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Bathroom wallpaper: advice, ideas and where to buy!

With the right technique and material, bathroom wallpaper creates a stunning effect that will stand the test of time, no matter how steamy you like your showers!

Sadie Indigo wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford

Colourful, statement wallpaper has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, with more and more of us taking the plunge with bolder and brighter walls in our homes. Even bathrooms are receiving the wallpaper treatment, and although it may not feel like an obvious place to use it, wallpapering your bathroom is in fact an easy, quick and budget-friendly way of refreshing your room.

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And if you’re a wallpaper aficionado, don’t miss our ultimate round-up of the best wallpapers on the market right now!

Can you use wallpaper in the bathroom?

Yes! Although wallpaper in the bathroom used to be considered a no-go due to the effects of dampness and steam, most bathrooms nowadays have good enough ventilation for wallpaper. And with the right hanging techniques, wallpaper material and maintenance, your wallpapered bathroom will look as fresh as can be.

If you are still on the fence, luxury wallpaper designer Elizabeth Ockford has this advice: “If you’re concerned, apply a coat of matt water-based varnish over all the wallpaper once its hung and dry. Make sure to ‘seal’ all the edges and joins, and this will make your wallpaper more waterproof than traditional vinyl papers.”

What kind of wallpaper do you need for a bathroom?

Many wallpaper brands have wallpapers specifically designed for the kitchen and bathroom, where there’s often a lot of hot air and steam about. They’re made from durable, breathable material which prevents mildew, and some brands even offer washable or anti-bacterial wallpapers.

It’s always worth requesting samples before you decide on your wallpaper design as there’s nothing worse than investing in a whole roll to then find the colour or design doesn’t work once it’s in the room! When you’re ready to hang your bathroom wallpaper, check the wallpaper brand’s guidelines for installation; some will require paste and others simply stick on.

Best bathroom wallpapers

Subway Gloss Tile Wallpaper White Debona 2676

Subway Gloss Tile Wallpaper White Debona 2676
Subway Gloss Tile Wallpaper White Debona 2676 from World of Wallpaper, £13.49

Want that metro tile look in your bathroom for a fraction of the cost? Try a tile effect wallpaper instead! This tile effect wallpaper from World of Wallpaper even features a high gloss finish for an authentic look. It’s easy to maintain too thanks to its washable design.

Contour Antbac Marble Chevron Tile Navy Wallpaper

  • Buy now from Wilko (£17.00)
Contour Antbac Marble Chevron Tile Navy Wallpaper from Wilko, £17.00
Contour Antbac Marble Chevron Tile Navy Wallpaper from Wilko, £17.00

If you love the look of bathroom tiles but are on the hunt for something fancier, how about this herringbone tile effect wallpaper by Graham and Brown? It’s both durable and splashproof, but better yet, it’s been made with anti-bacterial materials to keep any germs at bay.

Tropicana Floral Leaf Wallpaper Navy

Tropicana Floral Leaf Wallpaper Navy
Tropicana Floral Leaf Wallpaper Navy from I Love Wallpaper, £16

For Miami lovers and fans of all things tropical, this statement bathroom wallpaper is for you! It has a peel and stick design so is quick and simple to hang, but packs a punch in terms of style! If you want a subtler approach, try using it as a feature wall or pair it with metro tiles to break up the look.

Dorchester 625mm three taphole square basin, £332; pedestal, £206, both Heritage Bathrooms

Contour Porches Grey Wallpaper

  • Buy now from Wilko (£17)
Contour Porches Grey Wallpaper
Contour Porches Grey Wallpaper from Wilko, £17

If you live in a period property, like a Victorian or Edwardian house, you might prefer a more traditional wallpaper design for your bathroom, like this Graham and Brown wallpaper from Wilko. Inspired by Victorian tiles, it’s the perfect choice if you’re after a traditional style bathroom and would work especially well above half panelled walls.

Sorrento Wallpaper Pink

Sorrento Wallpaper Pink
Sorrento Wallpaper Pink, I Love Wallpaper, £18

Tap into the pink bathroom trend with this refreshing terrazzo-style wallpaper from I Love Wallpaper, inspired by traditional Italian tiles. It can be pasted to the wall and has a smooth, matte finish for a super modern look.

Sian's Inca Trail Wallpaper

Mediterranean Lobsters Wallpaper

Mediterranean Lobsters Wallpaper
Mediterranean Lobsters Wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct, £135

If you have a small bathroom, an intricate and decorative wallpaper can add depth and personality to the space. This Mind The Gap design from Wallpaper Direct is at the higher end of the scale price-wise, but its luxe finish and hand-drawn pattern makes it a real investment piece.

Sadie Wallpaper W-03063

Sadie Indigo wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford
Sadie Wallpaper W-03063 from Elizabeth Ockford, £145
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For something special, take a look at luxury wallpaper designer Elizabeth Ockford. This wallpaper was inspired by her mother’s love of orchids, and features a washable and smooth flat paper finish ideal for bathrooms. It’s not the cheapest option, but you could cut costs by using it to create an eye-catching a feature wall.