The bathroom is one of the most unique rooms in the house and requires different needs in almost every aspect of renovation and decoration. This is because it is such a dramatic change of environment from, say, the bedroom or living room. It is a haven for hot moisture meaning that conventional wall decor (like normal day-to-day wallpaper) won't last for long and will begin to show stains. If you're unlucky, you could end up with mould, mildew bubbling paint. If you're stuck for bathroom wall ideas and inspiration, you're definitely in the right place. We're always on the lookout for great bathroom decorating ideas!
It's important to understand the appropriate products and materials to use on your bathroom walls, this way you do not have to waste money redecorating in a year or two. You can use a variety of materials for the walls and you can even use a selection of them (though make sure that you don't end up making your bathroom look cluttered, especially in a smaller bathroom!). In this post we will take you through the pros and cons of tiles, wallpaper and paint as well as an overview of a couple of other options.
Using Tiles In the Bathroom:
Tiles are one of the most common materials used for the bathroom. This is because they are so effective when it comes to dealing with the moisture in the air and full exposure to water. They can even be used inside the shower, on the walls and floor. Tiles are also incredibly durable making them ideal in the bathroom, due to the everyday wear and tear that it receives. They come in almost an endless selection of colours, sizes and textures.
The problem with tiling the bathroom is that they will need to be fitted by an experienced tiler/plumber/bathroom fitter, which may bite into a budget that you may have set yourself. They also require much more maintenance than a simple paint job as the grouting between the tiles is ideal for harbouring dirty and muck meaning it is much more susceptible to mould and mildew. Therefore, grouting will need to be replaced every few years when it begins to deteriorate. Better yet, invest a little in some grout sealant when completing the job.
Using Wallpaper in the Bathroom:
When using wallpaper for a bathroom wall, you must bear in mind the humid environment that it will be exposed to. Thankfully there are a growing number of moisture resistant wallpapers available, specifically designed to withstand the condensation found in the bathroom. Generally speaking, they incorporate a plastic coating to deal with the environment but we recommend double-checking that your choice is suitable for the bathroom before buying. You may also want to consider only using it in the areas that are not close to any direct sources of water in order to keep it in great condition.
The problem with wallpaper is that if it hasn't been put up well it can look particularly bad. The plastic covering which makes them resistant to moisture can also begin to crack and peel if it is subject to constant splashes of water.
Using Paint in the Bathroom:
Painting the walls in your bathroom is often the easiest option to go with, as it doesn't require fitting or any previous experience in renovating a bathroom. It is great for giving your bathroom a quick and cheap makeover that can completely change the look of the entire room. The best paint to use on your walls is either gloss or semi gloss which work well in damp conditions.
The problem with using gloss or semi gloss paint is that it can make any bumps or bulges on your wall stand out even more, so we recommend setting aside some time for sanding and perfecting your walls before painting. Apart from that, paint is one of the most ideal ways to bring colour or just a new clean look to your bathroom walls as it can be re-painted and changed whenever you feel the need.
Using Shower Wall Panels in the Bathroom:
Shower wall panels are a useful product for decorating and making your shower area water tight. They offer an inherently easier and cheaper alternative to natural stone tiles in the bathroom, as they can feature any pattern or design and require little to minimum maintenance. They can also be easily installed meaning you will save on hiring an experienced fitter/plumber to install it.
The problem with using shower wall panels is that they may look tacky or cheap if overused, we would therefore recommend only using them in the shower/bath area of your bathroom and to use something else to cover the rest of the walls. You can purchase end pieces to ensure a neat finish between the panels and the regular wall.
Remember that the bathroom is a place where you will spend a long time, probably not looking at much else other than the walls, floor and ceiling; Make sure that you are completely happy with whatever you have chosen! Take particular care with making sure the quality of work is high too, as one tile out of place, one paint splodge, or one misaligned pattern will have you going crazy.
Check out our Pinterest board below, which is full of bathroom wall ideas and inspiration. You can also view our range of bathroom tiles, which includes brands such as British Ceramic Tile, Laura Ashley and RAK Ceramics. We've also got a growing collection of wall panels from Showerwall available too!