It’s hard to think of a bathroom without tiles. Keeping painted walls clean and hygienic and free of condensation has never had the appeal of clean, crisp tiles. But bathroom tiling can be work too, they take a time to install and there is always the challenge of keeping the grouting white and fresh.

Now, there are new laminate and acrylic products that offer an alternative to tiles in the bathroom. They are not just easier and quicker to install than tiling out a room but they offer a colour and texture choice that tiles just cannot emulate. Plus, they are much easier to keep clean.

How to introduce laminates and acrylics into your bathroom

Why not try some patterned shower wall panels just in the shower area in an otherwise fully tiled plain bathroom, these can make a real statement. And if you fancy a change, then they are really quick and easy to swap.

Glass panels make a real statement as a backdrop or large splashback next to the bath. The movement of the water really reflects on the surface creating a live shimmering effect. There are some truly strong vibrant colours around which you wouldn’t want for the whole room but allow you to create anamazing effect in just one area. These modern materials are both heat and water-resistant so are perfectly tough enough for the job next to a bath, shower or basin,

Natural materials are making a comeback, it’s all part of the modern 21st-century revulsion with plastics and a desire to bring some of outside, inside. Waterproof wood panelling is creating a continental almost log cabin look. The modern materials used to create this effect are treated with an anti-bacterial coating to actively discourage mould and are easy to clean. Remember, glass panels can be created to have a wood effect look. Stone effect and marble is also starting to make an appearance. Marble has long been a material of choice for opulence and style in the bathroom and now wall and shower panels mean you can create this look quickly and easily and at a fraction of the cost.

Believe it or not, wallpaper is also back, just in places in the bathroom offering colour and patterning which you could never create with tiles. There are some really bold offerings in the marketplace designed to be used sparingly in the bathroom to make a statement. Vibrant colours, strong designs, swirling shapes can all immediately personalise an otherwise featureless and functional bathroom.

It’s almost as if someone has just rediscovered the bathroom and realised that all the design principles and clever materials of the 21st century can be used to startlingeffect in a room that has been overlooked for decades. Styling does not have to stop at the bathroom door and there are so many alternatives now to traditional tiles. Go tile free or mash it up with other looks. And for the busy householder, these latest designs and so much easier and quicker to care for, keeping your designer bathroom immaculate and fresh 24/7.