Wallpaper In The Bathroom

by Rachel Laurendeau on October 5, 2012

If you’re thinking about redecorating your bathroom, you might be wondering if wallpaper can hold up to the high humidity, steam, splashes and temperature fluctuations of the average bathroom. The answer is yes and no.

• For the most part, wallpaper will hold up for years in the bathroom. Anyone who has ever tried to remove it can attest to this. Where you might run into problems would be around the edges and seams after a few years of humidity, particularly if the paper wasn’t hung perfectly.

• Splashing can make wallpaper peel, blister and curl if you aren’t careful. For this reason, you may want to avoid using it directly behind the sink and faucet, around the tub or near the shower.

• Although many people think that hanging wallpaper in a bathroom will be easy because it is a small space, they forget to take into account all of the obstacles that they will have to go around or behind in a finished bathroom: toilet, vanity, mirror, tile, tub, shower enclosure, partial walls, etc. For this reason, you may want to leave papering to an expert, or at least to an experienced DIY homeowner. If you are gutting the room for a complete bathroom remodeling, be sure to hang your wallpaper before all of the permanent fixtures start going back in.

• Vinyl-coated or solid vinyl wallpaper is non-breathable, easier to clean and more stain-resistant than other types of wallpaper. This makes it more practical for kitchen or bathroom applications. The label on this type of wallpaper should say “washable” or “scrubbable”.

• Some high-end wallpaper manufacturers have started producing anti-bacterial wallpaper specifically for kitchens and bathrooms but you will most certainly be paying a premium for them.

• There are sealants on the market such as ProSeal 2 that can be applied to regular wallpaper to provide an invisible water-proof finish. However, make sure that you test the sealant out on a small sample of your wallpaper prior to hanging it, just to be certain that it does not cause any discoloration or bubbling.

• Alternatively, if you aren’t convinced that wallpaper is the way to go during your bathroom remodeling, you could paint the wall a color you love and add a large scale vinyl wall decal, or you can simply apply temporary wallpaper such as those offered by Tempaper. (They’re beautiful, easy to install and remove! I’m thinking of ordering some for an upcoming home improvement in my master bath.)

• On a design note, be careful if you are using a bold or busy pattern in a small bathroom, it can make the room seem even smaller and overwhelming. My preference is to use wallpaper on one or two feature walls in the bathroom and to use a smaller scale pattern.

Hanging wallpaper is an excellent way to add color, pattern and texture to any room, even the bathroom, when done correctly.

Leave a comment below telling us what you think of wallpaper in the bathroom.

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