Paint is fine, but moisture should be your main concern when choosing a covering. Unchecked moisture, both from tub/shower overspray as well as moisture-laden air, is devastating for bathrooms. Even well-vented bathrooms have moisture issues. Here are five options for bathroom walls.
Medium density fiberboard ( MDF ) with a hard melamine layer on top.
Pro : It can be quick fixer for bad drywall in a kitchen or bathroom.
Con : Poor quality substitute for tile.
At first glance, tileboard looks like ceramic tile. It comes in four-foot by eight-foot panels so you can install 32 square feet of “tile” in mere minutes.
Better tileboard looks closer to real and the “wear surface” is coated, so it repels moisture.
Cheap and easy to install – best used for a guest bathroom or basement bathroom – tileboard is bargain material that adds little value to your home.
Board thta covers the lower portion of the wall
Pro : Helps to protect against direct moisture from shower or bathtub.
Con : Unique look that may not work for all bathrooms.
Beadboard is provides only partial covering for the wall – the lower half – but this is the most critical half.
Beadboard can be painted with semi-gloss or gloss paint, which thoroughhly protects the lower parts of the wall against moisture.
For easier installation, purchase panels of beadboard that are 8′ by 4′.
Installed lengthwise, these long boards lay down quickly with construction glue and finish nails. For a more refined look, choose individual beadboard planks.
Beadboard gives your bathroom a traditional, classic look.
Ceramic or glass tile
Tile applied to lower wall surfaces like wainscot or backsplash
Pro : 100% waterproof as long as it is well installed
Con : Tile needs to be applied judiciously to avoid overwhelming the room.
Ceramic tile is a classic choice for bathroom walls. With tile, as long as it is property applied, moisture will never be a problem. Since the days of the ancient Romans, tile has been used even for standing-water surfaces such as the insides of baths.
Design is your main consideration. All tile has grout, and grout means lines : lines create patterns which can either enhance or detract from the bathroom’s appearance.
Too much tile can make a room feel busy, ponderous, or worse – like a public restroom. Ceramic tile used as wainscot usually stops at a certain point on the wall, around 36″ to 38″.
“Bathroom Paint” vs Regular Interior Paint
Paint that has properties that make it better-suited for bathrooms
Pro: Mold – and mildew – inhibiting additives
Con : Costs up to twice as much as regular interior paint.
How can you go wrong with bathroom paint ? After all, the paint is designed just for that room.
There is no true ” bedroom paint.” As Steve Revnew, VP of product Innovation at Sherwin-William told us, paint sold under the “bathroom paint” imprimatur is paint that can be used anywhere in the house. It simply has anti-microbal properties that allow you to choose flatter sheens that you normally would in a bathroom.
With regular interior paint, the main thing to avoid is getting a flat or matte surface paint because their pores trap water. A classic way to avoid this is to use semi-glossy or glossy sheen; water beads up on these surfaces. But these premium paints with mold-killing additives let you have those desirable flatter sheens in the bathroom.
Peelabel Vinyl Wallaper
100% waterproof wallpaper
Pro : Easy to install because it can be unpeeled and reapplied more than once.
Con : Some types are not good for direct moisture.
Vinyl-coated wallpaper is best for bathrooms. All-paper covering will degrade in he moist environment.
But if vinyl wallpaer makes you think of a downmarket Days Inn, think again. Vinyl wallpaer has grown up an become sophisticated. Purveyors like Tempaper and Timothy Sue offer gorgeous wallpapers that have greaced style and shelter magazines.
Just be sure that your present wall surface can accecpt peelable wallpaper. It will not stick to matte, flat, or rough surfaces. Also, it works best for indirect, ambient moisture. So use in conjunction with a lower wall cover listed below, such as beadboard or tile.
Unlike paint, you can actually try out wallpaper before applying it. Buy a roll or cadge a sample, stick it up in the room.
Large patterns will visually reduce the size of your bathroom. Vercitals draw your eye upward and make the room feel taller. Horizontals seem to widen it.