PVC Cladding for the Bathroom

Our bathrooms speak volumes about us. We use them every day, visitors use them, interior design magazines feature them probably more than any other room. We are, it seems, obsessed by people's bathrooms.

And yet, for some reason, not our own. Perhaps, it's a case of familiarity breeding contempt, but we seem to be quite happy to neglect them, to allow them to slip unloved into a kind of sagging tiredness.

That is a mistake. If you're selling, the bathroom is considered second only to the kitchen in importance. If you're not selling, then why oh why would you not want to brighten up a room you use every single day?

The question is how best can we achieve a blissful bathroom, a triumphant toilet, a lovely loo? Stylish beauty rarely sees eye to eye with sturdy practicality and bathrooms DO need sturdy practicality.

What's required is something durable, waterproof, attractive, easy to fit and maintain and, on top of all this, cost effective.

What is this wondrous material? Well, wherever you're sitting right now, I guarantee there is some within a few feet of you; it's plastic.

To be more precise, it's PVC cladding. It hasn't always been top of designers' wish lists of materials. But that has been steadily changing over the past few years and it's not hard to see why.

It offers durability coupled with a cool minimalist style, it offers freedom from maintenance with limitless flexibility; it offers easy installation coupled with cost effectiveness. In short, it ticks just about all the boxes for the modern, busy, style-conscious home owner. No surprise then that recent surveys have found that more than a third of people now believe plastic wall cladding is a better choice than ceramic tiles, a figure that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago.

And this quiet revolution is not confined to the bathroom. Homeowners are also catching on to what professional chefs have known for years; when it comes to kitchens, plastic really is fantastic. Why? One word; hygiene. Awareness of the risks posed to our health by unseen bugs and germs has never been higher. And here wall cladding once again draws its pen and gets down to some serious box-ticking.

A wipe with a suitable cloth and the panels are clean and sterile. There's no grout to offer a refuge to germs, no gaps for bugs to lurk in. Ease and efficiency.

With the environmental concerns that once surrounded PVC fading too thanks to changeds in manufacturing technology and an ongoing awareness campaign by the industry, it seems the future for PVC - and for our bathrooms and kitchens - is bright

Alan Matchett provides articles online for http://www.ipsluk.co.uk/ covering helpful tips on DIY, home improvement and construction.