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All You Need to Know About Wallpaper in a Bathroom

Bathroom with wallpaper by Walls Republic Playful Grey R1573
Bathroom with wallpaper by Walls Republic (Playful Grey R1573)

Learn all you need to know about wallpaper in a bathroom, from the type of paper to use to choosing the ideal style and aesthetic! This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to begin your designing your bathroom!

Table of Contents:

Get answers to the questions you have always had about using wallpaper in the bathroom or powder room and begin designing your ideal space. Learn the difference between the bathroom and powder room, define your lifestyle, what type of wallpaper to use, what patterns and colours to use, and its cleaning capabilities to define what is suitable for your bathroom or powder room. Read on to learn the answer to the popular question “can you use wallpaper in a bathroom?”

BATHROOM VS. POWDER ROOM

Bathroom with wallpaper by Walls Republic Playful Grey R1573
Bathroom with wallpaper by Walls Republic (Playful Grey R1573)

A bathroom usually refers to a room containing a toilet and sink and a bathtub and/or shower whereas a powder room also sometimes called “1/2 bath” or “guest bath” usually refers to a room with just a toilet and a sink. This space is used often by guests and is located near the front of the home. When choosing wallpaper it is important to consider the difference between these two spaces as there are varied considerations and defining factors to take into account in both spaces when deciding if wallpaper is a suitable option for you.

Powder Room by Ronit in Toronto with Walls Republic Wallpaper White Embellished S43707
Powder Room by Ronit in Toronto with Walls Republic Wallpaper (White Embellished S43707)

While both spaces must take water spillage into account (location dependent) in the powder room you do not have to consider moisture and humidity as you do in a bathroom where people are constantly showering and creating steam. The amount of humidity and moisture produced in a bathroom will be dependent on many factors such as ventilation, size, user lifestyle, and usage of the space.

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LIFESTYLE AND USE

Daring Off-White Bathroom Wallpaper R1568
Daring Off-White Bathroom Wallpaper R1568

Defining whether or not wallpaper is suitable in your bathroom is largely dependent on your lifestyle and the way you use your space. Therefore, there is no simple yes or no answer and your decision will be reliant on a case to case basis. However, 95% of the time wallpaper will be an appropriate and engaging choice. One of the first elements to define is how often the space is used. You do not need to be concerned with wallpaper in an en-suite, guest bathroom, powder room, or in spaces that are properly ventilated.

While wallpaper is almost always suitable in the bathroom more caution should be taken when utilized in a poorly ventilated space or in a bathroom for children where there is a greater chance for water spillage and splashing. In today’s homes many have larger bathrooms as well where wallpaper can be installed far from any water activity. In these cases wallpaper is definitely a perfect way to add visual interest and tactility to your bathroom. In a powder room ventilation is not a factor and therefore wallpaper is a great option to consider while being mindful of water spillage, the physical properties, and cleaning abilities of the wallpaper itself to make sure you have chosen the ideal type of wallpaper for your space that will last a lifetime.

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Exciting Black Bathroom Wallpaper R1348
Exciting Black Bathroom Wallpaper R1348

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing to Wallpaper the Bathroom:

  • Is this a bathroom or a powder room?
  • Which wall (or walls) do I want to install the wallpaper on? (How close to water?)
  • How often is this bathroom used?
  • Who is using this space? Guests, children etc.
  • How large is this space?
  • Does your bathroom have proper ventilation (or is there a prolonged chance of steam)?

Once you have defined the suitability of adding wallpaper to your bathroom you can then begin exploring type of wallpaper and cleaning capabilities to further narrow down what is suitable so you can choose patterns, colours, and textures you would like to feature in your bathroom.

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WHAT TYPE OF WALLPAPER TO USE IN A BATHROOM?

Little Girl's Ensuite - Manhattan Model with Walls Republic Wallpaper Sparkling Metallic R1037
Little Girl’s Ensuite – Manhattan Model with Walls Republic Wallpaper (Sparkling Metallic R1037)

Solid vinyl wallcoverings will be the most suitable option for a bathroom or powder room or any area, such as a kitchen, that is susceptible to water, grease, and stains. Solid vinyl wallcoverings have a non-absorbent surface that does not absorb water and therefore is great for spaces where there is the potential for water or lots of humidity. Solid vinyl wallpaper is comprised of a vinyl film laminated to a fabric or paper substrate. It is the most durable type of wallpaper since it has no holes through which water can penetrate in comparison to other vinyl wallcoverings that have a spongy porous composition. This solid vinyl type of wallpaper increases the washability, scrubbability, and durability of the wallcovering.

Raw Umber Lumber Vinyl Bathroom Wallpaper R2342
Raw Umber Lumber Vinyl Bathroom Wallpaper R2342
Brown Geometric Vinyl Bathroom Wallpaper R2243
Brown Geometric Vinyl Bathroom Wallpaper R2243
Sparkling Metallic R1037
Sparkling Metallic R1037

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CLEANING CAPABILITIES OF WALLPAPER FOR THE BATHROOM

Master Ensuite - Hudson Model with Wallpaper by Walls Republic
Master Ensuite – Hudson Model with Wallpaper by Walls Republic

Always look for the international wallcovering symbols listed with your wallpaper that indicate how resistant and washable your wallcoverings are. Some wallcoverings are only water resistant while others are washable, highly wash resistant, or scrubbable.

wallcovering-symbols

  • Water Resistant

Printed with water-fast colours or thinly coated with PVA. Paste or dirt on the surface can be safely removed with gentile use of a damp sponge.

  • Washable

Washable means that the wallpaper can be lightly cleaned with a sponge or damp cloth and suggested detergent solution. This makes it great for spaces like living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms and should clean easily with gentile sponging.

  • Highly Wash Resistant

Highly wash resistant wallpaper is as spongeable as washable paper but is further well protected with PVA and suitable for wet zones such as kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Scrubbable

Scrubbable means that the wallpaper can withstand scrubbing with a brush and a prescribed detergent solution. They are more durable than washable wallpaper and can handle mild detergent which is most useful in heavy wear areas such as a kitchen, bath, or laundry room.

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GRASSCLOTH IN THE BATHROOM

Buddle Neutral grasscloth bathroom R2007
Buddle Neutral Grasscloth Bathroom R2007

One popular question when designing a bathroom or powder room with wallpaper is the ability to use natural grasscloth wallpaper in the space. Grasscloth can be a great addition to a bathroom or powder room that is kept dry and is well ventilated as it offers a unique organic texture. When using grasscloth just maintain caution if choosing to place it, for example, near a toilet bowl, as grasscloth is absorbent and cannot be cleaned with any bathroom cleaners. While they cannot be cleaned with standard bathroom cleaners they can be cleaned using a vacuum for a gentle cleaning.

Sisal Tiffany Blue Grasscloth Bathroom R2006
Sisal Tiffany Blue Grasscloth Bathroom R2006

Grasscloth is a natural material comprised of woven plant fibers therefore when grasscloth is installed the seams are visible which adds to the products natural beauty. Grasscloth is perfect in a small space as it provides lots of rich textures without overwhelming the often small powder room or bath space with large prints. Grasscloth is very popular in a powder room and can have an elegant or casual look with a sense of warmth depending on the style of grasscloth you choose to use. Thicker woven grasscloth has a more casual and informal look while finer weaves of grasscloth can look more elegant and polished.

For More Advice on Styling with Grasscloth in your bathrooms, powder rooms, and throughout your home read our blog post “Styling With Grasscloth Wallpaper.” For even more unique tips on using grasscloth in your home view our blog “Unique Ways to Hang Grasscloth for An Unconventional Look”.

EVEN MORE about GRASSCLOTH is available in our ‘Design Bits’ features on the blog!

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MICA IN THE BATHROOM

Gold Mica for the Powder Room by Walls Republic R2201
Gold Mica for the Powder Room by Walls Republic R2201

Mica is the same as grasscloth in terms of its ability to be cleaned and utilized in a bathroom or powder room. Mica wallpapers are very popular in the powder room and are comprised of small chips of mica, a mineral that is formed by a natural reaction between quartz and granite. The stones create an unmatched texture and jewel like quality bringing a luminescent metallic sheen for a rich distinctive look. Mica can also be made more durable by applying a latex varnish coating which creates a surface that water will bead right off. The varnish will prevent water from penetrating the wallcovering all together creating the most durable surface and quality for the bathroom or powder room.

Copper Mica for the Bathroom by Walls Republic R2200
Copper Mica for the Bathroom by Walls Republic R2200

Like grasscloth, mica is another way to bring in powerful texture without overwhelming patterns and prints. The metallic sheen of the mica stones also help bounce and reflect light around in a smaller powder room or bathroom which is great for bringing a more open airy feeling.

For More Advice on Styling with Mica in your bathrooms, powder rooms, and through out your home read our blog post “Styling With Mica Wallpaper” or head over to the blog and read about the “4 Reasons You Should Consider Using Mica in Your Next Home Project.”

Even more about MICA is available in our ‘Design Bits’ features on the blog!

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DEFINING STYLE, PATTERN, & COLOUR IN A BATHROOM

Powder Room by Ronit in Toronto with Walls Republic Wallpaper
Powder Room by Ronit in Toronto with Walls Republic Wallpaper (White Embellished S43707)

Powder rooms and bathrooms are the perfect space to play around with one-of-a-kind wallpapers and create a space that introduces bolder and less conventional elements since you do not spend a ton of time in these spaces. In a powder room intriguing wallpaper choices can be a nice surprise for your guests and will inform their thoughts and opinions on your home. In an ensuite or bathroom wallpaper will help create that unique spa like space you have always imagined, and with bolder patterns the space will offer a refreshing change that you will not get tired of quickly.

Anything will go in your powder or bathroom taking into consideration the overall style of your home and the scale of the space you are working with. If you are wallpapering above wainscoting or where ceilings are low consider smaller patterns so you do not lose the effect of your wallpaper. Experiment and go bold but make sure you still pay attention to colour and colour contrast when using a large scale pattern in a small space so that you do not overwhelm the space with too much visual stimulation.

Black Embellished Bathroom Wallpaper by Walls Republic S43709
Black Embellished Bathroom Wallpaper by Walls Republic S43709

Dark and light colours will both work in a small or large bathroom depending on the ambiance you wish to create. While many oppose dark colours in small spaces as they state it makes a space look smaller, the most important element to consider is the atmosphere you are trying to achieve. Light colours will feel more airy while dark colours have a luxurious feel so with the right combination of elements together dark walls can make a really powerful and assertive statement.

Therefore, while certain colours or patterns can create varied illusions (larger space, higher ceilings, smaller space, and wider space) what is most important is the overall scheme and how each element contributes to the space as a unified whole. The powder room especially can have a big impression on both you and your guests. You only have a few minutes to make a strong impression in these spaces so wallpaper can really help bring in that grand statement for an unforgettable space.

Master Ensuite - Manhattan Model with Walls Republic Wallpaper
Master Ensuite – Manhattan Model with Walls Republic Wallpaper

For more about choosing powder room or bathroom wallpapers keep reading on our blog for the “Most Popular Powder Room Wallpapers That Will Captivate Your Guests.”

Check out our bathroom and powder room wallpapers online for our full range of wallcoverings.

See our Pinterest page for more images of Walls Republic wallpaper in the bathroom and powder room.

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