20 Small Bathroom Wainscoting Ideas: Stylish Solutions to Transform Your Space

Last updated on November 20, 2023

Immerse yourself in this treasure trove of small bathroom wainscoting ideas because they are sure to transform your cozy nook into a striking, functional haven.

I’m thrilled to present these 20 unique small bathroom wainscoting ideas I’ve curated, and my sincere hope is that they inspire you as much as they enthused me in the creation process.

Diving straight into the topic, wainscoting is an excellent way to add an element of sophistication to any small bathroom. Not only does it protect your walls from water damage, but it also gives your space a classic, refined look.

This article will guide you through a variety of wainscoting ideas suitable for small bathrooms, from traditional beadboard designs to modern shiplap styles. You’ll learn about the best materials to use, how to choose the right height for your wainscoting, and how to incorporate color to create the illusion of space.

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to transform your small bathroom with wainscoting.

1of 20

White Beadboard Wainscoting

white beadboard wainscoting

A classic choice, beadboard adds texture and design to any small bathroom. Painted in timeless white, it effortlessly lightens up the space, giving an impression of increased size.

Typically installed halfway up the wall, it provides an elegant divide between the lower and upper wall regions. It’s versatile and blends well with various bathroom styles, from vintage to coastal or farmhouse.

Regarded for its durability, beadboard wainscoting resists damage from water and humidity. Maintenance requires only a damp cloth to wipe it clean.

To devise a unified look, consider matching the beadboard color with other bathroom elements like cabinet doors or window trims. A chair rail on top provides a perfect finishing touch, offering a surface to display decorative items or toiletries.

With such benefits, the beadboard certainly adds a fresh and chic touch to a small bathroom while maintaining functionality.

2of 20

Gray-painted Wainscoting

gray painted wainscoting

Taking your bathroom from drab to fab, gray-painted wainscoting brings in a touch of elegance, while keeping things modern and minimalist. Here’s how it revolutionizes your space:

1. Versatility: Gray pairs well with a wide spectrum of hues, making it ideal for existing décor. Partner it with jewel tones for sophistication or pastels for a softer look.

2. Lighting: Its neutral tone promotes light reflection, vital in smaller bathrooms to keep them feeling airy and spacious.

3. Styling: Go matte for understated chic or try a gloss finish for a more luxe appeal.

4. Longevity: A timeless and classic choice, gray wainscoting promises to stay in vogue for years to come.

5. Transition: It can meld traditional and contemporary design elements smoothly, bridging the gap between differing styles.

Remember, less is more when it comes to this chic hue, keeping the space clean, sleek and amplifying the elegance in your bathroom.

3of 20

Subway Tile Wainscoting

subway tile wainscoting

Interestingly, Subway tile wainscoting offers a harmonious blend of nostalgia and sophistication. Here are some points worth noting:

  • 1. This design is derived from early 20th-century subway station aesthetics.
  • 2. It emphasizes horizontally laid rectangular tiles, typically in white or light colors.
  • 3. Grout lines are often kept visible for added texture.
  • 4. Combining it with dark paint or wallpaper above creates a striking contrast.
  • 5. The glossy finish of typical subway tiles adds a light-reflective quality, making space feel brighter.
  • 6. Perfect for a clean, minimalist design, the lines are simple and the overall look, uncluttered.
  • 7. It’s a great option if you’re aiming for a retro or vintage-inspired look.
  • 8. Most home improvement stores supply these tiles, making this style accessible for DIY projects.
  • 9. The rectangular shape of the tiles can create an illusion of a wider space.
  • 10. Subway tiles are known for their durability and easy maintenance, ideal for bathrooms where moisture is always present.
4of 20

Reclaimed Wood Wainscoting

reclaimed wood wainscoting

Reclaimed wood has a unique, weathered quality that brings an authentic, natural vibe to your small bathroom. This material can be sourced from old buildings or barns and each piece carries a piece of history.

These are some key aspects you need to know about this style.

1. Charm of Imperfection: The beauty of this type of wainscoting is in its imperfections. Scratches, knots, and nicks add character, making each panel unique.

2. Versatility: While it works harmoniously with farmhouse or rustic styles, contrast it with contemporary fixtures to create an eclectic mix.

3. Durability: Being aged, it stands up well to temperature and humidity changes, making it bathroom-friendly.

4. Eco-Friendly: Repurposing wood helps save the environment by reducing waste.

5. Cost-Effective: While prices vary from source to source, it is often cheaper than new, high-quality timber.

6. Customization: It can be stained, painted or left as is, depending on personal preference.

7. Installation: Can be done DIY but for precise fitting and finish, hiring a professional is recommended.

5of 20

High-gloss Black Wainscoting

high gloss black wainscoting

Dramatic, bold, and equally timeless, a high-gloss black wainscoting brings a sense of luxury to small bathrooms. It imparts a touch of starkness against white fixtures, hence, offering a superb contrast that’s intriguing to the eyes. The reflective properties of the high-gloss finish contribute to enhancing the size perception of your smallest room, bouncing light around the space.

In addition, this option is adept at disguising potential water and soap splash marks, making it practical for heavily used bathrooms.

For added aesthetic effects, consider pairing it with gold or brass hardware for a classic, yet upscale look. If you prefer a more subdued style, silver or chrome fixtures might be preferable. This versatile choice accommodates for different color schemes, from pastel hues to warm neutrals, the absorption of other colors by the black is almost perfect. The outcome is an inviting and lavish space which whispers instead of shouts.

Care must be taken while installing with precision essential to avoid a lackluster finish. The glossiness exposes imperfections hence a flawless installation with attention to detail is crucial. Equally, the maintenance is simple with regular wiping down using warm water and mild detergent, enough to keep the sheen sparkling.

Through blending function with high-style, the high-gloss black wainscoting proves its worth as a transformative element in small bathroom renovations. It isn’t just wainscoting; it’s a statement.

6of 20

Lattice Pattern Wainscoting

lattice pattern wainscoting

A charming option for small bathrooms, its geometry offers a playful twist to traditional square panels. The crisscross design can be accomplished with thin strips of wood. Its depth lends the illusion of a larger space, drawing eyes upward and creating a dynamic element.

Varied orientations of the lattice—be it diagonal, boxlike, or floral-like—can change the look significantly. Painted in a tasteful color, it can add to the aesthetic with its creative potential. It’s ideal for cases wanting sophistication with an element of fun.

7of 20

Vinyl Wainscoting for Water Resistance

vinyl wainscoting for water resistance

This waterproof option is perfect for those who value practicality alongside style. It can withstand the regular splashing from a bathtub or a sink without any damage. This means you can stop worrying about moisture problems and focus on aesthetics.

There’s a sea of available designs and colors, fitting into almost any bathroom style. And, the installation process is simple, making it a favorite among DIY enthusiasts.

Lastly, vinyl is easy to clean, requiring just a damp cloth, soap, and a little bit of elbow grease.

8of 20

Faux Marble Wainscoting Panels

faux marble wainscoting panels

With these panels, elegance meets affordability. Composed from high-quality PVC, they indulge the love for marble while keeping costs at bay. Don’t worry; they convincingly mimic the depth and variations of natural marble pretty well.

They are lightweight for the wall to handle, easy to install, and don’t require complex upkeep – just a simple wipe down is enough. The inherent water resistance makes them suitable for a highly humid bathroom environment.

And about customization? These panels come in an array of color variations to match any bathroom decor, be it minimalist, modern, or something with a traditional touch. Cutting them to size to fit around your fixtures is a breeze too. Who said you can’t have a marble-like bath on a budget?

9of 20

Sea-green Painted Wainscoting

sea green painted wainscoting

This hue provides a refreshing reprieve from the standard neutrals. Its calming effect mirrors the tranquil vibes of coastal retreats and helps small bathrooms feel more spacious. Furthermore, it pairs beautifully with whitewood fixtures, offering a crisp contrast and an added touch of elegance.

To implement this look:

  • 1. Opt for semi-gloss paint: Durable and washable, it stands up well to moisture and light scrubbing.
  • 2. Pair with white fixtures: This stunning contrast boosts brightness and fosters a feeling of cleanliness.
  • 3. Accessorize effectively: Consider bronze or gold-toned hardware to warm the space, or stick with silver for a cool, modern feel.
  • 4. Be bold with art: Use the wall space above the wainscoting as a canvas to hang paintings or photographs that reinforce the coastal theme.

Remember, the goal is not just to add color, but to create a soothing and visually appealing environment.

10of 20

Half-wall Wainscoting With a Shelf

half wall wainscoting with a shelf

Integrating a shelf into your half-wall wainscoting serves dual purpose; it adds style and functionality. By dividing the bathroom wall, it creates a defined, two-tier look. The lower part, clad in chic wainscoting, creates a clean, classic base, while the flat shelf on the top allows for decorative items or practical necessities.

Remember, the shelf should align seamlessly with the top of the wainscoting for visual harmony. It may be equally crafted from wood for a congruent scheme, or could potentially contrast in marble or glass for an intriguing mix of materials.

The color palette is crucial too. It could mirror the lower part’s hue or contrast it to add an unexpected element. Lastly, ensure the fixture and fittings on the wall like light switches or towel racks are planned around the wainscoting and shelf installation for a polished finish.

11of 20

Vertical Stripe Design Wainscoting

vertical stripe design wainscoting

When aiming for a classic and sophisticated look, a vertical pattern is a top choice. The enduring charm of vertical stripes lends an air of elegance, making your bathroom appear taller and more spacious. It’s crucial to stick with narrow stripes for smaller areas to create a seamless aesthetic.

Choosing the right color palette also impacts the final look. Opt for monochromatic schemes or alternate between light and dark shades for contrast. Combining matte finishes with glossy ones can enhance the stripes’ visual impact.

As for materials, choices abound from wood to vinyl. However, always ensure your choice is suitable for high-moisture environments. Installation can be another creative outlet – you might decide to cover the full height or just half, a decision that can alter the feel of the room dramatically. Lastly, a good sealant prolongs the life of your wainscoting, preserving its appeal for years to come.

12of 20

Chevron Wooden Wainscoting

chevron wooden wainscoting

This style is a real mood setter. Its distinctiveness lies in the zigzag pattern, characterized by inverted “V”s. Traditionally, hardwood species such as oak, cherry, or walnut are used due to their durability and the beauty of the grain, but engineered wood options can work well for a budget-friendly approach.

When you go for this design, consider the following points:

  • Direction: The typical chevron pattern is vertically oriented, but for added individuality, it can be arranged horizontally.
  • Finish: Aim for a natural, light stain to keep your small bathroom from feeling closed in, but a darker one could add drama.
  • Installation: It can be a bit complicated due to the angles involved, so you might want to hire a professional to make sure lines are sharp and consistent.

Embrace the drama and individuality of chevron wooden wainscoting to enhance your small bathroom’s aesthetics and character. Keep it simple, let the design do the talking!

13of 20

Mirrored Wainscoting for Expansiveness

mirrored wainscoting for expansiveness

In a compact bathroom, generating a sense of spaciousness can be quite a challenge. Here is where mirrored wainscoting becomes a remarkable solution. The reflective surface bounces light in all directions, visually doubling the space.

Aside from delivering a striking aesthetic, mirrors increase ambient light when matched with adequate fixtures or natural light sources.

Moreover, it requires minimal maintenance and is relatively simple to clean: just a swift wipe with a damp cloth and glass cleaner.

Pro tip: To break uniform reflection, consider adding a frame or arranging individual mirror panels in an appealing manner. This brings more character and dynamic to the bathroom scheme.

Remember, in a tiny space, every square foot counts. So, make them work doubly hard with mirrored wainscoting.

14of 20

Pebble Tile Wainscoting for Natural Feel

pebble tile wainscoting for natural feel

To achieve that tranquil, spa-like atmosphere, pebble tile is an excellent choice. Every tile is unique, just like in nature, providing an organic touch to your space. Not only does it add depth and interest to your walls, it also introduces texture, delivering a tactile experience that enhances the overall ambiance.

An assortment of pebble shapes and colors are available, offering ample room for customization. From smooth, round river rocks to distinctive flat stones, your options are wide open.

Installation of pebble tile might need a bit more time and effort when compared to standard tiles, mainly due to the distinctive shapes and sizes of the pebbles. A clear sealer can maintain the pebbles’ lustrous look, while also making the surface easy to clean and maintain.

While not conventional, the use of pebble tile wainscoting can create a unique sensory invitation to touch and explore, further giving life to your small bathroom.

15of 20

Metallic-finish Wainscoting for Modern Look

metallic finish wainscoting for modern look

A metallic finish provides a sleek, modern feel sure to boost the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom. Its reflective surface also aids in brightening the place, an essential aspect for bathrooms lacking natural light.

Here’s how it works:

  • 1. Choose the Right Material: Select suitable wainscoting materials like metal composite, which marry the durability of metal with lightness and flexibility.
  • 2. Pick a Shade: Opt for silver, bronze, or brushed nickel to complement and enhance the existing color scheme of the bathroom.
  • 3. Seamless Installation: This style requires precise fitting to maintain a smooth, streamlined look.
  • 4. Balance Elements: Pair metallic wainscoting with matte paint or textured materials elsewhere in the bathroom to balance glossiness.
  • 5. Maintenance: It’s surprisingly easy to clean; regular wiping with a soft, slightly damp cloth and mild soap can take care of most stains and fingerprints.

Remember, while striking, blending metallic finish wainscoting with other decor styles is crucial to avoid an overly industrial look. Discovering the perfect harmony between bling and elegance is the essence of designing a bathroom with metallic-finish wainscoting.

16of 20

Mosaic Tile Wainscoting

mosaic tile wainscoting

Bursting with colors and interesting designs, mosaic tiles effortlessly take wainscoting up a notch. It’s a versatile option, suitable for any bathroom style – from modern to bohemian.

Here are some points to understand its unique appeal:

  • Design Variety: With countless variations in colors, patterns and sizes, these give you the creative freedom to bring any design vision to life.
  • Artistry: The intricate artwork of mosaic tiles can make them the focal point of your bathroom. It’s all about making a statement.
  • Durability: Mosaics, especially those made from ceramic or glass, resist dampness and staining.
  • Easy Maintenance: With proper sealing, mosaic tiles are easy to clean and maintain.

However, professional installation is recommended due to the small and numerous pieces involved. It’s also essential to seal them properly to prevent damage overtime. Now, imagine stepping into your bathroom to see a stunning mosaic mural greeting you, isn’t it wonderful?

17of 20

Paneled Wainscoting With Built-in Storage

paneled wainscoting with built in storage

Designed for functionality and finesse, this option takes advantage of underutilized bathroom real estate. The storage compartments keep essential items such as toiletries, bathroom tissues, and towels, discreet yet accessible.

Choose natural wood for a warm character, or a crisp white finish for a light, airy feel.

To create an eye-catching effect, incorporate contrasting shades between the wainscoting and the wall above. For narrow spaces, install the panels vertically to create an illusion of height.

With a bit of creativity, this upgrade will work wonders on the overall aesthetics and functionality of your small bathroom.

18of 20

Glass Block Wainscoting for Light and Privacy

glass block wainscoting for light and privacy

Choosing glass block for your bathroom wainscoting strikes the perfect balance between natural light and needed privacy. Here’s why this material shines:

1. Light-permeable: It gently diffuses daylight to brighten up space without harsh illumination.

2. Privacy-ensuring: Its opaque quality safeguards your personal space while still inviting light.

3. Versatile: The blocks come in a variety of sizes, colours, and finishes to perfectly harmonize with your bathroom’s current design aesthetics.

4. Easy maintenance: Resilient against humidity and mildew, glass blocks are a breeze to clean.

5. Texturally engaging: The unique texture of the individual blocks adds a visual interest and depth to your bathroom walls.

Easy to install, visually appealing, and pragmatically sound, glass block wainscoting dramatically enriches the small bathroom experience.

19of 20

Shiplap Wainscoting for a Rustic Touch

shiplap wainscoting for a rustic touch

Shiplap, a type of wooden board often used in barns and historic homes, can make your small bathroom charmingly rustic. Thanks to the horizontal lines it naturally provides, your space will seem wider and more inviting.

When implementing shiplap wainscoting, consider these pointers:

  • 1. The warm, natural color of wood is always a solid choice. It brings the cozy farmhouse vibe in no time.
  • 2. For a brighter, airy effect, paint the shiplap in off-white or cream.
  • 3. Enhance the rustic effect with distressed, aged color treatment techniques.
  • 4. Leave gaps between the boards. This classic shiplap look further emanates country charm.
  • 5. Use it in combination with a large, round mirror, metallic fixtures or classic subway tile for a sophisticated touch.

This style is versatile and timeless. By incorporating shiplap, your bathroom will transform into a homely yet stylish retreat!

20of 20

Crown Molding Wainscoting

crown molding wainscoting

Crafting a seamlessly elegant appeal, this style integrates a touch of royal grandeur with your walls. It offers dual benefits of adding both textural charm and significant value to your bathroom. Besides its ornate appearance, it robustly protects walls from moisture damage given its typical installation macrocosm. Finishing effects range from painted to stained, giving it a versatile edge.

It’s worth mentioning a few exclusive elements that make this design so favorable:

  • Architectural Depth: It imparts dimensional interest to otherwise flat bathroom walls.
  • Traditional Appeal: An ideal choice for those striving for a classic aesthetic.
  • Versatility: Compatible with both large and small bathrooms.
  • Protective Barrier: Enhances the durability of bathroom walls by repelling water and preventing damage.
  • Value Addition: Can add to the potential resale value of your home.

Ensure to opt for waterproof materials like PVC or specifically treated wood to withstand bathroom moisture. A professional installation is advisable for an immaculate finish.

Continue reading:

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more