Problems With Bathroom Wallpaper

Wallpaper is one way to add patterns to a bare wall to change the decor of a bathroom. Available are vinyl wallpapers, prepasted wallpaper, fabric-backed wallpaper and even borders that the do-it-yourself person can hang in one day. Proper installation is required to avoid problems with bathroom wallpaper, like bubbles, separated seams and mildew.

Mold and Mildew

The high humidity levels in the bathroom make certain wallpapers, like grasscloth, less desirable for the area. The fabric-backed wallpapers allow the surface to breathe and keeps mould and mildew from building up behind the wallpaper. The fabric-backed wallpapers are made to scrub so you can clean the wall surfaces if mildew does start to form. Hanging new wallpaper over existing wallpaper can also lead to mildew growing between the two papers. Always remove the old wallpaper before hanging a new wallpaper. Areas around the tub and toilet sweat and produce excessive moisture on the walls. You may consider painting these areas instead of papering them.

Peeling and Curling

Peeling and curling of the seams and edges is not caused by the humidity level in the bathroom. The main cause of peeling wallpaper is the adhesive along the edges dried before hanging or there was not enough adhesive used along the seams. After you hang the wallpaper, allow it to dry for at least two hours before rolling the seams so the adhesive stays on the paper and is not pushed out between the seams. Another cause for peeling and curling wallpaper is because the walls were not properly primed before hanging the wallpaper. Always prime the walls with a wallpaper primer to provide a strong bond between the wall surface and the wallpaper.

Separated Seams

Seams separate in wallpaper because the booking process was not long enough to allow the adhesive to absorb enough water or for the wallpaper to properly relax. The booking process is when the wallpaper is dipped in water and folded in on itself and allowed to rest. This resting time gives the adhesive time to become a paste and expands the wallpaper. After the wallpaper is applied to the surface, the paper begins to shrink as it dries. Overlapping each section of wallpaper accounts for the shrinkage. Temperature also affects the way wallpaper dries. Always hang wallpaper at temperatures above 10 degrees C to keep the wallpaper from bubbling up or blistering.

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About the Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.