Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?

Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?

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Wallpapers are such a quick fix to wall décor, no wonder their resurgence. They offer such a beautiful finishing touch to a room. However, you might be asking yourself whether or not to put wallpaper in the bathroom.

Let’s face it. The bathroom can get quite steamy thanks to the steam generated from hot water, hence, the worry if the paper will hold well or peel soon enough.

When it comes to redecorating bathrooms, the fear of having all the hard work required when putting up the wallpaper go to waste is a typical concern.

Many are troubled about their lovely bathroom wallpaper peeling halfway down the wall just a few months after installation.

To avoid headaches down the line, as you decorate your bathroom, learn from us.

Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?

Yes, it is absolutely okay to install wallpaper in the bathroom, whether it is a small bathroom, master bathroom, kids’ bathroom, or powder room.

With the right choice of wallpaper (preferably waterproof wallpaper like those made of vinyl) and proper ventilation in the bathroom, there will be higher chances of your wallpaper lasting longer.

Otherwise, if standard wallpaper is used, moisture and high humidity in the bathroom can seep through to weaken the paste that bonds the wallpaper to the wall.

Hence, the wallpaper starts peeling off until the only remedy is a partial or full wallpaper replacement.

In addition, the moist and dark environment created by wet bathroom wallpaper is ideal for mold growth, which can cause skin irritation or infection.

The worst part is that you won’t detect mold until you remove the wallpaper, so mold can quietly expand into a full-fledged colony without your knowledge.

A mold remediation specialist would need to remove the wallpaper at this time, especially if the mold growth area surpasses 10 square feet.

The key is to ensure your bathroom is properly ventilated because if your bathroom is not well ventilated, the humidity will linger and prevent wet surfaces from drying, leading to problems like mold.

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    Avoid installing wallpaper if your property has rising dampness caused by groundwater seeping through masonry and up walls, or penetrating dampness caused by water pouring through walls due to fractures or other structural concerns.

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    What Kind of Wallpaper Is Used In The Bathroom?

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Berg Interior

    Ready to add color, pattern, and jaw-dropping style to your bathroom? Then you need a roll or two of waterproof and water-resistant wallpaper! At all costs, avoid the temptation of purchasing standard wallpaper.

    While there are many versions on the market, waterproof wallpapers usually have a fully waterproof membrane meaning they do not get damaged when in direct contact with water as opposed to normal wallpaper which will not suffice for the humidity you get from bathrooms.

    Also, because you can install such wallpapers directly in the shower, they are the perfect option for making a statement –  plus no grout lines and are resistant to abrasive cleaning products, so easy to wipe clean!

    When thinking about adding wallpaper in the bathroom, you have to consider all the splashing, showering, and steam. Hence, for such a moisture-prone area, vinyl wallpaper is the best way to go!

    It is the most durable wallpaper type and can be wiped clean easily.

    With vinyl wallpaper, perfect for repelling moisture, you can rest assured that it will withstand the daily rigors of the bathroom.

    There are three types of vinyl wallpaper perfect for bathroom walls including:

    • Vinyl-coated wallpaper that has a paper base and is coated with a form of chemical vinyl, such as acrylic vinyl adds an extra layer of protection from humidity and moisture. It can tear and scratch easily hence preferable for use in the bathroom as long as it’s above the wainscoting.

    Usually, the vinyl covering the paper substrate is already completely water-resistant and will suffice to keep it waterproof.

    However, if you’re not sure whether your vinyl wallpaper is going to withstand the abuse of children or a poorly ventilated bathroom, use a protective topcoat that you can easily wash without a single worry of it tearing, or absorbing moisture.

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Lidiyabolshakova

    Water-based polyurethane finish helps seal porous wallpapers that are at risk of peeling and also creates an easy-to-clean surface. NOTE: Avoid oil-based polyurethane as it can yellow over time.

    • Solid vinyl wallpaper that is made completely of vinyl. It is a popular option that is scratch and tear-resistant and able to be scrubbed with a lot of water.

    While it is best suited for a kid’s bathroom, showers, and master bathrooms, it is also perfect for kitchen backsplashes.

    It should also be noted that most solid vinyl wallpapers will be prepasted so you will not need to purchase any additional glue.

    • Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper that is the strongest type of wall décor you can put on your bathroom walls.

    It is perfect if you’re looking for an option you can hang and not worry if it will scratch, fade, tear, or be able to be washed without damaging the surface.

    • You can also go for peel and stick wallpaper for your bathroom. Not only is it easy to apply, but it has the power to instantly transform your bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary.

    The best part is that there it’s not a messy application process and requires no major renovations.


    In the bathroom that includes a shower or bathtub, do not install grasscloth wallpaper because of the moisture it would be exposed to daily. Since grasscloth is made of natural materials, it is extremely absorbent.

    If your bathroom does not have a fan or vent to help remove excess moisture, flying water might leave markings on the wallpaper.

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Amanda West

    However, if you have a powder room that you want to redecorate (and it doesn’t include a shower or bathtub), you can use grasscloth wallpaper as long as you prime your walls appropriately.

    Just keep in mind that you can’t use regular bathroom cleaner on your wallpaper; instead, any stains should be cleaned with clean water and a damp white cloth/sponge.

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    Can You Waterproof Your Wallpaper For Bathroom Use?

    Yes, you can waterproof your wallpaper for use in the bathroom. This is necessary to make them last longer in the bathroom.

    To waterproof wallpaper:

    • Clean your existing wallpaper by wiping it down with mild soap and water to remove dirt, stains, and grease before letting it dry thoroughly.
    • Apply enough coatings of water-based varnish, emulsion glaze, or a primer to the wallpaper in warm weather, ideally at a 70-degree temperature. While applying, avoid overbrushing to prevent the varnish from spreading and leaving streaking and brush marks.
    • Now, let it dry for 12 hours. Please avoid using the bathroom or shower while it dries.

    While this is a needful DIY especially if you’re on a budget, we don’t recommend waterproofing your standard wallpaper for use in the bathroom as it’s more time-consuming.

    It can even cost more down the line since waterproofed wallpapers don’t last as long as those made to be waterproof. This is due to maintenance and repair costs.

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    Things To Consider Before Applying Wallpaper In Bathroom

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Esther Fallonlau

    By now, you should be excited about installing wallpaper in your bathroom in order to inject style and dimension into your space.

    However, there are a few things to consider to ensure your wallpaper stays up for longer:

    • Always go for special waterproof wallpaper like solid vinyl, fabric-backed vinyl, or vinyl-coated wallpaper for use in the bathroom.
    • Before applying wallpaper, ensure the bathroom wall is well-prepared. It should be clean of dust and completely dry first.

    That means the bathroom should be used as infrequently as possible, and avoid showering in the 24 hours before installation to ensure there’s no moisture in the room.

    • To provide a smooth surface for the wallpaper and prevent the wall from absorbing the paste, use a mold-proof wallpaper primer to the wall before applying the wallpaper paste.

    Apply extra mold-proof wallpaper paste underneath any portions of wallpaper near a shower.

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Marina_ky
    • Your bathroom should also be well-ventilated to get rid of moisture and humidity fast for the longevity of your wallpaper.

    An efficient extractor fan is okay if you don’t have a large bathroom window.

    To keep water vapor from settling on and seeping into wallpaper, run the bathroom fan while showers or tubs are in use.

    • It is also wise to leave the bathroom door and/or windows open during and after bathing to let the steam escape whenever possible.
    • Consider wiping off dust and other debris accumulations from the wallpaper on a weekly or biweekly basis with an extensible hand duster.

    Where To Install Wallpaper In The Bathroom

    You’ve got your stunning waterproof wallpaper and looking to install it in your bathroom, right? While it can be used in any part of the bathroom, we recommend these spots:

    • Around the toilet. Wallpaper in a bathroom is feasible, especially if installed in a powder room that usually has only a wash hand basin and a toilet.

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    • Behind the tub. Wallpaper makes a great option as a single accent wall behind the tub.
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    How To Install Wallpaper In The Bathroom

    Indeed, the bathroom is an excellent place to start your redecorating projects.

    Since it’s also one of the most used areas within a home, proper installation and maintenance are needed to reduce wallpaper woes.

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?
    Courtesy: Berg Interior

    To prep your bathroom walls before installing wallpaper:

    • First, clean the surface of the wall by wiping them down with a clean cloth. A vacuum is also an excellent option for removing dirt that has stuck on the walls.

    Ensure your wall is smooth and free of nails, screws, and light fixtures, and fill any gaps by patch plastering the holes. After it dries completely, smoothen it with a drywall sanding block.

    • Then, apply a mold-resistant primer all over the area to aid in the smoothing of the area and the prevention of mold growth. NOTE: Adhere to safety precautions when working with the primer including wearing a mask and gloves and opening a window or ensuring the space is sufficiently aired.
    • Now, apply it to your walls the wallpaper ensuring you stick it using a mold-resistant wallpaper paste if you’ll need a separate adhesive (this is if your wallpaper of choice is not self-adhesive)
    • After applying your wallpaper, gently smooth it using a rubber smoother or roller, making sure to squeeze out all the bubbles from the center of the paper out toward the edges
    • If any parts need trimming to allow for bathroom fixtures, mirrors, or cabinets, trim it using a sharp utility knife.
    • Now, keep your bathroom well-ventilated to allow your walls to dry, and don’t use your shower for a few days after wallpapering.

    To keep your wallpaper looking as fresh as possible, clean your shower regularly and make sure you allow steam to escape from your shower after use.

    Is it OK to Put Wallpaper In The Bathroom?

    Convinced to use wallpaper in your bathroom? Try these tips and let us know the outcome!

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