Pre-formed, decorative wall panels are already revolutionizing kitchen installations and refurbishments. But during 2020, their hygiene, cost-effective versatility, and an incredible range of colors, textures, and patterns have made them everyone’s first choice over traditional tiles.
This is why kitchen wall panels are one of the top kitchen trends for 2021.
What are Kitchen Wall Panels?
Decorative kitchen wall panels are made of PVC, a semi-flexible plastic vinyl polymer that’s lightweight, versatile and inexpensive to manufacture. It’s also completely waterproof and has a longevity of at least thirty years. The wall panels are available in two main styles. A hollow core design that has an unfilled interior surrounded by strong supportive ribbing. A solid core is identical in appearance, but it has a much more robust structure that’s slightly heavier.
Tiles on the other hand have been in use for thousands of years and are still manufactured from clay. They have to be fired or baked in a kiln to harden them before being given a coating of ceramic glass to help prevent the porous material from absorbing too much moisture. It’s a lengthy process that’s ultimately more expensive.
PVC wall panels are available in several versatile sizes from 250 mm up to approximately 1,000 mm. They provide excellent coverage over a large wall compared to the average ceramic tile which usually measures between 100 and 150 mm. A large wall can often be completely covered with panels in approximately one hour, whereas tiling the same space can generally take two to three days. If you possess only basic DIY skills, you can still achieve a high-quality finish when installing PVC kitchen wall panels. Tiling to a similarly high standard can be difficult for a novice and usually requires the skills of a professional tiler. Wall panels are much easier to install which is why they are one of the top kitchen trends right now.
Cutting to Shape
The panels are very easy to trim with a Stanley knife which produces a clean, smooth edge. You can also use a fine-toothed hand saw or a circular saw. Ceramic tiles can be difficult to cut cleanly unless you use a specialized tile cutter. Even then the tiles remain brittle and often splinter into sharp fragments that can cause serious injury. It’s no wonder why PVC wall panels are one of the top kitchen trends!
Another reason why PVC wall panels are one of the top kitchen trends for 2021 is because they use an interlocking tongue and groove system to join them. It’s perfect for creating a virtually invisible watertight seal. Wall panels can usually be fixed in place with an easy to handle tube of silicone adhesive. They can be fitted directly to the wall or on top of existing tiles. As the panels are large and slightly flexible, the surface doesn’t have to be completely flat. By contrast, tiles have to be fixed with a form of cement that’s applied with a trowel, ensuring a level surface is achieved. Spacers or pegs have to be used between each tile to create channels for the grouting to be inserted at a later stage.
One of the main benefits of installing PVC kitchen wall panels is the way you can keep them so hygienically clean. All they need is washing with warm soapy water, a quick rinse, and buffing with a soft cloth to keep them looking as good as new. Ceramic tiles are difficult to keep clean as the grouting between each tile has a porous surface. It encourages bacteria to sink into its structure which then produces mold or mildew that is extremely difficult to remove.
Incredible Choice of Designs
The fun of using PVC wall panels in your kitchen is the superb range of colors and traditional or contemporary patterns. There are flat panels for a simple, flush surface or panels with integral grooves to accommodate repeat patterns. You can choose an elegant, silky matt finish or brighten a dull, north-facing kitchen with a highly reflective gloss surface. Three-dimensional textures are also available that resemble a wide variety of materials including natural cork, antique brickwork, layers of granite, and even beadboard to get that farmhouse kitchen look.
If the wall panels you select don’t match your counters, you can always do a quick refresh on your countertops too with Giani countertop paint kits.
PVC wall panels are one of the top kitchen trends for 2021 because it allows your kitchen to achieve a level of unique sophistication that tiles can never match. And if you still admire the appearance of a traditional tiled kitchen, there are even wall panels that look like tiles too!