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Is it okay to hang wallpaper in bathrooms?

The question

Is it okay to hang wallpaper in bathrooms? Mine is fairly sizeable and the area I'm thinking of papering is away from the tub and shower. Will steam be an issue at all?

The answer

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I'm a big fan of wallpaper and think that, like the reformed eater in Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, I could have it everywhere! In a bathroom, though, you do need to take precautions; make sure, for instance, that the paper is vinyl-backed or at least that it's water-resistant. The real issue is getting water directly on it, as steam rarely penetrates the surface and will evaporate with proper ventilation.

Also, where I think there will be a lot of wear and tear, such as at a towel bar, I'll generally put pieces of glass between the paper and the towel rack so that nails won't scratch it. Finally, I'd advise against placing wallpaper behind a toilet you have a woman-only space!

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace, president of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail

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