How to create an industrial-look bathroom

We dish out some advice on how to achieve an industrial bathroom with a natural patina. From brassware to concrete, we've pulled together all the options

Industrial bathroom with corrugated metal

It’s a space that has resisted succumbing to this style of decorating for a longer time than others, but looking at the emerging material and style trends for contemporary bathrooms, it’s safe to say that industrial in the bathroom is in.

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Grey grout-free bathroom wallpaper tile-effect
Industrial bathroom with oil slick bath tiles
Tiles from Bert & May

But, whether it’s sanitaryware or brassware, buying into the industrial look doesn’t just end with off-the-shelf purposes, it’s about deciding whether to buy with the intention of creating a space that naturally ages over time, to create a bathroom with a rich patina.

Let’s start with brassware – where industrial styles meet factory-inspired elements, including wheel handles and knurling details. When it comes to choosing pieces that will patina over time, it’s the finish that’s more important.

Some industrial styles are designed more to retain their finish than others, and matt or brushed finishes will be much easier to keep clean and mark-free, despite looking more industrial from the outset. Taps and shower elements in polished finishes, ironically, will develop more of a natural patina over time.

Brushed finish gold metal taps

With concrete, advances in manufacturing over the years have made the material more water-resistant, as well as offering even more design options for the likes of concrete basins, so raw and rough has become much more of a go-to than the crisp, white and glossy look that has dominated bathrooms for the longest time.

Metal baths are also a popular piece for both contemporary and traditional spaces and are also a product that will naturally patina over time when coming into contact with water. Many retailers already sell these baths in distressed styles, with oxidised and watermarked finishes that embrace the natural properties of the metals used.

Brassware tub with aged patina
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When it comes to patina, you have to be able to accept that you’re not totally in control. How the piece ages and develops can’t necessarily be guided, but if you do embrace it, the pieces will have a depth to them, and a longevity in your space that usually can’t be bought ready to order.