Can You Put Bathroom Wall Panels Over The Tiles?


Can You Put Bathroom Wall Panels Over The Tiles?

By Momi on February 25, 2023

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Just like all other interiors in the home, bathroom décor renovations are also essential at times to keep up with modern-day décor trends and styles. Speaking of the décor upgrades, bathroom walls are the highlighting features of the bathroom interiors because they comprise the overall theme and mood of the space.

In fact, bathroom wall renovations can outright the vibe and design of the bathroom interiors. In the past, tiles were commonly used for lining bathroom walls and creating elegant bathroom decors. However, bathroom wall tiles are getting in competition for an ideal choice with the introduction of wall paneling on the market.

In this article by Wallpaper Land, we’re going to explain whether it’s suitable to panel the bathroom wall over the tiles or whether it should not be done the way intended. So, stay with us to get your question answered along with a ton of useful information on this topic for additional understanding.

A Comprehensive Take On The Topic Of Bathroom Wall Panels & Tiles

Just as mentioned, wall tiles have been long used for bathroom wall décor and style upgrades. And there’s no doubt that tiles for the bathroom walls create shiny surfaces that attract attention. However, the idea to install panels in the bathroom leaves the consumer in a troubled state of mind regarding the choice of an ideal option to create delightful bathroom decors.

What Are Wall Panels?

The Wall panels for the bathroom are thin slabs made of acrylic, pressure-laminated vinyl, and PVC materials used for covering and protecting the walls against water damage. These slabs or boards are large-sized and don’t require grout for installation or fixing. Additionally, panels create sophisticated appearances and are used mostly for modern-styled bathroom interiors.

What Are Bathroom Wall Tiles?

Made from clay or a mixture of clays, bathroom wall tiles are available in a wide variety of options and finishes. For instance, you can have porcelain tiles, ceramic, tiles, marble, mosaic options, limestone, vinyl tiles, stone tiles, and many more. Bathroom tiles are installed using grout (a mixture of water, cement and sand).

Know More: Delightful Dining Rooms With Wooden Wall Panels

Differences Between Bathroom Tiles & Panels

Below, we’ve described the most noticeable differences in wall tiles and panels.

  • Panels have unnoticeable seams because they are not installed with grout. On the other hand, tiles (no matter the type) have visible seams in design.
  • Bathroom panels don’t get stained while tiles are destined to get this visible damage no matter what.
  • Paneling is easier to clean and maintain as compared to cleaning wall tiles. Hence, the former option gets you long-lasting aesthetic benefits.
  • Bathroom panels are cost-effective in comparison to tiles for covering the exact same surface area.

Bathroom Wall Panels Over Tiles: To Have Or Not To?

For a straightforward answer, it’s a big Yes from us to this question i.e. you can install panels over existing tile surfaces without worry. Having that said, the cost of tile removal (additional amount paid to the professionals) and the time and effort that has to be invested (for DIY tile removal) are both saved.

Thus, you’ll save yourself a lot of your hard-earned money, precious time, and valuable effort by installing panels over existing tiles. Besides, you’ll enjoy the benefit of easy and stylish décor upgrades for the bathroom interior as well.

Know More: Shower Wall Panels Vs. Ceramic Tiles

How To Install Bathroom Wall Panels Over Existing Tiles?

Now that you can install panels over bathroom tiles, the question arises of how this process can be efficiently DIY performed. To ensure that you comprehend the procedure completely, we’re going to explain the installation procedure in a series of steps.

Take Wall Measurements

Panels are large-sized slabs or boards that can be ideally fitted over flat wall surfaces. However, working around corners and edges require you to cut the slabs into corresponding sizes. For this purpose, you need to take wall measurements for precise fittings.

Doing so, you’ll get an idea about the total number of panels to be fitted across the bathroom walls. Another useful tip is to clean the panels with an anti-bacterial liquid prior to installation.

Tools Required For DIY Installations

The following equipment is to be arranged prior to paneling the walls over existing tile surfaces.

  • Safety Goggles
  • Caulking Gun
  • Sharp Blade
  • Tape Measure
  • Jig Saw or Fine-toothed Saw
  • Adhesive Sealant
  • Sand Paper
  • Sealing Kit
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper

Measure, Mark & Cut The Panels

Now that you’ve wall measurements in hand, you can easily apply markings to cut the panels precisely. For this purpose, you need to lay your panels (face upwards) on a flat surface and apply pencil marks for cutting the panels. Now, you need to cut the panels using a jigsaw for perfect installation.

Smoothen The Panels

The next step is the sanding procedure for smooth panel surfaces. It’s necessary to remove any leftover wood debris from the cutting of the panels. To get over this step, you’ll have to use sandpaper for smooth panel surfaces.

Trim Attachment

Trims not only add a decorative flair to the overall panel design but also create waterproof joints between panels and the ceiling. Also, trims are used around sharp edges and corners for connecting two panels together. The trims are usually screwed into the walls for attachment purposes when installing the panels over plain wall surfaces.

When you’ve to install panels over existing tiles, the trims are attached using an adhesive sealant. The trims are to be installed prior to fitting the panels. Because the panels have to slot into the trims. For trim attachment, you need to coat the surface with an adhesive sealer.. For around the corners, the adhesive sealant is to be applied to the wall surface (corner area).

Fitting The Panels

When the trims are secured, you need to fit the panels by applying panel adhesive for attachment purposes. To ensure that the panels won’t fall off the wall, you should follow this strategy to apply panel adhesive.

  • Apply adhesive in a thin line around all the edges.
  • Create a zig-zag pattern with adhesive in the middle.
  • Draw large circles with adhesive on the panel’s top and bottom sides.

After that, you can slot the panels into trims. When slotting the panels always hold the panel at an angle (inclined position). Place one end into the trim and adhere the panel back to the wall. Then, put some gentle pressure for a few seconds to ensure strong attachments. Repeat the process for fitting all the panels seamlessly.


Installing bathroom wall panels over tiles is a great idea that saves you from investing a lot of time, effort, and money into the process of tiling or similar treatment. In this article, we have described what bathroom panels, tiles, and their differences are. Plus, the installation procedure for fitting wall panels over tiles has also been explained in detail.

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