Can You Wallpaper The Bathroom?

When you think about options for the bathroom walls, usually you picture painted walls. Maybe tiles. But what about wallpaper? Can you use this versatile staple in the bath? According to, there are pros and cons.

The Pros

You can fake it ’til you make it!

Granite tile goes for $3.50 to $7 per square foot in, marble tile runs $5 to $50 per square foot, and glass mosaic costs $6 to $30 per square foot… wallpaper designed to look like them—which starts at $0.58 per square foot and is sold in a variety of colors—is an artful, inexpensive alternative.

It’s also a quick way to add texture or pattern with no artistic talent required.

The Cons

When it comes to wallpaper, moisture is the enemy. Humidity will wick through the wallpaper and compromise the paste beneath, causing the paper to peel. Plumbing leaks or splashes can cause water spots and stains. And the space behind wallpaper is an ideal environment for mold and fungus.

The worst part is that you usually won’t see the mold until you peel back the wallpaper, so it’s possible for mold to quietly spread into a full-on colony without your knowledge.

The Answer

Going back to our question, can you wallpaper the bathroom? Yes, you can.

While not ideal, wallpaper in a bathroom is still feasible, especially if installed in a half bath with only a sink and a toilet, or in a full bathroom as a single accent wall as far away from the tub or shower as possible.

To make it work, follow these tips!

  • Use a mold-proof primer and wallpaper paste. Use extra paste near the shower.
  • Choose a vinyl or with-vinyl wallpaper for moisture resistance.
  • Coat the installed wallpaper with a clear, acrylic finish to prevent staining and aid in moisture resistance.
  • Ventilate the bathroom by running the fan and leaving the doors open as often as possible to release humidity.


If you really want to wallpaper the bathroom you can. You just have to take proper care before and after.