Tiled Bathrooms: Creating the Perfect Black-and-White Design

Tiled bathrooms can be bold and daring, especially when they feature primarily black and white materials. Black and white are true opposites, and when they're placed next to each other, they provide a powerful punch or contrast. By incorporating both shades into your bathroom tile, you can create a bold design for the room where you start and end your day.

Photo features Crystal Stone II 12x12 mosaic random-strip and 5/8 x 5/8 square in Pewter on the surround.

This timeless night-and-day palette is a fashion chameleon, fitting well within a variety of classic or contemporary designs. Use the following suggestions to start designing your black-and-white bathroom today:

Consider Going with a Black Tile Floor

The vast area that a tiled floor covers makes it a dominant player in any bathroom. However, the color of the floor is especially important for grounding or anchoring the design. A black floor is a smart anchor for a bathroom space because it will highlight a white tub. Some black floor tile options include textured glazed porcelain, such as the Taiga line, which comes in plank shapes and adds a modern or classic effect, or natural stone, which creates a more rustic or rugged look.

When choosing a tub, go with an attractive freestanding unit or one that has black iron feet for impressive impact. Either of these tub styles will appear to float off the contrasting color below — not just because of their lifted designs, but because white visually jumps forward, while black recedes. Using the same line of thought, opt for a white pedestal sink and either a floating wall-mounted vanity or a cabinet with legs to lift it off the floor.

To maximize every inch of your bathroom flooring, carry the tile into the shower stall. If you prefer, you can finish the shower with the same tile but in a different format — such as one that's smaller than the floor tile — to create definition or visual separation. If you want to downplay the dazzle of a black and white bathroom, but reap similar design benefits, add gray to the color palette.

Smartly Style Walls

Not only are black walls powerfully dramatic, but black visually recedes and can make small, tiled bathrooms appear larger than they are. Again, black walls will make every white fixture or accessory that's in front of them look as though it's jumping forward or floating.

If you're going for a modern, streamlined look, try to elongate the space with Sistem C Citta tile. Install the narrow black rectangles vertically or diagonally for a fearless patterned design. And if you're aiming for gleaming Hollywood glam or a minimalist setting, wrap the space in large-scale black tile, such as the Negro option in the Oxford collection. Lastly, if you want to design black walls that are more vivid, create a striped effect by alternating black and white tiles. And if a black tiled wall sounds too bold for you, go with a white tile and then add black details or accent tiles to give the walls a true black-and-white look.

If you plan to use white underfoot and on the walls, add contrasting bits of black to the space. For example, try incorporating small white accent tiles into your black tile floor, surround and backsplash. On the other hand, if you have black walls and flooring, fill the room with white accents, from the trim and towels to the tub and sepia art in white frames.

Decorating doesn't get much simpler than a black-and-white color scheme, but when you pull it all together, it's anything but simple. Done right, this style is downright daring, dazzling and timelessly trendy. And when it's time for a change, this neutral look welcomes almost any accent color, from rose red to robin's egg blue, to join the design.