How to DIY a bath panel for a statement bath

Bored of the same old bath panel? You can DIY yourself one cheaply, easily and quickly to make the bath your bathroom's centrepiece. Here's how

Bath panel: colourful geometric statement bath panel in a white modern bathroom
(Image credit: Genie)

A bath panel that's unique to your bathroom can transform a plain room into a bespoke space. Revamping a plain white tub with a bright bath panel is easy to do and a quick way to refresh a tired-looking scheme, injecting pattern and colour. Here, we take you through the steps of this easy DIY task so that your new bathroom can get a brand new look (almost) instantly. 

If you're starting your bathroom design from scratch and you don't know where to begin, make sure you head over to our guide on how to design a bathroom. Or if you are after some more weekend projects, head over to our hub page. 

You will need:

  • A splashback panel (2mm smaller all round than the MDF panel, below)
  • MDF or plywood panel, the same size as your existing bath panel (DIY stores will cut to size)
  • Tape measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Low modulus sealant
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Spacers (tile spacers will do)
  • Masking tape

Step 1: measure up and order

Measure your existing panel for the MDF backing and new bath panel. For the new bath panel, we've actually used a splashback panel from Genie Splashbacks. These come in either glass or acrylic, and in a wide range of designs. Simply enter your existing bath panel's dimensions online, to get one that's the right size. You could also order a splashback panel that matches to sit on the wall behind the bath. Perfect for a co-ordinated look. 

Step 2: remove the existing bath panel

Remove an existing plastic bath panel. Or, if your bath already has an existing MDF bath panel, carefully remove any raised mouldings from it. Otherwise, fix the new MDF bath panel in place, recessing it by around 5mm from the front lip of the bath. 

Next, test fit the acrylic panel against the MDF panel, allowing a 2mm expansion gap at either end between the panels and the wall.

Step 3: key the rear of the acrylic

Lightly key the rear of the acrylic panel with sandpaper, wipe clean with a microfibre cloth, then evenly apply beads of low modulus silicone. Use spacers between the panel and floor.

Step 4: press bath panel on with your hands

Press the new panel on to the MDF with your hands and allow the silicone to cure for a day before removing the spacers.

Step 5: apply masking tape to the edges

Apply masking tape around the edges of your panel to protect it, then seal the 2mm expansion gap with sealant. Remove the masking tape and allow the sealant to dry. Stand back and admire your new statement bath panel.

colourful geometric panelling in a white bathroom

Made-to-measure splashback panel, from £40 per sq m, Genie Splashbacks

(Image credit: Genie)

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