Wallpaper in Bathrooms? Yes Please!

Subtle or graphic, these wall coverings turn up the design dial

Homeowners ask Sweeten this question a lot: Can I put wallpaper in the bathroom? Because of their comparatively small size, bathrooms are the ideal place to test out that bold print that may be too overwhelming in a larger room. Wallpaper can also add excitement to a space that otherwise might be on the bland side.

The moisture issue, however, is what causes renovators to hesitate. For that reason, we love adding a fun wallpaper pattern to powder rooms, which don’t see the kind of steam or splashing that a full bath does. Wallpaper for bathrooms are now made to withstand bath conditions—the glue technology has seen effective advances—so don’t rule it out! Even among non-vinyl wallpaper options, many are washable (in case of soap or toothpaste stains), water-resistant, and even scrubbable. If you have a print in mind that you’d love to use, chances are it will work even if the room contains a shower or bathtub. Most bathrooms have some kind of ventilation—either an exhaust connected to your heating/cooling system, or a window. As long as there isn’t lingering humidity in the room, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Here, Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with vetted general contractors, offers five renovations with wallpaper that will make you want to sing in the shower.

Homeowners Nikki and Chris took inspiration from their favorite restaurant bathrooms in Manhattan and Astoria, where they live. The boldly fun yet luxurious Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper, featuring pineapples on a black background, was the perfect contrast to classic white subway tile on the walls and a black hex pattern on the floor in their bathroom renovation.

wallpaper for bathrooms

“Powder rooms should be wacky,” says Sweeten renovator Nazli. She practiced what she preached by choosing a bright red-orange door that opens to a tiny but lushly Cole & Sons wallpapered half bath that is located next to their dining room. Add brass fixtures and a Moroccan-inspired tile pattern to the floor, and the result is one-of-a-kind!

wallpaper for bathrooms

With no need for a bathtub on the parlor floor of this Tudor townhouse, interior designer Meredith converted a full bath into a half bath (and used the remaining space for a very useful pantry). The new powder room is perfectly charming: a Brooklyn Toile on the walls designed by Beastie Boys’ Mike D for Flavor Paper contrasts against geometric floor tiles in the same color scheme.

wallpaper for bathrooms

Baby Elephant Walk is the name of the Walnut Wallpaper pattern that Mollie chose for her bathroom renovation. Rather than continuing the tile to the ceiling, she looked at wallpaper for bathrooms and chose a print with organic shapes to provide contrast to the chevron tiles while echoing their gray color.

 

wallpaper for bathrooms

A print from Flavor Paper’s Warhol Series was the perfect complement to Brad and Michelle’s glossy red cabinets in their bathroom renovation. Michelle has always been a Warhol fan, so the couple chose Crowd, a dot-screened montage of an Easter Mass gathering at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. (Supposedly, Warhol montaged himself into the crowd!)

Wallpaper isn’t the only accessory that adds glam. Design your bathroom lighting to make a statement with a funky fixture or set the tone with mood lighting.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.