Do you want to modernize your bathroom but are unsure which tile suits your shower walls?
If you are looking for the best tile for a shower, you must consider many different things. Most homeowners only think about the tile appearance, but you should look at all the factors.
Think about other important things like tile size, how long it will last in a humid place, and how easy its maintenance is. Before buying, the cost of shower tile or how much grout is required for tile placement should also be considered.
In this article, we will discuss the best tiles for shower walls.
9 Best Bathroom Shower Tiles
When you have to tile your bathroom shower or tiles, you have many options that you can choose from according to your needs and taste.
You can select any option by knowing its pros and cons, and then you can decide which one is perfect for you. You must have the type of tile that is waterproof in nature and can survive in wet environments without damage.
Porcelain, ceramic, and natural stone tiles are the modern era’s most commonly used shower walls. If you install some protective layers on its surface, they will last for decades.
1. Ceramic and Porcelain Shower Tile
Most homeowners use ceramic and porcelain terms for one type of tile. These materials look the same, but their properties are different. While making them, porcelain is fired for a long time with extreme temperatures.
So, they are more long-lasting and more thick compared to ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles have a specific pattern on the top layer of the tile. On the other hand, the design of porcelain is more systematic.
If you break both tiles, you will see that the porcelain tile pattern is still there while the ceramic tile pattern has damaged. If we look at the costs of ceramic and porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles are cost-effective because of the density difference between them.
The high-quality options of porcelain tiles are pricey. The price of ceramic tiles is $.50 – $7 per square foot, while the price of porcelain tiles is $3 – $10 per square foot. Both of these tiles options are a bit pricier than all the other options used for shower tiles.
2. Varnished Ceramic Tile
If you are looking for the best tile for your shower walls, this glassy ceramic tile is the best because it provides a beautiful and reasonable look.
These tiles have various shades, patterns, designs, and sizes for your shower backsplash. Glazed ceramic tiles have a gorgeous appearance, a stain-resistant surface, and a non-porous surface due to the liquid glass top coat.
The glass coat on these tiles makes them a perfect barrier to protect from mold and mildew growth, and water does not seep into the tiles due to the watertight surface.
The elegant shine of ceramic tiles also has a smooth surface which is easy to maintain. So, your shower walls always look clean and unspoiled.
Hence, glazed ceramic tiles are perfect if you are looking for cost-effective and easy-to-install tiles for your shower walls.
3. Varnished Porcelain Tiles
The shower room is a place with constant water use every time, so moisture occurs on walls and floors. We know that water is the main cause of damage to any material.
According to the Tile Council of North America, glazed porcelain offers an excellent water-resistant surface with a 0.5% or less rating.
The growth of mold and mildew does not damage it; in this way, it lasts for a long time and makes the bathroom’s interior healthier.
Porcelain is thick, and this material is without pores, so when the glaze layer comes on the top of the tile, water does not get a chance to seep into the tiles. Furthermore, these tiles come in various types with different colors, designs, and size options.
Due to the top protective layer, it doesn’t chip and dents easily, like ceramic tiles. It is more strong compared to ceramic tiles.
The thick tiles of glazed porcelain are easy to install, and their maintenance is also easy. As it is a thick material, it is perfect for holding heat. Hence, many people choose it for saunas and steam baths.
4. Quartz Tile
Quartz is also a good-looking option due to its easy maintenance feature. Like marble, quartz is not a porous material, so it is a perfect option for bathroom shower tile; the splashes of water and humidity don’t damage it.
You can give a unique look to your bathroom with various colors and designs. As quartz is a stone tile, you can give your space a beautiful look with natural materials. However, if you want best shower mat options for tile floor they are also available in quartz.
They also provide long-term durability. It is easy to maintain and clean because it is non-porous, and this quality gives these tiles a smooth surface. But, the surface becomes slippery due to extra smoothness, so it is not suitable for bathroom floors.
5. Marble Tile
Marble is popular due to its unique and elegant look. This is a natural stone, so they have different veining and color options; they are good for your shower wall tiles.
However, it is a porous material, so it is better to seal it with a good quality sealant; otherwise, it will be damaged soon by the moisture and humidity of the shower room.
Sealing will also protect it from stains and scratches, and you will easily keep it up to date by cleaning it regularly. As marble is a natural stone, when you seal it, it will become slippery due to its smooth surface.
It should not be used for the floor, but it’s best for shower tiles because it is easy to clean. The major advantage of marble tiles is that they increase a home’s property value.
On average, marble tiles cost $10 -$20 per square foot, so you will easily get your investment back while selling the house.
6. Granite Tile
Many homeowners also like granite tiles when they think about renovating their bathrooms. There are many advantages of these tiles.
They have many design options, so you can select any design you like, but they don’t come in many colors like other stone tiles.
You can choose from a group of different shapes of granite tiles. Most homeowners select diamonds, squares, rectangles, or tiles without grout lines. They provide a durable and easy-to-maintain surface.
However, it would be best to seal it to protect it from moisture and humidity damage. The granite tiles which are used for bathrooms are costly. The average cost of granite is $6 – $20 per square foot.
7. Glass Tile
Glass tiles provide a beautiful and elegant look in the bathroom but like all shower tiles, they also have some advantages and disadvantages.
It has the benefit that it is a bit less costly than other tiles, with $5 – $15 per square foot on average. These tiles provide a durable surface and last for a long time once installed.
However, as they are not scratch-resistant, you should take special care of them. This is the biggest disadvantage of these tiles, so keeping them as good as they were before installation isn’t easy.
To overcome this problem, you can choose smaller tiles for your bathroom. In this way, they will be broken up by grout lines, and the tile will be safe from breaking.
8. Linoleum Tile
Most people choose linoleum tiles for their commercial buildings because they are very reasonable. So, if you are worried a lot about your budget, this is a great option because the average price of a linoleum sheet is $5 – $7 per square foot.
The installation and maintenance of linoleum tiles are easy, so most people choose them if they want to DIY them. Unluckily, these tiles don’t have a large collection of styles, designs, and color options like all other shower tiles.
There are almost less than a dozen styles for these tiles. Besides, it is not a long-lasting option and does not hold heat, which is especially required in winter.
9. Concrete Tile
A concrete tile is a well-known option for long-lasting and environmentally friendly flooring. But, most homeowners don’t select it for their showers because concrete is a porous substance that absorbs water easily.
However, you can solve this problem by sealing concrete tiles. The protecting coating does not allow water to go down the tiles.
Factors to Consider Before Selecting Shower Wall Tile
It would be best to consider many things besides the material of the shower tile while purchasing them. Follow these tips to get a perfect tile for your shower:
Choose Smaller Tiles
If you want to install glass tiles in your shower area, you must select tiles of small size. Within a few uses, the tiles of glass hide moisture behind them. Later, this humidity starts showing on the surface, and the surface becomes full of mold and mildew.
So, to fix this issue, you must select smaller-sized tiles. Moreover, these tiles are easier to install, so its perfect choice for homeowners.
Make a Contrast by Adding a Different Tile
Making a colored wall by adding different tiles to your shower will make it more attractive and elegant. You can choose any tile option for contrast.
Most homeowners use this technique on the largest wall in the bathroom or the back wall in their shower areas. On the accent wall, you can also do a mosaic. Keep the borders and other outer sides neutral to eliminate the space being too busy.
You can make any pattern from different tile designs if you want a more delicate space. For example, you can make any diagonal pattern or other design instead of a horizontal one.
How Much You Can Keep it Clean
If you like the appearance of small mosaic tiles but don’t like cleaning, you should consider a tile for your shower which is easy to clean.
If you use small tiles on your shower walls, the grout lines will be more, so more cleaning will be required. The grout lines will be extra hard to clean if you make them more narrow.
The cleaning will be easy if you choose large tiles and large grout lines for your mosaic tiles. Besides cleaning, it will also give a unique look to your shower area.
Give an Expensive Look to Your Shower
You can achieve a luxurious appearance in your bathroom if you use tiles up to the wall’s ceiling. Besides aesthetics, it will also provide a heightened look to your walls.
You can make this look more expensive by adding the tiles according to the colors of the fixtures and other accessories of the bathroom. If the cabinet of the products is of different color, you can use the color of tiles that suits them.
Inspect Tile Ratings
Ratings of a particular tile’s durability and strengths show that it is suitable for different areas. Porcelain Enamel Scale has developed this scale which reflects how much a particular tile is durable.
The ratings of tiles are based on numbers from 1 – 5. Rating 1 shows the least durable option, while 5 shows the highest durable option. Although this rating is used for shower floors, you can also use it for walls.
It will help you decide which tile is suitable for your shower walls It would be best to consider some things like traffic in the bathroom, is this the bathroom which is in daily use or is rarely used.
For moderate or light use of a bathroom, the number 3 rating is best; for lighter areas, a rating of number 2 is used. The rating system can also be used according to the color developed by Ceramic Tile Distributors Association.
This rating system is used to describe the shade variability of different tiles. This rating system is called V1, V2, V3, and V4. The lowest number describes the lowest variability, while the highest number describes the highest variability.
If we know the rating of its color variability, it will be helpful. Natural stones have color variability in their nature, so they do not give ratings for their color variability.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Which Tile Type is Better for Shower Walls?
The best tile for a shower is porcelain because it is denser, water-resistant, and harder than ceramic. The reason behind it is that it is fired for a long time and with the highest temperatures.
These tiles are available in different shades, designs, and sizes.
What is the Most Long-Lasting Shower Tile?
Ceramic and porcelain tiles remain in good condition in showers for a long time. If you seal them with a protective coating, you will enjoy them for decades.
Which Type of Tile is Easy to Clean?
The shower tiles which is easy to clean are glazed or polished porcelain tiles because they provide a smooth surface. You can easily sweep, mop, rinse, and dry these tiles.
Which Tile is Better for the Shower, Porcelain or Ceramic?
Ceramics is a porous material, so if you expose it to water for a long time, it will be damaged earlier than porcelain. So, porcelain gives better results compared to ceramic.
Does Porcelain Tile Break Easily?
Most porcelain tiles are not breakable by heavy stresses due to the solid, hard, dense material. So, they are perfect for commercial environments. However, they are so hard that sometimes they are more prone to cracking because of their brittle nature.
For a successful bathroom renovation, you must select the right type of tile for your shower walls. The best tile will protect your bathroom from mold and mildew growth, and you will enjoy them for a long time.
Sealing shower tiles with a powerful protective coating are very important to get a smooth surface. This surface is easy to clean; with a clean towel, you will wipe the walls easily after each use. However, the smooth surface becomes slick, so they are not recommended for shower floors.