Revealed! The best colours for a bathroom according to the experts

Planning a bathroom makeover? These are the colour schemes experts recommend you go for

Bathroom tile ideas
(Image credit: Topps Tiles)

When it comes to bathrooms, choosing a colour scheme can be tricky. White or some version of white is the obvious go-to as so much sanitaryware tends to be white, and don't get us wrong we love an all white bathroom but, surprise, there are other colours you can decorate a bathroom with. So we asked the experts how they would choose the best bathroom colour...

So whether you’re looking for bathroom ideas to make a statement or create a neutral spa like feel, these handy tips from Victorian Plumbing will help you choose the best bathroom colour scheme for your home! 

1. Start with a mood 

Removable wallpaper in a bathroom

(Image credit: Wallpapers4beginners )

Spending time looking for bathroom colours you like can be daunting. Simplify by first asking what you want the space to say. Is this a family bathroom that needs to be practical and sturdy, or a peaceful place to escape to after work? Finding the mood first will help you narrow down colour choices. Want to relax? Look to pastels and pale blues. Want a pragmatic space? In that case, go for something neutral! This is a good way to narrow down schemes from the start. 

Pro Tip: Pinterest is the perfect place to find bathroom inspiration. 

2. Use the colour wheel 

Bathroom tile ideas

(Image credit: Topps Tiles)

Many people panic when it comes to pairing colours in bathrooms. This is because space is often limited and so colour clashes are highlighted. Take advantage of the colour wheel to make things easier! The wheel lets you see at a glance how colours relate to each other visually and has been used in design for generations. Opposite colours – say red and green – are complementary, whilst those next to each other –like green and blue – blend. Play around till you find your perfect combination. 

Pro Tip: start with the colours you love and see what pairings and blendings you can create. 

3. Stay neutral 

Charlotte and Adam Jarega extended and reconfigured their frumpy 1930s house to make way for a modern, family-friendly home

(Image credit: Georgia Burns)

Neutral bathrooms are classics for a reason. They allow colours to inspire feelings of calm and serenity. But they can feel a little bit boring. Break this up by mixing two different neutrals together. You’ll be surprised at the difference this can make! Go one shade darker – i.e. grey and white, or beige and brown. This is a great way to future proof your bathroom too, as double-neutrals don’t really go out of style. 

4. Follow the 7-2-1 ratio 

Little Greene bathroom

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you want to add a splash of colour to your bathroom but you’re not sure how far to go, choose three shades – one neutral, one colourful but light, and one bold. Then, divide these across the space with a ratio of 7-2-1. So seven-tenths of the room should be neutral, two-tenths lighter and colourful, leaving the final tenth bold. This will add colour to the space in a non-domineering and balanced way. 

5. Start big, get smaller 

bathroom in Georgian home with painted floorboards

(Image credit: Julia Currie)

When considering a new bathroom scheme, start with the biggest surface first. So begin by painting your widest wall. Then work down to the furnishings, bath and vanity and finally the accessories like the towels, taps and soap dispensers. 

6. Be brave and go dark 

(Image credit: Gorgeous George and Design Hotels )

Bathrooms are traditionally seen as white, bright places, but don’t be afraid to go a little darker. A dark colour, such as charcoal or indigo, can really make a bathroom pop, especially when used in stark contrast with bright light finishings. Matt black fittings are becoming more popular all the time, with many of us opting for black and anthracite showers, taps and fittings these days!

For more black bathroom ideas head over to our gallery. 

7. Or contrast bright colours 

Small bathroom

(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

Bored with traditional bathrooms and want a more energetic and youthful space? Use two contrasting bright colours to create an invigorating combo effect that’ll really make your space pop. So think orange and blue, mint and white, pink and turquoise. Use white trims and lots of natural light to temper the space so it isn’t too overpowering.

For more colorful bathroom ideas check out our gallery. 

8. Think in threes 

Bathroom ideas

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Want a good, sure-fire way to create a balanced bathroom colour scheme? Pick a colour you love, and make sure you use it three times. So if you have one red wall, add red towels or a red sink to accent. For white wallpaper, add white cabinets with a white toothbrush holder. Try and have at least one colour repeat three times. 

9. Keep things soft and subtle 

rolltop bath with timber beamed room

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

If you’re stuck, look to nature for colour inspiration. Colours like Robin’s egg blues, coral pinks and oranges, coffee browns and seafoam blues and greens are perfect for bathrooms. These hues feel natural and organic, and are a great way to soften the hard edges and corners often found in bathrooms. Bring some of the outside in. 

10. And don’t forget the floor

bathroom with painted floor

(Image credit: Future)

If you’ve got a wooden bathroom floor, you can really make the space pop by painting the floorboards. Make sure you prime the floor and sand it before adding two coats of paint to each board. This can give your bathroom a rustic, country-farm inspired look too! 

For more tips on painting floorboards head to our step by step guide. 

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