Biomaterial-associated infections often arise from contaminating bacteria adhering to an implant surface that are introduced during surgical implantation and not effectively eradicated by antibiotic treatment. Whether or not infection develops from contaminating bacteria depends on an interplay between bacteria contaminating the biomaterial surface and tissue cells trying to integrate the surface with the aid of immune cells. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role in defining the outcome of this race for the surface. Tissue integration is considered the best protection of a biomaterial implant against infectious bacteria. This paper aims to determine whether and how macrophages aid osteoblasts and human mesenchymal stem cells to adhere and spread over gold nanoparticle (GNP)-coatings with different hydrophilicity and roughness in the absence or presence of contaminating, adhering bacteria. All GNP-coatings had identical chemical surface composition, and water contact angles decreased with increasing roughness. Upon increasing the roughness of the GNP-coatings, the presence of contaminating Staphylococcus epidermidis in biculture with cells gradually decreased surface coverage by adhering and spreading cells, as in the absence of staphylococci. More virulent Staphylococcus aureus fully impeded cellular adhesion and spreading on smooth gold- or GNP-coatings, while Escherichia coli allowed minor cellular interaction. Murine macrophages in monoculture tended toward their pro-inflammatory "fighting" M1-phenotype on all coatings to combat the biomaterial, but in bicultures with contaminating, adhering bacteria, macrophages demonstrated Ym1 expression, indicative of polarization toward their anti-inflammatory "fix-and-repair" M2-phenotype. Damage repair of cells by macrophages improved cellular interactions on intermediately hydrophilic/rough (water contact angle 30 deg/surface roughness 118 nm) GNP-coatings in the presence of contaminating, adhering Gram-positive staphylococci but provided little aid in the presence of Gram-negative E. coli. Thus, the merits on GNP-coatings to influence the race for the surface and prevent biomaterial-associated infection critically depend on their hydrophilicity/roughness and the bacterial strain involved in contaminating the biomaterial surface.