#AskHelen - Can you Wallpaper A Bathroom?

#AskHelen - Can you Wallpaper A Bathroom?

Ok so I’m going to go with the short answer for this one first. YES! There is a little more to it than that which we’re going to get into but for anyone wanting to quickly know so they can continue daydreaming of the ultimate bathroom design you absolutely can do it!



Bathrooms seem to be a key room on many people's lips at the moment, we’re receiving multiple messages daily around whether you can wallpaper a bathroom or if you need any specialist paint products for a bathroom (we covered this in a previous blog post here discussing the best paint finishes for each room). When people think of wallpapering a bathroom usually they have flashback memories of their grandparents old bathroom with a puffy feeling wallpaper that was designed to look like tiles. It was called contour for anyone struggling to remember the name and it typically looked like these images below. A specialist type of wallpaper that was really durable and perfect for use in your bathroom but really was limited to imitation tile patterns which felt quite dated!


Never fear though, whilst you can still get tile on a roll/contour wallpapers today (some of them actually look really effective and a cheaper alternative to tiling!) the world of wallpaper has developed significantly! Many wallpapers that are manufactured now are a ‘vinyl’ wallpaper which is wallpaper which has been sprayed with a special acrylic coating has been sprayed over the wallpaper substrate. In addition to this wallpapers now are much more durable. You can get washability scaling from spongeable through to washable, extra washable and scrubbable. When decorating your bathroom, especially one that experiences high moisture (bathrooms with showers in them!) then try opting for a wallpaper that has a washable, extra washable or scrubbable symbol. To know which you’re looking for I’ve popped the symbols below. 



So as you can see, the world really is your oyster when it comes to adding wallpaper to your bathroom. You really now can let your creative juices flow and create the bathroom of your dreams as you’re not limited to old contour design wallpapers. Realistic brick effect wallpaper designs or industrial textures allow you to create striking and modern rooms. Bold botanicals can deliver on your own tropical oasis, especially making smaller bathrooms feel larger with a bolder pattern. Or detailed natural textures increase the relaxing vibes of the room by bringing a touch of the outside in and add stunning depth and dimension to your walls. The final added bonus here is that wallpaper is usually an inexpensive way to transform your bathroom rather than additional tiling, brick slips etc. Here are some of our favourite options if you’re wanting to add some wallpaper to your bathroom!


So we’ve talked about the washability of the wallpaper and why you would consider wallpaper in the first place. We now just need to talk quickly about application and maintenance! When applying your wallpaper I really would recommend opting for a ready mixed adhesive rather than your standard powder paste. A ready mixed adhesive like the beeline wallpaper paste has been formulated to work with any weight of vinyl wallcovering and has a higher pva content than conventional powder paste. This basically means that it’s going to be even sticker and therefore help to bond the wallpaper really strongly into place. Other than this you should be good to go although if you are concerned at all about your wallpaper withstanding your bathroom as it gets really wet or humid then you could add a clear matt varnish as a final protective coating. The blackfriar matt varnish is a nice flat finish so you wouldn’t know it was there but will give that extra layer of protection. 

Maintenance wise as we discussed your wallpaper is washable (or possibly even scrubbable) so you will be able to take a damp cloth and keep it clean if it does end up with any watermarks, oil marks etc. And finally a key way that you can maintain and protect your wallpaper is ventilation in your bathroom. This is a key consideration for any type of decoration in your bathroom; paint or wallpaper, you really do need to get the air flowing using windows or an extractor fan. 

We’ve been tagged in some gorgeous pictures from our customers with some amazing bathroom transformations using wallpaper so I figured sharing some inspiration shots would be useful to share here! If you’re thinking about decorating your bathroom it really is worth a shot, as you can see you can create some amazing rooms to suit any interior scheme! Don’t forget we also offer colour match paint meaning once you’ve selected your wallpaper we can help you select from over 19000 paint colours the perfect paint pairing for your room. If you’re unsure on which paint finish to select we have a helpful blog you can read here!


So now we've chatted over bathrooms, I thought it was also worth covering downstairs cloakroom/ W/C toilets. We're seeing more and more people jazzing up their downstairs toilet space and using the opportunity to go big and bold with colour and pattern choices. In smaller rooms you can find that opting for darker colours and busier patterns help to make the room feel larger as they blur the lines between walls and merge it together. Its also a good way to dip your toe into some maximalist styling in a smaller room thats easier to change again if it transpires its not your vibe. Concerns about whether a wallpaper is suitable for your downstairs toilet is less of an issue than in the bathroom as you don't have as much moisture or steam in the room. With that being said as its a room thats used more regularly by guests and the family its still worth considering opting for a washable wallpaper or above in terms of durability (and don't forget your scrubbable colour match paint!). 

Another top tip when decorating a downstairs loo is to opt for a paste the wall wallpaper. I find it so much easier in the smaller spaces working with a paste the wall substrate than having to paste, soak and then bring your wet wallpaper into the room to hang! As with the bathroom inspiration, I've found some gorgeous downstairs toilet inspiration from our fabulous customers to wet your appetite and convince you to just go for it! If you do, please let us know how it goes!

So there you have it. Hopefully I've covered all of your burning questions and popped your worries at ease if you're considering wallpapering your bathroom. Banish those contours and lets create the most stylish bathrooms on the planet! As always if you have any questions or require further advice before embarking on your decorating project we’re always more than happy to help! We love to chat all things decorating so drop us a call, email, DM, live chat or whatsapp and we’ll get right back!

 Helen x

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