7 Unique and Affordable Ways to Cover Tiles

Are your bathroom or kitchen tiles outdated and in need of a fresh look? If you're considering hiding or replacing them, we've got a solution that's both cost-effective and easy: covering them up! In this...

Are your bathroom or kitchen tiles outdated and in need of a fresh look? If you're considering hiding or replacing them, we've got a solution that's both cost-effective and easy: covering them up! In this article, we'll explore seven clever ideas on how to cover tiles cheaply. These alternatives are not only budget-friendly but also less time-consuming than replacing the tiles completely. So let's dive in and discover some creative options together!

1. Add a Burst of Color with Tile Paint

Painting Tiles Image Source: Sanaulac.vn

If you have a bathroom or kitchen with an outdated color palette, painting the tiles is a fantastic option. Even if your tiles have a shiny finish, you can still paint them and give your space a fresh new look. Painting tiles allows you to completely customize your bathroom, and it's a more affordable and time-saving alternative to retiling. However, keep in mind that proper preparation and the right painting technique are essential for a successful outcome.

Advantages of Painting Tiles:

  • Complete customization of your bathroom
  • Cost-effective way to upgrade your tiles
  • Painted tiles are durable and withstand regular wear and tear
  • Saves time and money compared to retiling

Disadvantages of Painting Tiles:

  • Requires proper prep work, design, and painting skills if it's a DIY project
  • Multiple coats of paint may take time to complete
  • Improper painting may result in chipping or peeling of the paint

To paint your bathroom tiles effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the tiles and remove any grout. Sanding the tiles can help roughen up the surface for better adhesion.
  2. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or using fans.
  3. Gather your painting materials, including tile paint, primer, rollers, brushes, stencil (if necessary), and sealant or polyurethane.
  4. Apply the primer to the tiles and grout, allowing it to dry before proceeding.
  5. Apply the first coat of tile paint, and if using a stencil, opt for a spray gun for a clean finish.
  6. Let the first coat dry for a few days before applying the second coat.
  7. Apply sealant or polyurethane for a seamless and durable finish.
  8. Reapply grout if necessary and enjoy your newly painted tiles!

2. Tile-Effect Wall Panels - The Cost-Effective Solution

Tile-Effect Wall Panels Image Source: Sanaulac.vn

Tile-effect wall panels made from PVC materials are a waterproof and versatile option for covering tiles. They can be used in various areas such as shower enclosures, bathrooms, kitchens, and even laundry areas. These panels come in different dimensions, styles, and designs. Skilled professionals or even DIY enthusiasts can easily install them, making them a cost-effective alternative to tile replacement.

Advantages of Using Wall Panels:

  1. Durable and waterproof materials
  2. More affordable than traditional tiles
  3. Professional finish and wide design choices
  4. Easy installation with a tongue-and-groove system
  5. No need for grout or cement

Disadvantages of Using Wall Panels:

  1. Artificial nature of the product
  2. Softer material compared to traditional tiles

When it comes to the cost of wall panels, they are generally cheaper than floor tiles. PVC wall panels are gaining popularity for bathroom renovations in the UK due to their cost-effectiveness. You can find waterproof wall panels at a reasonable price, such as Easy Panels offering them for as low as £9.50 (250mm x 2600mm). Installation can be completed within 1 to 3 days, making it a convenient option for those on a budget. If you're specifically renovating a shower area, shower panels could provide a simpler solution that seamlessly blends with your bathroom.

To install wall panels, follow these steps:

  1. Accurately measure and cut the panels using a hacksaw or Stanley knife. Use corner trims at the meeting points for a clean finish.
  2. Apply silicone glue to the back of the panel and slot it into the corner profiles and ceiling profiles.
  3. Use nails or staples to reinforce the panel's edges and secure them to the wall for added support.

3. Quick-Setting Cement - Resurface for a Fresh Look

Quick-setting cement, also known as fast-setting cement, is a great alternative for covering existing tiles. It is specially formulated to set rapidly, allowing you to reshape and resurface your tiles in just 10-15 minutes. This option requires more manual labor, but it can be very cost-effective depending on the type of concrete you choose. However, keep in mind that concrete may develop minor cracks during the curing process, which can be filled with a sealant.

Benefits of Using Quick-Setting Cement:

  • Usable in under-water and cold weather concreting
  • Suitable for repairing concrete without disrupting the structure
  • Sets faster than traditional cement while maintaining robust quality
  • High resistance to water

4. Beadboard - A Fresh and Clean Look

Beadboard is a popular choice for achieving a stylish and fresh look in both home and commercial spaces. It's commonly used for wainscoting and can be purchased in large sheets that you can paint according to your desired color. To install, measure and cut the beadboard to fit the area you want to cover. Apply liquid nails adhesive to the existing tiles and press the beadboard firmly. Use nails for additional support along the edges.

Benefits of Covering Tiles With Beadboard:

  • Adds visual texture and interest to the space
  • More affordable compared to professionally installed tiles
  • Easy installation with basic carpentry skills
  • Can be painted to match the room's trims

Disadvantages of Covering Tiles With Beadboard:

  • Requires proper installation, which may be challenging for beginners
  • Potential damage from a leaking roof or faulty plumbing

5. Wood and Liquid Nails - A Rustic Effect

Creating a rustic effect with wood is another unique option for covering tiles. Cut the wood to fit the tiled area and apply a generous amount of liquid nails adhesive. Place the boards according to your desired pattern and let the area dry before applying a sealant.

Advantages of Wooden Cladding:

  • Easy attachment of shelves, mirrors, and interior doors
  • Covers and resists mold and mildew that often occur on grout
  • Freedom to paint the wood in any color
  • Insulates better than tiles, retaining heat in the bathroom

Disadvantages of Wooden Cladding for the Bathroom:

  • Expands and contracts with moisture, requiring timber batting on top of tiles
  • Not as watertight as other wall coverings, making it unsuitable for wet areas

6. Carpet Tiles - The Tile Concealer

Carpet tiles, also known as modular or square carpet rolls, are an excellent solution for concealing tile flooring. They can be easily fitted together to create a whole carpet, covering a large area of tiles. Carpet tiles are commonly used in commercial environments, offering durability and easy installation. However, keep in mind that they may fray at the edges and create a more broken-up look compared to traditional carpet rolls.

Benefits of Using Carpet Tiles:

  • Simple and fast installation
  • Durable and easy to maintain
  • Variety of looks available

Disadvantages of Using Carpet Tiles:

  • Potential edge fray
  • Risk of disfigurement
  • Creates a more fragmented appearance

7. Wallpapers and Transfers - Fakes That Look Great

If you're looking for a quick and effortless bathroom makeover, consider using wallpapers, stickers, or transfers. However, be sure to choose vinyl decals that are suitable for high humidity areas like the bathroom. While covering tiles with heavily patterned or brightly colored wallpapers can be challenging, darker colors and modern patterns can add character to your space.

Benefits of Using Wallpapers:

  • Cost-effective option lasting up to 15 years
  • Instantly hides surface imperfections
  • Adds warmth, depth, and style to the room
  • Wide range of designs and prints available

Disadvantages of Using Wallpapers:

  • Requires more time and preparation compared to painting
  • Old wallpapers can be tedious to remove

These seven tile covering options offer flexibility and freedom to explore different styles and materials for a diverse and personalized look in your bathroom. Choosing the right option depends on your budget and the benefits you're seeking. So, which tile covering idea are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments below. Happy covering!