Material Pairings for Bathrooms: 9 Combos Designers Love - Spinryde Home Renovations

Material Pairings for Bathrooms: 9 Combos Designers Love

Beautiful, practical and enduring – the materials and finishes you choose for a bathroom need to deliver on a number of fronts. If you’re in the process of redoing your bathroom or are looking for ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Here, 10 design experts share their perfect pairings for a great-looking and hardworking bathroom.

1. Georgette Criticos, designer at GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Perfect pairing: Terrazzo and a coloured concrete basin.

I love this pairing as it works in so many different colour combinations, and it encourages clients to experiment with colour and have fun with their bathroom design.

How would you use this combo?
Terrazzo comes in so many colours – the options are virtually endless. Our Albert Park bathroom in Victoria, seen here, is a beautiful example, where Fibonacci Pavlova Terrazzo is used on the floor and half-height wall, paired with a Nood Co Pastel Peach Pill basin.

The pastel-peach basin matches a fleck in the terrazzo and allows the peachy tones of the terrazzo to become more apparent.

Terrazzo can be used in many different ways. In our Albert Park bathroom, we’ve not only used it on the floor and half-height feature wall, but also in the niches. A coloured basin can be featured on a vanity or wall-hung to become the focal point of the bathroom.

Together, the terrazzo and coloured basin create a uniform, inviting and interesting space.

This pairing would suit any bathroom style. For a fun and playful bathroom, a brightly coloured terrazzo and matching basin would work beautifully. For a more classic and understated aesthetic, you could pair a neutral terrazzo with a stoneware basin in a neutral tone that matches a fleck in the terrazzo.

Tip: When specifying real terrazzo, remember it needs to be sealed before installation to protect it from staining.

2. Jacqui Koska, principal at Jacqui Koska

Perfect pairing: A plaster wall paint such as a tadelakt (a coating traditionally used in Turkish bath houses) or a specialist paint finish combined with handmade white matt ceramic tiles.

The plaster finish adds movement and texture to the walls. Pairing it with handmade white tiles adds a craftsman-like quality to a bathroom, making the space feel more inviting.

It’s a timeless combination that works equally well in contemporary and classic bathrooms, depending on the joinery design, fittings, fixtures and other finishes you choose.

Considering redoing your bathroom? Find a bathroom designer on Houzz to help

How would you use this combo?
I like a plaster-finish paint on the upper-half of the walls and the ceiling, and tiles on the lower-half of the walls.

3. Ellen Thomas, interior designer at Smarter Bathrooms+

Perfect pairing: Natural timber and a concrete tile.

There’s something about the flecks in concrete and the smooth grain of timber that is so harmonious and versatile.

It’s a pairing that works in many different shades and bathroom styles. But it’s particularly well-suited to contemporary bathrooms and those with an industrial, mid-century modern, coastal or Scandinavian style.

How would you use this combo?
Timber is great for vanity tops, vanities, shelves and, in the right home, architraves.

I love using concrete-look tiles on a bathroom floor, walls and vanity tops. I’m currently loving the concrete range at Caesarstone, which includes an organic, matt-finish colourway.

Tip: If you’re using timber in a bathroom, make sure it’s properly sealed so moisture doesn’t penetrate. Also be careful about which timber you use on benchtops as some are too soft and won’t be practical. A timber-look laminate is a durable and cost-effective option.

4. Vanessa Wegner, architect and principal at Vanessa Wegner Architect

Perfect pairing: Finger-mosaic tiles coupled with plantation-oak timber veneer.

These products bring texture and warmth to the normally somewhat sterile environment of a bathroom.

I love using colours in bathrooms, such as soothing greens and blues. Adding timber brings a natural element into the space.

How would you use this combo?
I would use tiles on two walls and timber veneer on joinery and to frame a mirror.

Browse more images of beautiful Australian bathrooms on Houzz

5. Heather Gampe, interior designer at Oak & Orange

Perfect pairing: Matt-white tiles and engineered stone. These are usually the first selections we make in our design process for any bathroom.

Since bathrooms tend to be compact, with small windows and low natural light, we like using matt-white tiles to make the space feel bigger. They are also very affordable and lay the groundwork for us to then choose complementary wall and feature tiles, without blowing the budget.

Engineered stone gives an elegant and sophisticated finish, plus we love the numerous colours, patterns and textures available.

How would you use this combo?
Try matt-white tiles on the walls, which are great for making a bathroom feel bigger and brighter.

Then, we like to add an engineered stone, such as Essastone from Laminex, on the vanity tops. We’ll then choose complementary cabinetry and other tiles.

Since engineered stone is purchased per slab, we use the same colour throughout every bathroom in the home to maximise the use of the slab and minimise wastage. This enables us to use different tiles in our bathrooms, so they still have an individual look and feel. It also helps keep everything in a home cohesive.

We also like to use the same cabinetry finish for the bathrooms and kitchen – usually Laminex Country V profile.

6. Eleanor Jesse, principal designer at Kenz Interiors

Perfect pairing: It depends on the whole house design, but I love using feature tiles, such as mosaics, on the walls or floor and adding plain tiles to the rest of the bathroom.

I find this combo creates interest, without being too busy.

How would you use this combo?
I would use feature mosaics on one or two walls or on the floor, and plainer tiles elsewhere in the room.

It feels fresh, modern and innovative. Plus, it’s a really easy-to-use look that works in bathrooms of any style.

7. Kathy McKinnon, principal at Kathy McKinnon Interiors

Perfect pairing: I love using scale or different colours or patterns to create contrast, particularly in smaller bathrooms where I find it helps make the space feel bigger. I’ll combine two tiles of different colours or patterns to add interest and depth, and to visually enhance the sense of scale in a small bathroom.

How would you use this combo?
I might pair hexagonal tiles of two different colours, such as yellow and white, to create a dynamic feature wall. Yellow paired with white is a joyful colour combination and creates a feeling of relaxation that suits bathrooms well.

Or I might pair green-gloss subway tiles with large-format limestone floor tiles and a black onyx freestanding bath, as seen in this bathroom. Green tiles not only nod to the current organic trends, but are reminiscent of heritage bathrooms. Pairing them with with a black onyx freestanding bath gives a contemporary twist.

8. Jane Thomson, principal at Jane Thomson Interior Design

Perfect pairing: I’m currently loving the idea of coupling very large and very small tile formats in a bathroom. I’m also drawn to a colour combination of green, white and black, which is very calming.

I love this combo as it’s different and soft on the eyes. The fresh and serene feel is very appropriate for a bathroom.

How would you use this combo?
Green is great for a feature wall in the shower, behind a vanity or on a bath hob.

Tip: Sometimes, overuse of large-format ceramic or porcelain tiles can make a bathroom appear flat. Adding in mosaics will bring subtle texture and interest to the space.

9. Brydie York, APAC general manager of marketing at Caesarstone

Perfect pairing: One of the most popular pairings for bathrooms in 2022 will probably be Caesarstone Vivid White with Wattyl Titanium White and Wattyl Noir.

Marylou Cafaro, trend forecaster, interior designer and Wattyl colour ambassador, says:
The bold colour scheme of black, deep charcoal grey and white creates a sense of immersion and stability. It provides the perfect canvas for the introduction of lush green foliage and colourful cut flowers.

This bold palette is particularly suitable for larger bathrooms in a contemporary architectural setting or a modern warehouse apartment.

How would you use this combo?

York says:
The crisp white of Caesarstone Vivid White works well for vanity tops and even shelving. It also serves to reflect light within a dark colour palette. Wattyl Noir can be used on one or more walls and even on woodwork such as doors and skirtings, while tiles in a similar palette would be used in a shower stall and on floors.

Cabinetry can also be painted in Wattyl Noir, with Wattyl Titanium White on ceilings and trims. Alternative colours for cabinetry would be a veneer such as Polytec Agave or Black Ply.

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