How to Pick the Best Shower Tiles
The shower is one of the most used spaces in your home, and having the best shower tile plays a big role in your overall shower experience. Everyone's dream shower is different, but what type of material you use, how much maintenance is required, and what color and style you want are all important aspects to consider when tiling a shower. Follow the steps below for help picking tile that will transform your shower into a spa-like retreat.
Choose a Material
The tiles in your shower are exposed to a lot of water, so it’s important to pick glazed or waterproof materials. Ceramic tile and porcelain tile are popular choices for their affordability and versatility. Glass tiles tend to be more expensive, so they are often used as decorative complements alongside other tiles. Textured natural-stone tiles can create a unique look, but they usually need to be sealed before they can be used in wet environments. Additionally, tiles used for the floor of the shower should be slip-resistant to reduce the possibility of accidents. Tiles with an A or B slip-resistance rating will provide optimal safety. Tiling the floor of the shower with smaller tiles also helps add extra traction.
Pick a Style
Use consistent shower tile designs and colors to match the look of the rest of your bathroom. Neutral colors such as white and grey are popular, as are earthy tones, because they work with any style of bathroom. Plain tiles give your shower a simple look that is easily coordinated with, but patterned tiles offer more visual excitement. Switching up the colors and sizes of some of your tiles allows you to create your own patterns or add borders. Try embossed tiles or mosaic tiles in various shapes to bring a custom texture or pattern to your shower walls. For more inspiration on color palettes and shower tile, head over to our guide on How to Create a Spa Bathroom at Home.
The type of tile you use determines the type of care needed. Glazed tiles are the easiest shower tile to clean. Use an all-purpose household cleaner for best results. Harsh cleaning materials with acids or ammonia can damage the grout or discolor certain types of tiles. Using smaller tiles means you'll have more grout, which requires a little more effort while cleaning. Glass tiles should be cleaned with non-abrasive pads to keep the surface from getting scratched. If you're unsure about how a cleaning solution will affect your tiles, apply some to a small area of tile where you can test the product before using it on the whole shower. Some tiles and grout also require a coat of special water-resistant sealer that needs to be reapplied regularly.
Calculate the Number of Tiles Needed
The number of tiles you need is determined by finding the square footage of your shower and then calculating how many tiles fit in that area. If you use several sizes of tile, you'll need to make separate calculations for each area. Some tiles will need to be cut to fit corners and other awkward spaces in the shower, so it's necessary to add an extra 10 percent to your square footage to account for potential waste. This handy tile calculator will help you find out how much tile you need.