Mad About . . .

Waterproof Wallpaper for Bathrooms

31st October 2018
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Yes you read that right. It’s not about papering the walls of the bathroom (which you can absolutely do by the way) but about using wallpaper in the actual shower. I know! I wanted to tell you about this as part of my ongoing partnership with West One Bathrooms on the Wednesday Ad break.

I first saw this on a visit to their showroom earlier this year. And it does sort of feel like paper. Only clearly it isn’t. And obviously the manufacturer isn’t going to tell us as it’s “patent pending” but never mind that what does it look like?

You can browse through these images here. As you can see there’s a huge range of colour and pattern. But let’s get to the main question. Why?

Well I have been talking about a return to pattern since the beginning of the year. There is also a gradual return to maximalism so that’s the trends issue dealt with. Now I know I say you don’t have to follow trends but it’s always good to know what they are isn’t it.

But let’s get to the practical side of things. Firstly, having wallpaper means no grout lines. And we all know how grout turns brown after a while when it is exposed to soap scudge etc. So if you have walk-in shower, as opposed to one over the bath, that’s already a huge plus point.


The next thing is that you can stick it straight over existing walls/tiles etc which means much less installation mess. It may also work out more cost-effective as the paper starts at £156 a sqm – and while that’s more expensive than many tiles it’s also cheaper than many others – and you won’t have to pay someone to remove the old tiles and make good the walls before reapplying.

Each order is made on demand so if you fall in love with a design and realise you have a window bang in the middle of the flower, or the boat, the manufacturer will work around that for you. They will create a 3D render of the final design showing mirrors, windows and doors so the final design is bespoke and also works perfectly in your room.

Charlotte Waters, of West One Bathrooms, the only UK stockist of this Italian brand, says: “It’s a cheaper alternative as you don’t have the hassle of removing existing tiles or wallpaper as it goes directly over the top. So there’s less mess and it’s a quick update.

“It’s great for just one wall or even adding some colour to the shower where historically you’ve had to be sensible with materials.” 

It’s also warmer than tiles as anyone who has leant back against a cold shower wall will attest. In fact it feels a little like fabric which is due to the fibres in it that make it waterproof.

Now you will need specialist installers as there are various different glues and sealants involved to make sure that it is fully waterproof when it’s on the wall and West One has fully trained installers who have spent months at Wall & Deco learning how to apply it.


So what do you think? I had never really heard of this until I went to the showroom and then when I saw it I assumed it would be crazily expensive. I think I might get a quote for the boys’s shower room which I mistakenly tiled in black but has turned out – with the London hard water – to be a grouting/limescale nightmare. I have wanted to replace those tiles but the thought of ripping out the existing and making good has made me feel a little weak.

If this can go straight over the top it will be much easier although Charlotte points out that it takes three days as you have to allow for the glue and sealants to fully dry before you can use it.



There are dozens more on the West One site if you fancy a look. I wanted to show you some that really make the point that it’s wallpaper not tiles.

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  • Asterix 31st October 2018 at 2:56 pm

    These are beautiful. I would still like to see how well they wear after 10-20 years. Sounds like it’s a new thing, so do we really know how well they wear? I would get these for my bathroom that gets quite humid( no windows), but still keep it outside of the actual shower stall

  • hng23 31st October 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Those are absolutely gorgeous; my favourite is the second one down (undersea graphic). Unfortunately, as a renter, as well as living across the Pond, there’s no chance in hell I’ll ever get to have this.

  • Jane 31st October 2018 at 8:14 am

    Very pretty, pity about the price and presumably there are hefty installation costs too – which might be bearable if it was going to stay up for decades, but the trouble with lovely strong designs is that one generally fancies a change after a few seasons.

  • Velvet 31st October 2018 at 7:36 am

    This is definitely a great option. If only more people used wallpaper here in Greece! I’m honestly working hard to convince them to consider it as a viable option, but microcement seems to be their go-to solution. However, it would be so nice to see more pattern in some of these bathrooms. I kind of miss the fun part of design with the countless options for a twist out of the ordinary!

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