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What Can You Put on Bathroom Walls Instead of Tiles?

Installing bathroom tiles is a hassle, and it takes time. Cleaning them all-around your bathroom is a whole chore itself. You might ask yourself, what can you put on bathroom walls instead of tiles?

There are plenty of materials to use on bathroom walls instead of tiles. Wallpapers, wood, shower panels, brick, laminated panels, PVC wall panels, stainless steel, solid stone slabs, paint, ceramic, and acrylic sheets. A combination of 2-3 of these elements achieves post-modern and minimalist design.

Modern inspired design invented new ways to make unconventional materials work well in a bathroom. It displays a simple, sleek, and clean appearance that is functional by design.

This styling technique matches such unusual materials to neutral tones. Common modern design bathrooms either play with monochrome themes or mix light, gray, and dark tones.

Architects identify high water-prone areas in a bathroom. They use efficient modern design to prevent flooding or water leaks with careful planning and execution.

To avoid structural water damage in walls, they use high-quality waterproof fixtures in areas like the shower. Like enclosed glass showers, standing bathtubs, vessel sinks, as well as floating cabinets.

Standing bathtubs means water has less contact with the edges of the walls. Thus, it reduces the risk of water leaks. A similar deep bowl-type design in bathroom sinks produces the same effect.

Modern bathrooms may still include modern tile design, but it is often minimal or, in some clever ways, none at all. Practical bathroom floors often use modern-style tiles that complement the contemporary design. Some amazingly smart designs use engineered wood, vinyl, or stylish concrete as bathroom floors.

Choosing not to use bathroom tiles on walls gives you the opportunity to explore different designs. It makes your space look high-end and luxurious. If you are looking for an elegant and sophisticated makeover in your bathroom, then going tile-free is a pleasant start.

You can use Modern, Post-Modern, Minimalist, Contemporary, Transitional, and Industrial design styles. These are the design styles that you find in high-end malls, 5-star hotels, spas, modern buildings, and offices today.

It also saves you time in cleaning your bathroom walls. You do not have to worry about molds that stick in the tile grout anymore. Artificial materials engineered for bathroom walls will save you the hassle of dealing with tiles.

Waterproof bathroom walls

Modern technology made it possible to use synthetic materials like wallpapers to be waterproof. These were not suitable as bathroom wall designs in the past because they absorb water quickly, which leads to water damage.

Here is the list of waterproof synthetic materials that you can use on bathroom walls: wallpaper, Paint, Acrylic sheets, and Shower Wall Panels. Different shower wall panels include Laminated Panels, Plywood panels, Ceramic, and PVC Panels.

With the right print as design, modern wallpaper can give your bathroom walls a glamorous makeover. Steam-resistant waterproof wallpapers are now a thing. A clear acrylic varnish helps modern wallpapers not to peel easily when exposed to moisture.

Transolid Expressions 36-in X 60-in X 96-in Glue to Wall Tub/Shower Wall Kit in White

Shower wall panels are available here on Amazon!

Paint is the easiest and the cheapest choice to put on your bathroom wall. To secure the paint from water damage, use waterproof coating paint. Waterproof paint should be oil-based.

Acrylic Sheets give an inexpensive option and super simple installation process for your bathroom walls, most especially in the shower area where water splashes are frequent. It is also the most common way to waterproof your shower walls.

Today, acrylic is one of the most durable materials used in the shower construction industry. Alternative to any kinds of construction tiles.  The material won’t peel, chip, crack, or fade with time, and it is highly resistant to mildew and mold.

Different kinds of bathroom wall panels

Bathroom shower panels give you the exact look of putting in shower tiles without the hassle of dealing with grout. It has a 100% water-resistant finish.

It is faster to install and easier to clean and maintain. It is even more cost-efficient than using tiles.

Some waterproof shower panels strictly repel water using modern engineering technology. Such panels were basically made from artificial materials manufactured to reject water.

It has its own locking mechanism, which creates a tile-effect feel on the walls. Some shower plywood panels like Ceramin are highly sustainable and 100% made from recyclable materials.

Laminated panels have been existing for 20-30 years now as a working alternative to bathroom tiles. They often have waterproof foam or a wood core. They are great for bathrooms because they are already water-resistant, long-lasting, and durable.

They are super easy to install. And they come in different varieties of colors and designs, like a high-gloss, glass-like finish, or a monochromatic color.

PVC wall panels are another artificial panel-type bathroom wall. Like other bathroom panels, they are relatively easy to install. It is water-resistant and mold-resistant by nature. 

PVC panels come in a wide range of colors, finishes, and patterns that you will surely love for your bathroom wall.

Shower wall panels come in different styles designed to imitate ceramic tiles, wood, marble, or natural stone. These are the most used interior bathroom designs today. It matches almost every existing design style.

These artificial materials are waterproof, just like regular tiles. It often requires less cleaning, unlike bathroom tiles as walls. Since water glides through it, you only need to wipe clean your shower walls to clean them.

Quality brands also often come with either a 10-year or lifetime warranty for some. They guarantee that it won’t damage your bathroom walls.

To achieve the warranty, they need to be professionally installed. You can find them in any local hardware.

These items are definitely worth trying if you no longer want to use tiles in your bathroom walls.

Waterproofing hard material bathroom walls

Using alternative materials on bathroom walls revolutionized modern design. Hard materials are often used elements to explore different design themes in modern bathrooms—materials such as wood, stainless steel, brick, and solid stone slabs.

Several methods exist in waterproofing materials like this. Each hard material has its own way.

One simple waterproofing method that might apply to any material is to always use water sealant.

Waterproofing wood elements on bathroom walls means painting them with semi-gloss paint. And with an oil premier or waterproof varnish.

You can also use linseed or tung oil to provide a protective hand-rubber finish. Seal the wood with a coating of polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer. Last, waterproof wood simultaneously with a stain-sealant combo.

Wood is a hard material that can be delicate when exposed to water. With no kind of protection, it might suffer water damage by rotting, swelling, or warping.

You can protect the wood further from humid and moist conditions. Large wide windows that provide enough ventilation are highly recommended. If you don’t have large wide windows in your bathroom, you need to invest in a proper ventilation system inside it.

Using stainless steel introduces an industrial element of style to your bathroom wall. It is naturally water-resistant. So you will not have problems using stainless steel inside your shower area. You just need to follow the proper installation process for it.

A stainless steel panel, however, requires its own method of cleaning. You need to know how to properly clean it for it to last long. You can buy stainless steel panels at your own local hardware store or online.

Bricks-styled bathroom walls create a little bit of drama. White-colored bricks bring extra radiance to any room. It also adds texture as an element of decor in your bathroom.

You can choose one wall as your featured brick wall in your bathroom. It could be the shower sidewall or the wall where the shower head and knob are. It could be the wall where the bathroom mirror is.

Then use elements of either contemporary or minimalist style in your bathroom accessories to create a clean and crisp design.

Bricks need waterproofing as well to maximize their usefulness in a bathroom. Paint the bricks with colorless water-resistant paint or a sealer. That way, the brick wall will last longer.

Solid stone slabs as bathroom walls are the most expensive alternative material to tiles. Solid stone slabs use the same stones that make granite or marble kitchen countertops. It uses actual stones in quarries to make wall slabs, and they do not come cheap.

Solid stone slabs are often used as a luxurious exterior design in modern houses. It is incredibly durable and can withstand any weather. Hard material like stone slabs still needs waterproofing for an extra layer of protection.

There are lots of materials that can substitute using regular bathroom tiles on bathroom walls. You need to be open to modern design influences that can elevate the look of your bathroom.

Due to advanced engineering technology, experts find more ways to create new and modern building materials. Thus, creating new ways to modernize bathroom design. To ensure longevity, always seek professional opinion and help in waterproofing alternative materials.