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A Guide To Wall Panelling: PVC, MDF, and Composite Core Insights

Updated: Apr 2

Introduction to Wall Panelling

Wall panelling has surged back into the limelight, offering a fusion of aesthetics and functionality to modern spaces. Beyond its decorative appeal, bathroom wall panels serves as a protective layer for walls, adds insulation, and can significantly enhance room acoustics. This versatility has seen its adoption across a variety of settings, from cosy home interiors to sophisticated commercial spaces.

Marble Shower Panel

The evolution of wall panelling materials and designs has been nothing short of revolutionary. Gone are the days when wood was the only choice. Today, interior designers and homeowners alike have a plethora of options at their fingertips, including decorative wall panels made from PVC, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), and composite core panels, each bringing its unique properties to the table.

As environmental considerations and ease of installation become increasingly paramount, the market has responded with innovative solutions. Brands like Nuance, Multipanel, Perform Panels, and Fibo have been at the forefront of this evolution, offering a range of shower wall panels that cater to diverse aesthetic preferences, functional requirements, and environmental goals.

Grey Concrete Feature Wall Panel

This guide delves deep into the world of wall panelling, exploring the nuances of PVC, MDF, and composite core options. Whether you're a seasoned interior designer, a contractor looking for reliable materials, or a homeowner eager to transform your space, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each material will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Let's embark on this journey through the realm of wall panelling, where design meets durability.

PVC Wall Panelling: A Modern Twist on Classic Interiors

White marble PVC wall panels

Polyvinyl Chloride, better known as PVC, has emerged as a popular choice in the world of wall panelling, bringing with it a blend of durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. This synthetic material has made its mark in modern interior design, thanks to its wide range of finishes and styles that can mimic the look of wood, stone, or even metal, providing designers and homeowners with endless creative possibilities.

Advantages of PVC Wall Panelling

One of the most compelling advantages of PVC wall panels is their resistance to moisture and humidity, making them ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and spaces prone to dampness. Unlike traditional materials that may warp or mold in such environments, PVC panels maintain their integrity, ensuring a long-lasting and fresh appearance.

Concrete wall panels.

Additionally, PVC panels are known for their low maintenance requirements. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth is often all that's needed to keep them looking pristine, freeing up time and resources for other aspects of home care. This ease of care, combined with their durability, makes PVC an economical choice over the long term.

The installation process of PVC panels is another area where they shine. Lightweight and easy to cut to size, they can be quickly installed over existing surfaces, making them a go-to for renovation projects. This ease of installation not only reduces labor costs but also minimises the disruption to daily life, a valuable consideration for busy households. You can see how easy they are to install with their clever tongue and grooves system in this video:

Disadvantages of PVC Wall Panelling

Despite its many benefits, PVC wall panelling is not without its drawbacks. One concern is its environmental impact. As a plastic product, PVC panels are derived from non-renewable petroleum and are not biodegradable, raising questions about their sustainability. However, some manufacturers are addressing these concerns by incorporating recycled materials into their products.

Grey Brick PVC Wall Panel

Another consideration is the aesthetic authenticity of PVC panels. While they can mimic various materials, discerning eyes may distinguish between PVC and genuine materials like wood or stone. For those prioritising authentic textures and depths, alternatives may be more appealing.

Incorporating PVC Wall Panelling into Your Home

Modern PVC wall panelling offers a wealth of design flexibility. From sleek, minimalist interiors to more traditional spaces, these panels can enhance any room's ambiance. They can serve as a statement wall in the living room, bring a splash-proof surface to the kitchen, or offer a mold-resistant solution in the bathroom.

Marble PVC Wall Panels

Incorporating PVC panels into your home decor can breathe new life into your spaces, as shown in the accompanying image of a modern living room. The wall panels not only elevate the room's aesthetic but also harmonise with the contemporary furnishings to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

MDF Wall Panelling: Durability with Elegance

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) has become a favorite among interior designers and homeowners for its smooth finish, strength, and adaptability. MDF wood wall panelling offers a cost-effective way to add a touch of elegance and warmth to any room, making it a versatile choice for both contemporary and traditional designs.

Linda Barker Corten Elements 8832

Modern bathroom renovations are embracing the elegance and functionality of MDF wall wood panels, with brands like Multipanel leading the way. These panels, characterised by their medium-density fiberboard cores and waterproof laminate surfaces, are a game-changer for bathroom designs, offering a seamless and stylish alternative to traditional tiles.

Unmatched Benefits for Contemporary Bathrooms

  • 100% Waterproof: Ideal for the humid bathroom environment, These panels are completely waterproof ensuring walls stay dry and pristine.

  • Rapid Installation: MDF wall panels can be installed directly over existing surfaces, significantly speeding up the renovation process.

  • Seamless Design: The innovative Hydrolock joint system allows for nearly invisible seams, creating a smooth and continuous wall surface.

  • Low Maintenance: Without the hassle of grout, these panels require minimal upkeep, making them a practical choice for busy households.

  • Design Versatility: Available in a wide array of finishes, MDF wall panels can fulfill any aesthetic, from classic elegance to modern minimalism. They can also make fantastic feature walls or be used as acoustic panels to help absorb sound.

  • Sustainability and Durability: Panels are made using sustainable materials and come with a long-term warranty, ensuring they remain a part of your home for years to come.

Making the Choice for MDF Wall Panels

Black Marble Wall Panel

Opting for MDF wall panels in your bathroom not only streamlines the installation process but also opens a realm of design possibilities. Whether you're renovating a compact ensuite or a spacious family bathroom, the practical benefits and aesthetic flexibility of these panels make them an excellent choice for any project.

For those planning a bathroom renovation or simply looking to update their space, MDF wall panels present a compelling alternative to traditional tiling, blending practicality with modern design to create bathrooms that are as functional as they are beautiful.

Composite Core Wall Panels: The Future of Bathroom Design with Nuance

In the realm of bathroom renovations, composite core wall panels by Nuance are setting a new standard for elegance, functionality, and durability. These panels, known for their robust composite core, are clad in a waterproof laminate surface, ensuring that they not only look stunning but also withstand the rigors of bathroom humidity and use.

Satnas Marble Tile Wall Panel

Advantages of Composite Core Wall Panels

  • Waterproof and Durable: The composite core construction makes these panels inherently waterproof, a critical feature for any bathroom. This durability ensures that the panels resist swelling, warping, or delamination, common issues in lesser materials exposed to moisture.

  • Seamless Aesthetic Appeal: Nuance's panels are designed for a seamless installation, with options for invisible joints that create a smooth, continuous look across the bathroom walls. This seamless appearance enhances the overall elegance and spaciousness of the bathroom.

  • Easy to Clean and Maintain: The surface of these panels repels water and does not hold onto soap scum or mineral deposits, making them incredibly easy to clean. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth is all it takes to maintain their pristine appearance.

  • Quick and Easy Installation: Unlike traditional tiles, composite core panels can be installed much faster, often within a single day. This efficiency minimises disruption and can significantly reduce labor costs.

  • Variety of Designs and Finishes: Nuance wall panel range offers an extensive range of colors and textures, from natural stone and wood effects to modern geometric patterns, allowing homeowners to personalise their space fully.

Chalkwood Riven Wall Panel

Incorporating Nuance Panels into Your Bathroom

The versatility of Nuance's composite core panels means they can be adapted to any bathroom size and style, from compact en suites to luxurious master bathrooms. Whether you're looking to create a statement wall in the shower area or cover all bathroom walls for a cohesive look, these panels provide a solution that's both aesthetically pleasing and functionally superior.

Choosing Nuance composite core panels for your bathroom renovation not only means selecting a product that looks great but also one that offers unparalleled performance and ease of maintenance. With Nuance, transforming your bathroom into a stylish, welcoming space has never been easier.


PVC Wall Panels

MDF Wall Panels

Composite Core Wall Panels


Excellent waterproofing, ideal for all areas

Excellent waterproofing, suitable for all areas

Excellent waterproofing, suitable for all areas

Ease of Installation

Quickest and easiest, can be done DIY

Quick and easy, slightly harder than PVC wall panels

Quick and easy, slightly harder than PVC wall panels

Design Variety

Wide range of designs and colors

Extensive design options, including high-quality textures

Extensive design options, including high-quality textures


Low; easy to clean with a damp cloth

Low; easy to maintain and clean

Low; easy to maintain and clean


Durable but can be less impact resistant than other options

Extremely durable, but can swell with moisture if not properly sealed

Highly durable and resistant to impacts


Generally more affordable

Costlier than PVC due to finishes and installation

Costlier than PVC due to finishes and installation

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