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Tips: How to maintain wallcoverings in the bathroom

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We’re not going to lie; having wallpapers in the bathroom does take a bit more work. However, these tips – and a bathroom revamp once in a while – will make maintenance much easier.


(See the five popular styles for bathroom wallcoverings here)

Avoid installing wallpapers right beside wet areas, as steam and changes in temperature may cause peeling or bubbling. The entrances of an open-concept bathroom, the bathroom vanity or sink area, or just the powder room, are more suitable.

Get it installed by experts. “The use of inappropriate adhesive is usually the cause of peeling wallpapers in humid environments. To prevent this, installers should prep and fill the walls well, use a high-quality primer, sealer and non-woven lining paper, as well as an adhesive treatment which allows the wallpaper to swell and relax naturally without tearing,” says the team from UK fabric and wallcovering brand Romo. An additional waterproof glaze is also useful.

Pick wallpapers with the right backings. “Opt for those with non-woven backings, which are made out of natural and synthetic fibres that allow wallpapers to be washable and breathable. This eliminates vapour lock, making it more resistant to mould and mildew. You can clean it with a damp cloth, too. Vinyl wallpapers, though pricier and in simpler designs, is another alternative,” says Richie Chung of Wallhub.

Ventilate. Mounting an exhaust fan in the bathroom, opening a small window when showering, and airing out the bathroom when not in use will help. Install a shower screen to prevent heat and humidity from reaching the wallpapered areas. If you’re worried that wallpaper near the sink and faucet will get wet, a wainscoted or tiled bottom half and wallpapered upper half is a clever alternative.

Maximise the look of your wallpaper by placing large mirrors opposite it, so you’ll have the print on “both” sides!