By Kerry Hale

6 Stylish Bathroom Tile Alternatives

  • Friday 19 August 2022
  • 3 minute read

Tiles are a popular choice for many bathrooms, adding texture, dimension and colour to your space. However, there are plenty of other stylish ways to decorate and protect your bathroom walls, including PVC wall panels, waterproof wallpaper and premium natural materials. Our guide will help you discover the best bathroom tile alternatives and the pros and cons of each material to find the best solution for your bathroom.

Pros and cons of tiles

One of the main cons of tiles is that the grout can be tricky to clean, especially if you have small tiles, as stubborn mould and mildew can set in. This also means they are not fully waterproof, only water-resistant. Over time, if the tiles or grout begin to crack, water can seep in and cause damage to the walls. Tiles are also more expensive than other materials. That means you’ll need to spend more money if you want to change your bathroom design in the future or replace broken tiles. One of the main pros of tiles is their aesthetic appeal. You can create a custom feature wall around your shower or bath unit, especially if you choose a bold colour, shape or pattern.

If you’re renovating your bathroom and looking for alternatives to tiles, we’ve got plenty of suggestions to suit your design preference, budget and bathroom size.

PVC panels

PVC panels are one of the most cost-effective and modern choices for bath and shower enclosures, offering a seamless finish. They can be cut to size, making them ideal for any bathroom configuration, and they are quick and easy to install. Stick each panel to the wall, then seal around the edges to create a water-tight join. Discover more benefits of using shower panels instead of tiles in our guide.

Acrylic panels

Like PVC panels, acrylic panels are easy to install and can be cut to size. Unlike tiles, they are easy to keep clean and fully waterproof, so you won’t get mould and mildew build-up on the surface. At Mira, we stock shower wall panels in various sizes and designs, including the Mira Flight wall panels, so you can achieve a modern tiled look for less.


Choose marble laminate panels to create a luxurious feature in your shower enclosure. You can achieve the look of natural marble at a fraction of the cost and ensure the space is fully waterproof, protecting against mould and damp.

Natural wood

Whilst wood isn’t a good choice for bathroom walls as it is highly porous and susceptible to mould when wet, wood effect panels can create a spa-like feel in your bathroom. Choose your preferred shade to complement any existing wooden accents in your bathroom, from light, mid and dark brown tones to black, grey or white wood panels for a more contemporary feel.


Waterproof paint is an affordable alternative to tiles and an easy way to switch up your bathroom design. Plus, you can wipe off any marks or add another coat if it starts looking tired. Paint all the walls in the same shade to create a seamless look, or go for a contrasting feature wall in the shower enclosure to make a statement. Looking for more paint ideas? Discover the best colour ideas for small bathrooms.

Waterproof wallpaper

Fancy introducing a bold pattern to your bathroom? Try waterproof bathroom wallpaper. Although this is an excellent alternative to tiles, wallpaper can bubble and peel in humid bathrooms, so it’s best to choose a different option in smaller spaces with little ventilation.

You may also want to consider applying wallpaper to the area with the least risk of splashing to avoid water marks or damage. We’d recommend avoiding the sink, shower enclosure and above the bath. Instead, wallpaper one wall in a drier area to create a stand-out feature.

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