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Choosing Between PVC Panels and Wallpaper: Which is Right for You?

Choosing Between PVC Panels and Wallpaper: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to decorating the walls of your home, the possibilities are endless. Whilst tile, paint, and wallpaper are all obvious choices, more contemporary options such as PVC wall panels are gaining in popularity. PVC wall panels are extremely hardwearing, versatile, and stylish. But are they as good as other more traditional options, such as wallpaper? In this blog, we compare PVC wall panels with wallpaper to give you an overview of each, hopefully helping you make the right decision for your home’s walls.

What are PVC Wall Panels and Wallpaper?

Wallpaper is exactly what it says it is – paper for your wall! Wallpaper comes in myriad designs and can be used to decorate an entire room or to create an eye-catching singular ‘focal’ wall.

PVC wall panels are made from Polyvinyl Chloride, which is a strong yet lightweight plastic. They perfectly emulate traditional materials such as tile, wood, marble, and stone, but come with an array of benefits.

PVC Wall Panels Vs Wallpaper


Wallpaper comes in a variety of different thickness and can be relatively durable. However, it is prone to damage being easily scratched or scored, which makes it less suitable for high use areas such as hallways.

PVC wall panels have been specifically designed to be extremely durable and able to withstand significant impacts without damage. This makes them ideal for any area of the home, but particularly those rooms which experience high usage.

Waterproof and Moisture Resistance

Waterproof wallpaper is extremely effective for use in rooms such as bathrooms. It features a waterproof membrane and the paper itself is wipe clean. However, although it does not require any grout like traditional tiles, there is still the risk that it can begin to peel off the wall. Also, as mentioned above, it is prone to damage. If damage occurs and water gets behind the paper, it may create bubbles.

Alternatively, PVC wall panels are 100% waterproof. As with waterproof wallpaper, they do not require any grout, but they are extremely durable, so perfect for high use areas. They are also resistant to mould and mildew, which can be common problems in rooms with high levels of condensation, making them ideal for use in showers and bathrooms.


Due to its composition wallpaper can be damaged very easily. It is also very difficult to keep clean and can stain if anything is spilt on it. This means that if any harm is done to

your wallpaper – and it’s obvious – the only option is to replace it. This can be costly and time consuming.

PVC wall panels are very easy to look after, requiring only a wipe with a clean cloth to keep them looking like new. Also, as there is no grout, there is no need for harsh chemicals or hours of scrubbing.

Environmentally Friendly

Ecofriendly wallpaper made from recycled materials is now widely available. However, most wallpaper is typically made from materials that can not be recycled. Add to this the use of wallpaper paste and this means you can not recycle your old wallpaper once it has been removed.

PVC wall panels can be recycled at the end of their life. However, these panels have been designed to last far longer than wallpaper and so will not need replacing as often.


Wallpaper can be quite tricky to put up. The surface on which it is being fitted needs to be completely flat and smooth, and you need to ensure the wallpaper is laid flat with no bubbles, and the patterns match seamlessly. This takes a lot of patience and practice.

In contrast, PVC wall panels are extremely easy to install. They are very forgiving and can be fitted directly over the top of existing tiles. They take half the time to install than traditional tiles and can be fitted by any competent DIYer, saving both time and money.

Design and Colour Options

Wallpaper designs have become more innovative over the last few years, with myriad designs, scenes, and colours now available. Whilst this provides homeowners with a vast array of styles to choose from, be mindful that the more elaborate the design the trickier the wallpaper may be to install!

PVC wall panels are available in a wide variety of designs and colours. However, what PVC panels can do that wallpaper can’t, is perfectly emulate a range of real materials, such as timber, tile, stone, and marble. This allows you to create a high end look without the associated cost.


Wallpaper can be used in most rooms of the home, but its delicate composition means it is not always suitable for high use areas. And whilst you can buy waterproof wallpaper, you may encounter a few issues – such as water getting behind the paper and causing bubbles or paper peeling off the wall.

PVC wall panels can be used throughout the home, including in the bathroom, ensuite, shower, and w.c. due to them being 100% waterproof. The range of designs available means your wall panels will blend beautifully into any room, providing a stylish yet durable finish.

Which Should I Pick?

There is no right answer to this question, as it depends on your personal preference. We believe that wall panels offer the complete package – style, substance, and sustainability. They can be used any where in the home, including the bathroom and kitchen, and can transform a room in a matter of hours.

Discover Our Wall Panel Range Today

For further information on our range of PVC wall panels and how they can transform your home, call our friendly expert team today on 0800 22 77 77.

National Plastics is a trading name of Specialist Building Products Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Epwin Group Plc. Specialist Building Products Limited is registered in England & Wales. Company Registration number: 1268689. Registered Office: 1B Stratford Court, Cranmore Boulevard, Solihull, B90 4QT VAT Registration No. 864 4507 10