How to Decorate a Tub Surround: 22 Amazing Bathtub Makeover Ideas

A bathroom with candles and plants on shelves.

So you’ve finally decided to tackle the daunting task of decorating your tub surround. Congratulations! You’ve already entered the wild world of home improvement!

Whether you’re a seasoned home decorator or a newbie in the game, the tub surround is a great place to start. Because there are endless possibilities for making your tub surround a showstopper.

But fear not! This blog post will help you learn how to decorate a tub surround. It will offer 22 amazing bathtub makeover ideas to transform your bathroom into a relaxing oasis.

So let’s get started, shall we?

How to Decorate a Tub Surround: 22 Amazing Ideas

1. Use Shower Curtains to Add a Coastal Touch

To bring the ocean into your bathroom, hang a shower curtain with a nautical theme. This touch isn’t only decorative. It’s an essential aspect of your bathroom remodel that infuses a sense of serenity and coastal charm.

Blue Beach Floral Daisy Seashell Shower Curtain

A blue shower curtain with seashells and flowers.

Enhance your bathroom decor with this shower curtain. It features a vibrant image of daisies and seashells against a blue beach backdrop. It brings a refreshing and serene coastal paradise to your shower space.

Blue Ocean Seaworld Seashell Shower Curtain

A colorful shower curtain with a jellyfish and other sea creatures.

Transform your bathroom into a serene oasis with this shower curtain. It features an image of a mesmerizing ocean scene with vibrant marine life and enchanting seashells.

Coastal Sunset Lighthouse Shower Curtain

A bathroom with a lighthouse shower curtain.

Transform your bathroom into a serene oasis. This captivating curtain shows a breathtaking coastal sunset in shades of blue. It evokes a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

Beach Rules Anchor Shower Curtain

A bathroom with a shower curtain that says beach rules.

Elevate your bathroom with this beach-themed anchor shower curtain. Featuring a rustic wooden background and charming “Beach Rules” lettering, this curtain brings a coastal vibe to your space.

2. DIY a Tub Skirt

A bathroom with a bathtub, shelves, and plants.

Construct a DIY tub skirt with shiplap to elevate your tub surround to create a cozy and dreamy bathroom retreat. It can add a touch of warmth and texture.

Paint the tub skirt to match your existing items for a harmonious feel. Finish the look by applying caulk and adhesive. These can ensure everything is watertight and polished.

Opting for a stone tub surround can also infuse luxury and elegance, enhancing the bathroom’s whole atmosphere.

With a tub skirt, you’ll craft a bathroom that’s not only functional but also your personal haven for unwinding.

3. Use Modern Ceramic Tile

A bathroom with a large tub and a chandelier.

Elevate your bathroom’s aesthetic by tiling your tub surround with modern ceramic tiles. It can offer both durability and a plethora of design choices. Ceramic tiles make for a stunning visual impact and come in a range of colors, textures, and sizes to match your style.

When installing, you may need to cut tiles into shorter pieces to make them fit snugly around the bathtub, especially in an alcove setting. It’s a precise job that requires careful measurement and execution.

The result is a sleek and contemporary look that not only enhances the beauty of your space but also stands up to the test of time.

4. Incorporate Marble, Stone, or Other Luxurious Materials

A modern bathroom with stone walls and a bathtub.

To elevate your bathroom’s elegance, you can incorporate marble, stone, or other luxurious materials to transform your tub surround into a centerpiece of sophistication.

Opt for marble to add a classic yet contemporary charm. Select slabs that complement the color scheme and lighting on that side of the room.

When choosing a stone, ensure it reflects the desired mood and texture. You’ve made sure your bathroom is functional; now give it the luxury it deserves.

5. Combine Tiles with Festive Cheer

A bathroom with a bathtub decorated for christmas.

With a selection of festive tiles, you can inject holiday spirit into your bathroom by creating a cheerful tub surround that complements the season’s joy. Mix traditional white subway tiles with accents that pop, like snowflakes, hollies, or even tiny ornaments. These themed tiles can be the special touch that ties your bathroom decor to the warmth of the holidays.

Consider using colorful mosaic tiles to craft a vibrant atmosphere. Or for a more subtle sparkle, integrate metallic or iridescent tiles. They’ll reflect the light beautifully, adding a touch of glamour.

It’s about blending practicality with the festive mood, ensuring your space is both functional and full of cheer during the holiday season.

6. Choose Elegant Tile Backsplashes

A white bathroom with a large tub and candles.

Consider enhancing your tub surround with an elegant tile backsplash. Adding elegant tile backsplashes not only protects the walls from water damage but also adds a luxurious touch.

Choose tiles that complement the whole design scheme of your bathroom. Whether you opt for classic subway tiles, ornate mosaics, or sleek glass pieces, the right tile can transform the space. Remember to ensure proper installation for a seamless look and long-lasting durability.

Decorate a tub surround with selected tiles, and you’ll create a focal point that’s both functional and stylish.

7. Incorporate Molding

A bathroom with gray walls and a bathtub.

Incorporating molding into your tub surround elevates its aesthetic. It helps create a polished and cohesive look. Begin by framing your tub skirt with 1 x 2 pre-primed finger joint boards.

Then, add a touch of sophistication by attaching horizontal and vertical 1 x 4 pieces and panel molding along the top and bottom. This not only enhances the design but also conceals any uneven edges.

Finish the panels with base-cap molding for a refined edge.

Don’t forget the practical yet stylish ledge on top. Secure it with silicone adhesive and nails for a durable setup. It’ll cover any layers and gaps, ensuring your DIY project looks seamless and professionally done.

8. Decorate with Shiplap or Wainscoting

A bathroom with a white bathtub and green walls.

Adding a layer of shiplap or wainscoting can enhance your tub surround’s visual appeal and bring a classic charm to your bathroom space. Opt for shiplap to give your bathroom a cozy, cottage feel. This touch of detail will make your bathroom look professionally designed.

9. Incorporate Vanity Mirrors and Lighting

A white bathroom with a large tub and mirror.

Incorporate vanity mirrors and lighting to complement the coastal theme of your new shower curtain. When you decorate a tub surround, consider the placement of vanity mirrors to maximize light reflection and create an illusion of space. Opt for lighting fixtures that evoke the serenity of the seaside, seamlessly integrating with the tub surrounds.

Quality lighting not only illuminates your grooming activities but also highlights the tub surround’s features.

10. Add Spa-Inspired Lighting

A modern bathroom with a bathtub and plants.

Illuminate your tub surround with dimmable LED lights or waterproof sconces to transform your bathing area into a serene spa retreat. The right lighting sets the mood for relaxation and unwinding after a long day. Opt for soft, warm hues that mimic the tranquil ambiance of a luxury spa. With the flick of a switch or a tap on your smartphone, you can adjust the brightness to your comfort level.

Don’t forget to add candles or their flameless LED counterparts for that classic, soothing glow. They’re not only for looks. Their flickering light can help soothe your mind.

11. Use a Chandelier or Elegant Lighting Fixture

A bathroom with a chandelier and a bathtub.

Incorporating a chandelier or other elegant lighting fixture above your tub surround can elevate the room’s ambiance and add a luxurious touch. Imagine unwinding in your soaking tub with the soft glow of an opulent chandelier overhead. It’s not only lighting. It’s a statement piece that transforms your master bath into a haven.

12. Update Faucets and Hardware

A bathroom with a white tub and flowers in front of a window.

Don’t overlook the impact of updating the faucets and hardware. This simple change can make a huge difference in your master bath’s look and feel.

When you redo the space, selecting new, modern fixtures can elevate the style and enhance the functionality of your tub area. You’ll want to choose hardware that complements the colors and design of your new tiles to create a cohesive, harmonious space.

So, make sure to update faucets and hardware as a finishing touch to your bathroom transformation.

13. Explore a Durable Floor

A bathroom with a bathtub and shelves.

Moving on to the floor, you’ll want to consider durable and moisture-resistant options to complement your newly decorated tub surround.

Many homeowners opt for luxury vinyl planks or ceramic tiles because they withstand the humidity and splashes from the tub. You’d love to see how these materials not only enhance the safety of your bathroom but also boost its overall aesthetic.

When you want to make a statement, choosing a floor that ties the entire room together is crucial. Go for a style that stands up to daily use and matches the fresh vibe of your revamped space.

14. Position a Vintage Rug

A white bathroom with a rug and tub.

Position a vintage rug in front of the tub surround to enhance your bathroom’s charm. This simple addition not only adds a touch of character but also warms up the space, making it more inviting.

When selecting the rug, consider its material and size. You need to ensure it’s suitable for the humid bathroom environment and doesn’t pose a slip hazard when you step out of the tub. Go for a rug with a low pile and a non-slip backing for safety and ease of maintenance.

Once you’ve found the perfect piece, lay it down to complement the room’s decor. Create a cohesive look that ties together all elements of your bathroom’s design.

15. Incorporate Stylish Linens and Towels

A modern bathroom with wooden shelves and plants.

Incorporating luxurious linens and plush towels can elevate your bathroom’s aesthetic in no time. They help create a harmonious flow with your newly decorated tub surround.

Choose towels and linens that match the colors and patterns of your design to create a cohesive look. Don’t only think about color. Consider texture too. Fluffy, high-quality towels add a sense of indulgence to your space. When they’re not in use, display them on shelves or hang them on decorative hooks to serve as both functional items and stylish accessories. Remember, the details matter.

Opt for linens with unique trims or embroidery that complement the whole theme. By selecting these items, you’ll not only enhance the beauty of your bathroom but also enjoy a luxurious bathing experience.

16. Install Creative Shelves

A white bathroom with a tub and a window, featuring how to decorate a tub surround

Transform your tub surround into a practical display with creative shelving. Consider using floating shelves to keep your essentials within reach while maintaining a sleek, modern look. These shelves can hold decorative items and toiletries, effortlessly blending functionality with style.

Choose materials that withstand humidity and match your bathroom’s decor. Glass or ceramic shelves can add a touch of elegance, while wooden ones bring warmth and texture. To maximize space, fit corner shelves into the surround, utilizing every inch efficiently.

17. Use a Neutral Color Palette

A bathroom with a bathtub and plants.

Consider using a neutral color palette. The color can blend with your bathroom’s decor and create a tranquil space.

Neutral hues like whites, grays, and beiges not only provide a versatile backdrop but also help to visually expand your bathroom. They can make the bathroom appear larger and more open. These soft tones can induce a sense of calm and serenity, turning your bathroom into a restful retreat.

Additionally, a neutral color scheme complements a wide range of decor styles. It ensures your tub surround will remain in vogue regardless of changing trends.

18. Add a Little Blue

A blue bathroom with plants and a bathtub.

Incorporating a splash of blue paint adds a serene, ocean-inspired vibe to the bathroom. Imagine yourself surrounded by the calming hues of the sea as you soak in the tub.

When you apply the blue paint, ensure it’s in harmony with your existing vanities for a cohesive look. Use a high-quality latex paint that stands up to the bathroom’s moisture. For an elegant touch, consider using the same blue to accent other features like window trims or shelves.

This subtle yet impactful addition transforms your space into a tranquil retreat. It also echoes the tranquility of ocean waves.

19. Use Art and Greenery

A bathroom with a bathtub, shelves and candles.

You can bring your bathroom to life by adding a touch of nature with potted plants and hanging greenery around the tub surround. These elements infuse a sense of tranquility and freshness. They can soften the hard lines of the surroundings. Consider robust plants that thrive in humid environments. These plants are great additions to your home decor without demanding too much attention.

Complement the green with art. Think elegant Italian tiles or framed botanical prints that reflect your personal style. This combination of art and greenery creates a harmonious visual interest. It makes your tub the centerpiece of a truly relaxing sanctuary.

20. Combine Green with Floral

A bathroom with candles, towels, and a bathtub.

Incorporating floral wallpaper or applying decals can refresh your tub surround with a burst of greenery. It’s a simple way to bring back the tranquility of nature. Opt for a vibrant, leafy design that complements the room’s color scheme. If you’re after a subtler touch, go for smaller decals that you can scatter throughout the surround.

Don’t stop there. Enhance the botanical theme with potted plants or hanging baskets. Place them strategically to create an oasis around your tub. For functionality, install floating shelves and decorate them with succulents or small ferns. These touches of green won’t only beautify the space but also promote a soothing atmosphere.

21. Pair Black Accents with Florals

A bathroom with a bathtub and a window.

Transform your tub surround into a sophisticated sanctuary by pairing black accents with delicate floral patterns. Start by adding black trim or molding for a bold contrast. This frames your tub area and sets the stage for the florals to shine.

Then, introduce floral wallpaper or select wall art that complements the black features, creating a cohesive and stylish look. Make sure your black fixtures, like faucets and shower heads, echo the accents for a seamless design.

Balance is key. Let the florals breathe life into the space while the black accents ground the aesthetic. By blending these elements, you’ll achieve an elegant and harmonious tub surround that’s both modern and timeless.

22. Put Lavender Twigs and Scented Candles

Three candles on a tray in front of a window.

To elevate your bathroom’s holiday charm, place lavender twigs and scented candles around your tub surround. This touch not only adds to the visual appeal but also infuses your space with a calming fragrance.

The soothing scent of lavender is renowned for its relaxing properties. It’s perfect for unwinding after a long day. Select candles that match your decor to maintain a cohesive look. As you light the candles, let their gentle glow create a serene ambiance.


You’ve done it! Your tub surround is now a personalized oasis. Wrap up this transformation by hanging a breezy shower curtain for that coastal vibe.

Admire your reflection in the stylish vanity mirrors, backlit with soothing lighting. Every glance at the elegant tile backsplash, updated faucets, and chic hardware will remind you of your handiwork.

Organized accessories, a neutral palette, spa-like touches, and fresh greenery all contribute to your bathroom’s new, relaxing ambiance.


A: Some popular materials include subway tile, backsplash, marble surround, paneling, and wooden shelves.

Q: How can I decorate the bathtub surround in a small bathroom?

A: In a small bathroom, consider using a tile backsplash or a wooden shelf to add decorative elements to the bathtub surround without overcrowding the space.

Q: What are some ideas for tub surrounds in a master bathroom?

A: Ideas for tub surrounds in a master bathroom may include using marble surrounds, battens, and drop-in designs to enhance the overall look and feel of the space.

Q: What tools are needed to decorate the edge of the tub?

A: To decorate the edge of the tub, you may need a nail gun, liquid nails, and paneling materials to create a stylish and appealing tub surround.

Q: How can I help you decorate the bathtub surround around a garden tub?

A: A good way to add a decorative touch to the bathtub surround around a garden tub is by using battens, a drop-in design, and a wooden shelf to make the space visually appealing.

Q: What are some tips for creating a traditional bathroom with a decorative tub surround?

A: To create a traditional bathroom with a decorative tub surround, consider using subway tile, marble surround, and paneling to achieve a timeless and classic look.

Q: What is an effective way to make the room look more stylish with a bathtub surround?

A: One effective way to make the room look more stylish with a bathtub surround is by adding a tile backsplash, a wooden shelf, and hand towels as decorative accents.

Q: How can I add decorative elements to the side of the tub with a tile surround?

A: To add decorative elements to the side of the tub with a tile surround, consider using a rattan, batten, and a shower curtain rod to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space.

Q: What are some tips for using paneling to decorate the bathtub surround?

A: When using paneling to decorate the bathtub surround, you can make the frame with a top board, side walls, and a touch of elegance with a decorative finish.

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