Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your guest bath, you’ll need to pick a finish for the fixtures throughout the space. The design path you take is up to you, but should any of the fixtures match?
While it would be easy if we could tell give a yes or no answer, it’s not quite that simple. Since that’s not helpful, we compiled information to help you choose the best fit for your bathroom, so continue reading to learn more!
In This Article
Do Shower And Vanity Fixtures Have To Match?
No, shower and vanity fixtures don’t need to match. You can mix varying finishes to create a dynamic appearance, but it’s usually best to mix cool tones with similar tones. The same advice applies to warmer tones, as warm and cool tones can clash, especially in small spaces.
If you prefer the cohesive look of matching finishes, you can always stick with a singular finish across the entire space. This is a familiar look in commercial and business settings, as it creates a professional appearance. That said, some folks enjoy branching out with contrast and varying dynamics by incorporating finishes.
Choosing matching fixtures for your shower and vanity can create a cohesive appearance, even if you branch out with other finishes. For example, you could use beautiful gold finishes for your vanity faucet and shower fixtures. Then, to add a bit of contrast, you could use a stark, rich matte black for the lighting fixtures and cabinet hardware.
Of course, it’s ultimately up to you – if you prefer the same finish throughout a space, then go for it! But if you want to mix it up, experiment with varying finish combinations until you find one you like!
What Finishes Match Best?
Generally speaking, most interior designers recommend mixing similar finishes. Cool tones pair best with other cool tones, while warm tones complement similar tones. For example, if you have a stainless steel faucet, you could pair it with other cooler tones, like chrome or more stainless steel.
Or, if you like the warmth of gold finishes, pair it with other gold-like warm tones, like champagne bronze or brass. Mixing warm tones with cool tones can cause the space to feel unfinished or random, so it’s generally best to stick with similar tones.
That said, some metal finishes feature undertones that contradict the general tone, so mixing metals is easier. Nickel is a primary example of this. Although the metal boasts a silvery tone that fits in the cool category, it has warmer undertones. So, if you wanted, you could mix warm tones with nickel. Of course, you might need to make adjustments to ensure you like the mixture, but it’s doable.
Some finishes, like white and black, don’t fit into a particular category. Since white is the absence of color and black is the absorption of all color, these finishes don’t need to match with specific tones. You can easily pair these finishes with nearly any color palette or finish color, as they’re versatile.
That said, some folks say matte black seems warmer, while polished black emanates a cooler tone. This stems from the finish, as the polished surface of black fixtures reflects the light, creating a cooler appearance. Of course, you can pair it however you’d like.
Which Bathroom Fixtures Should Match?
Although you don’t have to match any of the fixtures in your bathroom, doing so can create a cohesive appearance. In many cases, bathrooms feature cohesive appearances with similar tones across the board.
This includes the shower fixtures, bathroom faucet, towel bars, cabinet hardware, and lighting fixtures. It’s usually ideal to match similar fixtures.
For example, you might choose stainless steel for your kitchen cabinet hardware but a matte black finish for the faucets throughout the space. While the finishes aren’t the same, they work well together within the area, creating a dynamic appearance without causing disharmony.
Popular Finish Combinations
Although mixing finishes is an exciting process, it can be a daunting task, especially if the world of interior design is foreign. So, to help with the process, here are a few mixing suggestions:
Copper And Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Although these two finishes are in the same warm-toned family, they’re far from identical. Oil-rubbed bronze offers a dark, mysterious, and antique touch to a space, while copper adds a pop of color with its striking amber hue.
Choose a copper sink with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures throughout the space. For an extra pop, go with a freestanding copper tub to match the sink (pricey but so worth it!).
Black And Silver
It’s hard to go wrong with black and silver. These finishes pair beautifully, effortlessly complementing each other while creating a dynamic look that somehow matches. Silvery tones, including stainless steel, chrome, and nickel (although they can have a warmer undertone), match beautifully with matte and polished black finishes.
Use silver-toned cabinet hardware, light fixtures, towel bars, and doorknobs, then add a sprinkle of contrast with black water fixtures (faucet, shower, and bath fixtures). Or, flip the script and use silver for the water features and black for the rest!
Matte Black And Gold
If you appreciate striking contrasts, matte black and gold can make waves when used correctly. As with the black and silver combination, black and gold finishes work well together when used in similar fixtures. So, purchase gold water fixtures and black for the rest, or vice versa.
If mixing and matching finishes sounds overwhelming, you can always fall back to the basics – match the finishes. Pick a finish you like, then stick with it throughout the space. Although it might not create an overly dynamic look, you can always add contrast through decor.
Pair matte black fixtures with black cabinet paint and dusky gray walls for a sharp, clean look. Or, pair champagne bronze with beige cabinets and cream walls for a soft, relaxing space.
Remember, you can always add contrast in other ways, like through wall paint, decor, and cabinetry colors, so don’t be afraid to stick with the same finish color for all of the fixtures in the space!
Tips For Successfully Matching Finishes
If you’re ready to take on mixing finishes in your bathroom, we have a few tips to help ease you through the process. So, as you sift through your options, consider these aspects:
- Take your time: Don’t rush through the process! It takes time to design a bathroom, so don’t rush yourself as you select finishes, paint colors, decor, and flooring.
- Choose correlating colors: As you select your color palette, select colors that pair well. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to stick with warm or cool tones, but be careful when selecting the colors.
- Stick with the same brand: When choosing a particular finish for multiple fixtures, try to stick with the same brand for each fixture. The finishes from different brands often vary, even though they’re labeled as the same color, so if you want the fixtures to be identical, be wary of this.
- Remember other features: If you’re going for a striking contrast in the space, don’t forget to consider different design aspects, like the wall color, decor, and cabinet colors. You might find the contrast a bit much if you have other big ideas for the rest of the space, so it’s essential to consider this aspect.
- Pick a theme: Before you start, evaluate your style ideas for the space and how that translates into finish colors. You might find it easiest to pick a theme and work around that. For example, if you want clean, modern lines, whites, blacks, and silvers work well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Happens If I Mix The Wrong Finishes?
Well, technically, nothing will happen. However, combining finishes that don’t complement each other can create a feeling of instability and randomness in the space. By mixing finishes that pair well, you tie the area together, making it seem like it’s all supposed to go with each other.
If you mix the wrong finishes and you absolutely hate it, you can always try again. Of course, this could be a pricey mistake, especially if you already bought and installed everything. So, we recommend taking your time as you choose options.
It doesn’t hurt to buy a few products (such as a faucet and a piece of hardware) in the contrasting fixtures you like. Take them home, then compare them in the space. This will give you a feel for how those finishes look together in your bathroom’s lighting.