2023 Creative Design Trends of Modern Bathroom Wall Panels

July 8, 2023

If you are interested in the creative design of bathroom wall panels, you can also read the following articles we have written in the past:

1. Bathroom Wall Panel Ideas for Every Interior

2. Are You Looking for Wall Panels to Add Character and Style to Your Bathroom?

3. Bathroom Wall Panel Ideas That Modernize a Classic Trend

I. Is it a good idea to have paneling in a bathroom?

While the space is damp, the bathroom could really use paneling. Like most woods that come into contact with water or temperature fluctuations, there is a risk of warping or shrinking, but proper handling will keep the wood paneling protected and in good condition.

If you are building a base on the wall to mount the panels on, make sure all the slats are treated and the backing is waterproof. Any unpainted wood boards should be coated with a protective stain or varnish.

When painting wood paneling, use a wood primer followed by a professional paint with a durable finish. Emulsions don’t resist scuffs and scratches very well, so if you want a matte finish, choose eggshell paint, a low-gloss option that’s washable and suitable for both modern and traditional bathroom styles. Satinwood is similar and still has a low to medium sheen, but the light reflective qualities will yield a subtle boost over a flat matte finish.

Finally, gloss will provide a highly durable finish for a smart, high-gloss finish. Look for water-based formulas rather than oil-based ones for faster drying results.

II. Can it be made of waterproof board?

Yes, you can use a waterproof bathroom wall panel so that you can use it for your bathroom paneling ideas. However, this needs to be considered from the start, not just applying 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 rather clinical and cold room. Wood paneling works well as a wall covering on any wall that is not in direct contact with water, so the shower area is outside. Investing in the right glue is also important. Barry Cutchie of BC Design advises that it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and is able to handle the temperature and humidity changes that occur in bathrooms.

III. Bathroom wall panel design ideas

1. Delicate stone


Natural materials often go together perfectly. Perhaps this explains why wood paneling and stone work so well together. The granite floor in this bathroom contrasts nicely with the muted tones of the lacquered panels. Here, the paneling creates a traditional appearance with the intricate claw feet of the bathtub.

These details, along with framed photographs, form the only decoration in the room. Even the windows don’t have shutters (we’re assuming no one can see inside!). The result is a relaxing space, perfect for spending an hour in the tub.

2. Beautiful sailing


In this bathroom, the paneling is painted a crisp white that contrasts with the blue walls. It’s a classic marine color palette that’s perfect for coastal properties.

Here, though, the nautical theme gets a luxurious upgrade with the use of gold accents. A matching towel and toilet paper dispenser adds a touch of sparkle. This echoes the golden planter on top of the tank. This is a great look for those who want a seaside feel with extra glamour.

3. Gorgeous PVC


We’ve covered wood and leather paneling. But have you considered PVC? As this bathroom shows, it can work wonders! Long white planks look like shiplap, but there’s nothing rustic about this design scheme.

The PVC is finished with a diamond design that catches the light. A built-in chrome bar adds clarity and a high-end look you might not expect from plastic. And because it’s PVC, it’s durable and easy to keep clean.

4. Working with tiles


Coordinate the color of the paneling with the tiles for a stunning effect. The wood panels and brick-shaped tiles around the tub and shower come in the same sage green color in this bathroom.

The floor tiles have additional sage green, this time combined with the same off-white color as the upper walls. Graphics from the past give depth and interest. The white bathroom furniture and towels’ contrasting hues give the area a clean, tranquil appearance.

5. Dark details


Dark wood wall paneling is used to great effect in this bathroom. The dark color adds drama and coordinates with black faucets, radiators, shelves and picture frames. Even the toilet brush is black! This is another case of using half-height wood wall paneling to keep the look from becoming oppressive. Paired with the pale cream paint above the wood, the room looks sophisticated while still being bright and airy. Greenery in the bathroom always looks great. Fresh leaves from potted plants help brighten up the space.

6. Stunning stripes



This unusual wood paneling shows how it can work flawlessly, even in minimalist design schemes. The single panel with vertical grooves is a special feature of the washbasin. The grain of the wood stands out beautifully against the shiny chrome faucet.

It also breaks up tile and adds warmth to a monochromatic palette. Note how the shape of the panels echoes the mosaic strips behind the tub. This is a clever way of ensuring that different materials come together to form a pleasing whole.

7. Widen the road


Paneling can introduce strong lines to any room. When used correctly, they can trick our eyes into perceiving space differently.

In this bathroom, tongue and groove paneling is laid horizontally. The effect is to widen what is actually a rather narrow bathroom. The light color also coordinates with the tub and floor, further enhancing the sense of space. A palette of grays, creams, and off-whites creates a soothing room that feels relaxing.

8. Modern mosaic


This beautiful bathroom combines paneling with the look of mosaics by using oversized tiles. The seams between the tiles are almost as distinctive as the crocodile texture. The geometric shapes create a bold, modern look that pairs well with contemporary bathtubs.

Here the tone of the tiles complements the tone of the wooden floors. Both are warm, dark and luxurious. They provide the perfect contrast to the stunning glass-walled balconies.

9. Bath buddy


This bathroom shows that paneling can be used for more than just walls! Here, laminate panels in pretty turquoise shades also make up the waterproof bathroom wall panels. It’s an especially effective option for a bathroom like this one, where the tub takes up the entire wall. Keeping the paneling on the bottom half of the wall helps maintain a sense of space.

This is a great example of the importance of planning your paneling before installing it. Note that the two panels closest to the wall are the exact same width. Together with the central window they create a pleasing symmetry.

IV. Ready to introduce paneling in your bathroom?

We hope you enjoy our award winning bathroom paneling ideas! Whether you’re after classic luxury or modern chic, there are plenty of design options to choose from. Wood wall paneling can cover an entire wall or just a part of it. It can be matched with tiles, stone or floors. While wood paneling looks great, there are also exciting options in leather, PVC and ceramic. We hope the ideas presented here have inspired you to incorporate paneling into your bathroom design. Good luck with your project!


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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