What Type Of Wallpaper Is Best For Bathrooms?

Bathroom walls aren't easy to decorate due to the humidity level within the space. You're probably wondering if it's possible to install wallpaper in the bathroom to make it as appealing as the rest of the house. The answer is yes—but what type of wallpaper is best for bathrooms? We've researched this topic to help you!

Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper is the best choice for styling your bathroom walls. Unlike paper wallpaper, vinyl is durable, resists moisture, and can survive in spaces with high humidity levels, like bathrooms.

There are still some factors you need to consider when selecting wallpaper for your bathroom. In this post, we will dive into this topic further. We will also discuss the proper way of installing vinyl wallpaper so you can avoid damage in the long run. With that said, let's get right into it!

bathroom-mockup-wall-interior-art-3d, What Type Of Wallpaper Is Best For Bathrooms?

What Type Of Wallpaper Is Best For Bathrooms?

A bathroom's function and high humidity levels make it a bit hard to decorate compared to other parts of a house.

Many homeowners resort to applying water-proof paint on their bathroom walls, but some also consider using wallpaper because of its decorative designs and colorful layout.

bathroom-ornate-wallpaper mirror

Among the wide variety of wallpapers to choose from, fabric-backed vinyl is the best option to install in bathrooms.

If you are planning to use vinyl wallpaper in your bathroom, you might want to know about its advantages and disadvantages before making your purchase.

Advantages Of Using Fabric-Backed Vinyl Wallpaper 

green leaves bathroom wallpaper

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, there's more to vinyl wallpaper than meets the eye. Let's discuss some of the things you should know about this type of wallpaper so you'll understand why it's the best choice for your bathroom walls.


Thanks to the evolution of wallpaper over the years, homeowners can now decorate their bathrooms with it. Unlike paper wallpaper that can be torn off easily, vinyl wallpaper is known for being durable.

Instead of paper, the back portion of the wallpaper is made of fabric, making it last for a longer period of time compared to other variations of wallpaper.

Water Resistant

Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper doesn't get damaged easily by water, so it's a great choice for bathroom walls. It is designed to resist water, making it washable and easy to clean, unlike other types of wallpaper you might install in living rooms and hallways. 

However, the fact that the wallpaper is water-resistant does not mean that you shouldn't try to maintain the humidity level in the space.

Since this type of wallpaper uses fabric, you should have a fan installed in your bathroom to prevent mold buildup.


Unlike paint that offers a plain backdrop, fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper comes in different designs and styles.

You are free to choose from colorful patterns or subtle designs to style your bathroom walls without worrying about water ruining the wallpaper.

Hides Imperfections 

If you're decorating your bathroom because there are flaws and dents on the walls that you want to cover up, then fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper would be a great choice for you.

It's aesthetically pleasing and—unlike paint—will completely cover holes and other flaws in your walls.

Budget Friendly

If you're on a tight budget and you're concerned that fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper will break the bank, don't worry. Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper is known for being budget friendly.

This type of wallpaper is available for purchase at just over $2 per square foot, depending on the style and design. Of course, the budget for your wallpaper will depend on the dimensions of your bathroom walls, but fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper is still considered inexpensive.

Disadvantages Of Using Fabric-Backed Vinyl Wallpaper


Just like regular wallpaper, fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper has its fair share of downsides. To help you further decide whether this type of wall decoration fits your preference, let's take a look at its disadvantages.

Thick And Heavy

Because it uses fabric on its back part, fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper is thicker and heavier compared to the other types of wallpaper. Installing this type of wall covering can be a bit of a burden due to its weight.

Acts As A Barrier

Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper does not allow air to pass through. The layer of vinyl stops the walls from breathing and can prevent the water vapor present in the humid air from evaporating.

Over time, if the room is left improperly ventilated or the humidity level in the bathroom isn't controlled, mold and mildew can build up behind the wallpapers due to the moisture. 

Mold and mildew can cause health problems, damage your home's infrastructure, and produce bad odors.

Contains Toxic Chemicals

Some wallpaper manufacturers use harmful chemicals such as brominated flame retardants and volatile organic compounds. When inhaled for a long period of time, these chemicals can cause health hazards. 

In addition, cheaper types of fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper can have a bad smell similar to plastic. This is due to the materials used in making the wallpaper.

However, not all fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper has the same chemical components, so make sure to check the labels before making the purchase. You should try to choose wallpaper that is environmentally friendly.

How To Install Fabric-Backed Vinyl Wallpaper On Bathroom Walls?


Installing your wallpaper properly will save you from having to replace it early on. It's a good thing that wallpaper has improved over time, allowing homeowners to use it in their bathrooms.

If this is your first time using fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper, you can follow the simple guide we've listed below.

1. Prepare And Measure The Wall

The first basic step in almost every project is preparing the area that you will be working on. You can wipe the walls where you plan to hang the paper to get rid of any dust or dirt that might lessen the adhesiveness of your wallpaper. 

If your wall has been painted with glossy paint, you should sand the wall for better adhesiveness. You can also patch existing holes if you want to ensure a flat surface for your wallpaper.

After cleaning up the walls, you can start getting the correct measurements to make sure that you purchase enough wallpaper.

2. Choose Your Wallpaper

The next thing you have to do is decide on the design of the wallpaper. Just like regular wallpaper, fabric-backed vinyl wallpapers comes in a wide range of styles and patterns. Depending on your preference, you can pick the best design that will match your bathroom's theme.

3. Apply The Primer

Once you have your wallpaper, grab yourself a primer. It can be latex or acrylic, depending on which one you choose to use.

Check out this primer on Amazon.

Apply the primer evenly on your wall using a paint brush and let it air-dry. You should wait for the wall to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

4. Install The Wallpaper

After making sure that the primer is completely dry, apply the adhesive solution on the back portion of your wallpaper.

Make sure to coat the back part evenly before laying the wallpaper nice and flat on your wall. You can use a cutter or a utility knife to cut the excess parts of the wallpaper.

See this wallpaper adhesive on Amazon.

5. Final Touches

Using a clean cloth or a wallpaper brush, get rid of any air pockets by wiping the surface of the wallpaper. You can do this by gently scrubbing the cloth on the surface in a circular motion. Make sure to push the air bubbles to the edges to remove them.

Repeat this process until the entire wall is covered before you get rid of the excess adhesive. You can also wipe the wallpaper again to ensure that there are no more air bubbles between the wall and the back portion of the wallpaper.

Wrapping Up


Wallpaper serves other purposes besides adding accent to your walls. When properly installed, it can offer a lot of benefits to a home.

Remember that regular wallpaper cannot be installed on your bathroom walls. You should use fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper instead to ensure that you have a long-lasting wall covering. After all, bathrooms are essential, and they deserve some stylish accents, too.

Before you go, make sure to check out these posts:

Can You Paint Over Wallpaper With Any Type Of Paint? [A Detailed Guide]

How Long To Let Primer Dry [Inc. Before Paint, Before Sanding, Before Wallpaper, Or Between Coats]?

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