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A Complete Guide To Bathroom Wall Panels

Fancy a quick and easy upgrade for your bathroom? Bathroom wall panels are just the way to do it. Read on to find out all you need to know about this stylish alternative to tiles.

Bathroom wall panels are an excellent way to upgrade your bathroom decor. They are the perfect, stylish alternative to tiles; think beautiful patterns, vibrant colours and subtle textures adding wow factor to your space. Decorate the walls of your entire bathroom, behind the bath or inside your shower enclosure for a unique focal point in your room which you’ll enjoy time and time again. 

In this guide we’ll explain exactly what bathroom wall panels are, what you need to consider when choosing them and also how to install them yourself.

What are bathroom wall panels?

Bathroom wall panels are a breath of fresh air when it comes to decorating your bathroom. Often referred to as shower panels or wet walls, they offer a hardwearing, 100% waterproof bathroom wall solution or alternative to tiles that are long-lasting, fuss-free and easy to install. 

Each panel is sold in standard sizes of 2.4m (or 2400mm) in height with up to 2 width measurements to choose from depending on the size of the wall you are covering. They can also be cut or trimmed to size with DIY tools making it easy to find the perfect fit for your space. 

These panels come in a variety of styles from classic marble finishes, rustic wooden looks or textured concrete effects to more glossy and opulent styles with metallic and sparkly accents. There’s such a wonderful selection to choose from and definitely a style to suit all bathroom aesthetics. 

Fancy updating your bath at the same time? Check out our article: 7 Beautiful Bath Panel Ideas.

Bathroom wall panels add affordable decadence to your space

What are the different types of bathroom wall panels? 

There are five main types of panel for your bathroom - each with a unique set of properties which can also dictate the styling you can adopt. 

Let’s look at each one in more detail. 


Laminate panels are manufactured using an FSC certified exterior grade MDF core which is bonded to high pressure laminate. These panels usually require a watertight trim applied to each outer edge during installation. 

The laminate comes as either a Proclick or Square Cut panel type which creates a seamless, almost invisible joint between the panels. It also makes installation easier through the click design. More on this to come below. 

Laminate is used for the more luxurious finishes of marble, terrazzo and matte or gloss slate designs. 

Wood Effect

Is a spa-style bathroom on your wish list this year? Create that Nordic-inspired and serene getaway in the comfort of your own own home with our range of slatted wood-effect panels.

The best bit? You can do all of that without the maintenance and hassle that comes with real wood. These panels are watertight and fit neatly on your wall providing a fuss-free solution to protecting your walls while adding style and helping to create a calming environment.

Slatted designs come in two variations and two finishes - Oak and Walnut. Sold in packs of three to make life easier and they can be installed vertically, horizontally and diagonally.

Craving a spa-like, Nordic aesthetic for your bathroom like these wood effect panels suggest? View the full range of slatted wood effect panels.

Compact Tile 

Compact Tile panelling provides a tile effect in a range of colours and patterns - from natural white and stone effect to more vibrant colours. 

It is made from a strong composite material that is embossed to provide the finished look. This is the closest looking to natural tiling and there’s no grout in sight - which also means there’s no need to replace or maintain your grout for years to come! Bonus! 

With this style, it’s often necessary to add a trim to all outer edges and corners to ensure they are watertight. 


Our PVC range is suitable for all walls and ceilings in your bathroom, shower room, ensuite, cloakroom and even food hygiene areas like your kitchen, utility room and conservatory. They offer an easy to fit and maintain panelling system in high gloss and come in a variety of designs and colours from chic marble to shimmering diamond.

These panels work with a tongue and groove fitting design so simply click together on your chosen wall using just a touch of sanitary silicone for a watertight finish. They have a hollow core which means they also act as a layer of insulation on your wall so you get a warmer surface and less condensation.

We love the different effects that PVC panels bring, from wood to marble and even slate finishes like these below. View the full range of PVC bathroom wall panels


These 100% waterproof panels are manufactured from a 4mm acrylic sheet that is rear printed to create a polished gloss-like finish. Unlike laminate they don’t require any trims, you simply join the panels together with sealant. 

Acrylic panels are most commonly used to inject colour into a bathroom space either via a colour block or through more invigorating patterns and prints. What’s even more exciting is that solid colour panels can be printed to match any colour of your choice so you can really get a personal touch into your aesthetic. And for something truly bespoke, acrylic panels can be fully customisable meaning you can print any image of your choice on to them before installation. 

bathroom wall panels
Colourful acrylic panels to brighten your bathroom

What are the main advantages of bathroom wall panels? 

Still not sure if this is the way to go? Or, wondering if tiles are more suitable for you? Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons why bathroom wall panels are so great! 


Choosing to decorate all or a section of your wall with these panels opens up a plethora of styles and can really change the whole look and feel of your space. We love that you also have the option to create a fully bespoke wall from a beloved image or find the colour of your choice giving endless possibilities for decorating. 


Nothing is more necessary in the bathroom as the last thing you want is mould or damp building up on your wall behind the shower or bath. But that’s the beauty of the technology used for all types of bathroom wall panels, they have engineered a full proof system to ensure water stays out and your walls look fabulous for years to come. 

Easy installation & maintenance 

Probably one of the best advantages to this product is the minimal maintenance once installed. The non-porous surface means it will always look as good as it did when it first went up. The surface is also really easy to wipe clean and mould resistant. There’s also no grouting so you never have to worry about the time consuming job of replacing or refreshing smelly, dirty grouting! 


As they are a long-lasting and durable product, bathroom wall panels make for a really cost effective solution with guarantees of up to 30 years on some products. In all cases, you can expect these panels to last around 10 years or more. But if you fancy a change, you can always update the panels fuss-free. No smashing up tiles and weeks of building work to get the look you want. These will go up in just a couple of hours. 


With sustainability on the mind, it’s also really positive that the Showerwall laminate panels we will be stocking are manufactured using an FSC certified exterior grade MDF core, guaranteeing that the timber used is harvested from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources. 

bathroom wall panels
Get the effect of tiles with less maintenance

Can you fit them over tiles? 

Absolutely! These panels are designed to fit to a bare wall or over your tiles which makes them so much more appealing. 

To make sure you get the best results from your panels, they are ideally placed on smooth, fresh plastered walls but because of their construction it is not always necessary for your wall to be in this condition. 

So, as long as your tiles have been cleaned and degreased then these panels are ready to go.

How to install bathroom wall panels 

For an in depth guide on how to install the panels we stock here at Drench, head on over to our bathroom wall panels installation guide

Whether you've opted for PVC, Acrylic, Laminate, Wood Effect or Compact Tile, our experts have put together a step-by-step guide to help.  

Want to know more about the different types of wall panelling for your bathroom? Head on over to our article: Bathroom Wall Panelling Ideas

We hope this buying guide has been useful to you and you’re ready to make a decision about the wall panels you’ll love for your space. A comprehensive range of styles and designs are available to buy right here at Drench now! Browse the full range today

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