If colours could be soul mates, then black and white would make the perfect pair. Team them in a bathroom and they'll create a striking scheme with lasting impact.
Black absorbs light and white reflects it – uniting the two is one of the most effective ways to create a bathroom that punches above its weight. In pattern terms, the options are virtually endless and can be as simple as black and white tiles laid in a chequered formation.
Tiles of the same colour stand out when teamed with contrasting grout, such as black tiles with white grout or vice versa.
Laying rectangular tiles in different patterns creates a multitude of looks, from brick or linear layouts to herringbone and basketweave – again this will create far more impact with contrasting grout.
See these beautiful metro tiled bathrooms.
For a masculine, tailored space, look to smart stripes or houndstooth repeat patterns – Decorum Est has some exquisite monochrome mosaics in semi-precious stone. For an earthier vibe, introduce hard-wearing industrial materials, such as concrete or white painted brick.
If understated luxe is your thing, beautiful Carrara marble is hard to beat. At the other end of the scale, a fabulous black wallpaper will lend a dash of decadence.
Monochrome needn’t be moody and dark, if that’s not the style you’re going for. Balancing the black-to-white ratios in favour of the latter will create a far lighter, brighter space.
Check out these dark and dreamy bathrooms.
A softer, more organic approach can be achieved using irregular, curved patterns such as monochrome patchworks, floral designs or circular tiles, like the shower room shown below.
Equally, installing baths or basins in curvalicious shapes will soften a stark scheme, as will flourishes of foliage.
If you’re just updating a plain, white bathroom, rather than renovating the room, the simplest way to monochrome magic is to replace the taps and shower fittings with some smart matt black brassware.
Alternatively, for an instant style upgrade, fit a cool Crittal-style shower screen and your bathroom will be fully on-trend.
These owners designed a huge shower, as they were putting in a new bathroom from scratch. The wall tiles are actually enamel medallions found in a warehouse in Providence. Dark grout makes the circular patterns stand out.
Get the look Topps Tiles’ Shapes circle matt white mosaic tiles have this look.
Interior designer, Amelie von Celsing used marble-effect porcelain as it looks so indulgent, but it’s practical and hard wearing too.
Get the look The marble-effect porcelain is from Mandarin Stone. The showerhead and fittings are by Vola.
The Carrara marble mixed with the black brassware gives a slice of drama to this classic and beautiful design.
Get the look The matt black brassware fittings are from Dornbracht.
The 19th-century Thomas Crapper cistern in the bathroom was an eBay find.
Get the look Porcelanosa sells similar marble tiles. Aston Matthews sells wall-mounted brass towel rails.
The owners here wanted their home to function well, so spent the bulk of their budget on life-enhancing structural elements and practicalities such as showers that don’t dribble. That left less to spend on fittings, so they scoured Ebay for bargains and found this bath for £100.
Get the look Find a similar Venice slipper bath is from Savisto Bathrooms. The floor and wall tiles are from Tons of Tiles.
The master bathroom was based on one in Shoreditch House. It was originally planned with a built-in bath and shower but then the couple saw the freestanding tub going for a good price.
Get the look The bath is from CP Hart. The wall and floor tiles are from World’s End Tiles.
This home was once an Indian restaurant. Once the men’s loo, the basins were the only things that were salvaged. The room was painted in black gloss for a dramatic look.
Get the look The metro tiles are from Walls and Floors. The brassware is by B&Q. The Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in 1971 photograph is by Terry O’Neill from The Little Black Gallery
A wet room finish makes the most of this space, and no-nonsense fittings kept costs down.
Get the look Bath, ebay. Tiles, Walls & Floors.
Tactile tadelakt and lava stone tiles wrap around this bathing space that’s both efficient and indulgent.
Get the look These are Made a Mano lavastone tiles. The handshower and brassware are Gessi at CP Hart.
Two Crittal-style black framed shower walls in slightly different sizes create a smart walk-in shower enclosure.
Get the look Find anodised aluminium framed shower walls at Merlyn.
The Crittall-inspired interiors trend has hit the bathroom, and we can't think of a lovelier way to frame a space.
Get the look This is the Metal Craft Frame shower screen in Matte Black, from £2,000, at Majestic Showers. Pembroke marble floor tiles from the Silk Road Collection by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna Mosaics start at £1,096 per sq m, at Paris Ceramics.
Sleek, smooth tiling and curved modern basins combined with the simplified, minimal lines of the matte black wall lights, mirror and taps creates a simple and textural space.
Get the look The Milan basin mixers are by Tre Mercati at QS Supplies. The basins are from Lusso Stone. The mirror is from Next Home. The wall lights are from Holly’s House. The Italgraniti wall tiles are from Tower Ceramics.
This bathroom has no natural light apart from a frosted glass window onto the landing. It can be a mistake to think you need to paint a dark room in white, it often works well to just embrace the darkness! Dark can be bright and warm.
Get the look Floor tiles, Odyssey. Wall tiles, European Heritage. Metal shelving, Maisons du Monde. Walls painted in Railings, Farrow & Ball.
Floor-to-ceiling metro tiles and a Victorian-style floor put a period spin on this modern wet room.
Get the look The metro tiles are by Walls and Floors. The floor tiles were bought from Tons of Tiles. This is a Burlington pedestal basin.
The concrete wall and floor panels are bespoke and designed to create a gritty backdrop to the sculpturally shaped white basins.
Get the look The Il Bagno Alessi One basins by Stefano Giovannoni for Laufen and the Dornbracht MEM wall-mounted mixers are from Ripples. The Hector Mini Globe pendants are from Hector Finch. The bespoke concrete wall and floor panels are from Ivanka.
Trends in shower screens have moved on from the pared-back, can-barely-see-it’s-there look. Outlining is one way to breathe new life into bathroom minimalism and with their elegant clean profiles, Alternative Bathrooms’ Metal Craft screens feel both modern and timeless.
Get the look The Metal Craft Screen is by Alternative Bathrooms.
The flat matt metro tiles together with the dark grouting and black taps give this bathroom an industrial edge. To smarten it up a bit, extra-large tiles have been used in a herringbone pattern.
Get the look The tiles are from Tons of Tiles. The taps are from homary.com. The bath mat is from Urban Outfitters.
Taking a more traditional approach, this monochrome bathroom features wallpaper and painted black panelling. The antique glass tiles that surround the bath really help pull this room together.
Get the look This is Lotus wallpaper by Farrow & Ball. Try Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black estate eggshell for a matching paint shade. For modern versions of these antique tiles, visit TST Mosaic Tiles.
Replacing a wall with a glass screen will help create a sense of space. Bathroom brassware help lift this industrial-style bathroom and give it a touch of modern elegance.
Get the look The wall-mounted mixer tap is by Studio Ore at Bert & May. The concrete basin is also a Bert & May design.
Plain white walls and a black floor keeps this bathroom fresh and simple.
Get the look The bath and shower are by Sbordoni. For a similar floor paint try Pitch Black modern eggshell by Farrow & Ball.
Beautiful tiles and vanity units tend to turn our heads, but it’s not often a shower door has the same effect.
Get the look New to West One Bathrooms, the Gridscape enclosure series (from £865) allows you to mix ’n’ match clear and coloured glass panels to your heart’s content, opening up new realms of bathroom-style possibility. Team with white tiles for that crisp NY loft feel.
Monochrome tile risers draw the eye into this small, pure white bathroom, adding a sense of space.
Get the look The floor tiles are Kerion’s Décor Branche Mer from its Neocim Collection. In the UK, try Abbey Decor porcelain tiles, £32.64 per sq m, at Porcelain Superstore.
Enter the dark side, where black gloss and leather are set against verdigris brassware.
Get the look The brassware was from Lassco. The bath is Waterworks. The paint is Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball.