Concrete is an incredibly useful material, and it’s been employed in interior design applications for decades. Many homeowners even go so far as to use concrete for the walls and floors of their bathrooms. However, is bland, gray concrete really the perfect backdrop for your shower, sink, tub, and vanity, or should you consider your options before you cover everything with a layer of thick concrete? Explore the pros and cons of this material as you progress in the bathroom redesign process.
Using Concrete as a Wall Material: Can It Be Done?
It’s certainly possible to use concrete as a material for the walls in your bathroom. Ever since the dawn of industrial décor, interior designers have used concrete to make bold statements and add durability to bathrooms everywhere. Even contemporary décor often makes use of concrete as a design material, so it’s not like no one has ever applied concrete to the walls of their bathrooms before.
At the same time, using concrete in your bathroom isn’t one of the most popular choices to make. Instead, many homeowners opt for quartz, marble, granite, or another type of stone as they select the right coverings for their bathroom walls. With that said, concrete certainly has a unique charm that you shouldn’t underestimate; when you use it the right way, concrete can lend a meditative or contemplative allure to a bathroom that would otherwise be too bright or feminine.
Benefits of Using Concrete on Your Walls
Using concrete in your bathroom offers a lot of benefits that you shouldn’t overlook. Here are a few quick examples:
1. Makes a Statement
There’s no denying that concrete makes a powerful statement as a décor material. The moment you enter a bathroom with concrete walls, you can tell that you’ve stepped into a different world. Every sound is muffled, the light from outside looks subdued, and as you run your fingers along the smooth, stone-like surface of the walls around you, you’re transported to your own private industrial oasis.
2. Pairs Nicely with Concrete Flooring
If you’re already planning to install concrete flooring in your bathroom, you might as well go ahead and install concrete walls as well. One of the detractors of concrete as a décor material is that it looks out of place when it’s only used in one area, but you can solve this concern by deploying concrete in as many places as possible. While it’s probably best to not put heavy concrete on your ceiling, allowing the concrete on your floors to seamlessly make its way up the walls in your bathroom creates a soothing effect.
3. Helps Create Contrast Between Textures
Many décor styles call for contrasting textures, and installing concrete walls in your bathroom is one way to achieve this effect in style. Concrete pairs especially well with wood; whether you want to use weathered beach wood or finely-polished Old World furniture in your bathroom, you’ll find that concrete provides the perfect textural contrast to any wooden features you install.
Marble surfaces also go well with concrete. While bright white marble with pink veins would probably look a little bit too odd in contrast with concrete walls, darker types of marble would look right at home. For instance, a dark marble countertop on your vanity would blend seamlessly with the concrete on your walls. Throw a bezel-free, round mirror on the wall above your vanity to complete the effect.
4. Works Great in Contemporary or Minimal Bathrooms
If you know you want a contemporary, minimal, or industrial bathroom but you don’t know which wall material to choose, you should strongly consider the benefits of concrete. This material is one of the most minimal wall coverings imaginable; it’s all one tone, and its smooth, bland texture seems like it stretches on and on as far as the eye can see. Even contemporary bathrooms with lots of clean edges can benefit from a concrete wall or two.
5. Concrete is the Perfect Material for Masculine Décor
You can categorize most décor styles as being either masculine or feminine. Décor with lots of rounded edges, pastel colors, and soft accessories is considered to be feminine, and darker rooms with lots of sharp corners and mood lighting are considered to be more masculine.
While concrete would look utterly out of place in a feminine-style bathroom, it’s the perfect material for adding edginess to masculine bathroom designs. Paired with soft lighting, black marble, and stainless steel, concrete can serve as the backdrop for a perfect masculine bathroom masterpiece.
Things to Keep in Mind
Even if you’re convinced that adding concrete walls to your bathroom is the right way to go, there are still some factors you should consider before you move ahead with your bathroom redesign plans:
1. Works Best in Bright Climates
It’s undeniable that concrete is one of the drabbest materials you can work with in your bathroom. If you live anywhere that’s frequently overcast or experiences long, cold winters, you might want to choose a different material for your bathroom walls. Going from a gray bathroom to gray winter skies might end up being more than you can take after a couple of winters. In bright climates like California and Florida, however, concrete walls will fit right in.
2. Prone to Staining
Concrete is highly porous, which means that it’s prone to staining. We don’t need to remind you about all the substances in your bathroom that you’d prefer to avoid memorializing forever in your concrete walls.
3. Concrete Is Heavy
There’s no way around it: Concrete is a heavy material. This substance is far heavier than drywall or wood paneling, and it’s even heavier than most types of stone tiling. Therefore, if you have any concerns whatsoever about the structural integrity of your bathroom, concrete walls might not be the best idea.