If you’re looking for a way to add character and style to your bathroom, why not consider paneling? It’s a distinctive option that can ooze sophistication and elegance. So how do you incorporate it in your design scheme?
That’s what we’re here to show you! We’re going to share 25 bathroom wall paneling ideas for every kind of interior.
So if you’re ready for inspiration – step this way!
1. Shipshape Shiplap
Shiplap paneling looks fantastic in a bathroom. Here the wood textures complement the plantation shutters for classic olde-worlde style.
Choose dark colors to add a feeling of warmth and luxury, or keep it bright and airy with pastel shades. It’s easy to install – most shiplap panels feature tongue and groove edges, so they fit together easily. And it’s a great way of disguising secondary pipework too.
Topping the panels with a coordinating dado rail will also give you a neat shelf for candles or ornaments.
2. Half-wall Highlights
Using paneling on the lower half of a wall is a great way to add detail without it becoming overpowering. Painting it in a dark shade will ground your design scheme and add a touch of opulence.
Here, the color is echoed in the sides of the bathtub and toned with the frame of the wall clock. It brings the look together without it feeling contrived.
Paneling also works beautifully alongside quirky features. Check out the oversized mirror and novelty light pull.
3. Double Delight
Why restrict yourself to one set of paneling, when you can have two?
Here, pleated panels sit below traditional framed panels for a striking look. Using the same colors is soothing to the eye, and keeps the focus on the different details in the wood. The two sections of the wall are divided with an ornate architrave, which also serves as a handy shelf.
The dark shades contrast with the pale floor, avoiding the room becoming too dark. And the whole look is given a subtle lift by the addition of potted plants.
4. Framing Features
Paneling is a great way to add polish to a room. And while bold colors add drama, a crisp, clean white finish can act as a frame to any feature.
In this bathroom, a wall of white paneling brings focus to the vanity unit. The wood echoes the cabinetry, giving the whole look a subtle sophistication. And the sharp contrast with the black gloss counter adds a touch of glamor.
The bright white would also work brilliantly in any room where you need to maximise light.
5. With Wallpaper
Wallpaper is often overlooked in bathrooms – but with modern materials able to cope with humid environments, there’s no reason that should continue.
Here a heavy flock wallpaper looks fabulous above half-height paneling. The white wood lifts the look and stops it from being oppressive. And the freestanding bath, chandelier and elaborate armoire add to the luxurious feel.
If you choose a flamboyant look like this, a plainer floor can give the eye somewhere to rest. In this case, dark wooden floorboards provide subtle warmth.
6. Three-Quarters Theatre
If you’re looking for more drama, why not consider three-quarter height paneling? It’s a great way to create a dramatic focal point in any room. And in a bathroom, it works particularly well as a backdrop the bathtub.
In this bathroom, the dark paneling and wall are painted in somber tones. They provide a humorous contrast to the quirky bathtub with its graffiti patterned sides.
The paneling also provides a way of fixing an ultra-long rail to the wall, without risking damage to your drywall. That creates a simple but eye-catching home for towels, bathrobes and brushes.
7. Floorboard Fellowship
In this tranquil design scheme, the vertical lines of tongue and groove paneling are echoed in the floorboards. It’s a subtle but very effective way of creating a soothing cohesion to your design scheme.
Note that the floorboards here are slightly wider than the panels. If you choose this look, make sure you plan the layout with care.
In both cases, you want a central plank to sit squarely in the middle of the room. That will give a pleasing symmetry to the finished result.
8. Coordinate with Cabinets
Another great way of creating a polished look in your bathroom is to coordinate paneling with your cabinetry.
In this bathroom, the half-height shiplap panels are painted the same shade as the bath panel and vanity unit. You could even go one step further, and paint the inside of your bathroom door to match.
The double lines between the shiplap planks are echoed by the framed paneling of the cupboard and bath tub. It’s a subtle detail that makes all the difference.
Use accessories to add the finishing touches. We love the way the towel here echoes the white porcelain, with a narrow band in the same color as the timber.
9. Traditional Tapestry
Paneling is a wonderful way to invoke the opulence and glamor of chateaux and country homes. So why not emphasise that look with your accessories too?
In this bathroom, it’s paired with rich tapestries hanging from cast iron rods. The clawfoot bathtub is accompanied by an antique side table. There’s even a Persian rug on the floor.
As long as your bathroom has good ventilation, there’s no reason why textiles shouldn’t feature in your design scheme. But don’t risk it if it doesn’t. You don’t want to find your beautiful tapestries growing moldy in a humid room!
10. Upper Half Uplift
When we consider paneling, we usually think of putting it at the base of a wall. But this bathroom shows it can work just as well flipped the other way around!
In this case, the paneling is very simple, adding texture and framing the wall lights, mirror and artwork. Keeping the colors the same for both the top and bottom of the wall gives a sophisticated style. And the neutral palette works beautifully with the gray flooring.
The traditional full height shutters balance out the panels and prevent the look from becoming top-heavy.
11. Luxury Leather
We’re used to thinking about paneling as being made of wood – but that’s not always the case. In this funky bathroom, the panels are made of leather.
The unusual design features squares of varying sizes in a cool gray tone. The bold shapes complement the square basins and mirrors. And the tones are complemented by the gray countertop and brushed metal mirror frames.
Leather is both beautiful and durable. But purchasing leather panels is an expensive business, so seek advice on their suitability for your bathroom before you buy.
12. Full-On Fabulousness
We’ve looked at various options to add paneling to part of your bathroom walls. But in this look, it covers the whole wall.
The pale cream paintwork stops the effect from being overpowering. And it works perfectly with the cream floorboards and painted fire surround. The subtle contrast with the white rolltop bath adds warmth to the room.
Paneling also looks great accented with wall lights. Here, uplighters have been chosen to brighten up the space with a soft glow.
13. Sophisticated with Stone
Natural materials often work beautifully together. Perhaps that’s why stone and wood paneling make such a compelling partnership.
In this bathroom, we see the muted tones of painted panels complementing the granite floor. Here, the paneling works with the detailed clawfeet of the bathtub, creating a classic look.
Together with the framed photograph, these details provide the only ornamentation in the room. Even the window is bare of a blind (we assume no-one can see inside!).
The result is a relaxing space, perfect to while away an hour in the bath.
14. Nicely Nautical
In this bathroom, the paneling is painted a crisp white that contrasts sharply with the blue walls. It’s a classic maritime color pairing, perfect for a coastal property.
Here, though, the nautical theme is given a luxurious upgrade with the use of gold accessories. The matching towel and toilet roll dispenser add a flash of bling. And that’s echoed in the gold plant pot sitting atop the cistern.
This is a great look for anyone who wants to create a seaside feel with an extra dash of glamor.
15. PVC Panache
We’ve already covered wood and leather paneling. But have you ever considered PVC?
As this bathroom shows, it can give spectacular results! The long white planks look like shiplap, but there’s nothing rustic about this design scheme.
The PVC is embellished with a diamond design that catches the light. And built-in chrome strips add definition and a high-end look you might not expect from plastic.
And because this is PVC, it’s long-lasting and easy to keep clean too.
16. Teamed with Tiles
Coordinate the color of your paneling with tiles and you can get spectacular results. This bathroom showcases the same sage green on the timber panels and brick-shaped ceramic tiles around the bathtub and shower.
There’s more sage green on the floor tiles, this time mixed with the same off-white shade used for the upper walls. The vintage pattern adds detail and interest. And the contrasting white bathroom suite and towels make the whole look fresh and tranquil.
17. Dark Details
In this bathroom, dark paneling is used to great effect. The deep color adds drama, and is echoed in the black faucet, radiator, shelves and picture frame. Even the toilet brush is black!
This is another case where half-height paneling has been used to avoid the look becoming oppressive. Paired with pale cream paintwork above the wood, the room looks sophisticated, whilst still being light and airy.
Greenery always looks great in bathrooms. And here the fresh foliage of pot plants helps brighten up the space.
18. Stunning Stripes
This unusual take on paneling shows how it can work beautifully, even in a minimalist design scheme.
A single panel with vertical grooves makes a feature of the washbasin. And the texture of the wood looks great against the shiny chrome faucet.
It also serves to break up the tiling, and add warmth to the monochrome palette. Notice how the shape of the panel echoes the mosaic strip behind the bathtub. It’s a clever way of ensuring the different materials cohere to produce a satisfying whole.
19. Widening Ways
Paneling can introduce strong lines into any room. And used in the right way, they can trick our eyes into perceiving the space in different ways.
In this bathroom, the tongue and groove paneling has been laid horizontally. The effect is to widen what is in reality a rather narrow bathroom. The pale colors also coordinate with the bathtub and floorboards, further enhancing the feeling of space.
Here the palette of grays, creams and off-whites create a soothing room in which to relax.
20. Modern Mosaic
This beautiful bathroom combines the look of paneling with mosaic through the use of oversized tiles. The joins between the tiles are almost as much of a feature as the crocodile print texture. And the geometric shapes create a bold contemporary look that works beautifully with the modern bathtub.
The tones of the tiles here complement those of the wooden flooring. Both are warm, dark and luxurious. They’re the perfect counterpoint to the stunning glass-walled balcony.
21. Bathtub Buddies
This bathroom demonstrates how paneling can be used on more than just the walls! Here, the pretty turquoise shiplap planks also form the bath panel.
It’s a particularly effective choice in bathrooms like this one, where the tub takes up the whole of one wall. And keeping the paneling to the lower half of the wall helps keep the sense of space.
This is a great example of the importance of planning your paneling before installation. Notice how the two panels nearest the walls are exactly the same width. They work with the central window to create a pleasing symmetry.
Ready to introduce paneling to your bathroom?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 21 winning bathroom paneling ideas! Whether you’re looking for classic luxury or contemporary chic, there are loads of design options to choose from.
Paneling can cover a whole wall or only part of one. It can be paired with tiles, stone or floorboards. And while wood paneling looks great, there are also exciting options in leather, PVC and ceramic.
We hope the ideas set here have inspired you to incorporate paneling in your bathroom design. Good luck with your project!