Grey Bathroom Ideas & Inspiration

Lifestyle image of a grey bathroom design, featuring grey striped tiles across its floor and walls
Author: Alex Palmer
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In the eyes of many, the colour grey has developed something of an unfairly maligned reputation. From drab high-rises to dreary weather to the association of risque romance novels turned equally risqué films, the various shades of grey often carry unwanted connotations. However, when it comes to interior design, grey is a powerful tool indeed for creating a striking array of stylish, interesting themes that never fail to impress. Grey bathrooms are no exception, so read on to discover how you can utilise this underappreciated colour to gorgeous effect. It’s time to buckle down and put our grey matter to work on… well, grey matters.

Is A Grey Bathroom Right For Me?

An obvious question to start with, but an important one nonetheless. It’s also pretty easy, as the answer is a resounding yes! Grey is a neutral, universal colour that can be used to achieve practically any kind of look; from light to dark, warm to cool, vibrant to subdued, modern, traditional or even industrial. Grey bathrooms can be literally anything you want them to be. Grey’s versatility allows it to work alone or in tandem with a host of other colours, which means the only limit is your imagination.

Savvy consumers all over the world have been putting together luxurious grey bathrooms for many years now, imbued with the kind of timeless elegance that ensures they never go out of fashion. Broadly speaking, there are three directions you can go down when planning your own grey bathroom:

  • All grey
  • Primary grey
  • Secondary grey

An all-grey bathroom, as the name suggests, is an interior that uses grey almost exclusively to create a stunning monochrome space with subtly differing tones. All-grey bathrooms can mix lighter and darker greys to gorgeous effect. For example, you could use light marbled wall tiles to accentuate a darker, slate-grey vanity unit, complete with a grey countertop basin and chrome or brushed nickel taps. Grey bath panels, radiators, flooring and even towels can all contribute towards this effect, resulting in a tranquil, neutral interior oozing with effortless class.

Moving on, a primary grey bathroom is a space that features light or dark grey as the main colour option, using either one or more additional colours for contrasting and highlighting. Meanwhile, a secondary grey bathroom switches this around, using grey as the contrast to a more dominant alternative colour of your choosing. All-grey, primary grey and secondary grey bathrooms each have their own merits, so the route you go down is entirely dependent on your own aesthetic preference.

Lifestyle image of a grey bathroom design, featuring grey striped tiles across its floor and walls

What Types of Grey Are Available to Choose From?

We’ve already exhausted our Fifty Shades of Grey jokes quota for this article, so we’ll just say there’s quite a few different kinds of grey to explore. In fact, whatever sort of look you’re going for, there’s a type of grey to suit you. From dark grey bathrooms to light grey bathrooms, the spectrum is vast in terms of tone, style and texture.

For instance, if you want to create a sleek, modern grey bathroom with a seamless finish, you might want to go for a lighter matt grey theme. Matt grey wall and floor tiles are smooth to the touch and offer a duller, subtler look that limits the amount of shine, making them ideal for elegant, minimalistic spaces. Marble effect tiles can also suit this type of interior, especially if you’re aiming for a more luxurious look.

On the other hand, darker, stone-grey furnishings can help foster a beautifully naturalistic quality in your bathroom. Stone-effect tiles, such as graphite, anthracite and charcoal, are rich in texture and sheen, adding a real sense of high-end, spa-like indulgence. This dark, alluring look can be used to create truly jaw-dropping interiors, particularly when combined with brushed metallic fixings (taps, shower heads, valves, etc.), natural wooden panelling, or even a bespoke freestanding bath painted in a matching slate finish.

Even varying shades of paint can go a long way towards crafting your dream grey bathroom suite. For example, exposed brickwork painted over with a sleek matt grey lends itself perfectly to a stylised, industrial-chic interior, especially when used in tandem with brushed nickel, brushed black or brushed stainless steel taps and accessories.

How Can You Warm Up A Grey Bathroom Interior?

As smart and luxurious as grey bathrooms can be, the nature of the colour always leaves the potential for a certain amount of drabness if not implemented properly. This can be especially true of all-grey bathrooms. To avoid this, you need to think carefully about both the lighting in your bathroom and the tones of grey you wish to employ. If you have a north-facing window in your bathroom, it’s important to keep in mind that the type of natural sunlight these windows let in can often be quite cold and gloomy. Lighter greys can often enhance this unwanted effect, while darker, stronger greys can cancel it out to create a cosier space.

However, if you do have your heart set on a lighter shade of grey, you can also utilise the power of artificial lighting to offset the dreaded northern window effect. Warm, bright ceiling spotlights can work wonders when carefully placed, infusing your grey bathroom with a wonderfully balmy glow. An LED mirror or mirrored cabinet can also help, removing the north-window pallor to provide a more accurate reflection.

You can also use bright metallic fixings to add sparkle and flourish, such as chrome taps, a golden shower head or a set of brushed brass accessories. When combined with cleverly placed lighting, metallic fixings can bring dazzling warmth into your grey-toned bathroom sanctuary.

Lifestyle image of a grey bathroom design, featuring grey floor tiles and striped grey wall tiles

What Other Colours Go Best With A Grey Bathroom?

This is the beauty of grey bathroom design – as long as you’re savvy about it, every colour can go with grey! Grey is such a neutral, relaxing choice that it works with anything, either as a primary or secondary colour. So, if you’re looking for grey bathroom inspiration that incorporates other hues, here’s a quick breakdown of just a few of your many options.

Grey and Black

A classic combination that never goes out of style, a grey bathroom with black touches (or indeed vice versa) is a sure-fire ticket to luxurious bathroom elegance. Whether its grey marble-effect tiling with matt black taps, slate walls given extra depth by subtle black accents, or even a stunning grey feature wall in an otherwise black interior, there are countless ways to take these design stalwarts and really make them your own.

Grey and White

Much like black, white exists outside of the colour scale. This makes it compatible with everything, including grey. A grey bathroom interior with traditional white sanitaryware is a guaranteed winner, with plenty of room for imprinting your own individual flourish. Alternating grey and white tiles can foster a soothing, tranquil atmosphere, while matt grey walls can help your glossy white bath, basin and toilet to really stand out.

Lifestyle image of a grey and white bathroom design, with grey painted walls, white wall tiles, grey marble washbasin and a strip of grey tiles in the shower enclosure   Lifestyle image of a grey and white bathroom design, featuring grey painted walls, white wall tiles and a grey marble washbasin

Grey and Metal

As we’ve already covered, metallic taps and accessories can bring warmth and to your grey bathroom design. There’s nothing quite like the gleam of a brushed gold shower head or dazzling chrome valve to breathe life into the surrounding space. Metal flourishes can illuminate and accentuate your trendy grey interior, and it’s an incredibly easy effect to achieve. All it takes is a brass basin tap, a stainless-steel towel rail, a brushed nickel tumbler holder or a gold-framed mirror positioned where the light can hit, and your bathroom can spring into dazzling life.

Grey and Wood

If you’re going for a naturalistic, stone-grey interior with graphite tiles or anthracite flooring, why not keep the rustic theme going with a cunning touch of wood? An authentic wood-effect vanity unit can feed into an overall Scandinavian spa-style interior, as can wooden panels built around an inset bath tub and even a wood-accented feature wall. A wood aesthetic evokes feelings of calming, primal splendour, perfectly in sync with the relaxing vibes of a luxurious grey bathroom.

Grey and Bright Colours

The fusion of neutral grey a brighter, livelier tones might not seem compatible at first glance, but you’d be surprised at just how well these seemingly disparate elements can help each other out. Tactical splashes of lime green or cool, oceanic blues in your grey tiling can add genuine pizzaz to the proceedings, and certainly doesn’t need to appear garish or out of place. It’s all about developing an awareness of which colours compliment certain tones of grey, so by all means research and experiment to come up with something that really speaks to your personal stylistic leanings.

So, there we have it. A few points to get your started on your grand, grey adventure. From large, grey bathroom spaces to smaller, more intimate grey bathroom suites, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to style, practicality and that all-important ‘wow’ factor. We hope we’ve given you plenty of grey bathroom ideas to think about, but feel free to get in touch with any further questions. Our bathroom design service is a great way to build your dream space from the ground up and see how it'll all turn out, while our Leeds showroom is simply bursting with inspiration. We’ll see you soon!

Lifestyle image of a grey bathroom design, featuring grey striped tiles across its floor and walls