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Bathroom Design: Can I Use Wallpaper?

calander Mar 17 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

Above all, bathrooms are meant to be functional. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect the aesthetic of your bathrooms. After all, you, your family, and your guests will spend plenty of time in these spaces, and that time is better spent in a welcoming atmosphere. The question is, how exactly should you design your bathroom?

Trends come and go, especially in the realm of interior design. Not too long ago, wallpaper dominated most rooms in American homes. Some argue that wall coverings are making a comeback. Whether or not that’s true, you might consider wallpaper for your interiors, including your bathrooms. So, can you make wallpaper work for your bathrooms? In short, yes, you can. But there are many considerations you must make before deciding to cover your bathroom walls rather than paint them.

Challenges with Bathroom Wallpaper

Like home interior painting, installing and maintaining wallpaper can be challenging in any space, but these tasks are even more difficult in bathrooms. Why? Simply put, full bathrooms deal with a lot of moisture and heat on a regular basis, both of which are like Kryptonite for wallpaper.

Inside a full bathroom, water vapor often lingers in the humid air and sticks to surfaces. Additionally, water droplets can get splashed around during baths and showers. And in worst-case scenarios, faulty pipes can allow water to leak and seep into the walls, floor, and ceiling. No matter how the moisture gets there, enough of it will eventually cause any wallpaper to lose its adhesion and peel away. Excess moisture can also lead to wallpaper discoloration and facilitate the growth of mold and mildew.

Rising internal temperatures from hot showers and baths can also lead to peeling wallpaper. The warm air causes surfaces to expand, and as it cools down, they contract. This movement can loosen the bond of wallpaper in your bathroom.

Of course, heat and moisture aren’t as big of a concern in half-baths or powder rooms. Still, water from the sink always poses some threat to your wallpaper.

Making Wallpaper Work in Your Bathroom

Noting the challenges outlined above, you might wonder if it’s worth it or even possible to make wallpaper part of your bathroom design. Whether or not it’s worth it is ultimately up to you, but you can indeed make it work. In fact, there are lots of ways to utilize wallpaper in your bathroom. Let’s go over some design ideas and tips for making your wallpaper last.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Wallpaper doesn’t have to cover every inch of your bathroom’s walls, and in most cases, it shouldn’t. Consider using wallpaper sparingly instead. For one thing, using less wallpaper makes it easier to maintain these portions of your bathroom. But in terms of design, you can make your bathroom stand out by strategically installing wallpaper in certain areas. For instance, you might create an accent wall behind the main mirror to emphasize this space as the focal point, or you might divide a jack-and-jill bathroom using wallpaper.

Use the Right Stuff

Not all wallpaper is created equal. If you plan on putting wallpaper in your bathroom, look for products that are waterproof and use mold-proof wallpaper primer and paste during installation. Once installed, it’s also worth applying a layer of moisture- and heat-resistant varnish on top to prevent peeling and staining.

Optimize Your Bathroom for Wallpaper Maintenance

Just because your bathroom deals with a lot of water and steam doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate these elements. Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated so air can escape during showers and baths. Make sure fans are clean and operational, open doors and windows when possible, etc.

Keep it Clean

Finally, regardless of whether you hire interior painting services or go with wallpaper (or both), proper maintenance is key if you want to keep your bathroom in good shape and looking its best. Make sure you dust your wallpaper on a weekly basis and also wash it every month or two using a soft sponge, dish soap, and warm water. Afterward, dry it with a microfiber cloth. Keeping your wallpaper clean and dry will help prevent peeling, discoloration, mold, and other forms of decay.

Bathroom Wallpaper: The Verdict

Can you use wallpaper in your bathrooms? Yes! Just remember that you don’t need to go overboard. Use wallpaper to enhance certain features and/or portions of the space. And, if you do decide to hang wallpaper in your bathroom, remember that moisture and heat always pose a threat to its condition, and take the proper steps to reduce these factors.

If you need assistance hanging wallpaper, removing wallpaper, and/or painting your bathroom and other areas of your home, Nash Painting can help. We’re proud Nashville painters with a commitment to quality and our community. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!