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From Chic to Cozy:  25 Bathroom Wainscoting Ideas

by on Jan 10, 2024

If you feel like it’s time for a bathroom upgrade, we’ve got the perfect idea. Bathroom wainscotting is a great way to add style without breaking your budget – or completely overhauling the space. Whether you’re aiming for a more contemporary design style, or you want your bathroom to feel like a vintage haven, you’ll have tons of ideas to choose from.  

From classic beadboard to modern shiplap, each detail will enhance your bathroom’s overall atmosphere with a touch of creativity and charm. We’ll explore bathroom wainscoting choices to suit every taste and style, with a focus on tiles, bathtubs and vanities. You’ll discover where white walls meet intricate textures and more, turning your bathroom into a place you’ll never want to leave (don’t worry, we won’t judge). 

Photo by Deeply Southern Home

1. Classic Beadboard 

If you want to introduce a lasting element to your bathroom, classic beadboard wainscoting is the way to go. Going with a traditional white hue can create a calm and serene atmosphere. You can even explore different paneling options, like PVC and vinyl, which are great for moisture-prone areas.

2. Shiplap Sophistication

Embrace modern sophistication with shiplap in your bathroom. With this style, you can use black wainscoting to add drama to an otherwise neutral or white bathroom. Jazz it up by combining shiplap with brass fixtures for a chic and contemporary look.

3. Textured Tile Magic

Transform your bathroom walls with textured tile wainscoting for an extra luxurious feel. You can do this by trying a range of tile patterns and colors that offer visual interest and elevate the overall design. Consider marble countertops to complement the tile wainscoting, creating a cohesive and opulent look.

4. Vanities and Marble Countertops

Use wainscotting as a backdrop to other updated elements in your bathroom –  like upgrading your bathroom vanities with beautiful marble countertops. Exploring the harmony between white wainscoting and marble can create balance in the design. Consider brass faucets for a striking touch. 

5. Farmhouse Charm 

Infuse a bit of farmhouse charm into your bathroom with beadboard panels. Opting for beadboard in navy blue can create a classic and cozy feel. (Plus beadboard is a great material for humidty-prone spaces.) Be sure to compare different types of wood paneling to see which look fits best to achieve the perfect farmhouse vibe you want.

6. Batten for a Unique Touch

Are you all about standing out? Try batten wainscoting in your bathroom. Use batten paneling to frame your bathroom walls. You can even experiment with different hues, like gray walls paired with white wainscoting. 

Bathroom with neutral board and batten paneling
Photo by Soul and Lane

7.  Go Vintage with Vinyl Hooks

Bring on the vintage vibes! Consider adding hooks on wainscoting and even combine painted wainscoting panels with colorful tile for a classic style. Enhance the vintage aesthetic with unique faucets and fixtures.

8. Powder Room Perfection

Bathroom? No. Powder room, yes!  Powder blue wainscoting creates a sense of calmness with a soft hue that complements white walls and floor tiles. Experiment with different textures (and lighting!) for a modern twist on a traditional powder room design.

9. A Touch of Class with Brass 

Put some glamour to your bathroom wainscoting with brass fixtures. You can choose from different brass faucet designs to complement various wainscoting styles. Try integrating brass elements into the frame of mirrors and lighting fixtures.

10. Bathroom Wainscotting Beauty in Black and White

A standard black and white bathroom is striking and memorable, especially with black wainscoting against white walls. Experiment with different textures, like vinyl and beadboard, for depth and appeal. Also, consider incorporating vintage elements like clawfoot tubs and brass faucets.

Black bathroom wainscoting on white walls with large tub and brass fixtures
Photo by Back Splash

11. Entryway Elegance 

It’s all about grand entrances with this wainscoting idea! Extend the beauty of wainscoting to the entryway leading up to your bathroom. You can create a warm and welcoming entrance by framing entryway walls with beadboard panels or batten wainscoting. Use this space to introduce your bathroom’s design theme and wow guests.

12.  Play up Wood Paneling

There are a variety of wood paneling options available for wainscoting. Experiment with different types of wood to achieve a custom look that suits your style. We recommend medium-density fiberboard (MDF) as a cost-effective and versatile choice.

Victorian bathroom with wood paneling wainscoting
Photo by Old House Online

13. Mosaic Tile Masterpiece

Combine wainscoting with intricate mosaic patterns. Mosaic tiles can offer a burst of color or create a focal point within the wainscoting design. Choose a neutral wainscoting backdrop to let the mosaic details shine.

Cream wall in bathroom with mosaic wainscoting tile over sink
Photo by Matchness

14. Contemporary Contrast 

Incorporating dark wainscoting against light-colored walls creates a bold and modern statement, especially when you pair it with sleek fixtures. Materials like moisture-resistant polyvinyl (PVC) are a great go-to option for dark wainscoting in humid bathrooms.

15. Mirror, Mirror 

Who has the best bathroom of them all? You, of course. Framing mirrors with wainscoting panels can seamlessly integrate reflective elements in the bathroom space and create depth.

Cream walled bathroom with sink and toilet featuring large mirror on wainscoted wall
Photo by Soul and Lane

16. Rustic Retreat with Wooden Wainscoting

Thinking about a cabin-inspired bathroom? Then wooden wainscoting is just what you need. Choose warm wood tones to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Try pairing wooden wainscoting with natural stone elements for an authentic rustic look.

Wood wainscoting in bathroom with rustic wallpaper
Photo by Down East

17. Artistic Tile Wainscoting

Let your love for art shine by transforming your bathroom into a gallery using artistic tile. By picking tiles that showcase intricate patterns, abstract designs, or hand-painted details, you can turn your bathroom into a work of art, pairing functionality with creativity.

18. Modern Geometry 

Use geometric shapes to your benefit! Try hexagonal tiles in your wainscoting design by arranging the tiles in visually interesting patterns. Play around with different shapes and combinations by mixing neutral colors with bold shades.

19. Cozy Cottage with Vertical Shiplap

Incorporate the charm of a cozy cottage into your bathroom with vertical shiplap wainscoting. Use vertical lines to extend height to the space – you can also use soft, muted colors to enhance the overall aesthetic, making it feel more open and airy. Also, check out this post for more cottage vibes: Quaint and Cozy: 20 of Our Favorite Cottagecore Homes.

Cream colored bathroom with sage green sink and vertical wainscoting
Photo by Ayr Barns

20. Subway Tile Charm

Not only is subway tile wainscoting decoratively charming, but it also repels water and works with different architectural styles. We recommend arranging subway tiles in a herringbone or basketweave pattern for added visual interest. Mix in metallic accents like brass fixtures to elevate the look.

Tiled wainscoting in white with orange wallpaper in small bathroom
Photo by N Turner Design

21. Tropical Oasis with Bamboo

Need a vacation? Turn your bathroom into a tropical oasis with wainscoting made from bamboo. Bamboo wainscoting offers texture and warmth for a relaxed and exotic environment. Pair it with your favorite indoor plants to add more natural elements.

22. Gold-Trimmed Glow 

Add a bit of splendor to your bathroom with gold-trimmed wainscoting. Gold detailing creates a feeling of luxury without the expense. Try using white wainscoting as a canvas to showcase gold accents.

23. Trendy Terrazzo

Striking and stylish, terrazzo wainscotting offers a trendy and playful element to your bathroom. Choose neutral colors within the terrazzo to achieve a modern look, or choose something more colorful for a retro twist. 

Terrazzo wainscoting in bathroom with cream wall and orange sink
Photo by HGTV

24. Sleek and Shiny Bathroom Wainscotting

Glass shower doors paired with white wainscoting can instantly take a dull bathroom to the next level. Combine gray subway tiles inside the shower with neutral or white walls to brighten the room. 

Glass shower door in white bathroom
Photo by Decor Pad

25. Bohemian Bliss  

Feeling boho? Give your bathroom a bohemian glow-up with wainscoting. You can try any of the suggested wainscotting styles we’ve mentioned, panels, or even play-up wallpaper with intricate patterns and textures. Throw in some vibrant colors and decor to complete your boho chic vibe. 

Green wainscoting and green shower tile
Photo by

If you’re feeling inspired (and ready to update your bathroom), get started! Our list of wainscoting ideas proves that your bathroom doesn’t have to be boring. From classic beadboard to modern shiplap, textured tiles to farmhouse charm, there’s a wainscoting style for everyone. Be sure to test different materials, colors, and textures to create a bathroom that meets your functional needs and reflects your unique style. Get ready to have the bathroom of your dreams!

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