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Bathroom Wall Tile Alternatives

Bathrooms are inner rooms that are very essential in a home. We use bathrooms every day. The beauty of a bathroom is a colourful theme, a warm feel, and an attractive appearance. As a result, most people have preferred geometric, mosaic, and ceramic tiles to achieve a beautiful look on bathroom walls for a long time.

Moreover, tiles are durable, resistant to water, easy to clean and maintain. They are often more resistant to mould and mildew. However, times have changed and as such, so have people's preferences in materials used for bathroom walls.

Various effective, efficient, and cheaper materials have emerged that can be used for bathroom walls instead of tiles. This provides users with a wide variety to choose from to make their bathrooms look attractive. This article will highlight some of these tile alternatives for bathroom walls.

Shower Wall Panels

Most people have admitted that shower wall panels come second after tiles for the most effective bathroom wall materials. Shower wall panels are interlocking sheets that are waterproof and exist in various finishes and materials. There are high-grade fiber, PVC-backed composite, high-pressure laminate, and acrylic shower panels.

As such, the different finishes include matte, glossy, natural stone, etc. Similarly, wall panels are available in different sizes, thus allowing for various options. Shower wall panels are suitable for any bathroom décor since they look like tiles. They can be placed on top of old bathroom tiles as long as they are level.

This ability puts you at an advantage since you do not have to spend extra cash to remove the old tiles and get rid of all the construction rubble. Moreover, there is no need to worry about their maintenance. Shower wall panels are as easy to maintain as tile showers. With an antiseptic spray, enough clean water, and a clean cloth, you can make your shower wall panels sparkling clean within a short time.

How about installing shower wall panels? Is it a difficult task? The short answer is no. Compared to installing tiles, installing shower wall panels is much easier and effortless. The installation of shower wall panels does not require grouting, and the shower wall panels can comfortably stick on solid surfaces. This saves you expenses on grout.


When considering alternative materials for bathroom walls, most people do not give wallpapers much of a thought. However, wallpapers are as effective as tiles on bathroom walls. Wallpapers equip your bathroom with a unique character, alongside giving it an attractive demeanour.

Considering the nature of a bathroom, its smaller size, and furniture limitations, wallpapers become effective for bathroom walls. There are various types of wallpapers, and thus you could find one that matches the theme of your bathroom. Similarly, there are removable wallpapers convenient for people who live in rental houses.

If you decide to use wallpapers instead of tiles in your bathrooms, you should go for steam-resistant wallpapers since they cannot easily peel off, and you won't end up with a wet wall. Furthermore, if you cover your steam-resistant wallpaper with a transparent acrylic varnish, it could be resistant to moisture as well.

Wood Panels

People are more accustomed to wood flooring than using wood for bathroom walls. However, this does not mean that one cannot use wood for bathroom walls. If you are worried about the danger of water spills on the wood, there is a remedy for that. You can paint the wood with semi-gloss paint or smear a waterproof varnish over the wood to prevent water damage.

Once the wood panels are well protected, they could last for several years before you start thinking of bathroom renovations. Similarly, you could use wood panels on the bathroom areas that are free from water spills. It is easier to install wood panels than tiles. This is because wood panels are larger than tiles, thus taking a shorter time to install.

If you are well versed with woodwork and have the necessary skill-set, you will find that installing wood panels is effortless. What about the maintenance of wood panels in the bathroom? This should not be of any concern to you. It is easy to maintain wood panels in the bathroom instead of tiles since tiles are vulnerable to grime. Similarly, wood panels are less likely to decolourise.


Most people would disqualify bricks for bathroom walls at first instance. No one will be ready to consider it because of its porous nature. Well, bricks do indeed seem like a bad choice due to this feature and the apparent water splashes in the bathroom. However, that is not the case. Bricks could actually make an excellent alternative to tiles for bathroom walls. You could hire a professional with expertise in indoor brick laying to construct a bathroom brick wall for you. Similarly, with waterproof paint on your bricks, you do not have to worry about the porous nature of bricks in your bathroom.

Laminate Panels

Laminate walls are common in modern bathrooms, especially in commercial or executive buildings. In most cases, you will realise that laminate panels are fixed with a waterproof foam or a wood core. Laminate panels also have a waterproof plastic core. Most designers ensure to treat the core with a waterproof surface and a decorative nature as the top layer of the laminate panel. This makes laminate panels hygienic and last longer. Compared to tiles, laminate panels are cheap to purchase and more economical to install.

PVC Wall Panels

Another alternative to bathroom tiles is PVC wall panels. PVC wall panels are lighter than tiles but strong regardless, thus effective for bathroom walls. Similarly, PVC wall panels are cheaper to purchase, easier, and more economical to install. It is safe to install them since they produce no dust during the installation process.

PVC wall panels have a natural water-resistant feature, making them great for bathroom walls. As such, you do not have to stress about the water splashes damaging your walls. Moreover, PVC wall panels are available in different textures, colours, and patterns. You thus need to choose the ones that suit you; if you are lucky to lay your hands on 3D PVC sheets, rest assured your bathroom will be beautiful.


The beauty of any bathroom is making it look unique. Are you on a budget or just low on cash? Do not worry about making your bathroom look beautiful without using tiles. You can use bathroom paint which is cheaper and easier to apply. Applying paint on your bathroom walls is probably the most affordable alternative compared to the options mentioned earlier. It is also the easiest option. There are several types and colours of paint, and thus, you can paint your bathroom to give it the theme and design that you desire to have.

The process only takes a few minutes, and you do not have to hire a professional if you know how to paint. However, paint does not last long and can easily peel off when in contact with water unless you apply waterproof paint. Similarly, bricks or tiles provide a more attractive demeanour in the bathroom than paint. But if you’re up for an affordable option, paint is your best bet.


Marble is malleable, making it possible to be crafted into different shapes and designs. With proper maintenance, marble could last for a long time without cracks or scratches. Although expensive, marble is waterproof and resistant to mould growth. Therefore, it is effective for use on bathroom walls.

Stainless Steel

This option is quite expensive, meaning that it is not appropriate for low-budget residents. However, it is one of the most effective alternatives for bathroom walls. Stainless steel is naturally resistant to water, thus making it practical for use in bathrooms.

Even though its installation requires much effort and professional skills, it does not require grout application, thus saving you such expenses. The installation of stainless steel sheets is quite complicated and requires skills. Therefore, unless you are a skilled handyman on your own, it would help to contact a professional to come measure, cut, and install the stainless steel sheets on your bathroom walls.

Solid Stone Slabs

Another great alternative to wall tiles is solid stone slabs. This approach is also quite expensive and thus inappropriate for low-budget users. Solid stone slabs are quite costly to install and require much effort and skills; however, it does not necessarily need you to hire a professional. Nonetheless, if you are not confident in yourself, do not hesitate to hire a professional to help you out.

Solid stone slabs are more efficient in large-sized bathrooms. The approach might be expensive, but in the long run, it is worth it. There are various colours, designs, and textures of solid stone slabs. This means that you can choose whatever you like and mix different designs, colours, and textures to get a more beautiful appearance.


Ceramin is strong, long-lasting, and water-resistant. It is a common type of flooring that was established as an alternative to tiles and solid stone slabs. Ceramin is made of natural materials mixed with polypropylene, making them lighter and efficient for bathroom walls. It is available in various different designs and styles but can be attached to walls or even tiles.

Acrylic Sheets

If you need a contemporary feel in your bathroom, you could settle on acrylic sheets instead of tiles. They offer a seamless and shiny look to your bathroom. The benefit of acrylic sheets is that they are water-resistant, last longer, and are stronger. Similarly, it is easier to install acrylic sheets, clean and maintain them.

Moreover, acrylic sheets are difficult to scratch, crack, or dent. They are also less vulnerable to mould growth. However, there is no standard price for acrylic sheets since the prices vary depending on the design, texture, and manufacturers. Consequently, acrylic sheets have colour limitations, which could really be inconvenient.

Most people prefer the colourful look and theme in bathrooms; thus may find acrylic sheets a bit boring. However, if you do not mind much about colours in the bathroom, then acrylic sheets could suit you well as an alternative to tiles.

Which Material Do I Go For?

The beauty and theme of the bathroom are as important as is bathroom cleanliness. People have used tiles for bathroom walls for decades; however, that is no longer the case in the modern world. There are various materials available as alternatives to tiles for bathroom walls. Additionally, most of these materials are easy to install and do not require professional services.

It's really for you to decide what alternative suits your bathroom, personality, and budget best. With the discussions on the materials mentioned above, choosing what material to use for your bathroom walls should be much easier. However, when it comes to installation, do not hesitate to contact an expert to help, as most of these alternatives require professional skills to install them properly.