women showing Samples of laminate and vinyl floor tile

Can You Use Vinyl Flooring On Bathroom Walls?

Vinyl flooring is a relatively new product that looks almost identical to the material it’s mimicking, such as wood or natural stone. Vinyl flooring is known to be incredibly easy to install. But, in this article, I will explain if vinyl flooring can be installed on bathroom walls.

As a general rule, you can use vinyl flooring on bathroom walls. Before any material is installed onto bathroom walls, the walls will be waterproofed. Virtually all vinyl flooring sheets, tiles, and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are waterproof, provided they are labeled as waterproof.

Some types of vinyl flooring are only water resistant and are not labeled as waterproof. There are also peel-and-stick vinyl flooring tiles, and many people wonder whether these are waterproof and can be used in a bathroom or shower. 

Below, I will explain what you need to be aware of when using vinyl flooring on bathroom and shower walls and how to ensure they are waterproof.

Can You Put Vinyl Flooring on Shower Walls

Vinyl flooring is not technically designed to be used for bathroom or shower walls. However, it’s definitely possible and gives a unique look to a bathroom or shower. But, here’s whether it’s possible to use vinyl flooring on shower walls.

Overall, you can put vinyl flooring on shower walls. A properly installed building compliant shower will have waterproofing behind the bathroom and shower walls. Therefore, provided waterproofing vinyl flooring is installed, vinyl flooring is perfectly fine to use for shower walls.

Different wall materials are priced differently. Here’s how vinyl flooring compares for shower walls compares to acrylic shower walls.

  • $1 to $2 per square foot for vinyl sheet 
  • $2 to $3 per square foot for vinyl planks
  • $1 to $10 per square foot for luxury vinyl plank flooring
  • Whereas it’s about $50 per square foot for acrylic shower walls

You can see that vinyl flooring is far cheaper that acrylic shower walls. And therefore, provided you prefer the look, it is a far cheaper option for the walls of a shower.

Drywall is the most common material used for the walls in a bathroom and throughout a house. Before installing vinyl flooring on a bathroom’s walls, you should already have drywall installed on the walls. HOWEVER, this is not enough for the shower, according to Eric at EJ Flooring.

He states in the video below that it’s a common misconception that regular drywall is fine for a shower. But, in fact, it needs to be waterproofed.

He says that if you look at the drywall manufacturer’s recommendations, they state that drywall should not be installed on its own behind shower walls. 

Therefore, if you’re going to use vinyl flooring for the walls of your shower, you need to have the drywall professionally waterproofed or waterproof it yourself. 

After that, you can safely install vinyl flooring, tiles, planks, or luxury vinyl tiles onto the walls of a shower. Provided they are waterproof according to Tri-State Wholesale Flooring (source).

Some sources, such as the well-known department store Lowe’s (source), state that vinyl planks should not be used in areas where there is water, such as vanity units, bathtubs, and backsplashes for kitchens.

However, this only applies to vinyl planks that are NOT waterproof. Provided vinyl planks are waterproof, it’s perfectly fine to install them for shower walls and bathroom walls according to Andrew Mazer at Mazer Wholesale Flooring – shown in the video below.

He states the main concern with vinyl tiles is standing water (pools of water) sitting on them for extended periods. However, walls will never have any standing water because the water will run off and onto the floor.

Some anecdotal evidence can be found on Reddit that suggests it works great. Here a user states that they know someone who installed a type of vinyl plank flooring in a bathroom: 

“My buddy installed Life Proof vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot in his basement bath. 100% waterproof, rubber backed. Super easy to put down. I loved it so much I did my basement in it. 12/10, would recommend.”

Can You Use Peel and Stick Vinyl in a Bathroom

a bathroom with stick vinyl on floor and wall

Peel and stick vinyl is very easy to install and looks great. However, bathrooms are always subjected to much higher humidity and moisture than other parts of a house. So, this is whether you can use peel and stick vinyl in a bathroom.

Overall, you can use peel-and-stick vinyl in a bathroom. However, if you are using peel-and-stick vinyl for shower walls, the drywall needs to be waterproofed first. Also, the peel-and-stick vinyl needs to be labeled as waterproof rather than water-resistant.

The main concern with flooring in a bathroom is to not allow standing water. The same is true if you use peel-and-stick vinyl for the flooring in a bathroom. 

Therefore, after a shower, any excess water sitting on the floor should be squeegeed away or wiped up with a towel. When it sits on vinyl flooring for extended periods of time, it will break down the flooring and cause it to fail much sooner.

Can You Use Peel and Stick Vinyl for Shower Walls

Shower walls are subjected to very high levels of humidity, and therefore it’s important to know whether peel and stick vinyl will hold up if it’s installed on the shower walls. This is whether it’s possible to use peel and stick vinyl for shower walls.

Generally, you can use peel-and-stick vinyl for shower walls. The walls of a bathroom, including the area where the shower walls will be, are almost always made of drywall. The drywall directly behind the shower walls needs to be waterproofed first. Also, only use waterproof peel and stick vinyl.

Not all peel-and-stick vinyl has been made to be waterproof. If peel and stick vinyl is waterproof, it will be labeled as such. But waterproof peel and stick vinyl is quite common and typically easy to source.

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