PVC panels: varieties and applications

When making repairs in an apartment or house, the question of the choice of materials often arises. After all, they must be both attractive and of high quality, and fit the chosen interior. The modern market offers a huge number of finishing materials, and PVC panels have recently begun to stand out among them. Due to the variety of options for this material, you can experiment. However, the abundance of options can make you choose the most suitable material for a long time..

Properties and characteristics

To understand what PVC panels are, you first need to find out what these three letters hide behind them. In fact, everything is extremely simple – they stand for polyvinyl chloride (organic polymer). This is a type of plastic with its own advantages and disadvantages..

This polymer material is used for decoration, and it is worth noting that recently it has become clearly very popular. The composition of polyvinyl chloride includes chlorine (57%), carbon (42%), hydrogen with impurities (about 1%). It is very rare, but still found, that lead is added to the PVC composition as a stabilizer. Of course, because of this component, there were rumors that the panels are unhealthy. However, today lead is replaced by zinc and calcium in equal proportions, and therefore they are completely harmless..

PVC panels are produced in standard sizes according to GOST. So, the length of the panels is 2700, 3000 and 6000 millimeters, and the width is 100, 250 and 375 millimeters. As for the thickness, it depends on the manufacturer and model, and its value varies from 1 to 30 millimeters..

PVC can be used at temperatures from -50 to +60 degrees. Moreover, it is advisable to use the panels for interior decoration. This is due to the fact that the temperature difference in the premises during the day is not too strong. Of course, there are types of panels, for example, for finishing a balcony, that are resistant to extreme cold or sunlight. In addition, they calmly tolerate temperature jumps..

The strength of the panels depends on how many percent of the polyvinyl chloride they contain. The number of stiffeners also affects the strength. Moreover, the edges should not show through the front side of the panel..

The colors and texture of PVC panels are not limited at all. Today you can find both white classics and wood or stone style, and you can get absolutely any shade on order. It is worth noting that when painting this finishing material, water-based paints are used..

The surface of the panels can be either matte or glossy. The manufacturing technology is the same – varnishing, just after polishing the panels undergo additional processing. Such a coating carries not only a decorative function, but also a protective one. After this treatment, the material becomes antistatic, wear-resistant, resistant to mechanical damage (scratches), and also better tolerates ultraviolet radiation..

Lining made of polyvinyl chloride is used for finishing walls and ceilings in residential premises, offices, shopping malls. At the same time, they can be used everywhere in apartments, including the hallway, bathroom, kitchen, living rooms. Of course, most often they are still used in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Also, panels are used for finishing slopes on windows, as well as loggias and balconies..

Such an extensive use of this finishing material is primarily due to the fact that it is easy to care for and even easier to install. The low weight allows you to decorate both walls and ceilings with such panels even alone. Moreover, they are sold in very convenient packaging, which greatly facilitates their transportation..

Another important property of PVC panels is that they have a low degree of flammability. This just allows them to be used without undue hesitation, in particular, in the kitchen, even next to a gas stove..

Advantages and disadvantages

Plastic panels, which are also widely known as plastic lining, have come a long way until they were appreciated. To understand why they’ve become popular lately, it’s worth knowing their pros and cons..

Of course, it’s worth starting with positive qualities:

  • Affordable price. This quality can be safely called the most important advantage of PVC panels. The cost of this material is several times lower than most other materials for decoration. Moreover, despite the low cost, plastic panels also have excellent properties..
  • Ease of installation. It is very easy to work with PVC. As a result, they are often assembled independently, which saves money on the services of a specialist. In addition, ease of use also saves on finishing time..

  • Disguise flaws. Such a finish will become indispensable even if there are any flaws on the walls or ceiling. With their help, any irregularities or other defects are hidden very easily. After finishing with this material, a flat and pretty room is obtained..
  • Easy to replace damaged PVC panel. In the event that for some reason one of the panels was damaged, it can easily be changed to another. As a result, you do not have to renovate the entire room again, which again saves time, effort and money..

  • Easy to clean. A room with panels will always look clean, because they can be easily wiped with a damp sponge. To keep them always looking like new, simply wet cleaning periodically is enough. Of course, special attention will have to be paid to the joints of the panels, but these are trifles..
  • Moisture resistant. Not every finishing material can be used to decorate a bathroom or a room with a high level of humidity. At the same time, rusty deposits do not form on the panels and fungus cannot appear. Thus, they make it possible to fulfill the dreams of many housewives about the absence of problems with excessive moisture in the kitchen and bathroom..

  • Little weight. Lightweight panels will not harm the supporting structures at all. At the same time, they are easy to transport and install, even alone..
  • Long service life. Quality PVC can look like new for 40 years. Such dignity cannot remain invisible in any way..
  • Wide variety of colors. A huge palette of PVC makes it easy to match them to any interior. Moreover, quite often, not monophonic panels are in demand, but with drawings, as well as in the form of imitation of wood or stone..

  • Environmental friendliness. If quality materials are chosen, then they are completely non-toxic..
  • Sound and heat insulation. Decorating the rooms with PVC makes them even more soundproof. At the same time, they will also keep warm better..
  • Strength. Not everyone agrees with this dignity. In fact, the panels are durable and flexible, but many make the mistake of choosing. Indeed, for wall decoration, panels with a higher density should be used, and “lightweight” options are also suitable for the ceiling. Light blows and other minor mechanical damage to the panels are not scary.

  • Withstand temperature fluctuations. Most PVC panels easily tolerate temperature fluctuations from +50 to -50 degrees.
  • Versatility of application. In addition to walls, ceilings, windows, door slopes, they are also used to create shower stalls, formwork of non-standard shapes is mounted. And even summer residents found a use for them, forming excellent beds out of them..

With all the presence of so many advantages, the negative qualities of this material are not so many:

  • Distortion due to sudden changes in temperature. Of course, in a certain temperature range, this material serves well. However, if there is a sharp jump, for example, by 20 degrees (it does not matter which way), then it can deform.
  • Reducing the area. Sometimes in the premises it is necessary to use additional structures for the installation of panels. For example, if the walls are very curved, you first have to install a wooden or metal frame. As a result, the area of ​​the room may decrease slightly..

  • Acrid smoke in case of fire. PVC is practically non-combustible, but when it burns, it produces a very corrosive smoke. Therefore, prolonged contact with it can be harmful to health..
  • UV-resistant. This drawback is especially noticeable on white panels, which, under the sun’s rays, turn yellow over time, losing their beautiful appearance..

  • Bad smell. This disadvantage of the panels disappears in a few days after their installation. Moreover, it does not always happen..
  • Not suitable for children. Despite the high environmental friendliness of the panels, many experts do not recommend using them for children’s rooms. In addition, some cheap panel options may contain harmful substances..

Varieties and application

There are a large number of plastic panels on the modern market. With them, the cladding of houses becomes pleasant and simple. Surprisingly, decorative PVC wall panels can make walls look like laminated ones. They are very different, and you can pick them up even based on the type of furniture..

However, such a variety can sometimes even make the choice difficult. To make this task easier, it is worth taking a closer look at each of the types of panels that are on sale:

  • Rack (vinyl) panels, they are also plastic lining. With their appearance, they really strongly resemble lining, hence the name. This type of panel is used for both wall and ceiling decoration. Moreover, the main advantage of the view is that the lining can be placed both horizontally and vertically. The first option will visually increase the height of the ceilings, and the second will slightly reduce it. Such type-setting rectangles are attached to the wall using metal brackets or just glue.

The most popular types of lining by connection:

  1. “European” has a wide lock;

  2. “Polka” is characterized by a narrow lock connection.

  • Panels for tiles. By themselves, such typesetting panels are often squares, that is, they look like familiar tiles. Installation of this type of material will be very difficult and time consuming. However, in the end, you can experiment with interesting designs, including unique author’s ones. Squares differ in size, design, texture.

This type is especially relevant for the interior decoration of a bathroom or kitchen. Moreover, in the latter case, it is best to select only the working area with panels for the tiles..

Installation of such panels is carried out using a special adhesive. They are connected to each other like a constructor or a puzzle – the panels have grooves and protruding parts, with which they are attached.

  • Sheet panels, or seamless. They are by far the most beautiful type of PVC panels. This is due to the fact that no joints are formed between the panels during installation. Most often they are used for wall decoration. Installation of this type is carried out using glue or nails..

  • Sandwich panels. This type is often used as a decorative finish. With such panels, any room will look more representative and aesthetically pleasing. They are also used for finishing partitions and window slopes. These panels consist of two sheets.

In order for this material to acquire the best thermal insulation properties, expanded polystyrene or polyurethane foam is used as a filler for it..

According to the material from which the outer layer is made, sandwiches are divided into three types:

  • Laminate. This plastic is formed by combining decorative paper, kraft paper and overlay. All this is impregnated with formaldehyde and pressed. Possesses high strength and reliability. Withstands even heavy loads.

  • Foamed. This plastic has a porous structure. Better for humid locations. In addition, it is a good thermal insulation material. The surface of such panels, as a rule, has a roughness..

  • Hard. It can be matte and glossy. Quite often used for finishing window slopes and door openings.

Dimensions and decor

The sizes of PVC panels differ depending on their type. Therefore, it will be useful, before choosing the desired option, to familiarize yourself with what the panels can be in size. Indeed, depending on this, you can choose the most optimal option for a particular interior.

Dimensions of plastic lining:

  • thickness – from 8 to 12 mm;
  • length – from 300 to 1200 mm;
  • width – from 100 to 500 mm.

Sizes of panels for tiles:

  • thickness – from 0.5 to 1 millimeter;
  • length – up to 1000 millimeters;
  • Width – 500-1000 mm.

Sizes of sandwich panels:

  • thickness – from 10 to 32 mm;
  • width – from 900 to 1,500 mm;
  • length – up to 3000 mm.

In addition to the size, the panels also differ in their decorative appearance. The coating of the panels is different, which can be glossy or matte. They can be colored, patterned and even embossed. For example, lining is most often white matte or glossy, sheet panels can even imitate tiles in their appearance..

Depending on the type of coating, the panel can be matte or glossy. There are also differences depending on the application of paint to the panel surface. For example, a drawing is applied to a white panel, and then it is painted in colors using a special paint roller. After that, a colorless UV varnish is applied as a protective layer..

There are also types with thermal printing, which makes them more diverse and affordable. However, such options last less in time..

Of course, today it is quite easy to find finishing options, even if the interior design requires something special. For example, if a marine or suburban theme is played up in the interior, then panels with an imitation of a stone cut will be an excellent option. PVC options with the image of natural slate look amazingly realistic. This solution is especially relevant for the bathroom..

Very sophisticated and subtle options among plastic tiles are also not uncommon. You can choose models in blue marble. With a few matching décor elements, a room with such tiles will be the height of elegance. Of course, the most common color is white or patterned panels. However, dark colors have shown that they are in considerable demand..

Among the most popular are red shades, transparent panels, imitation of bamboo. The wide and thin sheets of panels look especially impressive, which give the walls the most smooth and luxurious look. It is worth noting that wood-like panels (especially pine) also proved to be one of the most popular.

Mirrored PVC can become an amazing decor, which instantly gives the room an attractive look. They are actually polystyrene glass that is attached to the frame. Moreover, a pattern, perforation can be applied to its surface, or it will be with a holographic effect..

Panda panels are distinguished by their exclusive design. They have very high quality and bright drawings. Moreover, the images are visible very clearly, it is not difficult to see even the smallest details. The interiors of the bathroom, hallway, kitchen or living room with such panels will be chic. Indeed, the collections contain one main drawing and from one to five additional.

An excellent solution will be chic wenge color options. Their deep dark brown, approaching black, will add a real tropical flavor. An instant makeover can be achieved using black and white patterns on PVC. For lovers of brighter and more luxurious, there are options in combination with a golden hue..

There are a huge variety of PVC decorative designs. It is enough just to choose a suitable variation for a certain interior.

Manufacturers

There are a large number of panels from different manufacturers on the market. Of course, among them there are options that were able to prove the quality of their products. It is on such PVC that you should pay attention when choosing. Today, among the entire assortment, such manufacturers as KronaPlast, Aquaton and Vox stand out..

“KronaPlast” has been working on the PVC panel market since 2000. Currently, this company is the leading manufacturer of materials for decoration. Among the company’s products, you can find plastic panels for walls and ceilings, lining, floor plinths, accordion doors, moldings. Special attention should be paid to decorative plastic panels, the “Ceramics” collection for tiles, laminated, offset and ceiling panels from this manufacturer. The company’s products are also distinguished by a large number of colors for every taste..

LLC “Aquaton” has been in business for over 16 years. The company now produces a large number of fiberboard and PVC materials. The manufacturer presents not only panels, but even PVC window sills, sheet panels, as well as various accessories. Aquaton offers interesting options in its Novita collection. This collection also includes wall and ceiling panels, moisture resistant floor coverings and rigid PVC composite marble..

VOX has been producing building materials and furniture since 1992. Today the company represents a huge number of PVC materials for outdoor and indoor use. Moreover, there are panels for walls, ceilings and even facades. The company constantly cares about the development of technologies, which allows us to maintain high quality and affordable prices..

Vox decorative panels are suitable for finishing both residential premises and commercial real estate (offices, shops, utility rooms). Unique interiors can also be created with Vox’s Didital Print collection. It should be noted that the colors of the panels of this manufacturer are distinguished by a special European aesthetics..

You can buy high-quality and interesting options for panels today even in an online store. For example, the Axon store offers a large number of finishing panels for any interior from leading manufacturers. At the same time, they can even be ordered delivery by a certain time, which is very convenient. You don’t even have to leave the house to update the interior.

Criterias of choice

When choosing PVC panels, you should pay attention to a number of certain parameters. It is advisable to first decide where exactly the panels will be used. Today they are used not only for walls and ceilings, but also as cladding for balconies and loggias, slopes of windows and doors, and even as floor formwork for steps of an original shape..

One of the main parameters are stiffeners inside the panels. It is they, or rather, their number and location (at least 10 millimeters between them) that determine how high-quality the product is.. The higher the stiffness, the more pressure the panel can withstand. Moreover, the ribs should not be visible through the front side of the PVC.

It is also worth carefully examining how the paint is applied to the surface. Ideally, it should lie in an even layer, and there should be no spots, streaks or other defects. It will not be superfluous to carefully inspect the panels for scratches, dents, cracks. It is best if the panels are covered with a protective film..

Before choosing panels with a pattern, special attention should be paid to how it is done: thermal printing, offset printing or lamination. After all, each panel will need to be installed so that a full-fledged image is obtained. Moreover, such panels require very accurate measurements. Having made a mistake with the calculations, then you may not find the necessary drawing. It should be borne in mind that when ordering a batch with a similar pattern, you can find out that the panels differ in some details in the image..

For living rooms, printed panels are the best option. As for bathrooms, as well as kitchen spaces, thermal transfer options should be selected for them. Such panels tolerate detergents and frequent friction better..

When choosing panels, be sure to check how tight their joints are. The smaller the inter-seam space, the more neat and even the wall looks. Of course, seamless panels will be the best option..

The weight of the lining matters, and this must be taken into account when choosing panels. Based on this parameter, you can get an idea of ​​the panel wall thickness, stiffness and number of stiffeners. For example, one square meter of standard PVC lining weighs about 1.5 kilograms..

Panel thickness is also important. It often ranges from 0.1 to 10 millimeters. However, this parameter is of greatest importance when decorating walls. And in this case, the greater the thickness, the better. For ceilings, you can also select panels with the smallest thickness.

According to professionals, high-quality plastic lining contains about 20 percent chalk. If this indicator is higher, then the product will be more fragile. To check the amount of chalk in the material, bend the corner of the panel. In a plastic product, in the place where there was a bend, neither a strip nor a crack will appear.

When choosing panels, it will also be useful to sniff at them. After all, if in the store where finishing materials are sold, there is a sharp smell of plastic, then this indicates their toxicity. In fact, the specific smell should only be when you open a new package with lining. Moreover, it cannot be called sharp..

Well-known trade brands already have a well-deserved reputation, therefore, it is better to choose well-known brands that try to maintain quality at a decent level..

When choosing panels, you need to think in advance where exactly they will be used. After all, PVC are ceiling and wall. Recently, you can even find floor panels. By design, they practically do not differ from each other, but their strength and some characteristics still differ..

If the material is purchased for wall decoration with large dimensions, then it is better to opt for sheets of maximum sizes. Thus, the interior will look more aesthetically pleasing..

The resistance of PVC to various temperatures deserves special attention. Especially this parameter should be taken into account when choosing a material for finishing a kitchen, bathroom or balcony..

Price also matters. Moreover, it often depends on the manufacturer and quality. However, it cannot be said with absolute certainty that the most expensive panels are of the highest quality. Better stay in the sane middle.

Having chosen specific PVC panels, you can even ask the seller for a certificate confirming the quality standard, as well as durability, fire safety and other parameters of the product. Do not be afraid to request these documents, as their absence indicates a poor-quality product.

Panels with frieze are lightweight and highly durable, which makes them indispensable for bathrooms or kitchens, where interior partitions are made of fragile drywall. Panels for natural stone or wood are also an excellent solution. Moreover, the first option is lightweight, but looks very realistic, and the second is moisture resistant and at the same time does not lose its appearance over time. PVC with a 3D image will also be an interesting option..

For finishing a balcony or loggia, laminated panels will be an excellent option. They do not fade in the sun, do not crack, do not deform from low temperatures. In terms of resistance to mechanical stress and image quality, such panels can easily compete even with MDF..

If the apartment has high ceilings, then it is best to opt for glossy panels. They are an excellent light reflector, which will make the room even brighter and more pleasant..

Hardware for the installation of PVC panels is also not the last point that should be considered when choosing. After all, the molding (special fasteners) must be of high quality, fit along the grooves to the thickness of the panel and be matched exactly in color. Otherwise, the fittings will stand out too much against the background of the panels. You should also be aware that moldings may differ depending on the surface that will be veneered..

Mounting

Finishing with PVC panels can be carried out with the installation of the frame or by installing the panels without lathing. To better understand which method to choose, it is worth reading them in more detail..

The simplest option is to install the frame. A wide variety of materials can be used for its manufacture..

A timber frame will fit most living spaces. However, it is worth remembering that it is not suitable for bathrooms or kitchens, as it does not tolerate high humidity. And in these rooms, the panels will have to be washed often..

For quick installation, you must use a frame made of plastic strips.

The most reliable frame is definitely a metal profile. Of course, it should be borne in mind that it is very expensive..

To install panels without any lathing, you need to have solid experience, as well as even walls and ceilings. Of course, you can try and understand this process, but it should be borne in mind that skills are also important here. The main disadvantage of this method is that if one of the elements loses its appearance, then to replace it, you will have to revet the entire wall.

Which of the methods to use should be decided solely on your own. Here it is necessary to take into account the area of ​​the room that will be finished, and the disadvantages of walls with ceilings, and most importantly, take into account the peculiarities of the microclimate.

When you have decided on the installation method, you should proceed to preparation. At this stage, you will need a tape measure, a level, a ruler (preferably a meter), a pencil or marker, a screwdriver, a drill, dowels, screws or nails, a stapler, a hacksaw. In addition, it is worth preparing bits, drills, staples and other consumables in advance. If you take care of all this in advance, then the time for finishing can be significantly reduced..

You should not mount the panels on the walls as soon as the sheets are brought home after purchase. It is best to give them 24 hours to mature. To do this, the panels are unpacked so that they can “get used” to the room conditions.

Also, at the preparatory stage, a complete dismantling of the old wall and ceiling covering should be carried out. Then you need to carefully level the surface, patch up holes and remove other defects so as not to spoil the quality of the PVC coating. Otherwise, the panels will bulge in places, and in the future, their deformation will occur altogether. At the end of the preparation of the walls and ceiling, they should be covered with an antiseptic. This is especially important in the bathroom and kitchen.

Installation with a frame has several advantages. The main one is the ability to eliminate significant irregularities and various defects in the walls. Also, the frame allows you to make the thermal insulation of the room better and hide various communications.

When the walls and ceiling are prepared, you can start marking them. This is done exclusively with the help of the level. It is important here to avoid even small mistakes..

The installation of the frame starts from the bottom. The lowest row should be raised above the floor by 1-2 centimeters. This will allow the panels to fit very tightly against the wall. Next, using a square, a level and a pencil, you need to make a mark and go up 50 centimeters. At this place, you need to make another part of the frame..

Repeating this procedure, you need to reach the ceiling itself. Upon completion of the work, it should be assessed how parallel the lines are and whether they are at the same distance from each other..

When all the lines are outlined, you can install the crate. For wooden lathing, it is better to additionally use a disinfectant solution. The dowels should be installed at intervals of about 50 centimeters, and then fix the slats on them. Moreover, if the wall has obvious irregularities, then the grooves can be filled with chips or special wooden wedges of suitable sizes. It is worth noting that a wooden frame is best suited for finishing dry rooms..

The frame can also be created from a metal profile. This option is especially relevant for the bathroom, where the humidity is constantly high. During installation, an important point is the direction of the panels and the profile itself..

The most modern version of the frame is a plastic crate. In this case, the guides are attached to the wall using dowels. Clips are inserted into a special groove, and PVC is held on them.

When assembling the frame, it should be borne in mind that it is desirable to maintain a distance of 8 centimeters from the wall to the panels. This is necessary for normal air movement to avoid too much dampness..

After creating the frame, you can mount the panels themselves. Installation usually starts from the left corner of the room. First, you need to install an inner plastic corner, which has connectors oriented to adjoining walls. After that, you should fix the upper and lower skirting boards..

Next, you need to attach the plastic panels to the surface and take measurements. It is important to take into account that they must be inserted into the connectors of the lower and upper skirting boards. Measurements are best done with a tape measure and very accurately (to the millimeter). The first panel must be inserted into the corner, and if necessary, then cut the groove part using an ordinary construction knife.

Then the panel is cut to the required length and inserted into the upper plinth, after which its lower part is folded over and immersed in the lower plinth. In the event that all measurements were made correctly, the panel will fit tightly and evenly. Now you can connect the grooves of adjacent panels and fix them using self-tapping screws or a stapler and staples. To remove the gaps at the joints of the panels, you can use silicone.

This is how all panels are mounted. When the installation is complete, the molding should be installed. It is thanks to him that the finish will be more reliable and visually attractive. It is necessary to install molding elements along the perimeter and seams. You can make holes in the PVC panel for sockets, pipes or lamps with a simple stationery knife..

For panel mounting, you can also use the frameless method using glue. However, it must be borne in mind that it is not as durable as the frame one, and the walls should be carefully aligned for it..

It is worth considering that if the installation of the panels is carried out by this method, then the surface should be primed in advance. For this procedure, you must use special solutions, which are selected depending on the material of the walls..

When installing panels on glue, it is important to choose a quick-drying glue (you can use “liquid nails”), which will not leave streaks, since it will not work. Moreover, it must be resistant to excessive moisture. The glue is applied with a notched trowel to the wall in large drops in a checkerboard pattern. Then the panels are attached to it in turn, joining together. It should be noted that with this installation method, it will not be possible to install recessed luminaires..

With the help of panels, you can also create window slopes yourself. You can also make a whole panel on the wall or decorate an arch from PVC sheets. Various crafts will only transform the interior and make it even more interesting. The original painting of the panels will give originality to the room..

Examples in the interior

Numerous examples of room decoration allow you to quickly select the most suitable option. Today it is easy to find interesting options that fit both the Provence style and the loft style. Very original design ideas can be realized using panels with photo printing.

The design of the hallway room with panels will be very interesting and bright. Moreover, you can choose bright PVC sheets with floral or abstract patterns that will look great against the background of wooden furniture. Panels with a picture, shaded with a not too catchy pattern, will also be an excellent option for a spacious corridor. In this case, it is best to give preference to bright and juicy shades to make the space seem lighter and more welcoming. For those who appreciate elegance and modesty, wood-like panels will become an indispensable option for decorating the hallway..

It is even easier to choose an interesting interior for a bathroom. Panels with a pattern for small mosaics or marble look ideal. They fill the bathroom space with a special charm. And you can give them a little pretentiousness due to the molding with golden and silver elements. 3D marine-themed panels transform a familiar bathroom into a tropical oasis.

A kitchen area with cladding trims can look bright, practical and modern at the same time. For the main part of the walls (preferably the upper one), it is better to prefer a not too flashy color, but the smaller part can be revetted with panels with a bright pattern. In this case, the working part can be highlighted in a different color, conventionally dividing the kitchen into a zone. As for the choice of colors and shades, everything here is extremely individual..

For more information on PVC decorative panels, see the next video..

About the author