The Bottom Line: A Cost Comparison of Labour Expenses for Wet Wall Panels vs. Tiles in Australia

Wet Wall Panel vs Tile labour cost comparison

Renovating or building a new bathroom is a significant investment. And when it comes to wall coverings, budgeting is crucial. However, understanding the associated costs, especially labour, can be tricky. That’s where Wet Wall Works steps in to help you make an informed decision.

This article aims to dissect the labour costs involved in installing both wet wall panels and tiles. We’ll provide a detailed cost comparison to help you understand the potential savings when choosing wet wall panels over tiles. So, if you’re wondering about wet wall panel costs or conducting a wet wall panel and tile cost comparison, you’re in the right place! Stay tuned to learn more and discover how Wet Wall Works can save you money without compromising on quality.

Make sure to also read the following two articles if you’re interested in wall panels vs. tiles:

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Why Costs Matter

Immediate and Long-term Costs

When planning a renovation or construction project, understanding labour costs is crucial. Why? Because these costs significantly affect both your immediate budget and long-term maintenance expenses. A low-cost option might seem appealing upfront, but if it requires frequent repairs or replacements, it could end up costing you more in the long run. That’s why at Wet Wall Works, we believe in providing value for money, balancing upfront “wet wall panel costs” with long-term durability and ease of maintenance.

The Real Cost of Installing Wet Wall Panels

Material Cost vs Labour Cost

While the material costs for wet wall panels can vary, they are generally more affordable than tiles, starting at $149 per panel or approximately $74.50 per square metre. But what about labour costs? Let’s delve into that next.

Average Labour Costs for Wet Wall Panels in Australia

On average, professional installation of our wet wall panels starts at $80 per panel. This cost includes the labour required to fit the panels securely and professionally, ensuring they look great and last long. However, you can quite easily install them yourself, reducing installation costs considerably. You’ll only need to pay for things like trims, adhesive, and silicone, which are minimal.

Time is Money: Installation Speed

One of the significant advantages of wet wall panels is their quick installation time. Unlike tiles, which require individual placement and grouting, wet wall panels can be installed over existing tiles. This not only saves on demolition costs but also significantly reduces labour hours. Plus, they’re cheaper than having existing tiles re-grouted!

Wet Wall Panel Cost Summary

FactorsCosts & Details
Material Cost per Panel/Sq MeterStarts at $149 per panel / $74.50 per sq meter
Average DIY Installation Cost per PanelMinimal costs
Average Professional Installation Cost per PanelStarts at $80 per panel
Total Cost (Material + DIY Installation)Starts at $149 per panel / $74.50 per sq meter
Total Cost (Material + Professional Installation)Starts at $229 per panel or approx. $114.50 per sq meter
Installation TimeFaster; can be installed over existing tiles
Additional CostsMinimal; no need for tile removal or re-grouting
Geographic VariabilityLimited; relatively consistent pricing

 The True Expense of Tile Installation

Material Cost vs Labour Cost

Tiles can be more expensive than wet wall panels, with costs ranging from $20 to over $200 per square metre. However, this wet wall panel and tile cost comparison would be incomplete without considering the labour aspect.

Average Labour Costs for Tiles in Australia

Labour costs for tile installation range from $40 to $50 per square metre, but this can vary from $30 to $150, depending on the type of tiles and local rates, according to These costs can quickly add up, especially for larger areas, making tiles a less cost-effective option compared to wet wall panels.

The Time Factor: Installation Delays

Tile installation, in comparison to wet wall panels, can be a time-consuming process. Each tile needs to be meticulously arranged and adequately grouted, which requires a high level of precision and expertise. Additionally, the grout must be allowed to dry completely before the job is deemed complete, further prolonging the installation process. This extended timeframe not only delays the completion of your project but also has a direct impact on labour costs. With a longer installation period, the total number of labour hours increases, which translates into higher costs for the homeowner. This aspect accentuates the financial advantage of choosing wet wall panels over tiles, providing a cost-effective solution without compromising on aesthetic appeal or durability.

Tiling Cost Summary

FactorsCosts & Details
Material Cost per Sq MeterRanges from $20 to $200+
Average Labour Cost per Sq MeterRanges from $30 to $150
Total Cost (Material + Professional Installation)Starts at $60, can go up to $350+ per sq meter
Installation TimeSlower; meticulous placement and grouting
Additional CostsLikely; may include grout drying, tile cutting, and potential re-grouting
Geographic VariabilityModerate; labour costs can differ widely

Side-by-Side Comparison: Wet Wall Panels vs Tiles

Hourly Rates and Total Labour Costs

Let’s break things down. The average cost per square metre for tiles ranges from $20 to over $200, not including labour costs, which can add an additional $30 to $45 per square metre. On the other hand, wet wall panels start at $149 per panel or $74.50 per square metre. Even if you factor in professional installation starting at $80 per panel, the savings become evident.

Cumulative Savings with Wet Wall Panels

Here’s where things get interesting. Given the quick installation time of wet wall panels, the labour cost is significantly reduced. In fact, it’s free if you install them yourself. Plus, these panels can be installed directly over existing tiles, saving you on demolition costs. When you do a wet wall panel and tile cost comparison, it’s clear that wet wall panels offer significant cost savings.

Making the Smart Choice: What’s Best for Your Budget?

Quality vs Cost

Both tiles and wet wall panels offer excellent quality. However, when it comes to labour costs, there’s a substantial difference. Wet wall panels, with their lower labour expenses and faster installation times, offer a cost-effective alternative without compromising on quality or aesthetics.

The Final Tally

In a nutshell, while tiles might seem like a traditional choice, they come with higher labour costs and longer installation times. On the other hand, choosing wet wall panels could result in significant savings, making them a smart choice for your next renovation project.

For a more comprehensive look at aspects of our wet wall panels, read our comprehensive guide.


By now, it should be evident that opting for wet wall panels over tiles could lead to substantial cost savings, especially when considering Australian labour costs. Not only do they offer a stylish and modern look, but they also provide a cost-effective solution to your renovation needs.

So, why not make the smart choice? Consider wet wall panels for your next project. At Wet Wall Works, we’re more than ready to help you make the most of your budget while delivering top-notch quality. Contact us today on 1800 668 453 to learn more about our products and how we can help you save on wet wall panel costs!

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