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How to Choose a Bathroom Accent Wall

By: Katie Barton |

Accent walls are the best solution when you want to change up a room without doing a complete remodel. They can range from a quick and easy paint job to more intricate tile work. 

And if your bathroom is feeling bare, an accent wall will quickly give it some style.

The best place to put an accent wall in the bathroom is behind the vanity, shower, freestanding bathtub, or on the longest wall in the room.

Here’s what else to consider.

Which Should Be the Accent Wall in a Bathroom?

 Which Should Be the Accent Wall in a Bathroom

The best place for an accent wall in the bathroom is behind the vanity, shower, or a freestanding tub. A long blank wall is also an ideal candidate.

The critical thing to remember is that your eyes will naturally travel to whichever wall you choose. So, if you don’t want guests to look at your bathtub and toilet each time they walk into the room, don’t place an accent wall there.

One of the most popular places to put an accent wall is behind the vanity. But since every bathroom layout is different, this might not be the best spot for you.

How to Pick Material for a Bathroom Accent Wall

 How to Pick Material for a Bathroom Accent Wall

While tile is a great accent material for a bathroom, it’s not your only option. 

Here are different bathroom accent wall material ideas:

  • Tile – Tile is waterproof and comes in many styles, making it a great choice.
  • Paint – You can create an accent wall by painting one wall a different color or using stencils to add a design.
  • Wallpaper- As long as your bathroom doesn’t get too humid, you shouldn’t have trouble with wallpaper adhesion.
  • Decor – You can use decor, like a group of mirrors or signs, to create a focal wall.
  • Greenery – Plants have become popular bathroom fixtures, and you can incorporate them into an accent wall.

You can choose your material based on preference, budget, and permanence. Remember, even though tile is beautiful, it’s not easily changeable. If you quickly grow tired of your decor, wallpaper or paint might be a better choice.

Bathroom Accent Wall Examples

If you need to check out some pics for inspo, here are unique bathroom accent wall examples.

For a Small Bathroom, Try the Shower Wall

 For a Small Bathroom Try the Shower Wall scaled

A unique tile or pattern in your shower can serve as your accent wall if you have a small bathroom

In this bathroom, the shower tile draws attention. The room would look busy if the homeowner put another design behind the vanity. As it stands, the bathroom looks simple, clean, and modern.

Make a Statement Behind the Vanity

 Make a Statement Behind the Vanity scaled

Another choice for small bathrooms is to use the vanity as the accent wall. 

This little bit of marble-look tile gives the bathroom a high-end feel. But since the homeowners only tiled such a small section, the accent wall was easier on the budget.

Take Advantage of the Largest Wall in the Room

 Take Advantage of the Largest Wall in the Room scaled

If your bathroom isn’t the typical square or rectangle shape, try an accent on the largest wall in the room. (Do keep in mind that this will become the focal point.)

The homeowners added a wood accent wall in this bathroom for a spa-like feel. All the materials work together for an organic touch.

Create an Accent Behind the Tub

 Create an Accent Behind the Tub scaled

Freestanding bathtubs tend to draw the eye, making the wall behind them a prime candidate for an accent.

In this bathroom, all the walls are tile. To create the accent, the designer switched out the color of the tile, so it appears there’s a strip running under and behind the tub.

Opt for Wallpaper

 Opt for Wallpaper

For a less permanent bathroom accent wall, consider wallpaper. Due to the humidity in bathrooms, wallpaper probably won’t last forever, but it should hold up for at least a few years.

Wallpaper is an inexpensive and easy way to give your bathroom a new look. You can even opt for a peel-and-stick wallpaper you can install.

Group Decor

 Group Decor scaled

Another idea that’s budget-friendly and not permanent? Decor.

Your accent wall can be anything you like, including a grouping of your favorite decor items. For example, the homeowner of this bathroom grouped antique mirrors for a one-of-a-kind design.

Use Greenery to Create a Bathroom Accent Wall

 Use Greenery to Create a Bathroom Accent Wall

Plants in the bathroom have become extremely popular. If you’re a plant lover, consider creating a live wall or incorporating greenery into your accent.

This unique bathroom lets sunlight through to keep plants thriving. But, of course, you can opt for low-light plants instead.

Put the Accent on Your Ceiling

 Put the Accent on Your Ceiling

It’s rare for the accent wall in a bathroom to be a ceiling, but it works in a setup like this. 

Consider adding wallpaper, paint, or a wall treatment if your ceiling slants down. Make sure whatever treatment you use can ventilate so the ceiling doesn’t grow mold.

Final Thoughts

The most common places for a bathroom accent wall are behind the vanity, shower, or freestanding bathtub. If you have an odd-shaped bathroom, you can also opt for the longest blank wall.

One of the most popular accent materials is tile. However, tile might not be suitable if you like to change your decor frequently. Some easily changeable bathroom accent wall materials are paint, wallpaper, decor, and greenery.