10 materials for finishing the ceiling in the bathroom

8 min

Sooner or later, when planning a bathroom renovation, we all come to the question of which material to choose for finishing the ceiling. It should be strong, beautiful, preferably durable and easy to care for. Naturally, the chosen material should fit into the future interior of the bathroom. So which of the many finishes on the market to choose?

Given the nature of the room, the selected material must necessarily be moisture resistant, withstand temperature extremes, be hygienic and easy to maintain. The limit of all dreams is the ability to withstand the suddenly gushing water from above, if suddenly the neighbors accidentally flood you, but not all finishing materials have this property.

# 1. Painting

Painting the ceiling in the bathroom is the easiest and cheapest option. True, you will have to spend money on putty and primer in order to pre-prepare the surface, because for painting it must be perfectly flat. You can cope with these works yourself, and this is additional savings. It is necessary to choose only moisture-resistant materials, and this applies to the primer, putty and the paint itself. But it is worth noting that this option will be beneficial only for those who have practically even and ideal pavements in the bathroom – if they have a lot of flaws, there are significant differences in height, then it is better to refuse painting in favor of a different finishing method. An important advantage of painting the ceiling is that you will not lose a centimeter of the height of the room, as with many other types of finishes.

painting the ceiling in the bathroom

With the help of painting, you can create both the most simple ceiling and an exclusive one, if you combine two or more colors, make a drawing or apply a pattern. Such coverage will last for about 10 years, which, in principle, is not so bad. After a few years, on a light surface, you will notice slight darkening that cannot be washed off – this is dirt. A bit unpleasant, but it’s easy to get out of the situation – to refresh the surface with a new layer of paint: it’s quick, cheap and easy. If you planned to use built-in lighting in the bathroom, then such a ceiling will definitely not work: there is nowhere to build in the lamps, but you can pick up a nice pendant option.

№2. Drywall

When the ceiling has significant irregularities, it is better to use not painting, but to mount sheets of drywall, which will help create an interesting interior. You need to choose a moisture-resistant material that can be recognized even visually: it has a green tint. Among the advantages of such a coating:

  • the ability to create an original design, for example, a multi-level ceiling;
  • all communications can be hidden under drywall, and as a result, the bathroom will look stylish and neat. Moreover, you can use built-in lamps, creating spectacular lighting;
  • strength and relative durability.

plasterboard for bathroom ceiling

Some disadvantages should be noted:

  • the need to create a frame for attaching drywall sheets, and this is additional time and costs. By the way, it is better to equip the bathroom with a metal rather than a wooden frame;
  • on top of the drywall slab will have to be primed and painted to get a pleasant-looking coating;
  • periodically it will be necessary to renew the paint, as dirt may accumulate in some places. To do this, however, even on your own, is not so difficult.

No. 3. Plastic panels

This finishing option can be called the golden mean in terms of value for money and appearance. PVC panels have a lot of advantages, the most important of which are:

  • absolute moisture resistance and strength;
  • you can even perform the installation yourself;
  • outwardly, it is a wonderful stylish finish that does not need additional processing, like drywall, for example. If installed correctly, the ceiling will look monolithic, and the joints of the panels will be impossible to recognize with the naked eye;
  • spotlights can be installed in such a ceiling, if such lighting corresponds to your design idea;
  • the finish is very easy to clean;
  • relatively low price, which allows this option to be attributed to budget solutions. If the installation is carried out independently, then the cost of such finishing is generally minimal.

plastic panels for ceiling in bathroom

Not without disadvantages:

  • if the ceiling is not assembled very skillfully, then the joints of the panels will be visible. But this is not so bad. Dirt and moisture will gradually begin to get into such joints, provoking the development of mold in the absence of proper ventilation;
  • the metal frame to which the plastic plates are attached can rust over time, even with a galvanized coating. But if the ventilation is all right in the bathroom, then this should not happen;
  • It will not be possible to quickly update the coating, as in the case of painting, for example – you have to dismantle the old panels, and only then organize a new finish.

No. 4. Dropped ceilings

Today, false ceilings often mean slabs, slats, lining, modules made of plastic, plexiglass, metal, etc. attached to the frame. There are a lot of possible options, but it is important that the material is moisture resistant and matches the interior.

The undoubted plus of such ceilings is that no additional priming or staining is required, as is the case with drywall. The finishing material already has an attractive appearance, with which you can create a unique interior in the bathroom. In addition, any suspended ceiling can be equipped with built-in lighting, all communications can be hidden under the structure, providing the most attractive view of the entire structure.

suspended ceilings in the bathroom

Among the minuses, one can note the fact that the room will become 10-15 cm lower. Moreover, the cost and installation of a false ceiling is often quite an expensive pleasure, and the simplest cellular or cassette ceilings will not give the bathroom the proper home comfort, resembling an office or a public toilet.

No. 5. Rack ceiling

Slatted ceiling is a great modern solution for bathrooms. Assembling a structure on a frame is a short and simple process that even a beginner can handle. The most important advantages of slatted ceilings are:

  • beautiful appearance. Reiki can imitate the surface of any metal, be monochromatic or have a pattern, which completely unties your hands in organizing your dream interior;
  • ease of installation;
  • the flexibility of the slats makes it possible not only to quickly and easily cope with their installation, but also to create curved structures, which will make the room original;
  • the polished surface has strong reflective properties, which means that it will be possible to visually expand the space.

There are not so many disadvantages of this finish option. Firstly, the rack ceiling will not fit well into any interior style. Secondly, gradually dirt can accumulate between the seams, but this is not a particular drawback, because timely cleaning will help to avoid it.

slatted ceiling in the bathroom

No. 6. Expanded polystyrene plates

This is one of the most inexpensive and simple options for finishing the ceiling in the bathroom, which at the same time has controversial decorative qualities. Often, such tiles are even glued to the ceiling, thus simplifying and reducing the cost of installation. With the help of foam tiles, significant irregularities and imperfections in the ceiling can be hidden. All work can be done independently, and this is a significant saving, and as a result, such a finish will cost quite cheaply.

But, unfortunately, foam plates do not have the proper decorative effect, although they often have an interesting relief. You can transform them a little with the help of staining, and if you do it in an original way, using several colors, you can create a very good interior. These slabs are moisture resistant and perform well in operation, but due to their cheap appearance, they will not fit well into every bathroom. However, such a budget finishing option is perfect for those who do not have huge funds for repairs or want to make temporary repairs during the shrinkage of a new building, for example.

polystyrene foam plates for the bathroom ceiling

No. 7. Mirrored ceiling

A mirrored ceiling is able to add flavor to any room. Probably, it’s not a secret for anyone that this is how you can visually expand the space of even a very small bathroom. But these are not all the advantages of such a solution. The mirrored ceiling is durable and highly resistant to moisture and temperature extremes.

True, such a finish will not be very cheap, because, firstly, it is necessary to install a strong reinforced frame, and secondly, to correctly mount all the plates, and only a professional can do it. A cheaper alternative is shiny plastic panels, but they are not the most durable solution. In addition, the maintenance of the mirror surface is quite laborious if you want it to always remain in perfect condition. Think about whether you are ready to regularly clean such a ceiling, as well as how well such a solution will fit into the bathroom interior and whether everyone else in the household will like it.

mirrored ceiling in the bathroom

No. 8. PVC stretch ceiling

It is ideal for bathroom conditions, as it combines decorativeness, practicality and durability. It has many advantages, the main ones are:

  • moisture resistance;
  • the ability to retain water, if suddenly the neighbors from above will arrange a flood for you. Experts will carefully drain all the water, stretch the ceiling again, and the appliances and furniture in the bathroom will not be affected;
  • a huge assortment of possible shades of stretch ceilings, and you can choose any pattern, color, matte or glossy surface;
  • the ability to create an interesting interior with a multi-level ceiling and built-in lighting;
  • easy maintenance, because the ceiling only occasionally needs to be wiped with a damp cloth;
  • stretch ceilings fit into absolutely any interior.

stretch ceiling in the bathroom

Still, stretch ceilings have some disadvantages:

  • the relative high cost, in addition, it is also necessary to pay for the services of professionals – you cannot master the installation of such a structure on your own;
  • the material is delicate, so it is easy to perforate during cleaning, and then many useful performance characteristics will be lost;
  • you need to be extremely careful with lighting devices. If they are too strong, the ceiling material may start to melt.

No. 9. Wooden ceiling

The wooden ceiling in the bathroom is beautiful, unusual and stylish. Most often, wooden lining is used for finishing ceilings, which retains the noble appearance of wood, its smell and warmth. It is better to choose materials impregnated with protective properties, or apply a protective layer yourself. The type of wood also plays an important role: it is better to choose those varieties that are naturally maximally resistant to moisture, and this is teak.

A wooden ceiling makes the bathroom stylish, and at the same time its installation will not be very difficult, since the lining is attached to the frame with nails. The only thing is that you need to carefully look after the wood and cover it with protective agents in time so that it does not deform or become moldy.

wooden ceiling in the bathroom

No. 10. Decorative plaster

Decorative plaster is another good option for finishing the ceiling in the bathroom, since there are special compounds on sale that are not afraid of water and which can be easily applied even on your own. The result is a strong, durable and environmentally friendly coating.

With the help of decorative plaster, you can create a huge range of different textures and effects on the ceiling, and in each case the surface will turn out to be unique, because it will be impossible to repeat the pattern in another room in the same way. You can also choose any color you like.

bathroom ceiling venetian plaster

For bathrooms, acrylic-based plasters are optimal, which have excellent water-repellent properties. In addition, Venetian plaster can be used. With its help, you can simulate almost any surface, give it a glossy effect, create streaks and other effects.

Anyone can cope with the application of most types of decorative plaster, because preliminary leveling of the surface is not required. Another advantage is that plaster practically does not take away the height of the room.


When choosing a material for finishing a ceiling in a bathroom, you should first of all pay attention to its performance properties, strength and durability, because it will be used in a room with high humidity and frequent temperature changes. Decorative properties are also important, since the finish must fit into the interior and satisfy all your requirements.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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