing.
Installing Tile Effect Bathroom Wall Panels
All PVC panel products share one common attribute: they are easy to install.
There is virtually no preparation needed and they can be fitted straight over your existing tiles. This is a real bonus because because tiles have a nasty habit of taking chunks of wall with them when you try to remove them. Were you to attempt to tile a wall after this you would first need to re-plaster the whole room. But not with panels.
If you leave the tiles in place, panels can be fitted straight over; if you take the tiles off you can panel straight over. Even if there are chunks of plaster missing they will go straight up with no issues.
Previously the panels were made with a staggered tile pattern built into the design. This lent itself perfectly to a random installation approach because the panels were printed by roller. Printing using this method means there could be slight variations in the tile size. Although these would be very small they made obtaining a continuous datum line around the room hard work.
Modern tile effect bathroom wall panels are digitally printed making it a much more accurate system. This enables the panels to be fitted more like actual tiles with a continuous line around the room – click here for more info. But they can still be installed in a random fashion if you prefer. The choice is yours.
Use In Conjunction With Mosaic Panels
Having a continuous grout line at the edge of each panel helps to disguise the joint. They are much less noticeable than would be the case with a plain or marble effect panel. It also enables panels of a different pattern to be installed side by side.
As well as the tile effect panels there are also mosaic effect panels which can be used on their own. Or they can be used in conjunction with other designs to lend emphasis to certain areas.
Are There Any Downsides to These Panels?
Installing the panels with a continuous horizontal grout line can be a bit fiddly. But it is not impossible and just takes a bit of patience and careful measuring. If you want to make life easy for yourself just stagger the joint lines. It looks just as good and makes fitting a lot less hassle.
Wall panels are not as robust as tiles. Even so, they are still used extensively in commercial environments. Hotels, guest houses, student accommodation and leisure centres all use this type of material regularly. In a domestic setting this slight shortcoming is even less of an issue. If you do happen to damage a panel it is possible to fit a new one in-situ without replacing the whole wall. See this guide for more details on replacing or repairing panels.
See our guide to everything to do with tiles
There are different patterns you can employ when installing tiles – see this page for more info – Tile Effects
Bigger is not always best – see our article on Mosaic Wall Tiles
Our Tile Gallery shows some real horror stories where tiling has failed
This article sums up the benefits and downsides of tiling – Tiles – Pros And Cons