How to Style an Industrial Bathroom
Wondering if an industrial bathroom style could be right for you? If you love the look of exposed pipes, metal fixtures, concrete, and brick, then yes, this style might be just what you are looking for. In this article, we’ll take a look at this trending style and give you our top tips on how you can create the look in your own home.
The Industrial Bathroom Style
The industrial style takes its inspiration from old factories and industrial spaces that have been reimagined as lofts and other living spaces. Think open design, bare bricks, metals, and wood, plus salvaged or recycled materials. It’s relaxed and unpretentious, and brings feelings of simpler times. To work this style into your bathroom, our top tips are to:
- Choose a vanity with exposed pipes or metal accents
- Install a statement shower or tub
- Add vintage materials and colors
- Go for Exposed Lighting
- Complete the Style with “Industrial” Accessories
Let’s take a closer look at each of these ideas…
Choose a Vanity With Exposed Pipes or Metal Accents
Exposed pipes are one of the hallmarks of the industrial style. If you want to go all out when choosing your industrial bathroom sink, choose a vanity unit with the water pipes exposed rather than hidden.
If you are not a fan of exposed water pipes, you have a couple of different options that will work equally well. One option is to use dark metal (preferably black) for the vanity legs. This vanity combines a wood countertop, vessel sink, and metal legs for an authentic industrial vibe:
Another option is to use black metal drawer pulls and sink fixtures. Adding black metal details is an inexpensive way to upgrade an existing vanity. This vanity uses a black metal cabinet combined with black taps:
Whichever industrial bathroom sink you go for, make sure your fixtures echo the industrial vibe. Some popular options include:
- Sink fixtures that look like plumbing pipes
- Old fashioned wheel style handles
- Wall-mount fixture with cross handles
Install a Statement Shower or Tub
Next up, you want to consider your shower options – are you going for a shower or a tub. If the plan is a shower, we recommend you go for a statement shower with a framed glass enclosure.
A popular choice is a grid or windowpane style shower enclosure. The grid consists of individual black metal mullions attached to the frame and over the top of a single pane of tempered clear glass. A more inexpensive way to get this look is to replace an existing shower door with a grid style shower door, available from home supply stores.
If you already have a lot of detail in the bathroom, consider a simple framed (or frameless) solid glass shower enclosure. This allows the shower hardware and other details in the room to be the design focus.
With a larger bathroom, consider including a freestanding tub. One great option is an old-fashioned clawfoot style tub, which brings in the vintage vibe. Alternatively, you can also make a round or rectangle tub work, as long as you make it standalone rather than built-in.
Add Vintage Materials and Colors
An industrial style bathroom uses materials that look like they come from an earlier era, even if the materials are brand new. Material and color choices tend to be “dark” – i.e. black fixtures, darker colors, rough details and generally giving off a masculine vibe. You’ll find no pastels, florals, or soft details here!
Brick is a great choice if you are going for the industrial look in your bathroom. If your building already has brick, you are in luck. If not, there are brick options that look vintage even if they are new. Alternatively, go for brick-styled tiles; terracotta is a great choice.
Another popular choice is subway tile, which isn’t just for the shower stall in an industrial style bathroom – you can also use it on all the bathroom walls. If you want the subway tile to stand out, opt for a dark grey or black grout. For a more subtle look, use white or grey grout.
Darker shades of green, purple, or orange sing industrial vibes all the way. However, if you’ve already got a lot of design features in the bathroom, a simple white or cream may be just the right choice to let the details and accessories shine.
You’ve got lots of options when choosing your perfect floor material. Concrete, or a concrete-look, is a classic industrial feature. Tile is another popular option, either using large format tile (often in a grey color) or interesting black and white patterns, such as herringbone or hexagonal. Wood is another good option, either real wood floors, or tile that is manufactured to look like wood.
If you are lucky enough to have windows in your bathroom, bring in the industrial look by using windows with muntins.
Go For Exposed Lighting
Industrial style lighting and vintage-looking light bulbs are very popular right now so there are many options for your bathroom design. Some of our favorites:
Vintage-look filament bulbs. These are a great option when the bulb itself will be visible. They use LEDs that look like the “filaments” of old incandescent lights. Since these are made to look at, they are often a little less bright, so they won’t blind you. Keep this in mind as you plan your bathroom lighting.
Pendant lights. You’ll find classic dome-shaped options that remind you of old schoolhouse or library lights from long ago. The dome shape may be constructed of metal, or it could be ripple or seeded glass, which includes slight bubbles and imperfections. Another pendant choice is to use one or more simple wire electrical cords with a vintage light bulb.
Wire cages. Available in both wall and ceiling lights, wire cages add a vintage vibe and show off the detail in the bulb.
Milk Glass. Milk glass is an opaque white glass that was first made in Venice in the 16th century. Today, you can find original and reproduction milk glass lights in old school look that will fit right into your industrial bathroom.
Complete the Style with “Industrial” Accessories
How do you style an industrial bathroom? As you shop for accessories, think black and white, as well as metal.
- Bins. Look for solid or basket style trash cans. Wire storage bins can hold toilet paper, extra towels, or bath supplies
- Mirrors. Be sure to pick metal framed mirrors or medicine cabinets, in either round or rectangle shapes
- Accessories. Find interesting dark glass, or vintage looking soap and lotion bottles
- Pictures. For your walls, cool black and white vintage pictures and old fashioned signs add that industrial touch
- Towels. Choose black, white or grey. If you want to add color, think dark and rich. Deeper shades of purple, green, or orange work well
Top RoomSketcher Tip!
Avoid over-decorating: Allow the raw use of materials to be the focal elements.
How to Visualize Your Industrial Bathroom
These days, it’s easy to visualize all your design ideas on your computer or tablet. It’s a great way to try out materials, colors and styles without committing to anything until you are sure of your design. Take a look at this overview of how you could use the software app, RoomSketcher, to visualize your bathroom online.
All of the photos in this article were created in the RoomSketcher App. With RoomSketcher, every user can access the RoomSketcher App and take snapshots for free, so you can start planning your industrial style bathroom straight away.
Get started on your industrial style bathroom design today!