Shiplap Bathroom Wall Ideas for your Bathroom

Shiplap has been used for hundreds of years in the construction of buildings, it was originally  particularly popular in coastal regions where it was used in the construction of ships. The term “shiplap” comes from the way the boards are fashioned together, with the rabbet on one board fitting into the tongue of the adjacent boards. This creates a super tight seal that helps to keep water out, making it ideal for use in the shipbuilding industry and later, in building homes to include a shiplap in a bathroom.

Shiplap originally gained popularity in the US during the 18th century, particularly in the New England region. It was used for interior and exterior walls in homes, as well as for barns and other buildings. Shiplap was a practical, affordable and available building material that provided insulation and helped to keep the buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

In recent years, shiplap has surged in popularity as a design feature in homes. It has become a popular choice for accent walls as well as adding texture and character to a space. The rise in the popularity of the “farmhouse” aesthetic, which is characterized by rustic and vintage or antique home decor items, has also contributed to the resurging popularity of shiplap in home design.

Popular TV shows such as “Fixer Upper” and “Property Brothers” have also helped to popularize shiplap, with many homeowners seeking to replicate the look from the shows in their own homes. Today, shiplap is available in a wide variety of materials, including many wood varities, PVC, and MDF, making it more accessible and affordable to homeowners while also making it easier to install.

Shiplap Bathroom Ideas graphic

Using Shiplap in a Bathroom?

Yes, it is generally okay to use shiplap in a bathroom. It is however recommended to take precautions to protect your investment and design.

Can Shiplap Get Wet?

Yes, shiplap can get wet and can hold up to the moisture commonly found in a bathroom. However, it is important to ensure that you use the right kind of shiplap for your space. Some types of wood can not withstand water as well as others. With the right preparation and maintenance, shiplap can be used successfully in bathrooms and will continue to look great!

I would not recommend that you use shiplap as the shower surround. It would be nearly impossible to maintain the shiplap in good condition.

Using Shiplap in Bathrooms Precaution


Is the best material to use for that shiplap look in bathrooms since it is waterproof and durable. If using PVC shiplap many of your maintenance issues are solved since you do not have top worry about warping like you do when using shiplap made from wood.

Wood Protectant

If you decide to use wood it is imperative to properly seal your wood shiplap. Varnish, polyurethane and wood lacquer are all sealants that can provide excellent waterproofing for your shiplap. They can either be wiped, brushed or sprayed onto clean and dry shiplap. Once allowed the sealant is allowed to dry you are good to go and ready for installation.


If the room you are hoping to install shiplap in doesn’t have a fan consider adding one. A fan is just not to remove odors. Fans also remove moisture from the air which helps to keep the space dry. The dryer you can keep your bathroom the less likely you are to damage your shiplap.

Powder room

Consider adding shiplap into a powder room or half bath. Not having a tub and shower eliminates the largest moisture source and would allow the shiplap to last longer and with less maintenance.

Paint Primer

Many paint primers are now made to be mold and mildew resistant. Consider using one of these primers when painting your bathroom’s shiplap. Mildew-resistant paint and primer is no different than any other type of paint primer simply apply the primer to your shiplap wait for it to dry and paint over it using any paint color you desire. Some paint colors that I love for shiplap are: Evergreen Fog, Oyster White and Gray Owl.


Do not forget to consider the nails or screws you use to attach the shiplap to the bathroom wall. Using the wrong nails could lead to the nail holes rusting and the premature failure of the shiplap in your home.

Shiplap Installation Tips

Installing shiplap on your walls can be a bit challenging but it is a very manageable DIY project. Here are a few tips to help you get started on this project:

Measure Twice

Before you begin, make sure to measure the length and width of your bathroom wall to determine how many boards you will need. Be sure to buy extra boards to avoid a time killing additional trip to the hardware store.

Dry Fit Pieces

This step is crucial to avoid costly errors (financially and design). It would not be ideal to get near the end of your project and realize that your last row of boards will only be 1 or 2 inches wide. Dry fitting your shiplap pieces prior to installation can help you to prevent this and many more issues that will inevitably come up during the installation process.

Use the Right Tools

You will need a table saw or miter saw, a jigsaw, a level, a drill, a brad nailer, brad nails, construction adhesive or wood glue, paint brush, a ladder, pencil, nail gun and finally some screws or nails to install shiplap onto your shiplap ceiling

Start at the Center

To ensure that your shiplap is centered onto your wall, start by measuring and marking the center point of your rooms wall. Then, install your first board at this point and work your way outwards until you are finished with that length of the wall.

Chalk Line

Use a chalk line after every couple of pieces of shiplap to ensure your boards stay nice and straight.

Stagger the Joints

To create a seamless look, stagger the joints between each individual piece of shiplap.

Caulk the Joints

Its a good idea to caulk your shiplap seams to ensure a nice and finished look.

Shiplap Bathroom Ideas and Inspiration for Your Home

Classic White Shiplap

Let’s start with the timeless appeal of classic white shiplap. This clean and crisp look can instantly brighten up any bathroom, creating an atmosphere of freshness and tranquility. Opt for vertically installed shiplap boards to visually elongate the walls, making the room appear more spacious. Pair white shiplap with neutral tones, such as light grays or soft pastels, for a soothing and cohesive ambiance.

Navy Blue Shiplap Wall

A navy blue shiplap wall can be both modern and elegant. The deep color instantly draws the eye and can make a statement in any bathroom, whether you opt for all-over coverage or create an accent wall. Try pairing navy blue with light wood accents, marble countertops, and white fixtures to complete the look.

Shiplap Accent Wall

For those who want to make a bold design statement, consider creating a shiplap bathroom accent wall in your home. Choose a wall that serves as the focal point, such as the one behind the vanity or bathtub. Experiment with different colors or finishes for your shiplap, like distressed or weathered wood, to add depth and character to the space. This approach can create a striking visual impact without overpowering the entire room.

Half-Wall Bathroom Shiplap

If you prefer a more subtle shiplap design, consider installing shiplap on the bottom of the wall and wallpaper on the top of the wall. This technique involves applying shiplap boards to the lower portion of the wall, while leaving the upper section painted or tiled. Half-wall shiplap adds texture and visual interest, while maintaining a balanced look in this space. It also offers an opportunity to incorporate contrasting colors or materials to create a unique aesthetic. I love this little bathroom design from the bathroom shelf to the bathroom lighting everything about this design is perfect.

Bathroom Vertical Shiplap

While horizontal shiplap is the most common installation method, vertical shiplap planks can offer a fresh and modern twist to your space. This technique works particularly well in narrow bathrooms, as it visually expands the width of the space. vertical shiplap also adds a sense of movement and flow, creating a dynamic and contemporary atmosphere. Experiment with different wood tones or paint colors to match your desired aesthetic. Dress up your accent wall windows with these bathroom window treatment ideas.

Bathroom Colorful Shiplap

Who says shiplap has to be limited to traditional white or neutral tones? Inject some personality and vibrancy into your space by painting your shiplap boards in bold and unexpected colors. Whether you opt for a single accent wall or cover the entire space, colorful shiplap can instantly uplift the mood and create a unique focal point. Consider shades like navy blue, green, or even a playful pastel hue to showcase your personal style.

Shiplap Ceiling

For a truly immersive shiplap experience, don’t forget about the ceiling! Installing shiplap on the ceiling can add a sense of warmth and coziness, making the space feel more inviting. It also creates a cohesive look when combined with a shiplap on the walls. Choose a lighter wood tone for the ceiling to prevent the room from feeling visually heavy. The shiplap ceiling is an unexpected detail that shines.

Bathroom Shiplap with Integrated Shelving

Maximize both style and functionality by incorporating integrated shelving into your bathroom walls. This clever design idea allows you to utilize the vertical space efficiently while adding a decorative element. Install shiplap boards with built-in recessed shelves, perfect for storing towels, toiletries, or displaying decorative items. This combination of shiplap and shelving creates a practical yet visually appealing feature in your space.

Bathroom Shiplap Accents

If you prefer a more subtle incorporation of shiplap, consider using it as an accent rather than covering entire walls. Install shiplap as a border or paneling on specific sections of the bathroom, such as around a window, mirror, or bathtub. This selective use of shiplap adds texture and visual intrigue without overwhelming the space. It also provides an opportunity to highlight specific architectural features or focal points in your bathroom.


Shiplap is a great way to add character, texture, and visual interest to any space. Its versatile style makes it suitable for farmhouse style, traditional and modern spaces, allowing you to customize the look according to your personal preferences. Whether you opt for an entire shiplap wall or just an accent wall, this timeless material can instantly elevate the design of your remodel.

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