Should I Tile the Bathroom Walls or Paint the Walls?

Regardless if you are renovating your home or building a home from scratch you need to make sure to do your research as it is not just about saving money in the short term but it is more about saving money in the long term. In this article, we are going to answer your question of whether you should tile the bathroom walls or paint the walls, and also go through the pros, cons, and costs of all the various other options available to you. 

So you may be wondering, should I tile the bathroom walls or paint the walls? If the budget does not limit us, it is best to tile half of the walls and also put tiles in the shower area up to the ceiling. If our budget is modest however, then we need to install the tiles to the ceiling in the shower area and just paint the bath walls.

If you found this little information useful then please feel free to read further below as we go into further detail about all the type of options that are available at your disposal. 

 

Painting entire walls

The quickest, easiest and cheapest option in the short term is painting your walls, to paint your walls you will need to make sure that all the surfaces in your bathroom have been thoroughly cleaned and dried in order to prevent mold growing underneath.


Pros:

  • There is special paint for the bathroom that is created to come with anti-mold agents mixed in with the paint which will help prevent any mold from using the paint as a nutrient to grow and thus growing on your walls and ceilings.
  • Painting your bathroom walls is one of the cheapest options out there for you which is ideal if you are on a budget.
  • It is fairly quick and easy to paint your bathroom walls compared to the various options on this list that include tiling. 


Cons:

  • Bathroom walls that have been painted are much harder to clean as painted walls tend to absorb a lot of the stains, dirt, and oils that go on it making some parts of your walls impossible to simply clean but instead you will need to sand them and then re-paint them. 
  • Even though there is paint created for the bathroom it is still not as waterproof as bathroom tiles.
  • Furthermore, paint is not as durable as tiles, paint can easily be scratched and scraped off which will sooner or later happen the more your bathroom is used. 


What Is the average cost of painting entire walls in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $35-$100 + labor. The hidden costs of painting entire walls in a small bathroom that is 8×8ft are the regular maintenance and repainting work that you will have to do every 5 or 10 years when the paint starts to wear off or mold has started to grow underneath the paint as the waterproof qualities diminish. 

 

Tiling entire walls

The other main option for you is tiling your walls, this can be an expensive and time-consuming task however if done right it will be a lot longer lasting than simply painting your bathroom walls. 


Pros:

  • Provides maximum waterproof protection making sure that your drywall or any other surface that makes up your wall from being damaged due to exposure to water.
  • Tiles are also very easily cleaned, as all you need is a special wipe to wipe away any stains as well and you can also very easily scrape off any gap filler if it has mold growing on it and reapply it.
  • Furthermore, tiles are very durable, unlike with paint they will not lose their color even if they have been used for many years. 


Cons:

  • When tiling your walls you will also need other materials such as cement boards, wall tile adhesives, grout and also spacers which is something that needs to be taken into account.


What Is the average cost of tiling walls to ceiling in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $700-$1000 + labor. The hidden costs of tiling entire walls are the first of all as mentioned above the other materials that will be needed to put the tiles into place such as the wall tile adhesive, the grout and also spacers to properly align the tiles. You also need to think about all the extra labor costs that apply to lay down tiles.

 

Tiling just half of the walls

Some people opt to tile just half of their walls which usually tends to be the bottom half or alternatively the top half on the wall next to the bathtub or shower. 


Pros:

  • Tiling just half of your walls will save you a bit of money as you have to buy fewer tiles.
  • It provides a very stylish and modern look that a lot of consumers currently opt for.
  • No base boards needed as tiles can be applied from top to bottom on the wall.


Cons:

  • It will likely lead you to waste a lot of resources as you are unlikely to use up all the tiles, glue and paint you have bought. 
  • This type of finish the walls is really time consuming


What Is the average cost of tiling just half of the walls in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $800-$1000 + labor. The hidden costs of tiling just half of the walls is the high likeliness of having to buy a lot of materials that you will not be able to use, as for example you may need to buy a big can of paint but you may only use half of that tub of paint etc.

 

Tiling one entire wall and painting others

Another option similar to the option above of tiling just half of your walls is tiling one entire wall and then painting the others. This is a viable option that is in most cases used to tile the wall next to your bathtub or shower to prevent water damage. 


Pros:

  • Offers much better protection from water damage than just tiling one half of the wall next to your bathtub or shower as in the option above.
  • Allows you to have a more unique look to your bathroom which is great for people that are passionate about aesthetics and style. 
  • It is less wasteful than tiling just half of your walls in terms of materials, as in this option you will need to use more paint so you are likely to use up most if not all of the paint you buy. And with tiles, you have a lot more freedom as it is easier to buy the exact amount of tiles that you need to be compared to when buying paint. 


Cons:

  • Does not offer full protection to your entire bathroom from water damage, and it forgets about two key areas where water damage can occur which is the sink and also the toilet. Another area that is always in danger from water damage is the area around the windows as when you are showering condensation will occur on the cold surface of the window leading to water droplets forming everywhere. 


What is the average cost of tiling one entire wall and painting the others in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $700-$1000 + labor. The hidden costs of tiling just one entire wall and painting the others is that although you are protecting one part of your bathroom from water damage and mold the others are left at much bigger risk of damage as they are not protected as well. 

 

Ok and what about the shower - tiling entire shower

The shower area is the part of the bathroom that will in the majority of cases create the most water splash that will then go to your walls so one good but expensive option is to tile your walls entirely


Pros:

  • Offers maximum protection from water damage, although it will vary based on the quality of installation.


Cons:

  • No obvious disadvantages


What Is the average cost of tiling entire shower in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $400-$600 + labor

 

Tiling part of the shower

By tiling just parts of the walls in and around your shower you can save a little time and money without having to suffer drastic disadvantages.


Pros:

  • Fewer tiles and labor needed to tile your shower walls this way so it should come out a little cheaper.
  • Paint can be changed much more easily, quickly and cheaply than tiles


Cons:

  • The design may not look as good as compared to fully tiled shower walls.
  • You need to wait for the drywall to dry so it can take much longer.
  • Even if you have part of your wall tiled it can still be damaged by moisture getting through the painted part of the wall. 


What is the average cost of tiling part of the shower in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $350-$500 + labor. The hidden costs of tiling part of the shower are of course, all additional materials and additional paint.

 

Backsplash tiles around the sink

Backsplash tiles are very strongly recommended in situations where you have decided to paint your walls instead of tiling them as it is very important to provide backsplash protection in the two highest-risk areas which are your bathtub and sink areas. 


Pros:

  • You only have to install tiles on a small area of your bathroom which will save you a lot of money.
  • Allows the wall area around your sink not to be damaged by water backsplash and thus last much longer without any mold forming or other related problems developing.
  • Backsplash tiling around your sink also can make your sink look a lot more stylish without having to drastically increase your costs.


Cons:

  • Installing backsplash tiles around your sink will be a lot more expensive than simply applying a coat of waterproof paint around your sink.
  • It is recommended that you install the tiles after you install the sink therefore it also takes a lot of time


What is the average cost of backsplash tiles around the sink in a small bathroom 8×8ft?

The average cost will be $50 + labor. The hidden costs of putting tiles just around the sink in a bathroom is that special sink backsplash tiles are generally more expensive on average as they are more specialized and can also come in more rare designs that the sellers will charge you a premium for. 

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