Few things compare to a bathroom remodel. Not only does it help improve your life, but it also adds value to your home. As per Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, mid-range bathroom remodels recoup 64% of their costs.
Bathroom renovations don’t have to be extensive. But if you’re tired of your old space and want to start afresh, consider tending to your bathroom walls.
Unlike other regions of your home, your bathroom needs waterproof walls. Bathrooms are major splash zones, and without proper waterproofing, you may end up with mold, leaks, and damp, among other things.
Fortunately, there are a ton of long-lasting bathroom wall materials you can choose from. Let’s dive into a few.
Traditionally, tiles come in a variety of different materials, including:
Besides making a unique statement, a fully tiled bathroom wall can resist water damage. Plus, tiles are a breeze to clean. All you need to do is wipe them, and you’re good to go.
However, tiles are laid linearly, which can either enhance or detract from your bathroom’s overall feel. Also, too many tiles can turn your bathroom into a sterile, hospital-like environment. The trick is to find the right color of tile and use it in moderation. For example, partial tiling is a good compromise, where you only install tiles on a portion of the walls.
2. Single-Sheet Plastic or PVC Panels
PVC panels are an alternative to conventional tiles and wallpaper. And, all things considered, it’s clear why they’re so popular with modern homeowners.
- PVC panels are available in multiple colors, patterns, textures, and sizes, leaving you spoilt for choice!
- They’re lightweight and durable.
- They don’t warp or bend easily
- They’re heat-resistant and require little to no upkeep
More importantly, PVC panels are waterproof, making them an ideal choice for moisture-rich areas like bathrooms, basements, and garages. Also, they’re fixed using an interlocking tongue-and-groove system, which prevents water from seeping in and accumulating underneath the surface.
While beadboard walls aren’t exactly groundbreaking, they’re known to have a cozy, retro charm. If you’re looking for ways to add visual interest to your vintage bathroom, try beadboard on for size.
One of the most popular beadboard wall designs is a simple wainscot. Here, you run the beadboard panels at waist height and paint the remaining wall in a complementary color. Or you can go all-in with floor-to-ceiling beadboard panels to elongate your space. This can work wonders for bathrooms with low ceilings.
No matter what style you choose, always paint the beadboard with semi-gloss or gloss paint to protect it from excess moisture.
3. Vinyl Wallpaper
When it comes to functionality, vinyl wallpapers take the cake. Better still, you can test them before making a full commitment. Most vinyl-coated wallpapers peel off with ease, so you can purchase a few samples, stick them up, and see how they feel.
Aesthetics aside, vinyl wallpapers also help hide imperfections on your walls. In case they have a few dents and scratches, heavily textured wallpaper should take care of the problem.
Before you begin, make sure your walls are suitable for peelable wallpaper. Vinyl wallpaper is not as sticky as its permanent counterparts and may not adhere to matte, flat, or bumpy surfaces.
Additionally, keep it away from direct moisture. Prolonged contact can cause the wallpaper to swell and peel off spontaneously.
4. Laminate Panels
Another convenient alternative to ceramic tiles, laminate panels have remained a fan-favorite for decades. They are usually backed by waterproof foam or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).
Based on your preferences and overall aesthetic, you can choose between high-gloss panels and more traditional options. Laminate panels are pliable, waterproof, and available in a wide range of textures, colors, and patterns. As a bonus, they are mold-resistant, washable, and DIY-friendly.
6. Acrylic Sheets
Like most homeowners, you probably wouldn’t pick acrylic for your bathroom walls right out the gate. However, it has certain unique advantages that can take your bathroom aesthetic up a notch. Here are a few.
- Acrylic does not scratch, chip, stain, or fade, making it a perfect choice for the long haul.
- It can withstand mold and mildew.
- Since acrylic isn’t porous, it is less sensitive to scum and discoloration.
- Acrylic sheets are usually locked and welded after installation. This helps minimize leaks.
However, acrylic has a few disadvantages you shouldn’t ignore. For one, high-end acrylic panels may be difficult to install. Plus, they’re often limited in style and design. But if that doesn’t bother you, or if you’re willing to hire a professional remodeling contractor trained in acrylic sheet applications, then you have no reason to back away.
5. Stone Slabs
There’s no denying the aesthetic allure of a classic stone wall. Solid stone blocks generate an exotic, relaxing, and rustic vibe. And, although it’s a tad more expensive than contemporary bathroom wall materials, it’s worth every penny.
On the flipside, some natural stone types absorb humidity easily, which can trigger moss and mildew formation. To prevent this, make sure to pick a stone that can withstand frequent contact with water.
6. Wood Panels
A wooden bathroom may seem like a disaster waiting to happen. However, it’s a perfect choice for anyone looking to glamorize their space. Wood can soften your bathroom’s appearance and warm it up effectively.
Sure, wood doesn’t hold up against moisture and humidity. But a touch of semi-gloss paint can fix the problem in no time. You can add waterproof varnish to safeguard it even further. As long as the walls don’t come in direct contact with water, they should be fine.
Sometimes, you only have to paint your bathroom the right color to transform it completely. Use waterproof oil-based paint on your bathroom walls to keep water damage at bay. Be sure to keep the room well-ventilated till the paint dries completely.
8. Glass Blocks
Glass may not be the most realistic option for bathroom walls, but it is certainly fascinating. Glass bathroom walls provide a greater sense of space, thanks to their reflective nature. You can use glass tiles on your entire shower wall space or add them as a highlight for ceramic tiles.
Given the overwhelming variety of bathroom wall materials out there, it’s easy to feel lost at first. But once you weigh your options and figure out your budget, you’ll have no trouble deciding. A little research can go a long way!
Is a bathroom remodel on your to-do list? Give OMG Kitchens a call. Our experienced contractors can suggest bathroom wall material options that complement your needs. You can trust us to finish the job on time and within budget. For more information, reach out to us today!