The days of floor-to-ceiling bathroom tiles in yellow ochre or brown are over. Wallpaper is finding its way into bathrooms and offers new variety in terms of patterns and design possibilities. Whether you prefer a striped look or a gloss effect: there are no restrictions to your own taste. Wallpaper creates a feel-good atmosphere in a contemporary bathroom and transforms the walls into really eye-catching features.
While bathroom tiles are often expensive and difficult to remove without the help of a specialist, the manufacturers of non-woven wallpapers promise that even amateur DIYers will quickly experience a sense of achievement. New designs and simplified wallpapering techniques have made waterproof wallpapers an economical, quick and simple way of decorating bathrooms.
They help to make the most of unfavourable spaces and lighting conditions and brighten up dark bathrooms that don’t benefit from daylight with bright colours and glossy effects. Wallpapers with small patterns make bathrooms appear larger, and designs such as beach paradise motifs, lavish baroque prints or subtle stripes transform any bathroom into a space you’d like to spend time in.
Since bathrooms are usually damp, not every kind of wallpaper is suitable. It’s important that the strips of wallpaper do not expand when damp and contract when dry. Otherwise, there’s a risk of unwanted ripples and of the joins between the strips becoming misaligned. The constant exposure to moisture causes normal paper-based or woodchip wallpapers to peel off over time. For this reason, there are special wallpapers for damp rooms, which are highly water-resistant.
Non-woven wallpapers are especially suitable for bathrooms, because they offer an impressive degree of resistance to water and steam. They are also easy to hang, since the paste, which is specifically developed for the purpose, is applied directly to the wall. The individual strips of wallpaper no longer need to be coated with paste and left to soak.
It’s even easy to trim your new favourite wallpaper after sticking it to the wall without the need for tedious measuring. And if you’ve had enough of looking at the design, non-woven wallpapers can be removed quickly and, above all, without leaving a residue. Good news for anyone who gets bored easily.
Hanging glass-fibre wallpaper requires a little more practice. Due to the interwoven glass fibres, the strips of wallpaper are rather stiff and heavy. After treating the walls with a special dispersion adhesive, the wallpaper strips can be attached individually.
The effort is worthwhile, because glass-fibre wallpapers are extremely hard-wearing and can often be painted over. Fundamentally, wall coverings used in the bathroom must be breathable and absorb moisture. Otherwise, there is a risk of mould growing on the walls.
Despite all the new trends and developments in the industry, wallpaper has declined in popularity among consumers. Hanging wallpaper is regarded as laborious, so people prefer to simply paint their walls.
The Association of the German Wallpaper Industry (VDT) wants to counteract this shift, starting with the industry platform “Aktionsforum Tapete” – an extensive campaign, directed at consumers. “We’d like to get everyone involved in the industry around a table, in order to campaign on behalf of wallpaper. Firstly, we want to develop measures to promote the sale of wallpapers,” says Karsten Brandt, Chairman of the Association of the German Wallpaper Industry (VDT).
In addition to wallpapering and sales seminars, the industry platform’s activities also include industry workshops. The launch event will be the Wallpaper Summit on 23 May in Frankfurt am Main, when all the industry participants will meet for the first time and jointly decide on further measures.