How To Nail The Bathroom Wallpaper Trend (With No Bubbles In Sight)

The year's most popular bathroom trend is a tricky one, but moist walls can be avoided.

Looking to revamp your bathroom? Tiles are so 2020.

Bathroom wallpaper is all the rage in 2021, with searches for the trend increasing 33.8% year-on-year in the UK. Other searches such as “wallpaper for your bathroom” have also had a 200% increase in Google searches in the past year, and the hashtag #bathroomwallpaper now has more than 12,000 posts on Instagram.

Pretty as it is, the tread is tricky to get right. A bad home makeover can lead to excess moisture in the bathroom, which can potentially have negative impacts on your home, and even your health.

“As the months get cooler, people are more likely to turn their shower temperature up and less likely to open a window in the bathroom. And let’s be honest, not everyone remembers to put the extractor fan on,” explains Adam Leech, owner of Showers Direct.

If your bathroom starts to develop too much moisture you may to have a problem with mould, which might result in your wallpaper peeling and on some occasions even bubbling.

“Traditional cellulose-based wallpaper often used in bathrooms isn’t designed to fend off any moisture caused by showers,” Leech adds. “As a result of this, moisture can penetrate and weaken the paste. If this happens, the wallpaper will then curl up from the seams between pieces or at the baseboards.”

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The real issue lies behind the wallpaper, as black mould can thrive beneath. “The moisture trapped behind wet bathroom wallpaper can cause significant black mould growth as a result of inadequate airing or ventilation,” says Leech. “These toxigenic moulds can become airborne and travel, and can even cause skin irritation or infections. And because the mould is growing behind the wallpaper, you won’t even know it’s happening.”

If you do want to try the wallpaper trend, it’s important you follow proper installation and maintenance advice. Leech gives the following advice.

How to nail bathroom wallpaper

Choose the right kind of wallpaper

“Vinyl or paper-backed vinyl wallpapers can be scrubbed, stripped and are usually resistant to moisture and humidity. Due to its resistance, vinyl wallpaper has become a more popular interior option in UK bathrooms. This increase in popularity is highlighted via the 14,000 online searches for ‘vinyl wallpaper’ over the past month.”

Consider wall preparations

“You can buy mould proof primer which should be added before the paste. This will help create a smooth surface for the wallpaper to adhere to while keeping the wall from absorbing the paste. Make sure you also buy mould-proof paste which will help decrease your chances of damaging your walls and health.”

Reduce bathroom humidity

“This can be easily achieved by opening a window, using a high power bathroom fan or by simply leaving the door ajar.”