What is the Best Tile for Shower Walls?



When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, the shower really is the main attraction of the entire project. It’s the focal point of the room, so choosing the right material and look can be an overwhelming process for many homeowners.

And deciding on the best tile for shower walls is one of the biggest decisions to make. It’s the first thing people will see, and it sets the decorative vibe for the whole room.

So just what are the best tiles to use on shower walls? And how do you know which one is right for your particular bathroom?

The Best Tile for Shower Walls

Since you don’t need to worry about slip-resistance for your shower walls, the number one thing to look for is materials that work well in wet environments.

It’s also ideal to seek out materials that go with the look you’re going for and will fit in with your cleaning routine.

Here are the top picks for shower wall tiles:

Ceramic / Porcelain

One of the most popular and traditional types of tile used on shower walls are ceramic or porcelain tiles.

This man-made material comes with a baked-on clear protective glaze. That makes it super low maintenance and an extremely durable tile option.

But just because it’s a traditional choice doesn’t mean it has to give a traditional look. It comes in a variety of sizes, colors, textures, and qualities, which is ideal to go with any design and budget you may have in mind.


Glass has become an increasingly popular choice for those wanting a modern and unique look in their bathroom.

It comes in an array of color choices. And because it’s transparent and reflects light, the color will show all the way through the tile and reflect light to make the shower appear larger.

It’s also one of the easiest materials to clean. All you need is window cleaner to erase the signs of soap scum and make sparkle again.


Using marble or natural stone in the shower is another popular choice, but it’s mainly used for appearance purposes. Because, while it looks good, it’s not as durable as other options you may have.

Natural stone needs to be sealed in order to resist water and staining from mineral deposits. It can also be harder to clean if it has a rougher surface.

White marble is popular because of its light, luxurious color. If you go with marble in the shower, be sure to choose one that is high grade. Lower grades have more veining and inclusions which can increase the risk of damage.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Shower Wall Tile

The material you use isn’t the only thing to consider when buying tile for your shower walls. What you do with it is just as important.

Keep these tips in mind when choosing the ideal tile for your shower.

Smaller Glass Tiles Work Better Than Larger Ones in a Shower

If you’re using glass tile on your shower walls, it’s best to steer clear of the larger sizes. Some glass titles will trap moisture behind them, even within a few uses. This moisture will be visible, making your shower look bad and constantly dirty.

Choosing smaller glass tiles will eliminate this problem. Plus, they’re way easier to install, making it a win-win for everyone involved.

Use a Second Tile Choice for Contrast

Adding a feature wall to a shower will add personality and interest to the look of your bathroom. To achieve this, simply choose a second tile option for the wall.

Many people do this with the largest wall or the back wall in the shower, giving the most impact.

You can also do a mosaic on the accent wall. To keep the space from being too busy, keep the border and the rest of the walls rather neutral.

Or, if you want something a little more subtle, try mixing up the pattern of the tile. For example, instead of a horizontal pattern, like on the rest of the walls, make the pattern on the feature wall diagonal.

Consider How Much Cleaning You’re Willing to Do

If you like the look of small mosaic tiles but hate the thought of cleaning, you may want to reconsider what tile you put on your shower walls.

Small tiles mean more grout lines… which means more cleaning. And the more narrow those grout lines are, the harder it is to clean.

Choosing larger tiles and using wider grout lines will cut down on the cleaning time needed. Which, if cleaning just isn’t your thing, can make a huge impact on your to-do list.

Add a High-End Look to Your Shower

To give your shower a more expensive look, have the tile installed all the way up to the ceiling. Not only will it give your bathroom a custom look, it will also give the room visual height.

And while you’re at it, add some high-end contrast to your shower insets as well. If you have a niche in the wall that holds bottles and products, use a different color or type of tile to give it some interest.

Design the Bathroom of Your Dreams with the Right Shower Wall Tile

Knowing the best tile for shower walls can start your bathroom remodel on the right foot. And once you have that starting point, the rest of it can fall into place and become the bathroom design of your dreams.

Ready to get started on your next remodeling project? Contact us today! We’d love to discuss your remodeling needs and help you get the kitchen or bathroom you’ve always wanted.


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