Black bathroom ideas: 10 ways to use this on-trend colour

Create a cocooning space for a relaxing soak with these sultry shades

Thinking about a bathroom update? If you are, you'll have noticed that black bathroom ideas are on the increase. In fact dark colours are a big trend for most rooms in the house. There are a number of different looks you can go for, so decide in advance what you're drawn to. Knowing whether you prefer a moody gothic style, something more glamorous or a cleaner contemporary feel will guide you to the right fittings, finishes, tiles and paint tones.

Black bathroom ideas

Once you've narrowed down the basics, like who'll be using the bathroom, you'll be drawn to certain surface materials to create your bold bathroom colour scheme. For example if it's where you'll be bathing the kids, tiled walls will be a good option. Alternatively consider half painted half tiled and current bathroom splashback ideas. If splashes are less of a concern, start looking at the best black paint for your project.

Armed with this information, you'll have a better idea which of these beautiful black bathroom ideas will suit your lifestyle and the look you want to achieve.

1. Paint walls, window frames and skirting the same shade

bathroom with black paint wall and steel bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Lisa Cohen)

Consider a bold bathroom paint idea by cocooning with colour! f you fancy a gorgeous shade of matt black paint for your walls, increase the impact by painting the skirtings and window frames in an eggshell version too. Leaving them white creates an entirely different look and can lessen the impact if dark and moody is your thing. Colour matching a linen blind will complete the leaden backdrop for cosy candle-lit soaks.

Here the dark shades look stylish rather than sombre, thanks to the steel bateau tub, floor-standing bath filler and burst of light from the sun ray mirror.

2. Make it monochrome

bathroom with mirror on wall and commode

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith)

Like the idea of a black bathroom but not sure you could actually live with it? It pays to consider this properly, as a new bathroom doesn't come cheap. Ideally, it's going to last you for around fifteen or more years. So it makes sense to work out what you genuinely like rather than choose what's currently on trend.

Going for a monochrome black and white bathroom look with a mix of black and white surfaces, gives you the freedom to change the paint colour and tiles at a later date. Sticking with white on the more permanent fittings such as the bath and vanity unit can be a wise choice.

3. Go for spa-like style with marble

bathroom with black marble and shower

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Fraser Marr)

Marble is a desirable choice in bathrooms and walk-in showers - and it's easy to see why. Marble signals luxury and it's for this reason it's the material of choice for high-end hotels and spas. It's an expensive option though and it takes looking after. An alternative option that is popular with homeowners is marble-effect porcelain tiles, as they're so practical and easy to maintain.

Many porcelain floor tiles have a slip rating too, so check with the manufacturer. 'We recommend a resistance rating of R13 for wet areas such as showers,' says Louisa Swannell, Head of Creative Design at Walls and Floors. 

4. Light the ledge

bathroom with black wall and white bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tamra Cave)

Many bathroom renovations often entail building a false wall to hide plumbing and pipes behind. Depending how deep it is, this often presents an opportunity to create a cupboard or a shelf above.

In an all-black bathroom like this one, including a strip of LED lighting along a shelf or ledge, makes a worthwhile feature. It not only helps illuminate the space, it means the main light can be off if you want a relaxing soak. Remember, water and electricity are not a good mix, so ensure any lighting has the correct IP rating, which varies depending on the distance from the water source.

bathroom with frame on wall and shower with basin

(Image credit: Future PLC)

It's become popular to make the bathroom feel less like a functional space and more like a comfortable room you'd like to spend time in. One way to enhance this is with a gallery wall idea.

In this bathroom, black tiles on the floor and shower walls, along with the dark countertop, create a striking contrast with the white walls. Against this, the black frames around the monochrome artwork and photography really stand out. This thin black border near the ceiling is a nice finishing touch.

6. Tie the look together with tiles

bathroom with white tiles on half wall and bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

To prevent a black bathroom from looking gloomy - and dating too soon - it's wise to keep the more permanent fittings such as the bath and basin white. After all, noone wants to end up with the 2020s equivalent of the avocado suite.

Patterned tiles are big news in both bathroom and kitchen schemes and choosing a black and white geometric motif for your flooring makes uniting these two shades easy. Mixing a patterned floor with brick-style tiles for the splashback is another popular look, made even more stylish with dark grey grout.

7. Mix black walls with marble finishes

bathroom with tiles on wall and plant with shower

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

The owners of this bathroom not only went for patterned tiles on the floor to tie the matt black walls and glossy white fittings together, they've gone for carrara-style porcelain tiles in the walk-in shower too. The dark grey veining works perfectly and gives a luxurious lift to the room, while the traditional brass taps and shower head add warmth to the cool colour scheme.

It goes without saying, when choosing the best black paint and patterned tiles for your project, gather swatches and look at them in the room you're decorating, and at different times of the day, so you can tell whether you still like them as the light changes.

8. Bring in some bling with a brass vanity unit

bathroom with round shape mirror on wall and potted snack plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

For blogger Jess Hurrell of Gold is a Neutral, the shimmering shade is just that - and it works a treat in her gorgeous (and multi award-winning) black bathroom.

Having asked her builders to create the vanity unit carcass from plywood, Jess bought bespoke brass doors from Custom Fronts. 'I then painted the whole room black to allow the brass cabinet to shine,' says Jess. 'I love how the brass dulls down over time, then a quick lick of Barkeepers Friend and it’s shiny as new again.'

9. Create a cocoon with black walls, floor and ceiling

bathroom with black wall mirror and hand shower

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tamra Cave)

If you're feeling brave why not embrace a move to the dark side and go the whole hog with black walls, floor and ceiling in your bathroom. Large jet black floor tiles have been teamed with a polished plaster effect on the walls and ceiling, which creates a cavernous yet contemporary feel. The antique gilt-framed mirror provides a touch of glamour in this bold black bathroom.

10. Introduce a quirky gothic look with black wallpaper

bathroom with wallpaper on wall and wash basin near soap

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Paul Raeside)

There's been a Victorian gothic air in interior trends in recent years. From curiosity cabinets and decorative trinkets to characterful wallpapers these bygone oddities have thrown off their dusty vibe and come back into our homes. This look has crept into the bathroom too. Here, you can have fun with hints of darkness, such as black wallpaper, and an ornate gold sink. If it's a look you love, scour salvage yards for vintage taps and bath fillers.

What colours go with black in bathrooms?

All colours go with black in bathrooms because it provides such a striking contrast. Any accent colour shines against the darkness of black. When it comes to fixtures and fittings both silver chrome or gold brass work wonderfully to create a sophisticated accent for black tiles, walls or flooring to shine bright in comparison.

How do you design a black bathroom?

Think about whether you prefer baths, showers or both. A free-standing bath suddenly becomes a worthwhile investment, if an indulgent soak in the evening will wash away the stresses of the day. Likewise a walk-in shower or double basins seem worth the extra cost if it makes the morning routine smoother.

'The early stages are about exploring what this room will be used for,' says James Lentaigne, creative director, Drummonds. 'Is it a master en-suite, a family bathroom, an occasional guest bathroom or an additional shower room? The finishes will determine the look and feel of the bathroom. Think function and mood. As well as tiles, paint or panelling, what window coverings and flooring? What metal finish will be specified for the brassware?'


Jacky Parker is a freelance interiors & lifestyle journalist, specialising in modern interiors, design and eco living. She has written for Future’s interior magazines and websites including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home for over fifteen years, both as a freelance contributor and inhouse, with stints as Acting Digital Editor, Livingetc and Acting Style Content Editor, Country Homes & Interiors. Her work also features in national and international publications including Sunday Times Style, Telegraph Stella, The Guardian, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and more. With years of experience in the industry Jacky is privy to the insider view and the go-to places for interior inspiration and design-savvy décor.