Wallpaper is making a major comeback in bathrooms, offering a huge range of styles, textures and colors to make your space look absolutely stunning. As interiors experts, we’re here to provide some insights into the key wallpaper trends gaining popularity for bathrooms, and how to use wallpaper to create your dream bathroom aesthetic. Read on for our expert guide to wallpaper in the bathroom.
Why Wallpaper Works So Well in Bathrooms
There are several key reasons why wallpaper is surging in popularity for bathrooms:
- Moisture-resistant advancements – Wallpaper used to be avoided in bathrooms due to concerns about moisture ruining the paper. However, modern wallpaper technology has advanced to create moisture-resistant varieties perfect for high humidity areas. This makes wallpaper a viable, durable option for bathrooms today.
- Easy to clean – Modern wallpapers have smooth wipeable surfaces that allow you to simply wipe away water splashes, condensation and dirt. This makes maintenance easy.
- Creative self-expression – Wallpaper offers so many amazing prints and textures, enabling you to add a unique decorative element that expresses your tastes and personality.
- Visual interest – Wallpaper livens up bathrooms by adding eye-catching colors, prints and focal points, instead of bland painted walls.
- Hide flaws – Wallpaper camouflages imperfections in bathroom walls, like cracks, holes and uneven textures.
- Warms up cold tiles – In a bathroom dominated by hard tiles, wallpaper softens the look and feel of the space.
- Affordable revamp – Wallpaper lets you transform the whole look of a bathroom for a fraction of the cost of renovations.
Key Wallpaper Trends for Bathrooms
Wallpaper designers have responded to the rise in bathroom wallpaper popularity with some fantastic on-trend designs. Here are some of the key trends we’re seeing emerge:
Organic and naturalistic textures like wood grain, rattans, fibrous textures and leaves are increasing in popularity. These bring warmth and life into bathrooms. Concrete, plaster and mineral textures also feature in this earthy trend.
Tropical prints and motifs are a big trend, like palm leaves, tropical foliage, pineapples, bananas, frangipanis and hibiscus flowers. These breezy tropical designs conjure up a sense of exotic paradise.
For a contemporary graphic look, bold colorful patterns are trending. Geometric prints, abstract shapes, stripes, dots, puzzles and optical effects make a dramatic style statement.
Black and White
Classic black and white schemes, including graphic prints, retro monochrome tiles and damask designs, are updated bathroom wallpaper looks. This elegant combo works with any color scheme.
For a soft ethereal look, pale powdery pastels like lilac, lemon, sky blue and blush pink are popular. Florals and watercolor effects look beautiful in muted pastels.
Serene pictorial scenes of nature, like forest groves, rolling hills and beaches, create a soothing spa-like ambience. Botanical illustrations also feature in this natural trend.
Shimmering metallics add glamorous decadence to bathrooms. Gold, silver, copper and bronze wallpapers make the space feel luxurious and special.
Where to Use Wallpaper in Your Bathroom
Wallpaper can be incorporated throughout your bathroom or used selectively as a focal feature. Here are some top tips on where to install it:
Use wallpaper as a dramatic backdrop behind freestanding bathtubs. Choose eye-catching prints and wall mural designs to turn the bathing area into a beautiful relaxation zone.
Wallpapering the wall above bathroom vanities creates a pretty frame for the mirror and fixtures. Opt for papers with tones complementing your vanity tops.
As Accent Walls
Choose one wall to cover in a striking wallpaper, keeping other walls painted. This focal accent wall draws the eye for maximum impact.
Wallpaper inside niches provides a pop of color and visual interest. Coordinate with accessories displayed in the niches.
For cohesive styling, paper the entire bathroom in your chosen design. Just take care to avoid busy overwhelming prints.
In small bathrooms, wallpaper the ceiling to make the space feel bigger and taller. Opt for papers with vertical stripes or trails.
Design Considerations for Bathroom Wallpaper
To pick the perfect wallpaper for your bathroom and guarantee longevity, keep these tips in mind:
Choose wallpapers designed specifically for high humidity. Vinyl coated and non-woven wallpapers resist moisture best. Avoid paper wallpapers.
Wipeable vinyl or acrylic coated wallpaper surfaces clean easily with just water and a cloth. Uncoated paper is prone to water marks.
Mold and Mildew Resistance
Antimicrobial treated wallpapers inhibit mold and mildew growth. This is essential in damp bathrooms.
Adhesives designed for wet areas will firmly affix wallpaper and prevent peeling or bubbling when exposed to steam and splashes.
Prints Avoid Limescale Marks
Avoid super light wallpapers where limescale would noticeably mark them. Busy prints disguise water marks better.
coordinator with Bathroom Elements
Select wallpaper hues that complement your tiles, vanities and fixtures for a pulled-together look.
How to Install Wallpaper in Bathrooms
When installing wallpaper in humid bathroom spaces, follow these best practices for great results:
Surfaces should be smooth, clean, dry and primed. Fill any holes and fix flaws for an even finish that wallpaper will adhere smoothly to.
Apply a Sealer
Seal porous drywall and plaster with a waterproof sealer so moisture doesn’t penetrate behind the wallpaper causing adhesion issues.
Use a Wallpaper Primer
Prime walls with a dedicated wallpaper primer right before installation. This helps the adhesive stick securely.
Check Paper Directions
Follow the wallpaper manufacturer’s directions for using the right adhesive and any special installation considerations.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush the installation. Carefully smooth out bubbles and creases as you go for the best finish.
Seal Edges Near Tiles
Brush waterproof sealant on trim edges near tiles to prevent moisture ingress behind the wallpaper.
Install Gloss Varnish
Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane varnish over wallpaper around tubs/showers. This waterproofs the paper.
With the right prep work and materials, you can install wallpaper in bathrooms for a flawless professional finish that lasts.
FAQs about Bathroom Wallpaper
Here we answer some commonly asked questions about using wallpaper in bathroom spaces:
Is wallpaper suitable for bathrooms?
Yes, when you choose the right moistureresistant wallpaper designed for high humidity environments and install it properly on prepared surfaces, wallpaper can work very well in bathrooms. Advanced wallpaper technology makes bathroom application possible.
What’s the best wallpaper for bathrooms?
Seek out wallpapers labeled for bathroom use. Vinyl, non-woven and acrylic coated options resist moisture best. Avoid regular papers. Antimicrobial treatment inhibits mildew growth in humid environments too.
Should you apply sealant when installing bathroom wallpaper?
Yes, always seal underlying surfaces like drywall and apply varnish over wallpaper near water sources like showers. This waterproofs the paper and prevents moisture damage. Take extra care sealing edges near tiles.
Does wallpaper make a bathroom look dated?
Wallpaper is actually having a huge revival, and when chosen in contemporary prints, it makes bathrooms look fresh, stylish and on-trend. Styles like tropical prints, black and white graphics, geometric patterns or nature scenes give bathrooms a modern look.
Is it hard to apply wallpaper in a bathroom?
Bathroom wallpaper application just requires some key moisture prevention steps like properly sealing surfaces, using bathroom-grade adhesive and carefully smoothing out creases. Take your time for best results. Watch for ceiling drips messing up finished paper too.
Can you get waterproof wallpaper for bathrooms?
Yes, vinyl and other coated wallpapers are inherently waterproof. Further waterproofing comes from sealing underlying surfaces, using proper adhesive and applying gloss varnish around wet areas. This prevents moisture penetration behind the paper.
Does wallpaper help hide flaws in bathroom walls?
Yes, one of the benefits of wallpaper is it camouflages uneven drywall textures, small cracks and holes in the underlying surface. The paper covers flaws for a smooth finished look. Just fill larger gaps and smooth very textured walls first.
Get Creative with Wallpaper in Your Bathroom
Wallpaper opens up so many stylish design possibilities for creating your dream bathroom. Here are some creative ideas to inspire you:
- Use contrasting wallpapers on opposite walls for visual drama. For example, pair delicate florals with a bold graphic print.
- Emphasize the sleek lines of a contemporary space with stunning black and white geometric wallpaper designs featuring strong vertical and horizontal elements.
- Make small bathrooms feel larger by papering the ceiling in a light color with thin stripes to add height.
- Line bathtub surrounds with soothing nature-inspired wallpapers, like serene woodland scenes or misty seascapes, to create a relaxing spa vibe.
- Incorporate metallic wallpapers to add glamour and reflect light around the room. Copper and champagne gold papers look romantic and luxe.
- Use wallpaper to frame bathroom mirrors or highlight wall niches for an eye-catching focal point.
- Complement gleaming white contemporary bathroom fixtures and finishes with equally pristine bright white and minimalist wallpapers.
- Contrast sleek modern fittings with vintage inspired wallpapers, like Art Deco geometrics or classic florals.
- In kids or teens’ bathrooms, use fun wallpapers to match their interests, like sporty prints, mermaids, superheroes or colorful patterns.
Wallpaper opens up many creative possibilities for bathroom decor. Choose designs that make you smile and reflect your personality. With so many amazing wallpaper options now available, you can achieve any style from retro glam to super sleek contemporary. Give your bathroom the revamp it deserves with fresh new wallpaper!
We hope this guide has given you plenty of inspiration and insights into the wonderful design potential of wallpaper in bathrooms. With moisture-resistant advancements making wallpaper safe for humid bathroom environments, the possibilities are endless for using this decorative covering to enhance your space.
Clever use of eye-catching wallpaper as an accent or all over feature can completely transform the look of a bathroom and create an enjoyable, inviting space for relaxation and rejuvenation. Plus, wallpaper is an affordable and effective upgrade that outperforms paint in terms of adding unique personality and visual interest.
From tropical paradise prints, to bold contemporary graphics, soothing florals or sleek metallics, wallpaper offers so much choice. Follow our tips to select the perfect style for your tastes and bathroom layout, coordinate with other finishes, and properly install wallpaper for a long-lasting finish.
We hope you’ve been inspired to add some wallpaper magic to make your bathroom truly one-of-a-kind. With the right wallpaper, your bathroom can go from bland to beautiful in no time. Happy designing!