Choosing the Best Option For Your Bathroom Walls

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Choosing the Best Option For Your Bathroom Walls

Walls in a bathroom are different from walls anywhere else in your home. They need to have surfaces that can stand up to moisture that other areas of your home don’t produce. Here are some of the top options for walls in the bathroom.

Bathroom Paint

Paint used in a bathroom is ideal if it is specified as bathroom paint. If not, typically look for semi-gloss or high gloss paint as moisture will bead up on the surface instead of soaking in and absorbing. Matte or flat paint is not ideal for bathrooms as it tends to absorb liquid and moisture, unless that paint is labeled specifically as bathroom paint. Paint is a common choice because even paint formulated exclusively for use in bathrooms is typically cheaper than any other wall covering option on this list.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic (and glass) tile is a great option for the bathroom. Depending on the tile you choose, this can be a very costly option for your walls. However, when installed and sealed correctly, ceramic tile will never have a problem with moisture as this tile has been used in pools, tubs and water features for centuries. Many people choose to use ceramic tile on the walls closest to the tub or shower and paint on walls farther away to avoid creating a look that is overwhelming or particularly costly.

Vinyl Wallpaper or Planks

Vinyl planks and wallpaper are peelable and re-stickable so they’re easy to apply. They are best used for indirect moisture and not on the inside of a tub or shower. You also have to ensure the walls you have will work with vinyl wallpaper or planks as walls that are painted matte/flat and rough textured walls are not ideal as the vinyl doesn’t stick as well to those surfaces. If this surface makes you think of an old hotel, never fear, this material has come a long way in the last several years.


Tileboard looks like ceramic tiles but comes in large pieces approximately 32 square feet in size. When using this product, it’s important not to let water get behind it and to seal it well on all sides with bathroom grade silicone. Just the tiniest amount of water behind this product can cause it to warp and buckle away from the wall. This bargain wall covering is worth considering for extra or guest bathrooms but could look cheap in main or master baths.

Bead board

Bead board is typically only used to provide protection for the lower half of walls where most moisture accumulates. It generally comes in sections that are eight feet long by four feet high and resembles painted thin wood paneling. It’s popular because it is easy to install and gives the bathroom a classic, yet modern look.

Choosing a wall covering option for your bathroom doesn’t have to be a challenge. These five options are the most common options on the market but your Cabinet Market designer can work with you if you have something unique and creative in mind. The most important factor when choosing a wall covering for your bathroom is choosing something that will hold up well to moisture over the long term.