Skip to Content

What Can You Put on Bathroom Walls Instead of Tiles?

The tiled walls of bathrooms have been popular for years. They are, however, gradually losing their popularity. There are many options for affordable materials that can be used instead of tiles. Let’s look beyond the traditional ideas and find alternatives to tiles.

What can you put on bathroom walls instead of tiles?

You can replace the tiles in the bathroom with acrylic and PVC panels and stone resin. Any material that is leak proof and waterproof is an alternative to tiles for bathroom walls. Laminated panels, marble, wallpaper, ceramics, and cement can substitute for tiles.

Tiles are expensive, hard to install, and not as versatile as you would like. That is why people are not using them these days. Here are some alternatives you can use instead.

PVC Wall Panel:

It is very popular to use PVC wall panels for bathroom wall coverings. These are very easy to install. They are also very attractive in design, despite the low price. The waterproof nature of the material makes it unsuitable for long-term installation on the bathroom’s wall. 

Water does not leak out of the wall because it is leakproof. For this reason, PVC panels make a good alternative to tiles.

Marble Wall Coverings:

For a long time, marble has been used in bathroom walls. They are quite costly but very attractive and attractive in design. Compared to tiles, marble can be an excellent alternative. Unfortunately, marble is also very expensive.

Acrylic panels:

You can use acrylic panels for bathroom walls. These panels look a lot like glass. They are, however, made of plastic material and are durable for at least ten years. Moreover, they are leak-proof and waterproof.


As an alternative to using tiles, you can also use waterproof paint. Using waterproof paint instead of tiles will reduce the cost of the project. Even though it is waterproof, it is not suitable for long-term use, since it can become brittle over time. 

Since its waterproof quality gradually decreases with prolonged use, it is not suitable for long-term use.

Laminated panels:

You can use laminated panels instead of tiles. These come with wood base materials. Therefore, they are more environmentally friendly. Despite having a wood base, they are waterproof. They are coated with waterproof plastic. 

Many people choose to put wood on their bathroom walls. Nevertheless, if you are searching for something different and elegant, you could cover your bathroom with wooden panels.


Ceramics are better than tiles for the bathroom wall. Ceramics go on the walls before tiles. They have an old-school aesthetic.

There is, however, one problem with ceramic: it is not completely waterproof. However, these are relatively inexpensive and simple to install. In addition, they are useful for bathroom floors as well as walls.

Natural stone:

It seems old-fashioned to use natural stone. But the use of natural stone as a bathroom wall is an expensive and attractive option. Natural stones are pretty popular if one wants an exceptionally designed bathroom wall.


Covering bathroom walls with wallpaper is the cheapest option. You can find waterproof wallpaper everywhere. You can choose from a variety of designs. It can make your walls look attractive. You can put it on the bathroom wall yourself since it is so easy to install.


Microcement refers to a special kind of cement coating that is applied to the main walls. The coating is used for both walls and floors. The coating can be four millimeters thick. Microcement works well on bathroom walls because it is waterproof. 

And when it comes to durability, it will be several times more durable than tiles.

What can I use for shower walls besides tile?

You can use a PVC panel for the shower wall instead of tiles. You can also use fiberglass for a more economical option. Using natural stone is also a good option if you want something beautiful and aristocratic.

Acrylic panels are one of the main competitors of tiles used to construct shower panels. The use of it is becoming increasingly common. Even though they are low in price, these acrylic panels are quite attractive. 

There are also alternatives such as single sheet plastic, ceramic panels, and laminated panels that you can use. The first thing you need to consider when selecting a shower wall is that it must be 100% waterproof.

Is tile on bathroom walls outdated? 

The tiles on the bathroom wall are not outdated at all. They are very popular as bathroom walls because they are waterproof, convenient for use in the bathroom, and durable. As there are many different styles and designs, it enhances the elegant atmosphere. 

Recently, wall panels have gained popularity as an alternative to tiles. This does not mean, however, that tiles are old-fashioned. The reason for the declining use of tiles is their extra cost. They are also more troublesome to install. 

Nevertheless, tiles cannot be classified as “backdated” in any way. The tiles are changing to keep up with the updated style, so the design changes. It has become quite  popular since 2022 to use Biophilia tiles, also known as old stone tiles.

Do bathroom walls need to be tiled?

The walls of the bathroom do not need to be tiled. However, the bathroom must be waterproof since water is always present in the bathroom. Waterproofing the bathroom is therefore very important. Otherwise, water leakage can damage the wall. 

Using tiles on the walls can serve as a waterproofing process. In other words, the main purpose is to make the walls waterproof, not to use tiles. On bathroom walls, you can use any waterproof material. If you do this, you do not have to use tiles again.

Tiles can be replaced with marble, shower panels, or PVC panels for waterproofing. You can use anything that will waterproof the wall. This means tiles are not a necessary component of a bathroom panel.

How to cover bathroom walls cheaply?

Bathroom walls should be of excellent quality. Quality is essential, no matter the budget. The following ideas will help you cover the bathroom wall at a low cost.

Make use of cheaper materials:

In the case that you have a low budget to cover the bathroom walls, you can use cheap materials. Nowadays, tiles are one of the most widely used wall-covering materials on the market. 

To cover a typical bathroom with wall tiles, it will cost you between $150 and $200. In the same situation, if you use a PVC panel, the cost will almost be the same. If you want to drastically reduce the cost, then painting is your best option. 

The cost of painting an entire bathroom, including labor, can reach 120 dollars. You should avoid using marble, natural stone, or glass in the bathroom. These materials are much more expensive.

Easily installable wall materials:

In addition to choosing the material, you should also consider how much installation will cost. Such tiles are not expensive. However, it has to be installed on the wall with cement, so installation costs are quite high. 

In addition, the installation process is complicated, so you cannot complete it on your own. You need to hire an expert. The materials are easy to install. You can consider PVC or acrylic. Although more expensive than tiles, these materials are very easy to install. 

Simply apply a sealant to install. Even a novice can install these materials by themselves.

Select budget-friendly, yet durable materials:

Choose durable materials, even if the price is low. Paint is often used to waterproof bathroom walls, for example. However, the paint does not last very long. Additionally, these are not waterproof enough, so you have to apply new paint every few months. 

Instead, it would be better to spend a bit more money on something durable. You can use acrylic panels. Even though they are a bit more expensive than paint, they can easily last for 10 to 15 years.

Be careful not to compromise on waterproofing:

The most important part of a washroom wall is the waterproofing. No matter what kind of material you use, the most important thing is to ensure that it is waterproof and leakproof. Use a cheaper material, but make sure it is waterproof.

Final Thought

Laminate panels, acrylic panels, PVC panels, ceramic, and marble are great alternatives to tiles for bathroom walls. Shower panels are an inexpensive alternative also. Compared to tiles, marble and ceramics are more expensive but more luxurious. Ceramic cement is also a viable option.