When planning a renovation, there will be good days when everything goes to plan and bad days, when everything just seems to fall apart. Today had both ups and downs. It is Friday, ahead of the Bank holiday weekend, and I spent it on the phone calling a number of suppliers trying to source some very specific products for our bathroom renovations. The focus was on shower enclosures and a bath shower panel. It should have been a fairly easy search but alas, husband and I are set on having a marble and black theme in our bathrooms.
But black in the bathroom is proving popular (just look at any kitchen & bathroom magazine and it seems that A LOT of people are currently working on a renovation of their bathroom which meant one thing for us: a lot of the products we were interested in were OUT OF STOCK. Cue my shock. Anxiety levels up.
So, to make things a little easier for everyone else, I wanted to record ALL my sources for black ...everything, so be sure to save this post for later. You know, for YOUR black bathroom renovation.
OUR BATHROOM RENOVATION SERIES
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Plan
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 2, The Halfway Point
Ensuite Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Reveal
Family Bathroom Renovation - Part 1, The Plan
Small bathroom remodel with black elements
First on my list is M E T H V E N. At Methven they're all about making water amazing. It’s what they have done since 1886 and today they are world renowned for award-winning showers, taps and valves, with quality, durability and superb craftsmanship guaranteed. They spend a great deal of time and effort on research and development to improve their products.
Aurajet® technology delivers a full-bodied spray with maximum body contact. It's their most advanced & invigorating shower experience yet. And this year it is also available in MATT BLACK. OH YES.
Next up let's have a look at LUSSO STONE. It was February 2017 when I was airing my frustration while searching for a bathtub (for... the future bathroom reno, at the time) that one of their reps messaged me on Houzz and the next thing you know, they had sent across samples of their stone resin sinks. I saw the sinks, loved them and their taps were not half bad either, you know?
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Total cost for a wall mounted basin tap + a sink mounted mixer tap + a bath mixer valve and spout + a shower set with shower head, valve and handset: £1,340 = enough for one ensuite and one family bathroom.
Luxe Basin Mixer Tap Matte black, Photo: Lusso Stone, £175
Luxe Wall Mounted Basin Mixer Tap Matte black, Photo: Lusso Stone, £275
MIA Series Basin Mixer Tap Matte black, Photo: Lusso Stone, £185
Another really strong brand, that is in the race to dominate the black taps market is undoubtedly CROSSWATER. Their MPRO range is currently the talk of the town. The matt black monobloc basin tap comes in a knurled design, if you want something 'extra', and has a fixed spout with a 12cm projection. At £235, it is £50-60 more expensive than a Lusso Stone Basin mounted tap.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Total cost for a wall mounted basin tap (£329) + a sink mounted mixer tap (£239) + a bath shower freestanding mixer (£819) + a shower handset with hose and bracket (£145) a 200mm shower head (£179) which also needs an arm (sold separately, ceiling £75 or wall mounted £79) together with a 2 outlet shower valve (£449), or a total of £2,235 = for two bathrooms.
The reason Crosswater's MPRO collection is so much more expensive (50% more!) is that it was released without all elements being available for a combined look. Specifically, there is a gap in the offering of a combination bath + handset + shower as there is no 3-outlet valve available at the moment - although I was told by one supplier that this is scheduled for Autumn 2018 - watch this space !
Another drawback for both companies is that they do not have any shower enclosure solutions for small bathrooms. Lusso Stone only has walk-in shower solutions, whereas Crosswater's black shower enclosures are not available in 800x800mm (which is a standard corner shower enclosure size). But more of that further down!
D R A M A? YES. B O H E M I A N ? NO.
Black bathroom taps are dramatic but playing with a mostly monochromatic palette makes the look simplistic and easy to live with. You add a few pieces but keep the look overall simple and you end up with a modern looking bathroom.
Talking about it the other day on Twitter attracted a comment from a US based interiors blogger that Black is all too bohemian. Is it really?
This pic (shot beautifully by Cate St Hill for her blog post on Frama Store Copenhagen) shows black taps against a polished cement or tadelact wall. Yes this looks boho but a non-tiled wall would feel bohemian no matter the colour of taps. So it's the rest of the decor that makes the look feel bohemian and not the tap colour itself.
In comparison, use the black taps in a monochromatic decor and the result is modern and fresh.
Photography: Brooke Holm, Rose House
W H A T E L S E ?
If you want to go for a cheaper option while getting the same look, it is possible but note that most companies are only just launching this colour way so you may find only a few products and not everything you need.
For example, on Victoria Plumbing you can find the Turin Modern Black Basin Mono Mixer Tap - BLT7132, £69.99, as well as the bath basin with or without handset, but nothing else (no shower head) so you will need to combine products for a few companies to get a similar result. The Turin comes with a 5 year guarantee.
Below: Turin Modern Black Chrome Bath Shower Mixer Tap Inc. Shower Kit - BPT7131, £129.95
If you prefer the round taps, then the Arezzo line on Victorian Plumbing is the one for you.
Marble bathrooms are timeless. No wonder most boutique hotels feature marble bathrooms. They are hard wearing, have an element of luxury and look really good. If you are lucky enough to afford to go for everything marble, then you should. Keeping the basic elements intact, you could potentially update your taps every 10 years or so and the look will still be on trend.
G I V E M E M O R E
If you like what you see, why not give a go to Soak.com's IKER range which is part of their 'Urban Modernist' collection. IKER is the perfect design for those who are looking to create an industrial inspired bathroom while keeping the element of luxury at the forefront. They are solid brass in a matt black powder coated finish.
WHAT DOES IT COST?