Posted by Wall Panels World on 16th Apr 2024

How To Fit PVC Wall Panels In A Bathroom | Self-Install DIY Method

PVC wall panels installed on a bathroom wall

PVC Wall Panelling is the smart choice for modern British interiors, helping to prevent mould and damp whilst giving your bathroom walls a premium finish.

However, to achieve the moisture-resistant properties required in shower areas, bathrooms and wet rooms, there are certain precautions to take and specific techniques to follow when fitting your PVC panels and applying silicone.

Read on to learn how to fit your PVC wall panels in a bathroom and what to avoid!

Installing PVC Wall Panels

Step-by-step guide for installing PVC wall panels, internal/external corners, and end trims.

Tools & Materials

  • PVC Wall Panels
  • Internal/External Corner Trims
  • End Cap Trims
  • Solvent-Free Adhesive
  • Silicone Sealant
  • Masking Tape
  • Handsaw or Jigsaw
  • Hacksaw
  • Pencil
  • Spirit Level
  • Measuring Tape


Allow Panels to Acclimatise

PVC expands in humid environments. Prior to installation, lay the panels flat on the floor in the project area for 24 hours. This allows them to acclimatise and expand to match the room's humidity levels.

Clean Work Area

Ensure the installation area is clean and free of any dirt, films, or residues. This prevents adhesion issues and complications during installation.

Cutting Panels

Some panels are covered by a protective film. Leave this film on during cutting to avoid scratches or damage.

  • When using a handsaw, cut with the decorative panel face up.
  • When using a jigsaw, cut with the decorative face down.

Always wear safety gear like goggles and a mask to avoid inhaling debris or irritating your eyes.

Installing Panels

Fixing Internal Corners

  1. Use a hacksaw to cut the internal corner trim to the desired height.
  2. Apply adhesive along the trim's edges that will contact the wall.
  3. Fix the corner trim to the wall and use masking tape to temporarily hold it in place.
  4. Slot one panel into the left side of the trim and mark its position on the wall.
  5. Repeat on the right side, using a spirit level to ensure the trim is level.

Fixing Panels

  1. Measure each wall's length then subtract 15mm from the top, bottom, and middle. This allows room for the corner trims.
  2. Cut panels to this measurement using a hacksaw (decorative side up) or jigsaw (decorative side down).
  3. Dry fit the cut panels in the area to verify they fit properly with the corner trims.
  4. Apply adhesive evenly across the full rear surface of each panel.
  5. Apply a bead of silicone sealant inside the corner trims to ensure water resistance.
  6. Position the panel against the wall and use a squeezing motion to remove any air pockets between it and the wall.
  7. In shower areas, apply a bead of silicone into the panel grooves before slotting in the adjacent panel. This prevents water penetration between panels.
  8. Install remaining panels in the proper sequence, using masking tape if needed to temporarily hold them in place.
  9. Apply silicone sealant around the inside of all end cap trims for a watertight seal.


  • Install panels sequentially (1, 2, 3, etc.) to ensure pattern alignment and prevent mismatching.
  • Panels have a white margin at the bottom to account for slight cutting errors or uneven floors.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area with ample lighting.
  • Only use solvent-free adhesives and neutral cure, low modulus silicone.


When installing panels around pipes or fixtures, leave a 2-3mm expansion gap. Seal this outer gap using waterproof, solvent-free silicone sealant.

Get Panelling

Herringbone panel shower wall

Installing  new wall panels is an effective way to give your bathroom a fresh,  water-resistant finish. By now, you should have all the information needed to successfully measure, cut, mount, and seal panels for a professional-looking result. 

Take your time and don't be afraid to make adjustments as you go for a perfect custom fit. With the right preparation, materials, and techniques, you can achieve a stylish, spa-like look in your own bathroom. 

Just be sure to let adhesives and silicone fully cure before enjoying your renovated space. 

We hope these detailed, step-by-step instructions have demystified the wall panel installation process for you. 

Here's the corrected version with the proper schema markup for the FAQ section:


What types of wall panels should I use in the bathroom?

Waterproof PVC, acrylic, and fibreglass panels are best for bathroom use as they resist moisture and mould growth. Avoid non-waterproof materials like real wood or MDF.

How do I cut the wall panels to fit around pipes or windows?

Use a fine-toothed saw for straight cuts along the panel edges. For detailed cuts around obstacles, use a very sharp utility knife and cut just inside the marked lines.

What is the best adhesive for bathroom wall panels?

Adhesives promoted as bathroom or wet area specific, possess resistance to moisture and mould growth. These adhesives formulation is optimal for securing waterproof wall panels in high-humidity installations.

How much space should I leave between panels and at the perimeter edges?

Leave a 15mm gap between panels and around edges to allow for expansion. Use spacers during installation to maintain even gaps.

How long should I wait before using the shower after installing panels?

Allow adhesive and silicone sealants to fully cure for 24-48 hours before exposing panels to water. This prevents issues with bonding.

What is the best way to cut panels that need to fit around irregular corners?

To cut panels for installation around irregular corners, make a template out of cardboard to match the corner shape. Trace and transfer to the panels, then cut along the traced lines.

Can I install wall panels over existing tile or will it need to be removed?

Installing wall panels directly over existing tile is generally not recommended. For the best results and proper adhesion, the tile should be removed before installing wall panels in a bathroom. Here are a few key reasons:

  • The adhesive will not bond well to the slick surface of tile. It requires a roughened, porous and uniform surface to grip onto. Tile is smooth and non-absorbent.
  • Grout lines between tiles create unevenness. Wall panels need to be mounted on a perfectly flat, smooth surface to lie flush to the wall.
  • Tile often has an existing waterproof coating that can interfere with panel adhesive bonding.
  • Moisture can become trapped between the tile and panels, leading to mold/mildew growth.
  • Over time, the weight of panels may cause tiles to crack, pop off, or lead to a failure of the tile adhesive.
  • Removing panels later is difficult without damaging the underlying tile.

For best practice, remove existing bathroom tile completely by chiseling/prying it off. Fill any uneven spots with drywall compound and sand smooth. Only then install panels per manufacturer instructions for long-lasting results. The extra step is worth it for proper adhesion and moisture control.

In summary, installing over tile generally risks poor bonding, moisture issues, and potential tile damage over time. So it's advisable to take the time to remove old tile first before mounting new bathroom wall panels.