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The 4 Best Wall Covering Choices for Bathrooms

Choosing the right material for your bathroom walls may be one of the most difficult design decisions you’ll make during a home renovation or building project. The materials you choose for your bathroom walls aren’t just appearance--they are also chosen to protect walls from moisture damage. However, you don’t have to choose durability over design when it comes to bathroom wall options because each wall material brings both style and protection to the equation, although some materials offer more protection than others.

Each wall material in today’s article offers pros--like budget-friendly options and design appeal-- as well as cons--such as shorter durability and expense. We’re confident that you’ll find the right option for your bathroom project that fits both your budget and your design needs.


Tile is the best material for your bathroom wall when it comes to durability and longevity because tile is 100 percent waterproof when it’s installed by an expert. You can get quite creative with tile design and make a beautiful space. However, too much tile can overwhelm a room and make it feel sterile, especially in a small bathroom. To prevent this, design experts recommend partially tiling a wall instead of using it all over. Ceramic tile is a classic choice for bathrooms and most popular among homeowners and homebuyers.


Beadboard protects against direct moisture from the shower or tub, which is why it’s a popular choice for creating a lower exterior wall around a tub. It’s also a common choice for covering the lower part of bathroom walls. The downside? Its traditional look doesn’t work well for all styles, particularly modern designs.

Interior Paint

Paint is a popular choice because of its versatility and easy changeability. You can create any color you want with the help of a paint mixing expert and changing a paint color is much easier and more affordable than changing out tile or beadboard. The con to choosing paint is that you’ll need to spend a bit more of your budget on the more expensive but longer-lasting paint designed specifically for bathroom walls. This paint helps prevent the production of mold and mildew due to moisture from the shower or bathtub.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Before we get into why vinyl is a good wall option we should first warn you that all paper wall coverings will degrade due to moisture, which means no wallpaper is a lifetime option. But if you’re a homeowner who likes to spice things up and make updates regularly to your bathroom’s design, vinyl wallpaper is the best paper wall covering when it comes to durability. Vinyl wallpaper is appealing because it’s easy to install and it can be unpeeled and reapplied more than once. Just be sure the wallpaper you choose is made to weather heavy moisture for a while--some choices are not suited for the amount of moisture a bathroom wall receives.


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