Black-Themed Bathroom Ideas & How To Use Black As A Colour

Lifestyle image of a black tiled bathroom
Author: Mark Fullilove
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When it comes to bathrooms, black is not the first colour to spring to mind in terms of popularity or a chosen décor option. This light-absorbing shade can often seem unwelcoming or even morbid, which may not necessarily marry up well with the aim of achieving a nice, relaxing Zen-like space.

Are Black Bathrooms in Trend?

You may be thinking that all-black should be reserved only for mid-80s goths or New Zealand rugby players, and probably not for bathroom spaces. However, black bathroom wall tiles, fixtures and fittings have grown significantly in popularity over recent years.

This is partly due to how versatile black can be when paired with almost any other colour, contrasting beautifully with everything from stark white to metallic hues such as chrome, gold or brass. It also works incredibly well with a wide range of different materials, including marble, natural stone and acrylic. This makes black a powerful asset in creating luxe bathroom spaces in a variety of themes, be they contemporary minimalist, period traditional or industrial chic. This timeless, universal quality can effectively ‘future-proof’ your bathroom, ensuring no ‘dear lord, what have I done?’ moments a few years down the line.

Nick Graville from Kudos Showers advised the following in our 2021 bathroom trends guide: “Black continues to prevail, being a strong robust colour, with more accessories, brassware and coordinating components allowing a complete theme.” Other brands in our 2022 and 2023 guides have also commented on the growth in black from their own ranges.

One thing is certain: black is certainly on trend, and it doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon!

Can You Create an All Black Bathroom?

When a black bathroom is mentioned, it’s easy to get carried away envisioning a plethora of black: black fixtures, black fittings, black tiles, black paint – everything black! This can seem quite daunting, but a stylish balance is achievable with a little thought and preparation. Black is a bold choice, requiring careful consideration about whether it can be lived with 24/7, 365 days a year by all bathroom users. To start with, here are three key points when looking at designing a black bathroom:

1. Lighting

Black absorbs light, so a sunlight-facing space with lots of natural light will be the most functional for an all-black bathroom – especially if increasing your energy spend isn’t high on your list of priorities. Sticking a bathroom mirror directly opposite a window can also help reflect natural light around the room.

However, if your bathroom is fully enclosed with no natural light, you’ll need to look at illumination through other means. This can be achieved through well-positioned ceiling spotlights, or even a LED mirror. A mirrored wall can also distract from the black and spread light evenly.

2. Decorative Patterns or Mosaics

Incorporating other colours can really take the edge off the potentially oppressive feel of an all-black bathroom. Splashes of variety can offer both decoration and mental stimulation, even if it’s just lighter shades of grey-black or charcoal-black to mix things up a bit. Throwing in a subtle pattern, such as decorative motifs or Moroccan tiles, can provide alternative colour to accentuate the black theme. Another trend predicted to make a big comeback this year is chequerboard, which uses solid blocks of white to both brighten the space and really bring out the black.

Lifestyle image of a black bathroom desing, featuring black wall tiles, black and white floor tiles and a black washbasin

3. Accessorise & Brassware In An Alternative Contrasting Colour

A final option is to alter the colours of your brassware and accessories to stand out amidst the black interior. From taps and shower heads to toilet brushes, mirrors and furniture handles, a unified alternative colour can serve to break up the black monotony in a deliberate and visually pleasing manner. You could use chrome, brushed brass or gold for a smart metallic flourish, or stick with matt white for a clean black-and-white theme.

Creating A Coloured Feature Wall

If you want black as your dominant colour without the risk of going all-in, you might consider creating an alternatively coloured feature wall. In most cases, this works best as the largest wall in your bathroom that’s free of windows and doors, as you don’t want any distracting interruptions breaking up the visual flow. Feature walls work extremely well in tandem with other eye-catching bathroom statement pieces, including baths, vanity units and countertop basins. If the feature wall is located near a window, a bright, fresh colour choice will help bolster the light around the space.

Lifestyle image of a bathroom featuring black marble wall tiles, black crittall framed shower enclosure and matt black brassware

Or Create A Coloured Non-Feature Wall

A more subtle way to bring a little colour into your bathroom is to do so on a secondary, non-feature wall. While not as immediately apparent or bombastic as a full-on feature wall, brightening up a lesser-seen wall is a still a great way to break up the black. A less noticeable coloured wall – particularly if quieter, more neutral colours are chosen, can bolster your theme and maximise the light in the room.

Lifestyle image of a bathroom featuring black hexagonal floor and wall tiles

What Colours Go With Black?

At this point, it’s wise to consider which colours might go best with your predominately black bathroom. The good news is that, since black absorbs light, it’s actually considered a ‘non-colour’. If you look at a colour wheel, for instance, you’ll see that it only features primary colours and the colours of the rainbow, as well as the various shades in between. Black and white both sit outside the colour wheel, which means they can work universally with any colour therein. This gives you free rein to be as modest or daring as you like! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Black and White Bathrooms

The literal yin and yang of the bathroom world, black and white interiors are always a popular choice. White is cooling, fresh and bright, and actively reflects the light. Black is dark and moody, adding texture and depth to make the room seem larger than it is.

Black and white is often referred to as being monochromatic because they are essentially variant shades of each other. A black-and-white theme doesn’t need to be complex or intricate, and is often used to create stylishly minimalistic bathrooms. Together, black and white are timeless, simplistic and easily changeable should you ever wish to update or refresh your space. This combination can appeal to everyone, which makes it ideal if you’re semi-conscious about one day selling your bathroom to prospective house buyers.

White can be deployed in a variety of different ways to enhance black surrounds, from sanitaryware and ceramics to plain or pattered flooring. Even smaller touches can make a big difference, such as white blinds, shower curtains or towels.

Lifestyle image of a bathroom with blakc and white hexagonal floor tiles, a black and white bath mat and black rectangular wall tiles contrast against white fixtures

Black and Grey Bathrooms

If white feels a little too bland or safe to you, then adding grey or anthracite tones into the mix can really offset the black. Grey sits in the middle of the white-black spectrum, providing coolness, neutrality and calming tranquillity. It can be used in luxury features such as marble backdrops, with hues ranging from lighter shades to off-black greys that create subtle contrast without venturing too far from the main black theme.

Black and Golds

Sam Sparro once sang about black and gold (yes, that reference has probably appeared elsewhere too), and this combination also extends to bathrooms as a match made in heaven. Gold-shaded metallics, such as brushed gold, bronze, or brass can add a sense of boutique, high-class flourish to your interior. The gold doesn’t even have to be used excessively, with subtle, well-placed dashes doing the trick just fine.

Lifestyle image of a bathroom with painted black walls and a matt black wall hung basin contrast against pink tiles

Black and Bright Colours

If bold is in your personality, why not let it show in your bathroom? Bright colours can work wonderfully with black, as demonstrated by everything from sports to fashion to nature itself. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out on a leopard print wall or bee-striped floor tiles (unless that’s your vibe, of course), but little splashes of pink, orange or yellow can really bring a certain je ne sais quoi into your darkly-themed interior.

Using Black Accents Or As A Secondary Colour

You might be looking to merely dabble in black rather than make it your primary colour. In which case, flipping things around to make black the secondary colour is another valid option. You could reverse the earlier suggestion and have an entirely black feature wall, or simply use a few black tiles to add depth and variation to a predominantly lighter wall.

Alternatively, black fixtures and fittings can be used to bring stylish accents into your bathroom. For example, a shower enclosure with a black frame or square-framed style glass can form a striking statement piece, particularly if paired with a black shower head and valve. If you have a standard white bath, you could look at equipping it with a black waste and filler, and even a black shower handset. For a premium, truly standout flourish, you can’t beat an all-black freestanding bath perched majestically in the middle of your bathroom.

From here, you can start to accessorise! Black robe hooks, toilet roll holders and towel rails can all tie into your overall theme, as can larger fittings such as black basin taps and black-framed mirrors.

Tiles are another easy way to bring black into your space. There’s a huge variety of effects and patterns out there, from black brick-effect, parquet, stripes and herringbone to stars, geometric shapes, veined marble and floral imagery.

Finally, if storage is a must have, why not add a black wall-hung vanity unit or freestanding unit? Like tiles, these can come in a variety of shades, from black marble to matt or gloss black colours. They can be combined with white marble and woods for a truly decadent look.

Are Black Fixtures And Fittings In Style?

If you’re worried that the demand for black is going to suddenly vanish the moment you get your all-black bathroom up and running, then worry not; black is here to stay. Black fixtures and fittings are riding the crest of the wave at the moment, and have grown substantially in demand in a very short space of time. In fact, here at Sanctuary Bathrooms, sales of black items have grown 90% from pre-pandemic levels, even allowing for changes in the market in the last 12 months.

What Shades or Finishes of Black Are There?

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that black is black and that’s the end of that. However, black is just as varied and versatile as any other colour (or non-colour). There’s a multitude of shades and finishes to choose from within the wider realm of black, and even these can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It’s always worth checking ahead of purchase to ensure consistency with the rest of your fixtures and fittings.

Gloss Black

Gloss black is a shiny version of the colour. This has a silkier, bright finish, usually aimed at trying to reflect some light around the room.

Matt Black

Matt black is a duller finish with a smoother look. It doesn’t shine like gloss black, and is appealing for those who want a subtle touch in their space.

Brushed Black

Brushed black refers to the way that the colour is achieved. The technique of brushing means to apply the colour with a tool, If you look closely at a brushed black tap or accessory, you’ll be able to see faint brushing lines. This is a variation on matt black, and often has a duller, more industrial look.

Charcoal/Carbon Black

Charcoal (or carbon) black is a grey-black colour that reflects very little light. In some lighting, it can even appear to have a blue tint, similar to that of carbon paper.

Black Onyx

Named after the gemstone, black onyx is a glossy like material or substance, some of which may come with marbling-like effect.

Images and Pictures of Black Bathrooms for Inspiration

As a source of inspiration, we have curated a selection of images and pictures of black bathrooms from suppliers and around the web, illustrating how black can be used to different effects in a bathroom space.

Lifestyle image of a black and white bathroom design, with chequerboard floors, contrasting black and white wall tiles, white washbasin unit and a tropical wallpaper with a black backdrop

Lifestyle image of a black bathroom design, featuring differently textured black wall tiles

Lifestyle image of a black bathroom design, featuring black marble floor tiles, black hexagonal wall tiles and a black textured wall

Close up lifestyle image of a shower enclosure with black tiles arranged in a chevron design

Lifestyle image of a black bathroom design, featuring black panelled walls, dark grey wooden washbasin unit and matt black brassware

Lifestyle image of a black bathroom design, featuring a gloss black washbasin unit, a gloss black wall hung cabinet, a gloss black cistern housing and black painted walls

Black is a hugely adaptable colour. Whether it’s used as a focal point or for a subtler decorative touch, black can help to create some truly stunning bathroom interiors. If you’re looking to put together black bathroom and need a little help, or want to see how it’ll look once it’s all finished, why not make use of our 3D Bathroom Design Service? Alternatively, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, or pop down to our Leeds showroom for a chat and a coffee in person.