What Tile Should I Use for Shower Walls?

What Tile Should I Use for Shower Walls?

One way to add value to your home is to redo a bathroom. A large walk-in tiled shower is an absolute must have if you are remodeling or updating your home. Because we are all rushing off to work in the morning, or taking the kids to a game, or doing one of a million other things, there is little time to soak in the tub, therefore luxury tiled showers are currently the hottest thing.

Glassed in showers are becoming statement pieces in bathrooms. Because of this, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is what kind of statement do you want to make with your shower. These showers are becoming pieces of art with luscious mosaics, which is what drew Design Diva to them.

Carrera marble is still the number one choice (of course) for showers because of its natural beauty. Sourcing issues, installation limitations, cleaning idiosyncrasies, and the high cost make it out of reach for many. For those without a high-end budget, there are both ceramic and porcelain faux-marble tiles that provide the same beauty at a fraction of the price. As a matter of fact, manufacturers are seeing a rise in interest in these tiles, and faux-marble tiles took center stage at the world’s largest showing of tile that took place in Bologna, France last fall.

While white subway tile is still a go to for many showers, designers are starting to move away from the all white or all gray bathroom, adding pops of color. Other growing trends for shower walls are faux-wood, textures that mimic fabrics (like linen), long skinny mosaics (especially in glass), and stainless steel tiles. Metallic tiles were another big hit at the Bologna tile show.

Some of the trends to watch in the near future are black and indigo patterned tiles, distressed tiles that look like the well-worn plaster walls of a Tuscan villa, rustic farmhouse patterns, and retro patterns from the 1950s and 1970s.

Another big trend in shower tiles is large formats, like 12x24s. Large format tiles mean less grout. And of course, less grout means less mold and mildew to combat.

Speaking of grout, matching grout to the color of the tile is becoming more and more required. White grout has pretty much gone away, unless the tile is white. And even then, many designers are using dark gray grouts with white tiles.

Boarders and mosaic strips around showers are also being seen in all of the most sophisticated bathrooms. Specialty tiles that look like artwork or like Spanish floor tiles are making their way back into favor.

Contrasting niches, shelves, and/or benches created as part of the overall design of the shower are a must. Floor tiles contrast with wall tiles.

When choosing a shower wall tile, porcelain is the best choice for durability. These tiles are much stronger than ceramic because they are fired hotter. As explained on the website floorfacts.com, “This process makes porcelain tile more dense, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles.”

According to the website improve.net, the average shower installation will cost about $25 per square foot. For a typical walk in shower installation, that would be about $2,000. The grade of material and pattern complexity of the design will affect this price.

Well, all of you remodelers out there in designland, I hope that this information has inspired you to add a new walk-in shower to your bathroom haven. I have one in mine that the designers at City Tile helped me put mine together. I know they would be happy to help you find the shower wall tile of your dreams!