Can’t decide whether you want wallpaper, tiles or paint to dress up your bathroom walls? Check out our expert tips.
You want to lavish as much attention on your bathroom’s decorative scheme as you do on any other space in your home, and the walls are a vital part of any successful look. Paint, wallpaper and tiles – or a combination of all three – can look a treat, so here’s what you need to know when you’re picking.
Smarten up with wallpaper
Why it works ‘Using wallpaper in the bathroom can elevate this functional space to a design-led room with warmth and personality and make it a place where your passion for colour and pattern can be indulged and celebrated,’ says David Mottershead, Managing Director, Little Greene
Choose a design to enhance your room’s best qualities or correct its flaws. An intricate motif – such as this Stag Toile wallpaper, Little Greene www.littlegreene.com – will make the most of a high-ceilinged bathroom; a horizontal stripe will make a narrow room feel wider; and a motif with metallic highlights can improve the light levels in a dark room.
You don’t need to wallpaper all four walls to make an impact either. Hang your design behind a freestanding bath to highlight its cool clean lines, or choose the wall opposite the door so it makes an impact every time you walk into the room.
Be aware Wallpaper and steamy rooms or splash-happy kids (or adults) or all of the above do not make happy combinations. If this applies to your home, paint and tiles are better options – at least until your little ones leave home.
Colour your room with paint
Why it works Paint is quick and simple to apply, and when you fancy a new look for your bathroom, it’s easy to swap to a new shade. With a whole world of colour on offer, it can create the mood you’re after for your room scheme, whether that’s energetic or soothing.
Painted walls can create a dark and dramatic backdrop to a bathroom suite that’s traditional or contemporary. This Hague Blue estate emulsion from Farrow & Ball has on-trend colour. Alternatively, use pale shades that will recede visually to cheat the eye into thinking a small bathroom is far larger than its true dimensions suggest.
For a hardworking finish that won’t be bothered by moisture and steam, choose a specialist bathroom paint, but it’s not an essential if you open the window and have an efficient extractor fan.
Be aware Paint won’t protect your walls from water, so you’ll need to create splashbacks around the bath and above the basin.
Fall for fabulous tiles
Why they work Not only do tiles look fantastic, but they’ll waterproof your walls so they’re a great choice for a busy family bathroom. Cleaning them’s a breeze, too, so tiles are easy to keep looking good.
There’s a huge range to pick from. You can go for beautiful natural stone, such as limestone, and know that your bathroom walls will never go out of style. Natural stones can also make a statement. Try black slate for a dramatically dark wall.
Alternatively, both ceramic and porcelain tiles are practical options and can mimic natural stone or introduce any shade of colour you fancy, or liven up your scheme with pattern or texture.
Mosaic tiles will dress up walls beautifully, too, or can be used in smaller areas alongside larger format designs to create a unique scheme for your room. Choose metallic finishes if you’d like to add decorative sparkle.
Check out our tile ranges
Be aware You’ll need to keep up with your grout cleaning to ensure bathroom walls dressed with tiles always look their best.