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big w fake orchid in white bathroom with black taps

6 Most-Popular Bathroom Tapware Colours + How to Choose

The days of all-chrome are over, decorating junkies! With so many bathroom tapware colours on the market right now, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Let’s explore the top tones available to you, and find out which colour will suit your space the most.

Haven’t bathrooms come such a long way? The last decade especially has afforded us the opportunity to be more adventurous in this zone. Be it the master bathroom, ensuite, or power room, one fact remains true: tapware is the jewellery in these spaces.

Now, I know you find this sort of selection a bit tricky, which is why I want to talk you through the different bathroom tapware colours available. There are six main tones dominating wet rooms, and each is going to bring a different vibe to the space.

This advice comes off the back of a very informative style masterclass I recently hosted recently for Metricon Homes. Their head of design was there with an expert from Reece to talk attendees through a whole host of bathroom trends and styles that I’ll be sharing in other posts on the blog. But for now, let’s get you feeling confident when it comes to bathroom tapware!

boho bathroom with terrazzo floor style blond timber vanity and chrome tapware

1. Chrome Tapware

Think of chrome as ol’ reliable. It’s been around almost as long as dinosaurs have roamed the earth, and brings with it a classic touch.

Chrome is still the most-preferred bathroom tapware colour of the lot, but I put that down to the fact that it’s been around for so long. It’s an easy choice for wary homeowners to make. I’d say that in years to come other tones will dominate, but for now chrome still lands in top spot.

Chrome tapware not only brings a sense of tradition with it, but it’s also a tone that can blend into the background. And that’s not a bad thing. When considering your bathroom selections, you want to have one wow moment. If tiles are the focal point, or a bathtub is taking centre stage, you might very well want chrome taps to take a back seat.

Above in this Metricon bathroom you can see how the subtlety of the chrome taps allows the tiles to be the feature.

If you want chrome tapware but are eager for a little adventure, consider a shape that feels less run-of-the-mill and let that be a little design moment in your bathroom too.

industrial style bathroom with matt black tapware and timber floating vanity

2. Matt Black Tapware

Matt black tapware had a real moment about five or six years ago. The thing is, though, that moment went on and on. Black taps are just as popular now as they were back then, and with good reason: they bring a punch or modernity to a variety of bathroom styles.

If you like the look and feel of a crisp, contemporary bathroom, then black tapware is your go-to. It delivers a striking contrast against white tiles and can be the one moment of vibrance in an otherwise subdued space. Or let it play with other design elements in the room that have the same vibe. In the Metricon bathroom above the black tapware pairs beautifully with the terrazzo tiles and timber vanity.

While black tapware works wonderfully in moody, industrial bathrooms, don’t mistake it as a masculine choice for darker zones. Pop it in a Hamptons bathroom like this one and see how it can make the traditional feel wonderfully on-trend.

the block tess and luke bathroom with brushed nickel tapware

3. Brushed Nickel Tapware

My favourite of all the different bathroom tapware colours has to be brushed nickel. It’s a fairly new one in terms of popularity, but I really encourage you to consider it for your space.

A moodier sister to chrome, brushed nickel tapware gives you that same sense of subtlety, but with more interest. It has a little more intrigue to it, and sports a finish you want to go up and touch. And who doesn’t want that kind of tactile allure in their bathroom? You can see it at play above in Tess and Luke’s gorgeous Block bathroom (a fave of mine from the 2019 series).

Brushed nickel tapware also has a little more grit to it; perfect for an industrial bathroom, or one where you want to rock a small amount of masculinity. It also feels more mature. While chrome tapware can feel a little ‘been there, done that’, and sometimes even a little pedestrian, brushed nickel gives you a fresh feel without the shine.

bathroom tapware colours brass tap in white marble bathroom metricon

4. Brass Tapware

A few years after matt black dominated bathroom fixtures, along came brass. This is definitely the most eye-catching of the lot. So if you’re looking for tapware that makes a statement in the most luxurious of ways, brass can’t be beat.

The sense of elegance and sophistication is the main drawcard here. Brass tapware makes no apologies for the wow-factor it brings to a space. And contrary to popular belief, it works in more bathroom styles than you might think.

Sure, brass tapware shines against a black tile in a dark and moody bathroom. But it also works against white tiles for a clean look with bursts of bling.

If you don’t want a visually vibrant bathroom, avoid it at all costs. But if you love the show-stopping nature of brass, you’re probably already getting heart palpitations over the beautiful Metricon bathroom above. Gorgeous isn’t it?

the block 2020 andy and deb bathroom with brushed gold tapware

5. Brushed Gold Tapware

If you’re wanting to elevate the look of your bathroom but are worried about the dazzling sheen pure brass will bring to the space, consider brushed gold. It’s the slightly more subdued sibling of brass. You get the sense of luxury but without the volume turned up too loudly.

Brushed gold tapware works wonderfully in a monochromatic bathroom; one where there’s less contract and the colours aren’t as jarring. Think a boho style like in Deb and Andy’s Block bathroom above. You know; matt floor tiles, organic shapes in basins, and light timber cabinetry. Brushed gold is perfect for that vibe because it elevates it without pushing it toward a hotel style.

The added bonus of brushed gold tapware is that it won’t show up fingerprints, other marks and dirt as easily. So if low-maintenance appeals to you, it’s brushed gold for the win.

hard graphite bathroom tapware from reece

6. Hard Graphite Tapware

Last but not least is hard graphite tapware. In the world of bathroom tapware colours it’s not one you see showcased in bathrooms a lot, but I think it’ll come to the forefront in time.

The look and feel of hard graphite gives you the modern impact of matt black tapware. It has mood, it has depth and it has masculinity. But it also has the sheen of chrome. So if you want to give a subtle nod to industrial style without the room going in too cold a direction, give hard graphite a go.

It’s not just an industrial bathroom that’ll benefit from the inclusion of hard graphite. Luxe hotel-style bathrooms also look wonderfully rich and sumptuous when showcasing this style of bathroom tapware.

Love the look of this colour tapware? Explore the GROHE range from Reece here.

And if you want to see way more tapware examples to get inspired by, visit the Metricon bathroom showcase here.

Which of these different bathroom tapware colours is your favourite? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions below too if you’re stuck on making selections for your bathroom.

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission.  © Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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6 Responses

  1. Our new apartment is fitted out with graphite, also referred to as gunmetal grey. It really is a great alternative to matt black. Thanks to a Chris for another great blog

  2. The jewellery of the bathroom – I just love you!! It is true though. I am with you – loving brushed nikel at the moment, and I must say I would love a brushed champagne or soft gold colour too. Thanks again for nailing it 🙂

  3. Thanks for putting all the choices together, I really like the hard graphite tone. We are renovating our house and haven’t chosen any tap ware. Now I know what to look at. I thought I liked the black, but now find this too harsh a tone in the beautiful bathrooms, seems to take away the serenity (in my opinion).

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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