Choosing the right wall panel for your bathroom


This article contains paid-for content created in collaboration with Rearo.

Think tiles are the only option for your bathroom walls? Think again. Wall panels are quickly becoming one of the most popular tile alternatives, offering a cost-effective solution in a variety of materials including laminate, PVC and acrylic.

Not only do wall panels look great, but they also have practical benefits too, improving thermal insulation and providing a watertight seal to shower areas, wet rooms and bathrooms.

But with such a wide range of decorative wall panelling available, how do you decide on which style to choose for your home? We chatted with Rearo, a leading specialist in the supply and manufacture of bathroom and kitchen surfaces, to find out everything you need to know.

Beige PVC waterproof wall panel for neutral bathroom

How to calculate your wall panel cost

It sounds like an obvious thing to say, but it bears repeating: before you begin any bathroom project, you should always set a budget for your upcoming renovations. The good news about wall panels is that as well as being less costly than tiles, they can also be installed between 3 and 6 times faster – so you’ll have a reduced spend on labour, too.

As a general rule of thumb, PVC wall panels are the most cost-effective of all of the leading wall panel surfaces, while laminate shower panels tend to sit at the luxury end of the scale.

To work out your total material cost, calculate the m2 of the room and then divide the widths of the room by the width of your chosen panel – this should then provide you with a rounded figure for each wall, which you would then create a total figure from.

All Rearo wall panels exceed 2m in height, accommodating most bathrooms. However, if you do have a particularly high ceiling, you would also need to include panels for vertical application within your product requirements. These would be installed with the assistance of H-trims (also known as joining bars).

Spa style bathroom using bamboo wood panels and slate click vinyl flooring

What look are you hoping to achieve with your wall panels?

Once you’ve sussed out your budget, it’s time for the fun part: selecting your wall panel style.

Rearo’s Selkie Board and Nuova Board luxury laminate wall panels are made in-house within their 67,000+ sq ft manufacturing facility in Glasgow. Not only do they exude quality, but they also offer an extended choice of finishes and textures for your bathroom.

The Selkie range, for example, comes in on-trend Pantone colours (we love the sage green), authentic stone effects and 3D finishes. The Nuova range, meanwhile, is where to look if you love wood and stone finishes that provide a premium, nature-inspired aesthetic.

If your budget won’t stretch to laminate, then PVC wall panels are great for flat mattes, gloss and glitter panel options. Some Rearo customer favourites include the Grey Retro Metallic and Beige Concrete panels.

Want something more traditional? The Versatile tile effect panels are available in a broad spectrum of marble and plain colour options, allowing you to choose a plain, brick or mosaic tile option for your bathroom.

You can also switch things up by using a combination of different wall panels. Variations in thickness can be compensated for with the assistance of MDF or chipboard to make up the difference (this will allow you to use the assigned panel trims).

Joiner cutting laminate wall panel using jig saw

Will you be using an installer or carrying out a DIY installation?

Once you’ve bought your materials, it’s time to think about whether or not you’ll be hiring a professional to install your wall panels.

The DIY route isn’t always the most wallet-friendly (as anyone who has had to re-do a job will tell you), but if you do fancy trying it, it’s advisable to do so with the more cost-effective wall panel ranges. That way, any errors can be rectified without it being too pricey.

The panels at the top end, despite having a waterproof finish, can be prone to water ingress if not sealed correctly. Rearo therefore always recommend a professional install for these wall panels.

Black marble effect laminate wall panel with oak effect click vinyl flooring in bathroom

All of the above mentioned items are available to buy in-store or online at www.rearo.co.uk, with free delivery on any order over £400 exc VAT.

For further information, you can always get in touch with the friendly team direct via sales@rearo.co.uk or phone 0141 440 0800.

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