Ideas for paint, tiles and wallpaper for the bathroom

You’ve decided on the suite style and the colour theme but what about your bathroom walls? Gone are the days when simple white tiles were the main option (although don’t underestimate simple!). The choices for your family bathroom or ensuite are more creative than ever and you can really make a statement with your bathroom walls.

The past couple of months have been bathroom-filled for me, having just completed our own family space, as part of a larger renovation. My research has taken me all over in terms of bathroom finishes and I’m eager to share some of this with you so let’s delve into the world of bathroom walls and discover what options there are out there… I think you’ll be surprised at how many there are!


A simple option but there are so many ways to use paint in a bathroom. Try painting the ceiling in a bold hue for impact or lighter walls with a dark and eye-catching door and frame can make a real statement. Painting the exterior of a roll top or freestanding bath is one of my favourite ways to add some wow to your bathroom and match to a statement wall.

Walls and basin are a mix of Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground and Setting Plaster. Door and frame is painted in Hague Blue. Priced £49.95 for 2.5 litres of modern emulsion.
BC Designs is giving you the opportunity to paint the exterior of their Boat bath, from £1480, in a shade of your choice. Here, it has been finished using Little Greene’s intelligent eggshell paint in Harley Green 312


As I know from my own renovation, finding the right tiles for your project can be a full time job in itself and the ranges are growing with such a high demand for different and eye catching styles. Marble is a popular choice for bathrooms, but pink tones are particularly on trend.

The tiles featured in this design by Studio DB are a custom marble blend from the Euclid Collection by Alison Rose x Artistic Tile and the marble slab is Rosa Portogallo Marble from Artistic Tile. The Rose Gold shower fittings are from the Purist Collection from Kohler.

You can also split the wall with the lower half in a simpler design. I love these Fired Earth’s Alchemy tiles, in Pink Gin Chevron. They are made from pure aluminium with a unique metallic finish. How beautiful do they look with this ainted roll top too!?

Fired Earth’s Alchemy tiles in Pink Gin Chevron, £248.08 per sq m and Onda tiles in Hibiscus, £54.72 per sq m. The Canterbury bath, also from Fired Earth, is shown painted in Pompeian Red, £1800.

Consider different laying patterns and coloured grout to achieve a luxe look with metro tiles. These jungle green tiles with the hexagonal floor tiles compliment each other perfectly.

This shower wall was created using Mandarin Stone’s slim brick Oska tiles in Jungle Green, £46.34 per sq m, and Casablanca mono decor 11/12 hexagon porcelain tiles, from £48 per sq m.


Wallpaper has come a long way and manufacturers are now producing specialised waterproof ranges for the bathroom which can be installed directly in the shower or behind a bath and can withstand more than just a spalsh. This state-of-the-art waterproof Wet System wallpaper by Wall & Deco is stunning.

Italian Dandy, priced £171.60 per sq m, Wall & Deco.

Composites and other materials

If you’re not looking for the usual approach, how about a more unique plaster finish like Tadelakt to offer natural texture? You can even use wood – teak is a great choice for your bathroom walls, adding richness and warmth while also remaining waterproof.

The Tadelakt used in this project cost around £85 per sq m and was done by Decor Bristol. The marble was sourced directly from Carrara in Italy by a local wholesaler and cut to match the timber herringbone floor planks. Similar joinery from Blakes London starts at £3000 per unit
Furniture maker William Garvey designed this bespoke shower wall and Geo bath, which is priced from £3950.

Panelling and shower walls

Shower walls are becoming ever more popular as they offer versatility and make it easy to create statement designs with easy installation – whether you’re after a stone or tile-look feature wall or super-sized photography design.

Made from laminate and acrylic, Bushboard’s Nuance bathroom wall panels are a great alternative to tiling. The Carrara marble slab design, £523.84 for a 122 x 244cm panel, has been book matched in this bathroom to create a large-scale symmetrical look with maximum impact
Multipanel’s Classic, Heritage and Linda Barker collections are manufactured using FSC-certified timber in the UK – plus they are 100% recyclable. The Nero Grafite shown here costs £129.94 for a 240 x 59.8cm wall panel, from Victorian Plumbing.

Watch The Bathroom Sessions: ways with colour and pattern

Featured image: If you like the idea of a tiled wall in your shower but are put off by both the installation cost and upkeep, a panel mimicking the look is a good option. This Navy Herringbone design is part of Showerwall’s Acrylic collection, from £400 for a 120 x 240cm panel.

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