Bathroom cladding, sometimes called wet wall or bathroom panels, is becoming more and more popular. It’s a great alternative to tiles, with various styles and colours to choose from, and is completely waterproof. So how much does it cost to install bathroom cladding?
Bathroom fitters will charge around £220 to install bathroom cladding in a 2m x 2m bathroom, plus materials. But of course, the final cost will vary depending on where you live, the type of wet wall you choose, and how tricky installation is. Expect to pay between £100-£300 per 2420mm tall panel.
Let’s dive into what bathroom cladding is, what types there are and how much it costs to install bathroom wall panels.
Bathroom cladding, wet wall or bathroom panels all refer to the same product. They’re a great alternative to tiles and are much quicker and easier to install. Usually made from acrylic, laminate or composite materials, they’re waterproof panels that are fixed to the wall using adhesive and finished with trims.
Bathroom wall panels come in a variety of styles and colours – including finishes that make them look like tiles. They’re a great alternative to tiles as they take less time to install and are generally much more cost effective than tiles, giving you a premium look without the price tag.
There are lots of manufacturers of bathroom wall panels, but well-known bathroom brands like Mira and Nuova have their own ranges if you prefer to go with a brand you’ve heard of.
Here’s how much bathroom panels cost to buy, excluding installation:
|Bathroom panel type||Average cost per 2420mm x 1200mm panel|
As we said above, bathroom fitters will charge an average of £220 to install bathroom wall panels in a 2m x 2m bathroom. HaMuch has a large database of hourly and daily rates for bathroom fitters and plumbers across the country, so take a look at our table further down the page for a more accurate idea of how much bathroom cladding installation will cost in your area.
Generally, bathroom panels are cheaper than tiling. If you want to tile your bathroom, expect to pay at least £500 in labour costs for a 2m x 2m space. Since wet wall is much easier to install, bathroom fitters will take less time to fit it, and therefore charge you less.
Additionally, tiles can cost much more per square metre than wet wall. Choose a high-quality ceramic or porcelain tile and you could pay anywhere between £22 and £150 or more per square metre, so the cost can soon get out of hand.
Bathroom cladding is much easier to install than tiles. Unlike tiling, you don’t need to grout the tiles to ensure they stay waterproof and durable. You use an adhesive to stick the panels to the wall – over existing tiles, if you have them – and then finish with a trim to waterproof them.
The ease of installation is one of the reasons why bathroom fitters will charge you less. We’d still recommend you use a professional to fit them to ensure they’re installed correctly. If you try to fit them yourself, you could leave gaps that could let water in between them, causing damp and mould which will reduce the lifespan of the panels.
You stick bathroom cladding with adhesive. The best type of adhesive to use is a solvent-free adhesive that’s specifically made for bathroom cladding, but you can use any type of solvent-free adhesive.
You can also use silicone sealant to seal corners instead of fitting trims, but these can break down over time and cause leakage, so you’ll need to ensure you check the seals regularly and re-seal when needed.
Yes, you can put bathroom cladding over brick – in fact, you can put bathroom cladding over most materials. Fit your panels straight onto brick, tiles, plaster or even wood battens and new stud walls – you just need to make sure that the surface is smooth and there’s no parts that could come loose.
To get the best watertight seal, it’s always best to fit a shower tray before you install the wall panels. This way, when you fit the wall panels on top of the tray, there will be a slight overlap that you seal.
If you fit bathroom wall panels down to the floor first then fit the shower tray, there’s a risk that if the seal to the shower tray fails that you’ll get lots of water leakage down the sides and onto the floor.
Bathroom cladding should stop damp and mould from growing, and may prevent it more than tiles. But it’s important to remember that if you put bathroom cladding over an existing damp and mould problem, it won’t stop it from getting worse. You’ll need to treat the damp problem before you install bathroom wall panels over it.
Once you’ve treated a damp problem and installed wall panels over it, they should prevent damp and mould growth more than tiles. Tiles are sealed with grout to ensure they stay waterproof, and this can attract mould. You’ll need to ensure you clean your tiles regularly to prevent mould growth; it’s best to use a squeegee to remove excess water too.
However, since bathroom panels don’t have the grouting and are one smooth surface, water will run off them more easily. They’re low maintenance compared to tiles and only require light cleaning to keep them in top condition.
If you’re ready to get bathroom cladding installed in your bathroom, post a job on HaMuch now. We’ll put you in touch with reliable bathroom fitters in your area who can give you a quote for your project.
|Cost to install a home sauna steam room||£2000|
|Cost to fit a new bathroom||£8000|
|Cost to install a wetroom||£500|
|Cost to install a downstairs guest toilet||£1050|
|Cost to install bathroom cladding||£275|