Trade account
Can you put panelling in a bathroom?
DIY advice

Can you put panelling in a bathroom?

Posted by Rebecca Doody in DIY advice | 1 year ago 5 min read

Need some tips on how to spruce up your bathroom with wall panelling? We discuss...


Bathrooms make up a small portion of a home and tend to be overlooked, but should it be that way? Your bathroom is a place that you’ll use multiple times a day, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and like the overall design and atmosphere. The ideas are endless, even for a space as small as a bathroom. One way to spice up your bathroom is to use wall panelling.

Acrylic wall panel air pale blue

What exactly is wall panelling?

As the name suggests, wall panelling typically refers to the covering of an exposed wall with an additional piece of material for both practical and stylistic purposes. 

Not only can wall panelling hide the unsightly sight of the water pipes or any uneven cracks in the walls, but it can also bring out and emphasize the character of the bathroom. From a rustic 80s look to a contemporary spa-like vibe, wall panelling can help you to achieve your ideal bathroom and bathroom walls. 

Can you put panelling in a bathroom?

Of course, you can. Some common concerns that people have about bathroom renovation is whether the wall panelling will make the bathroom look smaller or even degrade over time.

While in theory, adding a layer of panel on top of the wall will take up more space, the colour, design, and position of the wall panel can be used to create the illusion of space. For instance, light or white colours can make the bathroom more spacious as it helps to reflect light. With that said, darker shades of colour can also give the space more depth and blur the corners and edge to make the bathroom feel bigger. 

Wall panels placed vertically or horizontally can also be incorporated to open up the space and elongate the bathroom. Mix and match the different colours and styles and you’ll have a myriad of options to choose from. 

On the topic of degradation, it’s best if you invest in materials of good quality and get professional help to install them. It’s worth spending the extra dollars on these two things as the professionals are trained to install wall panels without any damage. If not, bathroom tiles may be the better option if you still want a 'modern bathroom' vibe.

Acrylic wall panel fire red

Wall panelling ideas for your bathroom

Wall panels are versatile and having paneled walls fulfil both the design as well as the practical aspects. Let’s take a look at some. 

Go for the rustic look

If you want to bring a bit more character to your bathroom that’s different from the contemporary and modern look of the 21st century, then you’ll probably like rustic and wood paneling for your accent wall. The rustic wall panel wall makes use of the contrast of smooth and rough textures and layering to bring out the character of the bathroom. 

The use of neutral wooden colours in bathroom spaces also accentuates the link with nature which allows you to feel peaceful and calm. You can pair the wooden panels with other neutral and wooden toilet accessories to align the overall rustic theme. However, be careful not to add wooden panels to your shower enclosure as moisture can cause the panels to rot over time.

Go for the industrial-luxe look

Install reclaimed and wood panels behind the sink to create a modern yet nostalgic look. Pair the dark wooden panels with black metal toilet accessories and patterned tiles to create that industrial-chic feel. 

Orchard Grey Marble shower wall panel 2400 x 1000

Bring nature indoors

This is meant to be figurative and not literal. While you could add a few potted plants in your bathroom, the lack of sunlight and air circulation makes the bathroom a less than ideal place to grow your plants. 

What we meant is to go for the biophilic design. Biophilic design is an architectural term that refers to the design with the overall theme of nature. This typically means bringing in more shades of green into the interior design.

For the case of a bathroom, you could opt for green wall panels and matching green accessories. It might be a non-conventional colour but it works. Having shades of green in your homes, and bathroom helps to stimulate the connection you have with nature. It mimics the fields of open spaces and trees which helps you to relax and feel at ease.

Hence, not only can the colour green add to the look of your bathroom, but it can also improve your mental and psychological well-being. 

The Bath Co. Camberley satin grey wooden bath panel pack

Create a shelf

Wall panels can be used to hide the messy plumbing and water pipes. Why not use this to your advantage and install a box panelling to disguise the plumbing work and use the top part of the box as a shelf. 

If you’re going to cover it with box panels then might as well design it to be functional as well. You can kill two birds with one stone. 

Create a hook rail

Another useful feature that you can apply to the wall panels is a hook rail. A line of hooks is always handy when you want to hang a hand towel or your jacket. Choose a complementary design and colour for a seamless finish. 

Style with wallpaper

You can find quality wallpaper in the market these days that are both pleasing to the eye and easy to maintain. Opt for one that is made from vinyl as it is water-resistant and will not form mould over time. For extra protection, you can add a coat of flat varnish to keep it in place.  

Styling with wallpaper is an affordable way to spice up your bathroom. From vintage to the retro look, the possibilities are endless with the myriad of wallpaper designs to choose from.

Orchard Lea soft black straight bath front panel


Wall panelling can bring your bathroom to life with little effort. As long as you have a theme in mind, you’ll be able to work it out with a huge array of choices. If you’re unsure about how to go about this, we recommend that you consult an interior designer. Let the interior designer know your ideas and they will find a way to maximise your space while fulfilling that idea of yours. If you're not confident with installing wall panels yourself, it's best to have a professional do it to prevent uneven walls or even damaging your existing walls.

Find out more about shower wall panels

If you're considering shower wall panels for your bathroom or ensuite, why not read some of the articles below?

Author, Rebecca Doody

Posted by Rebecca Doody in DIY advice | 1 year ago

Originally from Somerset, Rebecca is our resident copywriter who takes care of all things product related. Rebecca loves the modern interior style with both neutral and bold influences to create a statement look.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

Looks like you haven't added anything to compare yet

Just look out for the Add to compare around the site and revisit this link

Close and continue

Thank you for using our comparison feature.

You can add as many products as you like, there is no limit. When you’re ready simply visit this page to start comparing your products.

Close and continue

Loading menu. Please wait


Your Shopping list is loading, this shouldn't take long.

Your basket is loading, this shouldn't take long.