Common Problems With Bathroom Wall Panels

Wall panels of different materials, including wooden and plastic, are present on bathroom walls. These are added to the interior to enhance their appearance and make them more appealing.

Common problems with bathroom wall panels include warping, cracking, delamination, loose screws or adhesives, expensive, limited options, and uneven wall surfaces. Moreover, these are less durable, prone to thermal expansion or contraction, and not eco-friendly.

Many people add wall panels to enhance the interior appearance and act as insulating layers to maintain the inner temperature.

Bathroom wall panels problems Solutions
Warping Keep the dehumidifier and exhaust fans on
Cracking Preferably use vinyl instead of plastic s
Delamination Delamination repair kit
Loose screws or adhesives Resecure the wall panels that are coming off
Expensive Prefer to use wall stickers or paints
Limited options Paint the dry walls with customized colors
Uneven wall surfaces Seal corners carefully
Thermal expansion and contraction of wall panels Replace the damaged wall panels
Non-eco friendly Select other material


Many people add wooden panels to bathroom walls because of their sleek appearance. However, the other materials cannot beat the beauty of finished wood.

Wood materials cannot survive in these areas because they are susceptible to humidity and water exposure.

The water exposure from the showers ruins the wooden panel and cause their rotting. In addition, it can also disturb their structural integrity and leads to warping.

Warping occurs when the wood expands due to moisture from shower splashes. The panels bow from the sides due to sudden changes in humidity level.

Constant rising or falling of humidity levels leads to warped wood. You can resolve the problem by maintaining the moisture level.

Keep the dehumidifier and exhaust fans on to remove the extra moisture and maintain their level.


People often prefer installing plastic wall panels instead of wooden ones because of their sensitive material.

The plastic panels are water resistant, and moisture cannot damage them, but these are prone to cracking.

Shrinking is the usual procedure in plastic panels, which can occur when they become old. Shirking of plastic panels produces visible cracks in their surface.

Moreover, frequent moist and dry conditions also cause their shrinking. The bathtub heat also affects these plastic panels, making them brittle and easy to break.

I prefer vinyl wall panels instead of plastic ones because these are more durable and water-resistant. Heat and moisture cannot cause their shrinking and damage.


Fiberglass wall panels are most common in this modern era because of their better insulation and lightweight material.

Moreover, these are more suitable than wooden materials because molds cannot grow on them. In addition, these are highly resistant materials and cannot catch rust due to high humidity conditions.

You can install them in bathrooms because they are water-resistant due to their plastic coating. Fiberglass materials are made by fusing different layers and sealing them with glue.

Age-related delamination is common in this material, and you can see scraping off the inner layer. Moisture can enter the inner core when the outer layers peel off.

You can repair the delaminated panels rather than replace the whole material. Use the delamination repair kit to seal the cracked ends.

Loose screws or adhesives

Bathroom wall panels are secured on the walls with screws, nails, or other adhesive materials, depending on their materials.

Most wooden panels are secured with nails and screws because of their heavy weight and better placement.

The plastic, PVC, or fiberglass planks are attached with glue or other adhesive materials. Sometimes panels come off because of their poor adjustment.

The loose screws and less strength of adhesive materials cannot adhere them properly on walls, and these can start to separate.

You can resolve the problem by screwing the wooden panels if their screws become loose. Use adhesive glue for adherence to plastic or vinyl panels on walls.


Wall paneling is an expansive option instead of simple paint on walls. You also have to paint them before installing these planks, which can increase the cost.

Painting on drywall is the cheaper option to make them look nice instead of adding these planks.

You have to purchase them according to size and dimensions, which eventually becomes costly.

I prefer simple paints because they are more durable. Paneling is an expensive option; these cannot last long, and you have to replace them.

In addition, you can do the painting by yourself, and you have to call the professionals for planks installation.

Moreover, you can use wall stickers because these are cheaper than panels.

Limited options

The color and design of the wall panels are limited, and people face difficulty selecting them. Sometimes you cannot match them with the interior of your bathroom and their fixtures.

The unmatched colored paneling gives an awkward and non-uniform appearance. In addition, you cannot select the customized design and color because of their limited options.

Mostly these come in lighter shades that become dirty early, and you have to clean them carefully without ruining their material.

You can resolve the problem by painting the walls with a brighter shade.

Uneven wall surfaces

Sometimes people face the issue of uneven wall surfaces after installing bathroom wall panels. However, it is not common, and you can reduce the issue by installing them properly and maintaining them after their adjustment.

You can see non-uniform texture because of swelling and expansion of wooden material that is common due to water splashes from the showers and bathtubs.

Moreover, the expansion and contraction of plastic material also disturb the uniform appearance, and you can see shirking and swelling quickly while entering the bathroom.

You can resolve the problem by properly preparing the surfaces for their installation. For example, seal the corners so moisture cannot enter their inner core and cause swelling.

Thermal expansion and contraction of wall panels

Thermal expansion of PVC wall panels is common and leads to uneven surfaces. In addition, thermoplastic components are sensitive to temperature and expand or contract due to changes in the surrounding temperature.

Plastic can shrink due to slight changes in the surrounding environment because it is a poor conductor of heat.

Most of the time, plastic panels near the bathtubs or shower areas start to shrink. This is because people take a bath in warm water in winter, and plastic material comes from heat exposure.

The plastic material also expands in winter conditions and becomes more brittle. You cannot repair or stop the thermal expansion and contraction of the plastic material.

You have to replace the damaged or uneven planks with new ones to give a uniform appearance.

Non-eco friendly

The plastic or PVC wall panels are not eco-friendly, harmful to humans and their surrounding environment.

Long-term exposure to PVC materials is toxic for humans and causes health issues. In addition, these have smoother textures as compared to textured wooden materials.

These contain harmful chemicals, and their long-term exposure is dangerous to humans. However, people prefer this material because it is resistant to molds, bacterial growth, bending, and warping.

You cannot make the PVC material less toxic because of its toxic chemicals. It is better to choose wood, vinyl, or fiberglass material for paneling in the bathroom.

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