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Bathroom Wonder Walls – Part 1

Tiles and paint were once the only products found on bathroom walls.

But times have changed.

While both are still popular choices, the options for family bathrooms, ensuites, and cloakrooms have never been so creative with products ranging from specialist wallpaper to panelling, ink-jet printed tiles to shower walls.

Below Bathroom Compare highlights the latest surface trends and how best to achieve a unique look in your bathroom.


The most important thing to consider is finish and only then should you choose your colour. Forget flat matts and certain eggshells, the correct paint finish for a bathroom is one that withstands a wet environment. Glossier finishes and those specifically formulated for bathrooms with mould or mildew inhibiting properties are best. It’s important to make sure that the surfaces are well prepared beforehand. If mould has previously been present, apply mould killer and a coat of primer before the topcoat. Lighter, softer colours or white always work well in bathrooms providing a clean look or the look of a sanctuary or spa. However, don’t be afraid to be bold. Deeper hues are well suited to smaller, internal bathrooms where electricity provides all the light needed.

Panelling & Shower walls:

Becoming more and more popular, shower walls offer great versatility while making it easy to create a statement. They are relatively easy to install and come in a variety of different designs from stone or tile-look to a bespoke photo-generated design. Made from either acrylic, PVC and laminate panels, shower walls are seamless, stain and mould resistant while being 100% waterproof. Inspired by Japanese bathing and Scandinavian saunas, wood is the key choice for bathroom panelling, especially teak as it is rich in colour, has good water-resistant properties and works well with a wide range of strong colours. Traditional tongue and groove and shaker panelling are also popular choices but need to be well sealed, primed and finished with appropriate paint.


Not the most obvious choice for bathroom walls, but due to high-end media coverage and stunning designs, the demand for wallpaper has increased in recent years. As a result, manufacturers are producing wider ranges of specialised solutions – some of which are classed waterproof and can be hung in showers or behind baths, others are more water-resistant which withstand the odd splash or two. Standard wallpaper can also be used, but the room must be well ventilated with extractor fan as well as window and should be placed away from direct contact with water. To protect it further, seal with decorator varnish or install a clear glass splashback behind vanity unit or basin. Wallpapers can create a sense of colour and fun in a small space. Go wild and continue the wallpapered look over the ceiling to create a true sense of luxury.

29th Nov 2021