Designing your dream bathroom is a personal process that must take account of your budget, your sense of style, your needs, and the available space. Many bathroom choices may be easy (you probably know instantly whether you want a mixer tap or a separate hot and cold tap, for example) but choosing between bathroom panels and tiles can be difficult. Both panels and tiles have their pluses and minuses, and there’s a huge variety to be found in both categories. You may also be thinking of updating your bathroom to add value to your house, which further complicates the problem. To help you decide let’s glance through the basic design profile of bathroom panels and tiles before we break down their advantages and disadvantages.
What are Bathroom Tiles?
Bathroom tiles are small handcrafted slab pieces that fit together to create unique and beautiful patterns. They can be made from clay (ceramic), stone, porcelain, marble, and mosaic, and come in an almost endless amount of colors. Bathroom tiles are applied to a layer of wet cement in a typically labor-intensive and delicate process. However, the results can be stunning, if these 37 tiled bathroom ideas are anything to go by.
What are Bathroom Panels?
You can think of bathroom panels as one large tile to cover a whole wall, rather than the many smaller tiles that are more conventional. However, unlike regular tiles, bathroom panels tend to be made of synthetic material, with often glass-like effects. Bathroom panels are easy to install and, as a general rule, more cost-effective than tiles. Furthermore, shower panels are becoming more and more sophisticated as we develop better manufacturing techniques. Just check out the “Hive” wall bathroom for inspiration.
The Pros and Cons of Bathroom Tiles
Easy daily maintenance, durability, eco-friendly materials, and undeniable visual appeal are some attractions of bathroom tiles. We associate bathroom tiles with luxury and master craftsmanship since every piece can be customised down to the finest detail. Wonderful patterns can be achieved with bathroom tiles, from the sophisticated and neutral through to colorful and complex motifs. Here are 10 tile patterns you need to know about.
In a word: price. It’s no secret that deluxe bathroom tile installation comes with a hefty price tag and unfortunately, it’s just not advisable to try to lay tiles yourself. You can’t DIY your way out of this one. Added to this, tiles are vulnerable to grout mildew, which requires time-consuming scrubbing to clear away, and sometimes even costly repairs. That said, if you take proper care of your bathroom tiles, then they should last you a long time. Case in point: there are plenty of Roman tiles still going strong.
The Pros and Cons of Bathroom Panels
The big selling point of bathroom panels is that they’re easy to install and suitable for DIY. Bathroom panels are also frequently good value for money and, as an added bonus, they’re easy to clean and don’t succumb to grout. Bathroom panels typically have a sleek and modern appeal, although new options are constantly becoming available on the market.
There’s always a downside. In this case, wall panels can be difficult to transport, especially upstairs or into a tight space (not unlike trying to get a big couch into a small apartment). You’ll also find yourself out of luck if you have curved walls in your bathroom, as panels can’t (yet) be fitted around those. Some also find the appearance of bathroom panels less desirable than tiles, but this is in the eye of the beholder.
What Should You Decide
By now, a few things may have jumped out at you. If you have a curved wall, then the answer is tiles. If you have a budget, then the answer may be panels. It all depends on your space, budget, likes, and dislikes. Objectively, you can’t go wrong with either bathroom panels or tiles; it all comes down to what’s right for your bathroom.