To mix or not mix metal finishes in the bathroom?

Written by
ALISHA ECKER

Edited by
DYLAN DUNSTALL

Finishes are a hot topic in bathroom design today. With so many new and modern options how does one choose? Options like Matte Black and Rose Gold can elevate a design and a faucet in a trendy finish can make a statement. However, coordinating accessories, hardware and fixtures can be daunting!

So the question is, can you mix finishes in the bathroom?

Metal Finishes in the Bathroom

Our answer? Absolutely! But only under three conditions:

1. Choose One Constant

Typically your faucets and shower trim will all have matching finishes. The finishes you select with your accessories (such as hardware, lighting and other accents) will achieve your mixed metal look. In the picture, matte black hardware is paired with accessories, lighting and a faucet in a brushed bronze finish. The "pop” of the black adds the contrast needed to ground the space but doesn’t compete with the brushed bronze fixtures and overall design.

2. Limit Your Selections

While mixing finishes can create a great look you need to be careful not to overdo it. No more than three finishes should be used. This will allow you to achieve the mixed metal look without compromising the overall design. If your design plan includes bold elements such as a claw foot tub or an Kohler Artist edition sink, be careful not to overwhelm your design with mixed finishes

Metal Finishes No No

The image above is considered a "no-no" when working with multiple finishes. Every element overpowers and competes with the other rather than complementing the look and feel.

Metal Finishes Yes

The image above is a good example of incorporating different finishes to create a clean, aesthetic look.

If you love the look of mixed metals but are still unsure, you can choose a consistent, neutral finish like polished nickel and introduce smaller economical accents like tumblers and soap dispensers to give you the desired look.

Complementing finishes in the bathroom.

3. Choose Complementing Finishes

Select faucets and fixtures first as these will likely be your largest expense. From there choose hardware, light fixtures and mirrors which are easier and less costly to experiment with. Find photos for inspiration on our social media pages to get a sense of which finishes work well together. Complimentary finishes don’t have to be similar. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to coordinate high contrast finishes (such as matte black with polished brass).

Bonus Tip:

The best way to make sure your finishes are perfectly coordinated is to consult with a designer. Large spaces and complex projects can often become overwhelming and bold design choices can be costly. Read our expert advice on whether you should hire a designer or not!