Can you install wallpaper in a bathroom? Our DIY Guide

by | Dec 3, 2023

Adding wallpaper to your bathroom can instantly transform it from simply functional to a space you want to be in. However, installing wallpaper in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, requires careful consideration and proper technique. We’ll walk you through the steps to help make your install a success.

1. Start with Clean Walls

Take the time to thoroughly clean and wipe down your bathroom walls. Just like in the kitchen, where grease and grime can hinder adhesion, bathroom walls can accumulate residue that affects the wallpaper’s ability to stick. Use a mild cleanser and a sponge to remove any dirt, soap scum, or moisture that may be present. Allow the walls to dry completely before proceeding.

Above: There Was a Country in Linen – Uzo Njoku Collection

2. Ensure Proper Ventilation

This applies both before your install, and after your wallpaper is up – especially if you live in an area with lots of humidity. Before installing, open windows and doors to ensure proper air circulation for at least 12 hours since the last shower or bath. Moisture needs to be completely aired out so you are not trapping it underneath your wallpaper, and also creates an environment where the wallpaper adhesive can bond effectively. This step is especially important if your bathroom lacks a ventilation fan. 

3. Apply Strong, Even Pressure

Achieving a smooth and seamless appearance requires applying strong, even pressure when affixing the wallpaper. Use a wallpaper smoothing tool (which comes with each purchase at Otto Studio!) or a soft, clean cloth to press the wallpaper firmly onto the wall, working from the centre outward. This step ensures that the adhesive makes full contact with the wall, preventing bubbles and ensuring a secure bond.

4. Give it 24-48 Hours

After your wallpaper is installed, give the adhesive 24-48 to bond to the wall before exposing it to additional moisture. This waiting period allows the adhesive to fully cure, ensuring the longevity of your wallpaper in the face of bathroom humidity. Always make sure you are allowing proper ventilation as well, to keep moisture at bay. Open those windows, doors, and use your ventilation fans after every shower!

5. Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Not all wallpapers are created equal, especially when it comes to moisture-prone areas. In bathrooms and kitchens, where humidity levels are higher, opt for removable wallpaper made of vinyl. While still breathable, vinyl wallpaper is slightly less permeable than traditional options, providing an extra layer of protection against moisture. 

Otto Studio offers a variety of removable and renter-friendly premium vinyl options! Check out our Core Collection as a starting point.  Wallpaper in your bathroom gives you an opportunity to go for big maximalist impact!

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