Bathroom renovation - wall panels or tiles?



Renovating our small bathroom but can't decide whether to use bathroom panels all over the walls and LVT tiles for flooring or tiles from floor to ceiling. Any advice would be appreciated and maybe photos as well? Thanks!

  12 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 05, 2021

    Hello Shiela,

    Floor to ceiling tiles, Use a waist tile to help widen the room.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 05, 2021

    Hello. Exciting project! I’m not too sure about what to suggest for a wall surface. We’ve done several bathroom renovations if I’ve had to do it over I might consider a cultured marble tiled shower. As we grow older the tile showers take more care and maintenance. We had the cultured marble tile in a previous residence and it’s easier to clean and and lack of grout lines is appreciated.

    Our last bathroom gut a few years ago we removed wallboard and tiles and returned walls to cedar logs and put large porcelain tiles on the floor. We are very happy with that floor tile.

    Hope they offer you some great visual ideas here. I know going to my local tile store floor and decor there were some amazing displays and overwhelming choices and options to be made. We even used a specialty grout that had a little bit of a shiny quartz like glitter effect to it with our subway tiles. So many products and options can be overwhelming.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 05, 2021

    I've had the bathroom panels and they are "OK". After several years, they began to flake in the tub surround area. Tile is much longer lasting and durable.

    You can mix it up, I've had better luck with vinyl flooring but still - tile is so much more durable.

    In short, tile is a lifetime IMHO.

    I would say to break up the tile. We have high ceilings and here is how I broke up the space using the simple white tile that is self spacing on the surround and glass mosaic for an accent. This is immediately afterwards, as you can tell by the face I hadn't even cleaned up the area well. But I was so excited at the results I snapped this photo when I stepped back. The other walls are painted and the flooring is vinyl peel & stick, which I will be replacing "one day" with tile.

  • William William on Feb 05, 2021

    I agree. Bath panels are quick to install. Plastic "H" trim for the seams. They may last several years. Porcelain finish over hardboard. LVT tiles for the floor need to be waterproof. Floor to ceiling will make a small bathroom look smaller. I just remodeled half bath. Just sink and toilet. Removed floral wallpaper, painted walls. Porcelain tiles on floor. Still have to install exhaust fan and crown molding. Bathroom looks larger with painted walls than with wallpaper.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 05, 2021

    Shower panels pros

    Easy to clean due to the absence of grout jointsQuicker and cleaner installation

    Shower panels cons

    A damaged board requires complete replacementPVC is plastic and easy to damageLimited choice compared to tiles

    Bathroom tiles pros

    Fully customizableEco-friendlier than shower wall panelsEasily available, and in a range of styles

    Bathroom tiles cons

    Grout joints absorb moisture and lead to mildewHigh maintenanceTedious and expensive installation

  • Dee Dee on Feb 05, 2021

    I used porcelain tiles for the shower and shower floor with very small grout lines.Not a problem to keep clean. As for the wall I would use tile there too and bullnose tiles to round off the edges. It will be easy to take care of because it is porcelain it will not crack. Here is how I keep my entire bathroom clean. No fuss no muss: and most of all no mold or water stains

    Heat up 1 cup of white vinegar, mix in about 1/4 cup of Dawn Premium. Not the dollar store kind, because it is too thin. When mixed, pour into a spray bottle and fill with water. Shake. Spray down the grout and let it sit overnight. In the morning rinse. If you have stubborn stains, spray again. Use this mixture a few times a week. It will keep your grout and tiles clean. Also works wonders in the toilet bowl to keep hard water stains at bay. Oh you only have to heat the vinegar one time when you add the Dawn.

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 05, 2021

    Hi Shiela: If it's a small bathroom, I think I'd use panels on the walls and the LVT tiles on the floor. I think that tiles all over the place would make a lot of glare and the noise level would go up a bit. Paneling would soften everything.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 05, 2021

    Hi! Panels worked short term for me, but, if tile is in the budget, I would be more inclined to put in tile. There are some gorgeous ones that won't break the bank!

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Feb 06, 2021

    If the sq ft of the wall areas isn't large, then it will be awkward to try to cut bigger panels to fit into the spaces around existing fixtures. It may be easier to fit small tiles into and around little spaces.

  • Bushra Bushra on Feb 06, 2021

    The tiles are really in fashion these days. Go with the same color or mix and match style can bring a new look to your bathroom.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 06, 2021

    Hi, and easy to do, is panels that look like tile, they are easy to install and look great!

  • I think it depends on your budget, your style, and your design goals for the space. Regular tiles are much heartier and wear better over time.