There have been some amazing wall panel designs made available in recent years.
Sure, light grey marble is still available. But it is now not the only show in town. Digital printing techniques have allowed some much more complex designs to be manufactured.
So there has never been a better time to consider using this quite incredible wall covering in your bathroom.
What Are Your Priorities?
You will need to establish exactly what you want from your wall covering and what your priorities are.
So, you will want a covering that
- looks good
- is cheap
- requires no maintenance
- is easy to clean
- requires no preparation
- is easy to install
Bathroom wall panels tick all these boxes. There is plenty of information regarding all of these properties on the website – for example see this article for details on how easy panels are to install.
But this article we will concentrate on the first item in the list above – good looks.
There are two paths you can go down when it comes to good looks. You can use a wall covering that is smart, attractive but doesn’t stand out. Or you can go for a design that makes a bit of a statement.
There are plenty of options within most panelling ranges to enable you to go down either route.
Do You Like The Look Of Tiles?
We should caveat this question: do you like the look of tiles when they have been freshly installed? That’s because their looks can deteriorate pretty rapidly if the grout fails.
New tiles and grout do look good, we’ll admit. And tiles are the sort of product most people expect to see on bathroom walls.
Panelling manufacturers know this too. So they have made plenty of different tile-effect designs to keep people happy. The panels have the grouted line printed into the surface of the panel. There is no actual groove. This has the big advantage of providing a smooth, wipe-over surface.
What Do Tile Effect Panels Look Like?
Design wise, there are many different options.
You could choose a panel that emulates a butt-joined marble. The joint line on this type of panel is dark rather than a white grout line. This disguises the vertical join between the panels perfectly.
Panels like this have a staggered pattern to the tile effect. There are two “tiles” across the panel each one offset against the other.
This makes for slightly easier installation because you do not have to worry about lining up the panels horizontally.
Alternatively, there are new digitally printed panels that have a white grout line. This form of printing allows for much more accuracy so it is possible to get the grout lines straight. It does mean you have to be a bit more aware of your cuts when fitting the panels to ensure everything looks neat and tidy.
Impressive Looking Mosaics
Mosaic tiles always catch the eye. They are a very good looking way of covering a wall. Well, at least initially. Mosaics use a lot of grout. And, as we have explained, a lot of grout means a lot of headaches.
Mosaic effect wall panels are the the ideal way to harness the look that you want with none of the downsides.
These panels will require lining up with one another to ensure you have a continuous grout line around the room. But they are very easy to cut so this should not cause too many headaches.
Wall Panel Designs Using Tiles and Mosaics Together
This is a great option if you are looking for a bit of variety in your bathroom design.
Rather than use tiles or mosaics around the whole room why not pick out a certain area in something different?
Feature walls are a common design method. A great option is to use a mosaic effect pattern around the bath or shower area. The rest of the room can be finished with a tile effect or even a marble wall panel design.
By limiting one area in size you can afford to go for something darker. Dark colours can be overpowering around the whole room especially if it is small. But a feature wall cries out for a something to catch the eye so this is where you can get your teeth into design.
Choose panels from the same manufacturer if you are joining mosaic panels on to tile panels on the same wall. Different makes can be different thicknesses and the tongue and groove joints will be different.
It is possible to just butt-join the panels by cutting the tongue off but it would be much easier to use panels that work well together.
Marble Design Panels
Marble design wall panels have a lot going for them.
The most popular option is a very light grey marble. This keeps the room looking light and bright – perfect in a smaller bathroom.
You will notice that a large proportion of the tiles in showrooms will be some variation on this type of design. This is why virtually all panelling manufacturers offer a light marble in their ranges. It just looks right.
But there are quite a few variations on the basic marble. There are coloured versions, darker versions and different vein patterns.
Again, you could opt for a light and dark option from the same manufacturer to achieve a contrast on different walls. Or you could combine marble with one of the tile effects.
We have an article on our blog about using colour in your bathroom design here
You can see from the following photos the types of colours that are available in this kind of panelling.
Natural Wall Panel Designs
Natural stone is a common material used at the top end of the market. It looks amazing but these good looks come at a cost. They require sealing and are usually one of the most expensive options.
So knowing that there are alternatives is a great boon. Manufacturers have come up with several wall panel designs that emulate the look of natural stone. But these panels do not have to be sealed like stone does. And they cost a whole lot less.
Travertine and slate are the two stones that are very commonly used in up-market bathroom makeovers. And bathroom wall panels are available that look just like the real thing.
The great bonus of the panel versions is that that they can be installed without having to report to using grout to join them together. They simply slot on into the other. A thin bead of silicone inside the join will ensure no water gets through – ever.