Is It Safe To Install Wallpaper In Your Bathroom?

 Bathroom Designed by Heather ODonovan Interior Design

Question: We want to install wallpaper in our bathrooms, but will the steam that is generated from the hot water make the paper eventually peel? We’ve seen other people do it but we are trying to avoid headaches down the line.

The thought of having all of the hard work and effort of putting up wallpaper go to waste is a common anxiety that people have when they think about redecorating their bathroom areas. Quite often, people have this crystal clear nightmare in their minds of their beautiful bathroom wallpaper peeling halfway down the wall within a few months of installation. Typically, this happens when they are mid shower and staring at their beautiful work.

Here’s the short answer: it is absolutely safe to install wallpaper in most bathroom or powder room areas. It’s natural to have some misgivings about the effects of condensation and warm temperatures on your wall coverings. We can assure you that there is nothing to worry about.

Here is the longer explanation for people who want more information:

Most homes and apartments that have been built or remodeled in the last 60 years are climate controlled which means they will stay at or around room temperature. This includes the bathroom, which is connected to your air conditioning and heating systems. But think back to the most popular time for wallpaper, the Victorian Era. They had the same heat we did, and their wallpaper is still hanging in some homes today!

Today, however, during the spring and summer the air conditioning system will remove the humidity from your bathroom. In the fall and wintertime, the heat will evaporate the humidity from long, hot showers.

Though this concern is understandable, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned about steam building up enough condensation, or mold, to cause any problems with your wallpaper.

In order for your wallpaper to fall from your shower, there needs to be a condition called lingering humidity. Your bathroom may be humid when you first get out of a hot shower, but the humidity doesn’t linger there for more than several minutes. If you bathroom has a tendency to get mold or mildew, then you may have a problem. Thankfully, most homes come equipped with an exhaust fan that ventilates the room and eliminates the chances of mold or mildew interfering with the wallpaper.

Residential wallpaper is manufactured in a completely different way than it was before (example). Modern papers are made from material that can be easily cleaned, wiped, or scrubbed.  This also means you can clean off any toothpaste, shaving cream, hand soap, or water from your walls without leaving any scouring marks or damaging your wallpaper.

The bathroom area is an excellent place to start your redecorating projects. It’s one of the most used areas within a home, and a great space to creatively experiment. There are some great themed collections that allow you make any accent wall you want. Have fun with it!