Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview

Stoneware, concrete, paint, wallpaper, and maybe steel and wood! “Immortal” ceramic tiles have many competitors for decorating walls in the bathroom. The choice of bathroom wall finishing materials for remodeling today is huge. It all depends on personal preferences in design, room style, and personal budget size. This article will allow you to learn about the types of decoration of the bathroom walls taking into account all the nuances.


  1. Features of the choice of material
  2. Different types of wood
  3. Wallpaper
  4. Paint
  5. Stone finish
  6. Concrete
  7. Ceramic tile
  8. Panels on the wall
  9. Glass
  10. Ideas for a fashionable interior
  11. DIY tile laying
  12. How to paint the walls in the bathroom?
  13. Fashionable colors in the interior 2019

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Light oak wall trimming

Walls in the Bathroom: the Choice of Materials for Finishing

A bathroom is a place that is used not only to carry out hygienic procedures but also to improve mood and well-being after an exhausting day at work. People relax, refresh themselves and for a moment forget about the problems here. The pleasant and aesthetic decor is preferred. The appearance of the floors and walls determines the overall design of the bathroom. Today there is a wide choice of finishing materials for rooms of this type. The times when only ceramics were applied to the walls were already in the past. Although the tile is still popular and fashionable, another finish entered the game:

  • stone facing;
  • wallpaper;
  • structural plaster;
  • glass;
  • wood

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. LED lighting and wood imitating wall panels

The most important thing is to selected material for the walls in the bathroom that is practical and resistant to moisture. And you’ll like the final result. Good news for traditionalists who can’t part with tiles. Modern ceramics does not look like it was several decades ago. The innovative tile imitates other materials, such as lining or stone. It has new bold patterns and shapes: from straight to strongly curved, with jagged edges, providing interesting compositions.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Mild rose tint of the marble trimming

Bath Wall Decoration: Homely Atmosphere or Wood

Most often, bathrooms use exotic wood because of its durability, good protection against moisture, as well as unusual color and structure. Wood that is highly resistant to moisture is:

  • teak;
  • yatoba;
  • cedar;
  • Dussia;
  • Marbau;
  • iroko;
  • lapacho;
  • Badi;
  • wenge.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Wooden sheathed space and white appliances

Exotic species more sensitive to moisture are:

  • Kempas;
  • guatambu;
  • zebrano;
  • African nut (bibola).

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Wood and white paint

As for more traditional species, the most durable are:

  • oak;
  • elm;
  • ash;
  • beech;
  • larch.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Wooden trimming for the casual bathroom with round tube sink and the shelving

Less resistant to moisture:

  • Pine;
  • spruce;
  • cherry;
  • pear.

The latter are best used in places not subject to direct contact with water. However, if you choose domestic wood, you should properly enhance its properties of resistance to external factors, using methods such as lacquering, lubrication, painting, waxing.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Unusual loft room with wooden trimmed skylight

Bath with Wallpaper Wall

A good alternative to tiles is wallpapering. It perfectly masks uneven walls, is easy to apply, and relatively inexpensive. For bathrooms, vinyl or fiberglass wallpaper, coated with acrylic lacquer or epoxy paint is used. Since the bathroom has high humidity for sticking wallpaper, you should choose only waterproof glue. Wallpaper perfectly fits and combines with ceramic tiles. The vinyl version has a layered structure: the paper inside and the vinyl outside. This coating is resistant to light so that the wallpaper retains its color and water resistance.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Deep purple wainscoting for the casual styled space

Fiberglass Wallpaper

Fiberglass wallpaper is very resistant to mechanical damage. It can successfully hold on to the walls for several decades. It is difficult to remove from there. Fiberglass merges with the surface. This wallpaper is intended for painting.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Classic design with boudoir looking sink and black and white tile

What do You Need to Remember When Finishing the Bathroom with Wallpaper?

All patterns of wallpaper can be varied with borders, which have different widths of colored or patterned stripes. The border also serves as a finish. Although wallpapering is simple and does not require complex tools, you should remember some important things to avoid flaking:

  1. If you decide to use wallpaper, you should remember to choose the right glue and primer for the base. There is a lot of quality glue on the market today. Each wallpaper manufacturer can offer a specific product that is best suited for pasting wallpaper. These materials must have vapor and water-resistant properties.
  2. Remember about the moisture resistance of the wallpaper and the associated hazards. Apply wallpaper preferably in a room that has effective rotational or mechanical ventilation, so that the material is not subjected to prolonged contact with water. Experts do not recommend wallpaper for small bathrooms, because too much moisture can be released from the wall.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Classic designed space with red pattern wallpaper

Paint for Bath Walls

Paints intended for wet rooms have special formulas that protect the painted surface from the penetration of moisture and the development of various types of mold and fungi in their composition. Most often these are silver ions. They are available in a very wide range of colors, so you can perfectly match the color to the interior or furniture. Suitable properties, low price, and ease of application make the paint a unique solution.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Blue painted accents

Do paint a bathroom instead of a tile? It is a sensible solution, as the bathroom paint protects the walls of the room from moisture and provides sustainable colors. A bathroom without a tile is an increasingly popular solution. You can decorate the surface with stickers, wall paintings, or even panels.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Floral motif in light room

Tips and Tricks

Modern bathroom trends recommend minimum tile usage, i.e. only in the wet zone. Is the bathroom practical without a tile? How to decorate the walls in the bathroom? You can paint the room, but do not forget to choose special substances that are resistant to moisture. It is worth deciding on this solution when you do not have a shower cabin; when you want to create a special room design, for example, a Provencal, romantic, rustic styled bathroom, or simply do not want to invest more in plumbing.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Classic design with two colors in the room (white and blue)

How to Protect Bathroom Walls from Moisture during Painting?

To paint the bathroom, use special paints that do not let moisture in and allow the wall to breathe. If the room is large, move the bath away from the wall, as this will protect the plaster from splashing. If plumbing should stand next to a wall, you can use a large-format wall painting or attach a mirror surface to the tile. Such decoration of the bathroom walls gives the interior a stylish look and pleasant warmth that you will appreciate. A bathroom without a tile will acquire an interesting and cozy character, and the color of the walls in the room will undoubtedly be easier to change in the next season than to invest in a new tile.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Turquoise colored walls at classic atmosphere

Practical Bathroom – Floor, Walls in Stone Decoration

The stone is an extremely durable and waterproof material. Damage caused during use is almost invisible, and it can be easily fixed. It also gives elegance and class even to a small bathroom. Generally, any stone can be used in a hygiene room, provided that it is properly prepared, that is, polished and impregnated. When it comes to the natural stone used in the bathroom, the most popular are:

  • granite – almost the most durable, not requiring impregnation;
  • travertine is very porous, which makes it quite susceptible to moisture; avoid its use in places with high humidity; It is suitable for the bathroom floor;
  • marble – a rich choice of colors and structures, suitable for almost any interior, very effective on large surfaces, but loses its charm in a small bathroom;
  • Onyx – unusual, irregular in colors, fits perfectly into a mosaic on the wall of a small bathroom.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Natural marble tiles for nice modern room with plants

Decorating the Walls in the Bathroom Concrete

Concrete is increasingly used in the arrangement of modern bathrooms. Due to its strength, it is used as a finishing material for floors. The material is perfectly smooth. It blends beautifully with spaces designed in both minimalist aesthetics and glamor interiors with rich, shiny accessories. In the bathroom, concrete can be used in places such as countertops at washstands, bathtubs, or trays.

The recommended solution is the use of architectural concrete slabs that are characterized by high mechanical strength and water resistance. Arrangement of a bathroom, due to the use of this material, will acquire a unique charm.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Gray nobility for modern space

Tile on the Walls in the Bathroom is still fashionable

Despite the choice of materials for the walls is very large, but customers do not forget about the tile. It is fashionable; its structure resembles panels of metal, steel, and precious stones. Manufacturers have presented such designer lines as wood, fiori, gold, silver, steel, and greenstone. Tiles can be of different sizes and shapes. In addition, decorative elements, inserts, and inlays can be introduced. Tile with jagged edges is still in fashion, matching the antique-Mediterranean and rustic style.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Top-notch design in gray with gllossy surfaces

Panels on the Wall in the Bathroom

Wall panels are a great way to create a spectacular finish in a hygiene room. A variety of design panels, the richness of textures and colors allows you to create any composition. Another advantage of bathroom panels is their simple assembly.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Dark red walls and creamy white fruniture

Bathtubs with a Glass Wall

Glass has a different thickness, transparency, patterns, and colors. First of all, the bathroom uses safe tempered glass, glued or reinforced. The strike can shatter the wall to safe pieces. They have various sizes and shapes: square, triangular, rounded. Glass cladding is laid on the wall, which can be made in the form of large panels or tiles with standard ceramic elements, i.e. squares and rectangles of different sizes and mosaics.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Brown color palette for ultramodern bathroom with large mirror

Ideas for a Fashionable Interior

The design of the bathroom can be individualized not only in terms of equipment but also the decor. A bathroom is a place in the house where you can afford design experiments. Consider large and small rooms with no traditional tiles on the walls. Instead, graphics, photos, paintings, bricks, wallpaper, and rubber facings appeared.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Marble imitating tile for walls and floor in the contemporary designed room

A Collage of Photos on the Wall

A collage of photos on the bathroom wall is a very strong accent. This required a tinted mount, therefore, a bright tile for the bathroom, the same tile on the floor, walls, and white plumbing. The impression of a larger space in the bathroom gives a diffused light from many halogen lamps. The illusion is maintained by a hanging sink. The fewer elements that touch the floor, the easier it is to create the impression of spaciousness in a small bathroom. It was decided to unify the colors of the paintings that adorn the walls of the bathroom because their entire range in many photographs would bring visual havoc to the small interior. The choice fell on sepia in combination with a small number of bright colors. This is how the wall-paper for the bathroom was created, which is protected from moisture by a glass sheet sealed with silicone. This is a much more interesting and practical solution than a tile, but it requires only a carefully aligned wall.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Photoart tile and red accentsBathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Photo collage at the waccent wall of the casual bathroom with tiled screen of bathtub

Wall Painting

Painting in the bathroom, where it is a lot of steam? Why not? However, it must be protected from moisture using laminated or glued glass, and it can be treated with a special substance. Floral motifs add depth to the bathroom interior. These effects are also enhanced by retro-style accessories. This is a great idea to revitalize the bathroom.

Green wallpaper with pattern and classic bathtub for simple designed interior

The Combination of Different Finishing Materials

A fashionable idea for a bathroom wall is a combination of ceramic or stone tiles with wood, brick, or glass. Such a wall in the bathroom makes the arrangement more interesting, and the room becomes extraordinary. Do not choose tiles decorated with patterns, because wall coverings will compete with each other. You can also cover the walls in the bathroom with bricks. It is very decorative, but do not overdo it with the surface area. Then choose the simplest equipment and accessories in muted tones. If you like a barely decorated bathroom, paint the walls with paint that is resistant to moisture and fungi. Wet areas around the sink, toilet, and bath can be tiled to emphasize comfort, for example, in warm colors.

A good idea for walls in a bathroom is stone or concrete. Fashionable stone tiles have large formats, they usually fit without any joints. The second direction in the walls of the bathroom is a slate tile with a texture in the form of a brick. In this case, stick them to only one wall in the bathroom in order not to overload the interior. Concrete should not be real, but its substitutes are just as good. You will get a great impression of the concrete wall in the bathroom using structural paints. Varnished material will be sufficient protection from moisture on the walls of the bathroom, being an excellent decoration though.

Nice glass wall to zone toilet and shower areas

DIY Wall Tile Laying in the Bath

The tile on the wall in the hygiene room works well in all places that will come into contact with water: above the bathtub, in the shower, behind the sink. You just need to apply it there. Tiles on the wall in the bathroom do not have to occupy the entire surface, sometimes it is enough to fit only in areas prone to splashing and dipping. Well-laid tile will protect the wall while being a decorative element.

White brick imitating wall tiles and wooden facaded sink for the bathroom

Repairing a Bath Wall: Important Decisions

The choice of the type of tile for the bathroom and ways of laying should not be postponed until the last moment. The final layout during the construction phase allows you to choose the best materials and avoid unnecessary problems when finishing the bathroom. Work with a tile is a tiresome and long-time occupation. Laying requires careful and thorough preparation. It is not enough to vacuum the substrate and just glue the tile. The need to arrange patterns, cutting elements, and finishing all the elements makes planning to finish the floor or walls in the bathroom, make you choose the appropriate type, size, pattern, measure simple surfaces and cutting points, determine the method of finishing.

The laying of the tiles should always start from the open space itself. If it is a corner of the room, then the surface should be as even or finished as possible and the joints carefully machined. If attention is not focused in a particular place, but only on a larger surface, then you need to take care of the harmonious appearance or consciously add a strong decorative accent that will attract attention. Regardless of the mortar used, the lining should look beautiful. To cut and grind elements, you must use appropriate tools, and the holes for sockets or pipe passages must be made with a crown of a suitable size thanks to a perforator.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Open shower and tub for bathing in the bathroom with yellow painted walls

How to Lay Tiles on the Wall in the Bathroom?

The bathroom is constantly exposed to direct exposure to water, steam, and high moisture concentrations, meaning that microorganisms develop easily here. They always choose the most absorbent surfaces on which moisture stays for a long time, including corners. For this reason, bathrooms should be finished with a material with reduced absorption capacity, as well as those with properties that limit the development of mold and fungal spores. The material must also be immune to microorganisms. It is important to properly protect the surface from water, for example, with foil substrate. Compaction can cover all surfaces, but this is not necessary. However, the seal should always be on the floor, rising 15 cm along the wall. In the area of ​​bath and shower tiles, it should be not less than 20 cm above the water coverage area.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Classic white and pink arrangement

Laying Tiles in the Shower Cabin

A typical shower cubicle has a height of 200 cm. The tile on the wall there should be laid up to its upper edge. But if a bathtub or a washbasin is installed nearby, tiles in these places can also be laid at a height of up to 2 m. Though, this is not necessary. In the latter case, the internal architecture will be consistent.

Bathroom Wall Finishing Materials Overview. Unusual dark green tiling of the shower zone for light designed space

Tile in the Bathroom to the Half of the Wall or Laying to the Height of the Sink

If there is no cabin in the bathroom or the shower is behind the wall, the height of the tile can be determined by the sink. Such tiles will be a kind of high panels, reaching almost 120 cm. If the color of the material and the walls above are contrasting, you should know that the horizontal division of the surface, going down just below half the height, will visually raise the interior and lower it slightly.

The starting point for determining the height of tile trim in a bathroom can also be the height of a door or other architectural element, as well as niche windows. If possible, the tiles are placed at the height of the center element.

Neat brown walls and gray furniture in classic bathroom

How to Paint the Walls in the Bathroom?

Painting the walls in the bathroom is much easier than laying tile, but here you can also make a mistake. Learn the basic rules that all must be respected for the room to be properly decorated.

A bathroom, like a kitchen, toilet, laundry room, is a room called wet because surfaces can constantly be in contact with water here. Therefore, fragments of walls in the sink, bathtub, and shower (subjected to constant contact with moisture) must be covered with tiles. The rest of the bathroom can be painted. Unfortunately, too much moisture absorption through the walls carries a certain risk, especially in wet rooms, as excess steam condenses on the walls. In addition, if the room is warm, mold and fungus may occur. That is why it is so important to prepare the walls well and apply the appropriate paint.

Pink powder lower wall tiling for casual bathroom

How to Prepare the Walls?

  1. First, you need to thoroughly clean the substrate from any dirt, dust, and grease, for example, with water and detergent. In the case of a moldy surface, you must remove the old paint layers, wash the wall with water with an antifungal agent and brush it.
  2. Secondly, when the wall is dry, you must level it. Damage to the plaster is complemented by a plaster finish or filler, which is then smoothed with fine-grained abrasive paper. Then, using a brush or a damp cloth, remove all the dust, most of which is collected in the corners.
  3. Thirdly, the wall must be primed. Do not skip this step, as, after painting stains, discoloration and uneven coatings may appear.

Gray classic interior of the bathroom

Paint selection

First, you need to decide what paint you will apply to the bathroom, and then buy a ready-to-use primer recommended by the same manufacturer. After priming, the wall should well dry. For wet rooms, paints or special paints that are resistant to moisture are recommended. On the packaging must be indicated that the product is intended for bathrooms. The paint must be resistant to washing and cleaning with detergents, as well as protected from bacteria or mold.

Acid green and white stripes to decorate the bathroom

Bathroom Wall Colors: Fashion Offers for Arrangements

You can create a small home spa in the bathroom today. The room is carefully decorated to be functional and meet aesthetic needs. In the bathroom, people often spend a lot of time, so you should not compromise, because everyone deserves the most beautiful and comfortable room for the hygienic procedures. What color should the bathroom walls be? It is difficult to give a definite answer. The possibilities are endless, and most of them can be at your preference. Here are some proven tips.

Unusual wall decoration of the bathroom with olive paint and dark cards

Earth Palette

Natural color works well in bathrooms. Bronze, beige, and gray bring a pleasant, warm climate to the interior, and this effect is enhanced by the use of natural materials in it. In the room, arranged in such a way, it is good to rest and clean up, especially for women. The skin looks much better surrounded by warm tones than when the light falling on it gets a shade of green-blue walls. Do you want the bathroom to be ecologically inspired, where you can relax after a busy day? Bet on the earth color palette.

Wall tiling and level paint for large bathroom with double sink Classic interior bathroom interior with large crsytal chandelier

Sea Breeze

Do not completely abandon the colder shades. Some people like the feeling of coolness in the bathroom, as in such conditions there is a better recovery. It is worth choosing blue. It will be in perfect harmony with white plumbing and light-colored furniture. When you add to them a bit of beige and green elements, as well as bright points of light, you can feel like on a sunny Greek beach.

Greenery decoration for ultramodern designed bathroom with bidet and low LED lighting of the sink

Gray Area

The feeling of coolness will also give the dominance of gray on the walls. This solution has one major advantage – it is extremely elegant. It also works great in the interiors of modern men. Are you an active man who likes to take a quick shower and also appreciates high-quality workmanship and materials? Your need for luxury, strong and dynamic character will be emphasized by graphite color on the walls and plumbing from an exclusive collection.

Loft designed bathroom with skylight and gray accent wall

Bright Colors in a Modern Style

Gray often appears in the modern interiors of the bathroom. It will be a lot, but the shade and surface type can be decorated with bright accessories. The interiors are governed by their own laws, and the most daring contrasts are welcome here. Therefore, when designing your bathroom in a modern style, do not forget to add bright colors. Red, turquoise, yellow, and orange shades will look good. decorate the walls in a neutral tone and take care of colorful accessories. The coolness of the interior is sometimes obvious – a matte surface combined with the warmth of the colors provides a pleasant feeling for the users of such a bathroom.

Yellow framed mirror and bright pattern of the vanity facade Yellow tiled bathroom walls

When designing your dream bathroom, it’s better to be consistent. Color decisions should be made independently, but after prior consultation with a specialist and producing the visualization. Finishing the bathroom is not an easy task. On the one hand, you want this room to be interesting, spectacular, fit into the design of the rest of the apartment, but on the other hand, the room should be practical.

Unusual Classic incarnation with large wooden bathtub

The bathroom is one of those rooms in which the most important feature of the finishing you choose is quality. There is no place for unverified products. Materials for wall decoration should be resistant to moisture, water, temperature changes. The current trend of using natural finishes in the interior, such as wood or concrete, does not always work in the bathroom. The best choice is proven ceramic tile, painting, and wall paneling.

White designed bathroom with gray combination Brick imitating wall decoration for modern decorated bathroom Modern mosaic tiled bahroom in brown and sandy tints Wooden planks to decorate successful designed casual bathroom Dark marble for modern designed bathroom Colorful Arabic tile in the modern bathroom Absoiutely gorgeous design of the eco bathroom with greenery zones at the wall and cow pelt on the floor Red sewing machine base for sink in white casual bathroom White modern bathroom with bright yellow accent wall

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