Wallpaper or Tile? How to Add Bold Design Touches to Your Home

by Alex ThatcherJanuary 10, 2018

Create Unique and Beautiful Finishes Using Tile and Wallpaper

Walls inside the home are typically finished with either a coat of paint, a layer of wallpaper, or tile. But, recent trends are pointing to a pairing that was traditionally one-or-the-other — tile and wallpaper. Combining tile and wallpaper in the same application can create one-of-a-kind finishes that enable the homeowner to take full advantage of their creativity.

Want to add a bold new design element in your home? Why decide between tile and wallpaper when you can use them both to make something special? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
wallpaper or tile

Add Wallpaper Above a Tiled Backsplash in the Kitchen

Forget about the wallpaper that once adorned the walls of your grandmother’s kitchen. Today, there is a vast array of colorful, intricate, and truly inspired wallpaper designs to choose from. And, pairing such a wallpaper with white-toned thin brick tiles can make for an eye-catching display in your kitchen.

If your kitchen has an open shelf that runs above the splash line, then use wallpaper on the upper portion of the wall and stick with the tile for the backsplash below the shelf. The different colors and textures of the two wall coverings, with the shelf acting as the separator, creates a lovely and stylish finish to the room.

Use Wallpaper to Make a Big Impact on a Kitchen Wall

Covering a single wall in the kitchen with a bold, bright wallpaper design will create a dramatic visual impact that will immediately attract the eyes of guests. Contrast that pattern by using a light-colored subway tile, or something similar, throughout the rest of the kitchen to really make the wall stand out.
wallpaper or tile

Use Wallpaper in Open Cabinets and Shelving

If the walls in your kitchen are already tiled, you can add a spark of color and creativity by installing patterned wallpaper in any open cabinets or shelving. The pop of color will break up the continuity of tile and make your kitchen a little more personal.

Create a Cozy Half-Bath

A half-bath, or powder room, is the perfect place to try something fun and whimsical. Install light-colored tile to serve as wainscoting, and above the chair rail line, install an intricately patterned wallpaper. From old-time newspaper to charming chinoiserie paper patterns, you can create the perfect environment for your half-bath.

Add Two-Toned Drama to Your Bathroom

Like the half-bath, your bathroom is the perfect landscape for trying something bold. For a gorgeous look, pair a colored-tile with a wallpaper that features the same color, but in a lighter tone. Here’s an example: use dark blue tile with white grout lines and this Orchid Blue wallpaper. The pairing will add visual interest to the room, as it works to create a soothing atmosphere, too.
wallpaper or tile

Create a Chic Bath

To create a warm, chic bath, surround your bath using light chocolate-colored subway tiles and then wallpaper the walls surrounding the tub with a warm-toned wallpaper with shiny gold accents, like this one. Add some bronze plumbing fixtures and you’ll transform your bath into one that should only be found in luxury homes and the finest hotels.

Tile and wallpaper may have been deemed competitors at one time, but the truth is, they can work beautifully in unison. Shop for a wallpaper that speaks to you and then find the right tile to accompany it. You’ll add elegance to your home in a way that most people, including your neighbors, have never thought of.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.