Bathrooms are probably the most under styled rooms in the home. There’s a standard format of plain tiles plus basic three-piece suite — almost always white. But now, influences by boutique hotels and spas, the bathroom is becoming a place of wellbeing, while innovations in materials have opened up a new world of colour, texture and pattern.


The presence of water once prevented the use of some materials. Even wallpapers with vinyl finishes deemed suitable for the bathroom needed exposure to water kept to a minimum. Italian company Wall&decò has developed a high-impact finish called the Wet System (as seen above). This can be used in showers and over baths and sinks, where there’s direct contact with water. Wet System wallpapers are £156 per square metre.

Minerals and resin

Porcelanosa’s next-generation product is versatile with the added bonus of being active against bacteria. Krion Solid Surface, a combination of natural minerals and high-resistance resins, can be thermoformed or injection moulded to any shape to form sanitaryware. It has inherent antibacterial qualities, a warm-touch surface, high levels of resistance and comes in any colour.

unusual materials for the bathroomThis Aro Krion bath in Snow White has been moulded into curves and has a
warm-touch surface. It is £7,946.39


Consider leather for a luxe experience. The Octagon range by Villeroy & Boch has a faceted wash basin above a leather-clad podium, with a delicate band of rose gold between the two. The compact size makes it ideal for a downstairs toilet  – and at £5,000, you’ll want to show it off to guests.

unusual materials for the bathroom

You wouldn’t want to hide this Villeroy & Boch leather basin podium away,
at £5,000, it’s a statement piece


Bathroom tiles can date and the grout become discoloured. Tadelakt is a waterproof plaster finish used for centuries in Moroccan riads. It offers a seamless finish across walls and floors, and can be moulded into baths, sinks or showers for water repellant surfaces. It costs £125 per square metre (installed).

unusual materials for the bathroom

Tadelakt is a versatile waterproof plaster that has been in use for centuries. It costs £125 per square metre installed from Tadelakt London


When treated and maintained correctly, wood has a long life and can be carved into almost any shape. Manufacturer William Garvey makes baths, basins and sinks from it. Inspired by Japanese bathing culture, the Geo Deep Ofuro bath is compact yet deep. Made from teak and marine ply, the bath comes with back rests and even a seat to rest on while soaking.

unusual materials for the bathroom

For the Japanese, bathing is a relaxing, ritualistic experience. Wooden baths can help you attain that sense of wellbeing. This Geo Deep Ofuro bath would cost £3,950 plus VAT


A bathroom mirror can help to reflect the light, as well as being used for shaving or applying makeup. In a digital age, MirroView by Pilkington does double duty due to its highly reflective mirror coating hiding away tech and protecting it from moisture. After watching TV in the bath, switch it off and the glass becomes a mirror. Price is on application to individual stockists. Visit to find your local supplier.

unusual materials for the bathroom

Pilkington MirroView is a highly reflective mirror coating, ideal for concealing
digital and video screens