Centuries-old bathroom paneling ideas offer a straightforward way to elevate your bathroom design. Whether in tongue and groove, square panels or lap joints, bathroom paneling can expand the size of the smallest room in your home and add interest and warmth.
Bathroom paneling is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of bathroom ideas, from traditional and high-end to rustic, vintage and even beach-themed decor. Go full-height and embrace period charm, or opt for wainscoting-height paneling — right down to the dado railing — and pair it with patterned wallpaper for a more contemporary edge.
Designer Barrie Cutchie of BC Designs explains: “Adding wood paneling to a bathroom is a great way to add texture and colour, which in turn can add warmth to an otherwise rather cold room.”
I. Bathroom paneling ideas
Historically, the idea of wall paneling was a functional addition to the home, a way to help insulate a fence or brick wall from the cold. However, like all functional additions to a home, it quickly became a decorative feature, with carving and patterned layering coming to the fore. These older additions were often made of dark wood, usually oak, and imposed your expectations of a mansion. For most of us, this look won’t suit our modest properties, and if it does, it’s unlikely to suit our bathrooms.
Modern bathroom wall panels are often less ornate than historic examples and are often made from MDF or other affordable woods. MDF is ideal for bathroom paneling because it doesn’t expand and contract like cork, so instead of endless redecorating every fall when you turn on the heat, it’s crucial to use a high-quality board that is moisture-resistant.
While modern homeowners often turn to bathroom wall siding ideas for aesthetic appeal, bathroom siding also has insulating properties. Bathroom paneling can be fixed in the space between the slats and insulation, always adding a vapor barrier on the warm side. This can be especially useful in older homes with solid walls, as even 25mm of insulation can make a huge difference to the warmth of a room.
II. Bathroom wall design ideas
1. Create an industrial style design
Create eye-catching style behind your sink with rustic or reclaimed wood panels. Treat the planks with a rich dark stain that pairs well with black metallic trim and subway tile for a modern industrial finish. Or try reclaimed board, where the natural patina and silver tones create a unique, rough-hewn luxury finish.
2. Create an immersive atmosphere
Panels painted in the darkest ink blue or black dare to be striking. By casting light and shadow on otherwise flat walls, paneling elevates the entire area and adds instant lift. For a seamless transition and to make the walls appear longer, paint the baseboards the same color as the walls.
You may take it a step further for a truly immersive setting and paint the woodwork and add color to the ceiling. Bring in glittering mirrors, lush plants, and polished metals like brass and chrome to give the bathroom vitality.
3. Use paneling to create shelves
Although wood paneling that projects from the wall may be required to hide plumbing work, you may use it to improve the design of your bathroom. Use the paneled top shelf to display pictures and artwork, vases, and accessories to give a room flair.
More contemporary against traditional components, such as paneling versus contemporary tubs and abstract prints, will be seen in 2022, according to Darren Allison, managing director of BC Designs. He adds: “This trend is about how to properly mix two styles. The mixture holds the key to making it function. Keep in mind that opposites attract! a classic bathtub with a contemporary, streamlined faucet. A modern sink with an antique faucet.
4. Pretend with wallpaper
Want some time period drama shortcuts? Use trompe l’oeil to create the appearance of cream paneling from floor to ceiling by taking advantage of one of the newest wallpaper trends. It’s not only a simple DIY project, but it’s also a reasonably priced fix. Use it as a striking accent wall or cut it in half, top to bottom, and use wood trim painted in the same color for a tidy finish. This type of vinyl wallpaper is water-repellent and convenient to clean, making it the ideal choice for a bathroom that frequently gets wet.
5. Add drama to a small cloakroom
There’s no need to restrict your design possibilities to a basement cloakroom; if you have one, it’s the ideal location to get inventive and experiment. Small bathrooms can also be lovely. When utilizing wainscot or tongue-and-groove panels, provide space for aesthetic balance at the top and halfway or halfway up the walls. Going full-color while submerged in such a rich hue is a risky choice, but it just increases the effect. A juxtaposition of rich, polished brass taps, lights, and mirrors gives the overall appearance a contemporary edge.
Paul of Sanctuary Bathrooms said: “Gold is definitely making a comeback in 2022. Customers come looking for brushed brass but then see gold fixtures and accessories, and love them even more.”
III. Can I waterproof paneling?
Yes, you can use waterproof paneling for your bathroom paneling ideas. However, this needs to be considered from the start, not just applying the sealant at the end.
Adding wood paneling to a bathroom is a great way to add texture and color, which in turn can add warmth to an otherwise cold room. Wood paneling works well as wallpaper on any wall that is not in direct contact with water, so the shower area is out of the way. It’s also important to invest in the right glue; one that works both indoors and out, and can handle the humidity and humidity changes that occur in the bathroom.