Experts answer: Is gray a good color for small bathrooms?

See how to use gray in a small bathroom to bring extra life to this versatile color

Gray bathroom with bathtub and white sink
(Image credit: Lapicida)

Deciding if is gray a good color for small bathrooms? While you may think this color is pretty basic, it can actually be a great choice. 

We asked design pros for their top advice when it comes to using gray in a small bathroom and if it's even a good color to use in the first place. You may be surprised in all the ways you can liven up this neutral palette. 

See their top small bathroom ideas and how to style a gray bathroom.

Is gray a good color for small bathrooms?

Gray bathroom with patterned floor tiles, pale gray wall, gray cabinetry, pearlescent wall tiles, mirror

(Image credit: Brad Ramsey / Paige Rumore)

Getting sick of your small bathroom? Trying some new gray small bathroom ideas is a great way to mix things up. You may be looking for a neutral color palette to decorate with or your rental bathroom is already painted with gray walls. 

Gray can seem like a boring color at first glance but don't worry, there are plenty of ways to liven it up. "Using gray in small bathrooms can be quite effective if you know how to use it. Based on experience, lighter shades of gray can make a small bathroom look brighter and more open," says Seth Miles, a painting expert from Groovy Hues, a professional painting service.

"Gray is a trendy color for small bathrooms. It's a neutral color, which means it’s very versatile and can be paired with a lot of different decor styles and colors," says Seth. 

There are plenty of benefits to using gray in a small bathroom, like ambiance and durability. "Gray creates a calm, neutral atmosphere, which makes it a great choice for small bathrooms. It also helps hide imperfections on walls and, therefore, can withstand being in high-traffic areas like bathrooms," says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy Painters of North Shore.

"Gray is timeless and tends to stay in style for years, it is great for keeping your bathroom looking modern without needing frequent updates. The best part is it hides small spots and splashes better than lighter colors," says Andre.

How to use gray in a small bathroom

Using gray doesn't have to mean styling a boring small bathroom. There are plenty of simple tips and tricks to inject more life into a neutral space. "One of the best ways you can style a small gray bathroom is to use the same shade on the walls and ceiling. It creates a seamless look that adds depth to the space and expands it," says Andy Ellis, founder of luxury home goods retailer, Posh.

Painting a ceiling needn’t be intimidating when you know how to do it.

Be sure to offset the gray tones with contrasting features which will help break up the color palette. Andy adds, "Adding white elements such as trims, fixtures, and tiles can also create a sense of depth through the contrasting colors and open the space up a little more. Small bursts of color in the form of patterns or fixtures can also help to brighten the room and make it feel larger than it actually is. It’s all about making the space feel less flat.”

You can try tiling a small bathroom or installing peel-and-stick wallpaper in various textures to add visual interest. 

"When styling a small bathroom with gray, consider using different textures and shades of gray to add depth and interest. For example, a light gray wall paint paired with darker gray tiles can create a subtle, layered effect," says Seth.

As long as you avoid making small bathroom design mistakes, like using a very dark shade of gray, your space will look open and bright. "It's important to choose the right shade of gray for your space. Lighter shades will make your room appear larger, so I would opt for a pale gray in a small bathroom. Although dark shades of gray can be beautiful in larger spaces, they will easily dwarf a small bathroom," says Andre. 

However, if you prefer a darker color, our design experts weigh in on using black in a small bathroom for a dramatic look.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.