Your Ideal Shower Tile: 6 Factors to Consider

Shower with larger patterned tiles and white subway tiles

The tile you choose for your shower can greatly impact your daily life, so it’s a pretty major interior design decision! Not only is it essential to choose a tile that looks great with your existing bathroom decor and color scheme, but the tile you select also needs to have enough traction to prevent slips and falls. Your choice of tile should be a mix of design and functionality, and this blog post will go through all of the factors you need to consider to find the ideal shower tile for you.

1. Size
Shower with blue penny tile and larger neutral tile

First, you’ll want to consider the size of the tiles themselves. Small spaces tend to look best with large format tiles; using large tiles in small areas expands the space visually. Another bonus is that there will be fewer grout lines to clean and maintain.

A tip for large shower tiles is to maintain a minimum grout joint width of 3/16 of an inch and ensure 90% (or more) mortar contact below the tiles. The large size of the tiles makes them more susceptible to cracking, and following these guidelines can help prevent any issues.

Of course, small tiles are also an excellent option if you’re looking for as much traction as possible. You’ll just want to keep in mind that, since there will be more grout lines, there will also be more maintenance to keep up with.

Large Tile Recommendation: Statuary 24x24 Porcelain Tile

Statuary 24x24 Porcelain Tile


Small Tile Recommendation: Scabos Travertine 2x2 Tumbled Mosaic Tile

Scabos Travertine 2x2 Tumbled Mosaic Tile

2. Material & Texture

Bathroom with marble throughout 

Material and texture should play a huge role in your shower tile selection. The most important thing to keep in mind is that shower tile needs to be slip-resistant. This isn’t as important for the shower walls, but the floor needs to have lots of traction for safety.

When looking at tile for the shower walls, natural stone, porcelain, ceramic, and glass are a few good choices. Natural stone has classic beauty, while porcelain and ceramic come in endless colors and designs. Meanwhile, glass adds lightness and reflection to the overall design. One thing to note about glass, though, is that if it is clear, you’ll be able to see any moisture trapped behind the tiles.

For shower floors, glass tiles are not recommended because they’re far too slippery to be safe. Small porcelain or ceramic tile with lots of grout lines offers traction, or you could choose a textured natural stone for plenty of grip.

Stone Tile Recommendation: Tundra Gray Marble 18x18 Field Tile

Tundra Gray Marble 18x18 Field Tile 

Ceramic Tile Recommendation: White 3x12 Glossy Ceramic Subway Tile

White 3x12 Glossy Ceramic Subway Tile 

Glass Tile Recommendation: Newport Dawn Linear Interlocking Glass Mosaic Blend

Newport Dawn Linear Interlocking Glass Mosaic Blend

3. Color

Bathroom and shower with gray tile 

Color is another significant choice when you’re selecting the perfect shower tile! Generally, if you want the tile to stay in style as long as possible, then neutral shades are the way to go.

Small bathrooms look best with lighter colors since they open up the space. (Learn more about making areas look larger in this blog post: 5 Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger with Tile.) Meanwhile, larger bathrooms look great with light shades, but can also handle the intensity of darker and more saturated hues.

Look at the bathroom's overall tone and color scheme when choosing a color for your shower tile. You’ll want your shower tile to mesh well with everything that’s already in the room.

Neutral Tile Recommendation: Crema Marfil 12x12 Polished Field Tile

Crema Marfil 12x12 Polished Field Tile

Colorful Tile Recommendation: Chanelle Scuba Blue 3x12 Ceramic Tile

Chanelle Scuba Blue 3x12 Ceramic Tile

4. Design

Shower with palm leaf designed tiles 

Does your bathroom have an existing theme throughout? Look for a tile design that complements the color and design choices you’ve already made for the space.

For timeless styles and designs, consider subway tile, marble tile, hexagon tile, or penny tile. (Read more about classic tile choices here: 6 Timeless Tile Styles for Your Home.)

If you prefer to be more trendy than timeless, consider bringing in eye-catching geometric shapes and uniquely-patterned tiles.

A good rule of thumb is to choose no more than three different tile styles in total. All of these tiles should share the same color palette. Any more than three different tiles, and your shower may look busy and unappealing to the eye.

Another option is to use mainly neutral tile with some fun accent pieces. Mosaics with grout tinted to match the tile also look incredible in showers.

Fun Design Recommendation: Encaustic Look Marrakech Fleur 8x8 Porcelain Tile

Encaustic Look Marrakech Fleur 8x8 Porcelain Tile

5. Installation

Shower head 

You’ll also want to think about what installation entails. Incorrectly installing shower tile can result in issues with water damage and reduced longevity, which may mean you’ll have to replace your shower tile sooner than you’d planned to. In general, it’s best to hire a professional to complete the tile installation. Certified tile installers will know how to lay the tile correctly and ensure that it is sufficiently waterproofed.

Water-Resistant Tile Recommendation: Vanguard Penta Forest Blue Glass Pool Tile

Vanguard Penta Forest Blue Glass Pool Tile

6. Upkeep

Person cleaning shower 

The last thing to think about when choosing the best tile for your shower is upkeep. Large-format porcelain and ceramic tiles tend to be the easiest to clean and maintain. Small tiles with lots of grout lines require a bit more maintenance. Finally, porous natural stone will need regular upkeep to prevent mold, mildew, and other issues.

Low-Maintenance Tile Recommendation: Calacatta Gold 24x48 Porcelain Tile

Calacatta Gold 24x48 Porcelain Tile 

Find the Perfect Shower Tile at

If you’re searching for the ideal tile for your shower, you’re in luck! has a vast selection of many different types of tiles, so you’re sure to find exactly what you need. We have natural stone, porcelain, ceramic, and glass tiles in various sizes, colors, and designs. Every order comes with guaranteed fast delivery, insured shipment, and easy returns. Check out our selection today! And for more posts like this one, take a look at our blog.