Bathroom coloursTips for a balanced colour concept

Choosing a colour in the bathroom is a tough one for many. The range of different colours on offer is huge. Furthermore, technical aspects such as high levels of moisture and cleaning have to be considered. These ideas should help you choose the right colour for your bathroom.

Is special paint needed in the bathroom?

Woman in yellow dress standing in front of mint green bathroom with furniture and bathroom ceramics from Geberit and black taps

It is recommended to use special paints in the bathroom that prevent mould growth. Because of the water vapour, the room climate in the bathroom is very humid.

Conventional emulsion paints are usually not compatible with the high level of moisture seen in the bathroom. Suitable paints are labelled accordingly. Silicate paint or latex paint are both ideal.

Silicate paint has many advantages. It is breathable and can absorb and then emit moisture in the air. This improves the indoor climate. Furthermore, silicate paints are also suitable for allergy sufferers, as they are usually free of solvents. Lastly, silicate paints are mainly alkaline, which ensures that mould has no place to grow.

Latex paints are made of resins (usually artificial resins nowadays). They are moisture-resistant, robust and easy to clean. However, please note that latex paint cannot be painted over as the new paint does not adhere to the surface. The removal is also very demanding – latex paint must be sanded off or leached. If you rent your home, we recommend discussing this with your landlord.

What should you watch out for when buying paint for the bathroom?

Bird's-eye view of different paint cans (© picture from Freepik)

As in all home improvement projects, the work should be carried out professionally. Get advice from your local DIY shop or leave the work to a professional.

In addition to choosing silicate or latex paint, cleaning is also an important point. In the shower area in particular, acidic cleaning agents are used for removing limescale. These can damage the wall paint. In this context, paint manufacturers classify and label their products in five wet abrasion classes:

  • Wet abrasion class 1: Most durable and robust, can be cleaned with normal cleaning agents, sponges or flowing water
  • Wet abrasion class 2: Robust, can also be cleaned with an abrasive sponge or brush
  • Wet abrasion class 3: Limited abrasion resistance, can cope with cleaning agents, sponges or physical strength
  • Wet abrasion class 4: Sensitive, but can be cleaned with a damp, soft cloth
  • Wet abrasion class 5: Least robust, can be damaged with even a soft cloth

Bathroom colours – step by step to the right colour concept

Choosing the right colour for your bathroom is a key step in the design process. But before you get out the colour charts, you should first consider whether to use tiles.

Family bathroom with large tiles and bathroom furniture plus bathroom ceramics from Geberit iCon

Laying the foundations – tiles or no tiles

If you choose tiles in the bathroom, then both the tile colour and size are important aspects. The “grouting-free” look has become increasingly popular for some very good reasons:

  • 1. Design: Grouting can disrupt the look of a room. Larger tile formats create a calmer, more harmonious atmosphere in the room.
  • 2. Hygiene: Grouting has a tendency to accumulate dirt – and dirt is often wiped into the grouting during cleaning. Additional, time-consuming cleaning is then required to bring the bathroom back up to scratch. If not cleaned properly, mould can even build up in grouting.
Woman drying her hair with a towel in a bathroom with open shower and large tiles in terrazzo style

The rear shower wall is a special case as it is exposed to a lot of moisture. If you don’t want to use tiles, here are two alternatives:

  • Elephant skin” protection: The wall is sealed with a special transparent resin that makes conventional paints or wallpaper waterproof. Please note that the surface will have a gloss finish after application.
  • Latex paint: This paint is moisture-resistant and requires a waterproof plaster render. While latex paint is resistant to water vapour, it is not 100% waterproof. Please note that imperfections should not be painted over as this can lead to water damage or mould formation.

Our tip: In showers in particular, flat wall cladding is recommended to prevent water damage. Wall panels are an inexpensive option and are available in numerous colours, or with patterns and photo images.

Large tiles dispense almost entirely with grouting. A touch of luxury can be created with Stucco Veneziano or Marmorino. These are lime plasters that can be polished to a high gloss and then look like natural stone. They improve the indoor climate and have natural protection against mould, but must not be cleaned with acidic bathroom cleaners.

In a bathroom renovation, the first question is whether the existing tiles are kept or the entire room is refurbished. Our bathroom renovation guide contains everything you need to know.

White bathroom with mirror cabinet, washbasin cabinet, actuator plate and ceramic appliances from Geberit

Classic white – a safe bet

After the wild 1970s and 1980s, white again became the colour of choice in the bathroom. White remains very popular as it is associated with purity and quality.

Bathroom series with white toilets, washbasins, white bathroom furniture and shower surfaces are timeless and can be combined well with any colour.

Pastel tones are inviting and give a feeling of space

Pastel tones at a glance

Colours such as beige, light grey or powder shades are often seen on bathroom walls. Neutral wall colours have a modern appearance and impress thanks to their timeless beauty. Moreover, they also give white bathroom furniture, washbasins and toilets a particularly elegant look.

  • Sand shades generally give a warm feeling. Sand and nude shades harmonise body and soul and create a visible sense of peace and calm.
  • A wide variety of grey tones are available. By adding a little brown, a warm grey is created. In contrast, the grey appears cool when a little blue is added.
  • Pastel colours like light blue, rose pink or mint ensure a sense of lightness and well-being in the room. When combined with white, pastel colours make a friendly impression whilst also making small bathrooms appear larger.

Our tip: Whatever colour you decide on, always test the colour in the bathroom itself before painting the wall. An easy way of doing this is by sampling several colours next to each other directly on the wall, or by painting a test pattern on wood or cardboard. Make sure you look at the results at different times of the day, as the light and surroundings (for example, the colour of the tiles, bathroom furniture or ceiling) can have a significant impact on how the colour appears.

Setting accents with bathroom equipment in colour

It goes without saying that bathroom ceramics and furniture also don’t always have to be white. Washbasins and toilets are also available in different colours. If this is a little too much for some people, matt ceramic appliances can be an attractive option. Products in white matt or black matt in particular are understated yet still stand out from the crowd.

Painting the walls or replacing items is not absolutely necessary to add colour to the bathroom. Instead, interior designers add colourful touches with bathroom accessories. The advantage of this compared to painting is that bathroom utensils can be replaced quickly and cheaply. The following offer a splash of colour:

  • Textiles such as towels, bath mats, carpets or shower curtains
  • Soap dispensers, toothbrush glasses and towel rails
  • Vases and plant pots
  • Pictures and sculptures
  • Decorative items such as lights, candles and candlesticks
  • Small pieces of bathroom furniture
  • Tailored actuator plates

Plants can also bring colour to the bathroom together with a natural ambience. But watch out, not every plant is suitable for bathrooms.

Washplace with Geberit iCon lay-on washbasin in white matt and black matt bathroom accessories
Macro image of a hand touching a Geberit iCon washbasin in white matt

FAQs on planning colours in the bathroom

Bathroom products with a functional design

Read similar posts