Industrial design began in New York in the 1950s, and in recent years it has become a firm favourite with homeowners. It’s a particularly popular design choice in kitchens and bathrooms, with these functional spaces lending themselves well to the key characteristics of industrial style. The main traits of industrial bathroom design are strong and tough materials, weathered surfaces, repurposed furniture and a contrast between light and dark. Think exposed brickwork, white tiles with grey grout, wooden accents and pared-back accessories – you're bound to have noticed these features being used more and more over the past few years. If you’re considering giving your bathroom an industrial makeover, then our industrial bathroom ideas will point you in the right direction.
Exposed brick walls
Bare brick walls are a staple in industrial design, adding a rough quality and texture that is synonymous with the style. You may be able to strip the plaster of a bathroom wall to expose brickwork, but if not, why not try brick-effect wallpaper? Stick to bare brick on just one wall for the best effect, painting the other walls white or grey.
Read more: Contemporary vs traditional bathroom design.
Grey colour scheme
The colour grey is perfectly suited to industrial bathroom design, since the style is all about dark tones. Opt for darker shades of grey – those that look almost like concrete – for your walls or towels and bathmats. For metalwork, brushed metal tends to work best. That said, if the rest of your bathroom is looking rather industrial, sleek chrome fittings will provide balance.
Metro tiles have surged in popularity in recent years, and they’re a subtle yet effective way to embrace the industrial design trend. White metro tiles with dark grey grout are the classic choice in industrial style, striking that perfect contrast between light and dark shades. As with exposed brick, use this statement tiling in moderation for the best effect – perhaps on one wall, in your shower enclosure, behind your bathtub or behind your vanity unit.
Frameless shower enclosures
When it comes to shower enclosures in an industrial bathroom, there are two contrasting options that work particularly well: a black framed enclosure, or a frameless shower enclosure. The frameless option, which can be created using our hinge shower doors, provides balance when you’ve already included a lot of dark industrial features, while a black frame works well if the rest of the bathroom is more muted.
For the ultimate industrial shower, install a ceiling- or wall-fed rainfall showerhead. Alternatively, you might choose an option with exposed pipework like the Mira Realm, which gives a nod to the Victorian era and therefore looks like it could’ve been part of an industrial upcycling project – but with 21st Century thermostatic controls for a modern and luxurious showering experience.
Soften the brick and tile effect with the addition of some natural wooden accents. Install wooden shelves for storing towels and spare loo roll – ideally made of aged, tarnished wood – or better yet, search for a second-hand wooden table or cabinet that can be upcycled and used as a vanity unit for an industrial bathroom sink. Add wooden storage baskets for storing all of your bathroom essentials. You could also choose to lay wood-effect flooring that contrasts nicely against exposed brick and white metro tiles.
No industrial bathroom is complete with a houseplant or two, whether that’s a leafy fern, a spikey snake plant, a tropical orchid or a trawling pothos. Find out which are the best plants for the bathroom to ensure your chosen plant is well suited to your bathroom’s climate.
For industrial-style bathroom lighting, consider LED filament lightbulbs that are closely associated with the trend. Armed wall sconces resemble candles, and you can choose a style that features a fully exposed bulb or one with a shade. For ceiling lights, go for a spotlight with a cage-style lampshade.
Ready to embrace the trend? Check out our hinged shower doors to begin your industrial bathroom makeover.