Industrial bathroom design details and how to use them


Industrial bathroom design details and how to use them

There are many elements of industrial design style that come together to create the raw, imperfect look evocative of a former factory or warehouse. The style emerged when post-industrial warehouses were converted into residential dwellings, resulting in high-ceilinged spacious apartments with all the original features intact – brickwork, pipes, tiles and concrete. Industrial-inspired design is central to the Coalbrook identity, so you’ll find lots of bathroom fittings to help you create the look. Let’s identify every aspect of an industrial interior design look and feel, and see how you can use them in your own home.

Exposed Brick Wall

One of the main elements of an industrial finish is exposed brick walls which suggest the building previously had a functional use rather than domestic use. Many of these brick walls now have a time-weathered look. If you’d like to create this in your bathroom you will need to have the plaster stripped off your walls to expose the brickwork. Alternatively, you can buy brick slips to put on top of the plaster. 

If you have just one wall as exposed brick and tile or paint the others, you’ll create a softer look. You can also paint the raw bricks white if you prefer. As long as the finish isn’t perfect, you’ll achieve the raw, edgy look of industrial space. You could also consider having the bottom half of the wall covered in wooden tongue and groove panelling with the top half bricks. The main aim is to use texture to create a rough and rustic feel and not one of sleek perfection.

Industrial-Style Bathroom Accessories

The Bank range by Coalbrook has a minimalist, industrial aesthetic. The gunmetal taps, showers, basin mixers and bath fillers provide a great contrast with exposed bricks, white tiles and sanitaryware. The other metals available, such as brushed brass or nickel would also work, but the shine of chrome is best suited for a more sleek, modern bathroom. For an industrial-look shower try the Bank 2 Outlet Shower Valve With Handspray and for the handbasin look at the Bank 3TH Deck Mounted Basin Mixer.

The radiator and light fittings should ideally complement taps and fittings to create a coordinated scheme throughout, although it’s fine to use a couple of different metals in the bathroom for an imperfect, edgy design. Rounded controls bring some soft edges into the stark utilitarian interior, as does a freestanding bath.

Exposed Pipework & Wires

In a factory or warehouse there was no need to make the space pretty by concealing all the pipes, ducts, and wires. If you looked up to the ceiling, you would see pipes and cables exposed overhead. This look is not easily achieved in modern domestic settings as everything has already been neatly hidden in the walls and ceiling, but you can retrofit some industrial-style fixtures to create the look.

Choose light fittings that have an industrial feel and hang them from the ceiling on fabric flex cables. Bare bulb lights work particularly well, and metal factory-style shades also create the right atmosphere. Original vintage lampshades from decommissioned factories and warehouses can be sourced - the more rustic the better. Wall lights can also be fitted with cables inside exposed pipes secured onto the wall. 

Subway Tiles

White subway tiles give a utilitarian feel and contrast nicely with dark grout and gunmetal fixtures and fittings. Place them in a running bond pattern for an authentic factory look. A modern twist on the classic industrial style involves subway tiles laid in a herringbone or chevron pattern. Different coloured tiles are now popular too, giving a softer feel. If you choose coloured tiles make sure the other elements are all there to retain the character of an industrial setting.

Concrete, Wood and Glass

A mixture of different materials will give a textured, functional look. Each surface serves its purpose in a factory, so embrace this idea in your bathroom. Concrete walls or floors bring in are not uniform in colour giving an aged, unfinished feel. Wooden panels bring in another texture and can be left untreated or painted to bring in colour. Crittall-style windows and shower panels are ideal in an industrial bathroom design, due to their metal frames and stark minimalist lines that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1930s factory.

The popularity of the industrial style shows no signs of slowing down. If you try and include most of these elements into your bathroom project, you’ll create a perfectly imperfect industrial-chic space. For more inspiration on how to create this look in your home why not visit The Market Building, our destination retail space that showcases the Coalbrook ranges in just this setting. Discover our products and those of our partners in a space that celebrates our brand’s industrial heritage.

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