What Is the Difference Between Shower Wall Panels and Ceramic Tiles?

Shower and Sink Area | Shower Wall Panels

Choosing the type of wall covering for the bathroom is crucial in designing the area. That’s why selecting between bathroom wall panels and ceramic tiles is a common dilemma for many homeowners.

Bathroom claddings or shower wall panels are large waterproof sheets that can be installed on bathroom walls, while ceramic tiles are coverings that prevent water ingress. But, they are much smaller than panels. Both options have different benefits and drawbacks to offer. Learn what they are to help you decide which one is the right material for you.


If you’re after a quick and easy installation, bathroom cladding is the better option because it has a more extensive coverage than a ceramic tile. The process of setting up the panel type is also simple. The general basic steps are as follows: installing moisture-resistant drywall, applying wall adhesive, putting the sheet into place, and sealing the joints.

Tile installation, however, is time-consuming, especially if it takes gluing each small piece to a large wall area. Also, if the process requires replacing old tiles, they must be removed before placing the new ones. Most panels are beneficial to use in this type of scenario because they can be placed over existing tiles.

Design Options

Tiles have a wider selection of sizes, shapes, and color schemes than panels. If you want to achieve a specific and distinctive vision for your bathroom, pick the former because they provide more creative freedom and customization options than the latter.

Though it is true, bathroom wall panels offer plenty of design choices. Panels with marble and granite finishes are suited for contemporary and modern aesthetics. If you want your walls to have tile patterns, there are claddings with fake grout lines. You can also choose from various acrylic shower wall patterns and colors available in the market.

Impact on the Environment

If you’re eco-conscious, opt for tiles rather than claddings. Plastic and fiberglass wall panels are less eco-friendly than tiles made out of ceramics, which are natural materials.


A significant disadvantage of ceramic tiles is the hassle of cleaning their grout joints. Since these are absent in bathroom claddings, the upkeep is easier. In addition, grout can deteriorate over time, causing the tiles to loosen and providing room for mold and mildew growth. If the erosion is severe, you might need to repair the gaps.

There is no clear-cut winner between ceramic tiles and shower wall panels because there are cases where one is better than the other. Ultimately, your preference is the deciding factor that dictates your choice.

Get in touch with our experts at Bath Innovations of Alabama if you’re having difficulty deciding the right option for your bathroom. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of wall panel and ceramic tile selections.