When to use wallpaper in the bathroom

Bathroom wallpaper? Many of us avoid using wallpaper in our bathrooms. There are actually good reasons for this.

But it doesn't mean that you can't use wallpaper in your bathroom under any circumstances. Both fashions and practical issues have given us a great deal more freedom in how we decorate our homes. Different wall finishes allow us to have much more control over the effects we can achieve in our rooms.

When not to use bathroom wallpaper

Moisture. Standard wallpapers and adhesive do not react well to moisture. They get damp. The moisture gets behind the paper and it rots. All sorts of nasty fungus grow, the wallpaper becomes discolored, unpleasant smells can occur. All very good reasons for avoiding using wallpaper.

And this is still true. If your bathroom gets very moist, with water running down the walls, mirrors misted up, then don't use standard wallpaper.

One solution to this problem are some wallpapers which have a mould inhibitor applied when they are manufactured. You can also buy mould inhibitors which you paint onto the paper after it is hung. But do your research into this, because there are conflicting reports as to how effective it is.

But things have changed

Many modern bathrooms now have efficient extractor fans and other moisture reducing techniques. Bathrooms are also bigger, and while maintaining their functionality, they are also far more luxurious and less utilitarian.

The other factor which has heavily influenced bathroom decor is vinyl wallpaper. (You can find out more about vinyl wallpaper on this page.)

Basically, vinyl paper is waterproof - once it is in position water can't penetrate it. So the side stuck onto the wall doesn't get wet, which prevents it from rotting and falling off the walls.

This means that it's much safer to use vinyl for your wallpaper.


striped wallpaper

Striped wallpaper adds class and elegance to this bathroom. Alternating wide and narrow stripes in different colors makes it more interesting than just a two colored stripe.


Be sensible

If your bathroom is well ventilated and keeps mainly dry, there is no reason why you can't use normal wallpaper. Today we don't tend to keep our decor as long as our parents did.

But if you have any doubts, then use vinyl for your wallpaper. The quality of vinyl has greatly improved over the years, and good vinyls are virtually indistinguishable from standard papers. The patterns used are also as good.


small design wallpaper

Wallpaper with a small design in a bathroom. By using wallpaper you can indicate which style of home decorating is being used in the room. Patterns clearly show which style they belong to, for example, it's easy to distinguish a contemporary wallpaper design from a William Morris print.



If you do use vinyl, then make sure (as with all wallpapers) that you follow the instructions. Some papers need the walls pasting and the paper applied to them. Others need the paper pasting and then applied. And the latest is for 'pre pasted' papers - you just soak them in water for a specified time and then hang them.

Vinyl papers usually need a stronger adhesive as they are generally heavier than other wallpapers. If you're in any doubt, get expert advice. There's nothing worse than spending hours of your time hanging wallpaper only to find you've used the wrong adhesive!



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