Are you looking for an alternative to tiles in the bathroom? This suggests that you have already noticed the shortcomings of traditional tiles in a bathroom. If this is the case, you are probably wondering how a bathroom design without tiles is possible. Although tile is the obvious choice for most showers, many people consider it outdated or simply too expensive. Luckily, you can use bathroom tiles. The latter are no longer the only means available on the market for sealing shower walls. So if you are looking for a shower tile alternative, you can find some of the best options in this post.
Waterproof alternative to tiles in the bathroom
There is nothing like durability when you renovate a bathroom or other wet room with wall cladding. When it comes to bathrooms, durability is key. Your shower is used frequently. So durability is what you are looking for, no matter what type of seal you choose. Shower panels and shower wall cladding are becoming increasingly popular in bathrooms for this reason, as they offer several advantages over tiles.
Advantages of the bathroom tile alternative
The cost of bathroom cladding and tiles varies depending on the type and brand of cladding you choose. The decor, color and size of the tiles also affect the cost. If you choose a comparable finish and compare your budget in square feet, shower screens and wall panels can more than keep up, even before you consider the cost of tile adhesive and grout. However, bringing a tile alternative to a good level requires an experienced craftsman with many years of experience.
This means that you also need to have special knowledge to install shower panels. It is also easier to maintain this type of wall covering. You may be able to apply more general post-installation maintenance. Given the size of the panels, installation is also much quicker. This means that the tiler also needs less time, which further reduces costs. With bathroom wall panels, a shower can often be installed the same day because you don’t have to wait for the tile adhesive and grout to dry.
Installing bathroom cladding without tiles is also a relatively dry process. In contrast, tiling a wall after preparing the surface requires 2 wet coats of tile adhesive and grouting after drying. This can be a messy process. Most basic shower panels only require glue. They come in a silicone tube to attach the panel to the wall.
Diversity in design
Removing and replacing tiles can be a difficult task. Even a decent tiler takes half of the plastered wall with them when removing the old tiles. This process takes time. However, wall coverings can be installed over the existing tiles as long as they are not uneven or already falling off the wall. So if you are interested in changing the paneling, it can be removed from the wall relatively easily.
We’ll be honest, it’s not going to be an exclusively easy process, but compared to tiles, this can seem like a piece of cake. You can also use the old panel as a template for the new one. This is helpful if you have adjusted shower in front of window or other features in the bathroom. Tiles look great when you first install them, but over time they become less attractive. This is particularly true for the joints, which, with their white color, not only turn yellow in the shower cubicle. Yes, you can clean the surface and replace or even paint over it. However, it still costs time and money, whereas shower panels only require a simple wipe and the finish won’t discolor.
Waterproof panels for bathrooms
Bathroom tiles are so popular that they are often viewed as the only option. Almost every bathroom has been tiled in one way or another. However, there is not only one alternative to tiles in the bathroom, which we can call wall cladding. Essentially, these panels are waterproof and replace bathroom tiles in a modern and minimalist way. But are these a really good idea and a cheaper shower area alternative, or more of a passing trend?
Affordable wall board for the bathroom
The cheapest panels on the market are made of plastic and hollow core panels. They aren’t as well built or durable as the more expensive options, which is to be expected. The surface of the cheaper wall board is either printed or glued to the plastic, which we find is not as robust. The clear advantages of choosing a cheaper wall board for your bathroom is, logically, the cost. However, the disadvantages are the potentially shortened lifespan and overall appearance of the surface. With a finish like this you really get what you pay for. This option is also not as robust as such panels rely on the strength of the wall and plaster, which are not always ideal.
If you want to use high-quality wall panels, there is enough choice on the market. The more expensive wall panels can be made from a waterproof and boil-proof plywood panel. The plate is approximately 10 or 11 mm thick and has a Laminate suitable for walls. This resembles a kitchen worktop. Another design is a wall plaque made from a recycled product that can be submerged in water and still not absorb any of it. This board also has a laminate on the front.
This type of shower screen has the same thickness as the other panel we propose. In both versions, the wall boards are thicker, heavier and more robust than the inexpensive plastic walls. They will also certainly create a sturdier wall as the plastic panels flex and move. Most manufacturers also offer a long-term guarantee on both wall panels, so you get an indication of the quality. So it’s a variant that’s definitely worth considering.
Wall cladding without tiles
The main reason we find that many people like chalkboard is that it does not require any grout. This is a plus point for any bathroom, as grout can discolor over time and therefore requires more care. It’s also a clean look for your bathroom without those annoying grout lines. For this reason, many people choose waterproof wall boards when renovating their bathrooms.
Cleaning a bathroom wall without tiles is also much easier. When you clean your bathroom wall tiles, you have to devote a lot of time, especially to the joints. A wall panel, in turn, has no or very few joints. There is only a line of silicone around the edges of the panel that seals the gap to the wall. Such a shower screen can even be used in a sauna and is perfect for a very humid environment.
Acrylic panels in the bathroom
Acrylic shower panels give your shower a smooth and seamless look. These acrylic panels are also durable and are usually reinforced with glass fibers. Due to their seamless nature, there is less chance of water damage and leaks along the seam lines, as well as in your bathroom’s foundations.
Acrylic is therefore an excellent option for shower enclosures. It is dent, scratch and break resistant and there is also a small chance of mold growing on or behind the panels. Acrylic is also a non-porous material and therefore completely water and stain resistant, keeping your shower clean and modern for a lifetime. An acrylic wall therefore offers the ideal option for durable wall cladding compared to bathroom tiles and is also quick to install.
Marble plaster for bathrooms
If you’re looking for another customized option to waterproof your shower, marble is the way to go. This building material is a little more expensive than others, but can be wonderfully shaped and sculpted to your liking. When properly cared for, marble is a material that can successfully withstand a lifetime of abrasion, chipping, fading or scratching. It is also 100% mildew resistant. Despite the cost, marble is a standout option that can instantly increase the value of your home.
Wooden wall in the bathroom
While wood is not the standard material for shower cladding, it offers an extremely modern look for any bathroom. Ideally, wooden panels should be used as a shower cover for the bathtub, for example, which can be mounted over concrete slabs or tiles. A wooden wall is also a versatile material because you can cut and shape it to fit any shower size. It is also hard-wearing and offers a really long-lasting alternative to tiles in the bathroom with shower area. However, when installing, make sure to seal all joints with silicone to prevent leaks and mold growth between and behind the panels.
Stone resin as an alternative to tiles in the bathroom
Stone resin is a great alternative to shower floor tiles as it is incredibly strong, durable and smooth. It will last a lifetime and is certainly worth the initial investment when you consider that you will never have to lay tiles again. It is 100% crack, chip, abrasion and mildew resistant and provides a warmer feeling on the feet compared to other materials. If you live in a colder climate, stone resin is a very good option for this reason. However, be sure to choose a textured stone for the shower tray to avoid slipping accidents.