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9 Reasons a Black and White Bathroom Floor is the Way to Go

Looking for ideas to give your bathroom revamp some serious style kudos? This could be the answer

Houzz UK deputy editor. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for the… More

Bold geometry, period pattern, subtlety… a monochrome bathroom floor comes in so many different shapes, sizes and patterns – but it never fails to make an impact, whatever your aesthetic aims. There’s just something very style-confident about it as a look: check out the ideas below and see which could work in your washroom.

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Pick a mosaic
Tiny white or black (or both) mosaic tiling – whether hexagon or penny shapes (a trend slowly making its way across the pond) – is having quite a moment.

Here, the two-tone version creates a delicate polka-dot effect, a bit of a twist on the classic look it taps into. Again, notice how the wall tiling defers attention, but here there’s a slim border of black tile that ties into the floor (subtly).

You can find these sorts of floor tiles in all sorts of decorative patterns – there’s a nice ready-made daisy design out there, and you can also get specialist companies to build your own bespoke mosaic pattern from scratch, too, if you have the budget. They’re not (yet) as plentiful as they are in US outlets, but keep your eyes peeled.

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Let three be company
If black and white is just too two-colour for you, soften the effect by adding a third accent of warm greige, as seen in these greyscale tiles.

With any patterned tiles (or, indeed, a busy rug or feature throw), it’s good to find a way to connect the colours to the rest of the space. In a white bathroom like this, you can more easily get away with letting the floor be a stand-alone feature, but it does add a classy touch of coherence to introduce the colours elsewhere. Here, the artwork does the job – which comes first is up to you.

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Pair with a partner
In an all-white space, with nothing to ‘anchor’ the black in your floor tiles, consider a black feature elsewhere in the room. This could be a tiled border as in the second photo, or a black framed artwork – or you could have a shelf (or set of shelves) made in deep black wood or painted in an inky hue to keep your tiles company, visually.

While we’re here, can we admire the clever use of a false wall for storage? It has allowed for two niche-built shelf boxes, perfect for loo rolls, toiletry bags, storage baskets and, of course, bathroom books, and that lovely tall, black horizontal shelf for the attractive bits of bathroom kit you want to put on show.

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Play with ratios
In a classic-style bathroom that’s not making too much of a style statement – oh, except one of total understated neutral elegance – too much black or geometric or print could tip the balance away from the plush, small-country-hotel-chic look that this space nails so well. But a little monochrome will always look classy… and the trick here to take home? Note how there’s more white than black, which dials down the dramatic contrast you often get with monochrome pattern – so rather than overpowering the rest of the room, the two-tone floor simply adds another complement to it.

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Look to your walls
In a bathroom where you’re aiming to create a vintage feel, metro wall tiles are a good staple.

For a solid Victorian bathhouse look, dark grout is de rigueur… but if you’re going for a black and white feature floor like this one – beware! It can work, but in this bathroom it would have overpowered those beautiful geometric floor tiles.

The glossy metros in this airy space bounce light around the room, and they are tiled right up to the ceiling to minimise distracting line breaks – just the ticket for making a monochrome floor the star of the show.

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Ensure it’s the star
Here, although a pale grey grout has been used on those metro wall tiles, this still doesn’t make the space too busy (see previous point) as the detail doesn’t create enough visual distraction to take away from the impact of those beautiful monochrome floor tiles. At the same time, it does allow the metro wall tiles to get a gentle bit of airtime, too.

Keeping everything else strictly white, chrome or glass, ensures the balance is just right.

A good tip to see how your final design will look is to try out the Houzz tool Sketch. This lets you create a moodboard or collage of finishes and ideas, so you can try before you buy.

Find links to Sketch for Android, iPhone and desktop here (and plenty more tips, too)

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Make monochrome a feature of the whole room
Why stop at the floor? Here, an inky vanity unit and a metal-framed shower door against a white backdrop both work in perfect harmony with that monochrome tiled floor.

Your floor tiles might involve more than an aesthetic decision, too. If you have a walk-in shower, for instance, think about the floor you will use there. Will you go for a concealed tray, and continue your black and white tiles into the walk-in shower for a seamless look (see below), or choose a sleek white tray, as here, to give the shower a sense of separation and highlight it as more of a feature?

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Team with grey…
Another way to soften the drama of black and white tiles is to pair with grey rather than white (or, indeed, black) wall tiles, giving the whole effect that greyscale feel. In this bathroom, also note the effect of a much smaller, finer pattern on the floor tiles – again, the result is more subtle.

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… and consider your shower
In the same bathroom, but facing the other way, check out the tiled shower floor. Unlike the shower featured previously, this one continues the tiles used on the rest of the bathroom floor – and to great effect.

Consider which way you want your pattern to run in line with other elements of the space – perpendicular to the bath or running alongside? Where should the feature end? What about borders? If you’re mixing and matching tiles like this to create a border or a central feature, it’s essential to map out the design to scale in advance, and then run it by your tiler who will no doubt spot potential glitches you may have missed.

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Be playful
There’s a fun mix of eras going on in this bold bathroom. A Victorian roll-top bath, a floor that has a twist on the traditionally smaller-scale classic 19th-century chequerboard design, plus some midcentury furniture and a pop-art-esque artwork in a black frame on the wall. That teal wall further disrupts the formality, while still towing the classic line.

These days you can get very good quality vinyl imitations of tile, which can often work out cheaper than tiles as it’s a less time-consuming and skillful job to lay vinyl.

Are you planning a makeover for your bathroom? Tell us your plans for the floor in the Comments section.
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