Using tiles for bathrooms is not a novel idea. History states that it has been used as early as the Roman empire. Waterproof, mold-proof, and durable, there are different types of tiles used in the bathroom. From flooring tiles to shower wall tile, the choice has to be given enough thought.
In this post, we look at some of the best bathroom shower wall tiles that will add life and color to your home. If you are looking for ways to revamp your bathroom, sift through this guide to choose the right shower wall tile for you.
I.10 Best Bathroom Shower Wall Tiles
Bathroom shower wall tiles are specifically beneficial because they are water-resistant. Even when it gets soapy or steamy, they just remain polished and unaffected. They also protect your walls from constant moisture, maintaining the structural integrity of your bathroom. The following are some of the best bathroom shower wall tiles to consider.
1.Fish scale tile for shower wall
Photo from Overstock
If you want a playful, feature tile for your bathroom shower wall, the fish scale tile is a considerable choice. It gives off a distinct charm and character for your shower wall. They are handmade, come in different colors and pattern mixes. They are comparable to mosaic but they are two totally different tile types.
- Handmade and durable.
- Comes in many colors and patterns.
- High aesthetic touch.
- Intended for large wall surfaces only.
- Limitation on mix and match.
2.Mosaic tiles for shower wall
Mosaic Tiles for Shower Wall
This one of the more popular shower wall tiles out there. It is commonly made of either glass, stone or tile. They are standout for their beautiful patterns, workable small size and durability. If you want a highly elegant shower wall tile that could last for decades, mosaic tiles for your shower wall are a prime choice.
- Versatility in color, and pattern.
- Not prone to wear and tear; very durable.
- Easier to install compared to marble or ceramic.
- Does not wear against chemical cleaners.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Small in size.
- May be prone to cracks against dropped objects.
- Only good for shower walls and not on bathroom floors.
3.Penny round tile shower
This one is another phenomenal decorative shower wall tile or backsplash wall tile to consider. As the term suggests, they are penny-sized and round. They are usually made of porcelain, either glazed or unglazed.
They were very popular during the 40s and 50s. Now, they have resurged as one of the go-to bathroom wall and floor tiles. You can also find penny round shower tiles in ceramic, stone, glass, and cork materials.
- Comes in diverse finishes and materials.
- High decorative value.
- Meant for bathroom shower walls.
- Prone to wearing and stains over time.
- May become slippery over time.
4.Hexagon shower wall tile
Hexagon Shower Wall Tile
This one is categorized as a mosaic tile. It gained popular points because of its playful look and spruced up pattern. The most common of all hexagon tiles would be the marble hexagon tile. If you want an intricate looking shower wall tile, this is a fine choice for you to consider.
- It offers pattern and color variety.
- It is known for its versatility.
- It has high aesthetic value.
- It is tedious to install.
- It looks outdated.
5.Subway tile shower wall
If you want a classic looking bathroom, using a subway tile shower is one of the finer choices. You would find it in Victorian inspired bathroom designs, especially the white subway tiles. It is categorized as ceramic and because of that, it shares with the other ceramic tiles a share of pros and cons.
- It comes with a variety of styles and colors.
- Wide selection and high availability.
- Very customizable.
- Fairly affordable.
- Prone to cracking grout.
- More challenging to install.
6. White picket tile shower
Photo by By Mineral Tile
This one is another classic styled ceramic tile which is gaining popularity amongst bathrooms. It is somewhat the fusion of hexagon tiles with a defined elongated center and slim end points. As such, it is named after the picket fence. For a distinct and timeless bathroom appeal, white picket tile shower walls are a prime choice.
- It is versatile to different layouts (i.e. horizontal, vertical, diagonal).
- It comes in many colors and it is trendy looking.
- It is more compact in spaces than subway tiles.
- ELimited aesthetic look.
- Can be tedious to install.
7. Terrazzo shower tile
The terrazzo tile is one of the most popular flooring materials known for its durability. When it is sealed, it is said to be impervious from water damage and staining. It also does not easily crack nor can be easily dented. Being one of the more polished tiles, it is also now used for bathroom shower walls.
- Very durable.
- Can be customized or engraved on.
- Limited color choices.
- High upfront cost.
- Does not retain heat well.
8. Scallop tile shower
This one is another decorative shower wall tile to choose from. It goes alongside fan shaped shower tiles and fish scale shower tiles. It is usually made of ceramic or porcelain. As such, it comes with either glazed or unglazed finish. If you want a trendier looking bathroom shower wall, this is another fine choice to consider.
- Elegant and unique design.
- Comes with a luminous look.
- Durable and easy to clean.
- Susceptible to scratches.
- Only full-piece installation.
- Prone to breakage.
9. Sage green shower wall tile
This is not a particularly distinct type of tile. Here, we are talking more about the color. Hence, sage green shower wall tiles may be made of ceramic, porcelain, terracotta, vinyl, marble, limestone or natural stones.
- Timeless, polished look.
- Timeless, polished look.
- Natural aesthetic value.
- Depending on the material, it is durable and it easy to install.
- May wear and fade over time.
- Not applicable to more vibrant contrasts.
10. Zellige tile for shower wall
Zellige is a top-tier Moroccan tile. As a matter of fact, it is considered as “the IT tile” of all trendy tiles. It gained its popularity as the alternative to the outdated subway tile. They have a natural imperfect angle which makes them decoratively unique.
It is handmade from a specific Moroccan clay, with a luminous glaze thanks to its liquid glass coating. If you want to go all in with your bathroom shower wall, this is the best choice for you.
- Versatile for mix and matching.
- Very durable.
- Comes in natural colors.
- For professional installation only.
- High upfront cost.
- Prone to crazing.
II.What Type of Tile is Best for Shower Wall?
When it comes to the best type of tile for shower walls, we are talking about four options. Contractors and homeowners alike would concede that the following are the best types of tiles to install as shower walls:
Big Size Black Tile for Shower Wall
- Glazed ceramic: If you are searching for a practical yet resilient tile choice, glazed ceramic is always a go-to option. It is timeless and versatile. It is also very durable to last decades.
- Natural stone: While expensive and porous, natural stone gives a warm and steamy effect on bathroom shower walls. If you are into durability and aesthetics, this is a good choice.
- Glazed porcelain: For a durable, glossy tile finish, glazed porcelain is a fine choice. It offers a luminous, glass like effect for the bathroom shower, giving it high aesthetic value.
- Glass: Not only is it durable and timeless in effect, its main edge is its transparency. This unique character of glass makes it easy to clean and maintain.
Regardless of the many considerations, at the end of the day, your preference is the one to be noted. Nonetheless, these are the best shower wall tiles to start from.
1.Can you use floor tiles on shower wall?
Shower Wall Tile and Shower Floor Tile
The safe answer is yes. In most cases, floor tiles are used on shower walls too to create a cohesive look. However, most people cannot distinguish the difference between wall and floor tiles for the bathroom. There are other considerations to ponder on too. Nonetheless, the most important rule of thumb is that wall tiles should never be used as floor tiles.
2. What is the best size tile for a shower wall?
It depends on the size of the bathroom. Small to medium sized bathrooms would usually require 1–4-inch square of shower wall tiles. For large to extra large sized bathrooms, 4-24-inch square shower wall tiles must be used.
Ⅲ.7 Steps to Choose the Best Shower Wall Tile for Your Bathroom
When everything is said and done, choosing the best shower wall tile for the bathroom still needs thorough contemplation. In this section, we look at the various considerations which you should keep in mind before choosing a shower wall tile for your bathroom.
1. What first? Safety first
This one coincides with choosing the right tile material for your shower walls. If anything, this is the most important consideration because it entails safety. Rougher textured tiles have edged and jagged parts which would give it limitation for both floor and shower tiles. Glass may wear easily and crack.
2. Modern, coastal or minimalism
Overall Design of Bathroom Wall and Floor Tile
The overall design of the bathroom should be in pacing with the interior design of the entire home. This is the reason why you have to decide the tone that your shower wall tiles evoke.
Would you go for the neutral, crisp lines of modern and minimalism? Or would opt for white and other monochromes as in coastal and Scandinavian designs? Settle this choice first before exploring available shower wall tiles.
3. Exposure to water
While all tiles are fairly water-resistant, some wear easily with constant exposure to water. The reason for this is that they were not installed properly underneath. As such, keep an eye to the installation process of the shower wall tiles for you to avoid wall leaks.
4. Go big or small
When choosing a shower wall tile, the right size matters. For instance, a small to medium size bathroom can use large format tiles to give it an illusion of space. For a more compact look, you can opt for smaller tiles with prominent grout lines. Large size bathrooms on the other hand can benefit from large tile panels or smaller tiles.
5. Which layout? Be playful
Bathroom Playful Shower Wall Tile Layouts
There is nothing wrong with picking playful layouts when it comes to bathroom shower walls. This should determine, however, the size and shape of the shower tiles to choose. The good thing is, tile shapes are highly customizable. Like puzzles, you just have to figure out which size goes where to complete the pattern.
6. Rougher textures or polished flat surfaces?
This one is just as important as picking the right color, pattern, or tile size for your shower walls. The texture of the tile determines the cleaning method to employ. For instance, rougher tile textures have more crevices to brush. Polished flat surfaces on the other hand, are more prone to staining.
The type of shower wall tile to pick determines the ease of cleaning and the cleaning method that you would have to employ. Rough textured shower tiles need more thorough scrubbing due to their curves and crevices. Flat and polished surfaces on the other hand, might require more cleaning agents.
8. Healthy, wealthy and wise
The good thing about tiles is that they are water-resistant. However, some may not be completely mold-free. Cracked grouts are potential mold and bacteria niches.
In the same way, crevices in rough textured tiles may also be prone to mold and bacteria buildup. You may avoid these entirely by choosing less spaced tiles or by regular cleaning and maintenance. Most of all, choose tiles that do not contain allergens, with no volatile compounds, no plastic component or PVC.
Ⅳ.How to Install Tile Shower Walls?
To give your bathroom a new and refreshing look, these are the steps that you have to go through to install shower wall tiles:
1. Check the temp
Make sure that the bathroom is at 50-70F. This is the best temp range for adhesive and tile materials. This temp should be consistent 24hrs before and after tile installation.
2. Clean the wall surface
Be sure that the wall surface is structurally sound, flat, clean and dry.
3. Waterproof the surface
Attach cement boards and then cover the seams with fiber tape. You can also apply waterproof sealer in this phase.
4. Prepare the first row
Use a longboard to level the base shower tiles. This is important as it guides the next stacks of tiles to be installed in the shower wall.
5. Apply the mortar
Upon mixing the mortar and water, apply it on the base shower tiles. Make sure that you only apply two-three horizontal rows at each time.
6. Install the tile
Before doing this, the layout, pattern and design must already be finalized. Install the full piece tiles first before the cut edges. You can install placers in between the tiles to get a more even installation. Leave it for 24hrs before removing placers.
7. Apply grout
Now that it is fully dried, apply grout of choice in between tile spaces. Before the grout dries, wipe off excess using a wet sponge.
For complete visuals on how to install bathroom shower tiles, you may check this video tutorial.
How to Tile a Shower Wall | From The Home Depot
Ⅴ.How to Clean Shower Wall Tile?
Cleaning and maintenance of the shower wall tile are essential in making sure that they last for decades. These are the steps which you should master in cleaning your shower wall tile:
- Mix the cleaning agent: The basic mixture for cleaning tiles in general would be baking soda and water. For harder to remove stains, you can add hydrogen peroxide to the mixture.
- Scrubbing: Take a stiff scrub and start scrubbing in a circular motion. Use a toothbrush for the crevices. For grime and hard to remove stains, let the cleaning agent sit for a while before doing an intense scrubbing. If it still does not go away, it is time for bleaching.
- Rinsing: Using warm water, thoroughly rinse the shower wall tiles. This way, the cleaning agents do not stick to the surface. Give it another round of rinsing and brushing in between for thorough cleaning.
If you want to have an antique and vintage look on your floors and walls, then you can try retro hexagonal tiles. Some retro hexagonal tiles are brown-heavy so that it To give you a demo on how to clean shower tiles using different methods, here is a video to check out.
How to Clean Bathroom Tiles | From Clean My Space
Ⅵ.25 Stunning Shower Wall Tile Ideas for Your Bathroom
To wrap up everything that we have covered when it comes to bathroom shower wall tiles, here are some shower wall tile ideas for the bathroom. With these ideas, sprucing up your bathroom anytime should no longer be a challenge.
1. Try an unexpected hue with sage green
Unexpected Hue with Sage Green Bathroom Wall Tile
Photo by Pinterest
If you want a more natural looking, yet timeless and unexpected look, go for sage green tiles not only for the shower wall but the entire bathroom wall. To make it high-end and delicate looking, go for glazed porcelain or ceramic sage green tile. This is a good idea to take inspiration from.
2. Mix tile shapes
Photo by Home Depot
Just as you can mix and match the colors and graphics of the tiles, so would the tile shapes. If you want a shower wall surprise, you need not make it more colorful or greatly patterned. For instance, this Daltile white ceramic tile and neutral colored penny round porcelain tile do unexpected magic.
3. Don’t settle on a single style
Combination of sleek Subway Tiles and Hand Painted, Graphic Moroccan Tiles
Using different graphics and patterns may not be outright appealing but this one here shall surely change your mind. You do not need a lot to make a focal point in the shower. All you need is this combination of sleek subway tiles and hand painted, graphic Moroccan tiles, extending up to the shower floor.
4. Try new shapes
New Shape Bathroom Wall Tile
For the more eccentric home owner, a wall of variously shaped tiles can give a wow factor to your bathroom shower wall. For one, this graphic mosaic tile here offers more dynamics to the shower wall compared to just sticking with the granite white slabs. The contrast is playful and surreal.
5. Go with an unexpected finish
Marble Bathroom Wall Tile
If you are rooting for a delicate, regal finish for your bathroom shower wall, marble tiles are always a good option. Featuring different stains and finishes, you can depend on full piece marble panels like this one to give your shower walls an unexpected finish.
6. Crazy of color
Subway Bathroom Wall Tile Terrazzo Shower Tile
There is no limit to tile colors when you know what you want your bathroom to look like. If you want a trendy, playful effect, go for bolder tones like this bubblegum pink, sleek subway tiles right here. While the floor and walls used different tile shapes, the color splash makes it uniform.
7. Glam of graphics
If you want a more graphic, decorated look for your bathroom shower wall, consider the colorful and handmade Moroccan tiles. You can go for the usual hand painted clay tiles or go all in with colored Zellige tiles. But since we are in for a glam of graphics, here is a look to consider.
8. Nautical shower tile
Nautical shower tile
Photo by Pinterest
It is easy to fall in love with nautical styles especially if you are on a coastal home or with Scandinavian home interior. If you want it clean yet eye-catching, you can opt for these two-toned penny round shower wall tiles. Its glazed finish gives it a glass glow and the layout and the vertical stacking give it an overall neat and sleek appeal.
9. Whimsical waves
Whimsical Waves Shower Wall Tile >>>
If you love a monochrome look for your bathroom shower wall, do so without it looking plain. One way to spruce that up is installing glazed porcelain tiles with a whimsical wave pattern. Not only does it give the shower wall a standout edge but it also textures the whole wall. This one here is a fine example of what is in store for you.
10. Sleek subway tile
You can use the same type of tile and still get a sleek look from it for your bathroom shower wall. If you want the simplicity of unglazed, ceramic subway tile, here is an idea for you to consider.
White, chocolate brown and wood brown tile colors are installed in alternating horizontal and vertical stacks. This creates more texture and edge while maintaining a sleek look for the entire bathroom.
11. Subtle Calacatta marble accents
Subtle Calacatta Marble Accents for Shower Wall
Photo by Bedrosians
Calacatta marble tiles are very intricate and high-end tiles with a distinct glazed finish. It easily reminds you of royal baths and luxurious hotels at any given time. With the right layout and stacking, Calacatta marble tiles for the bathroom shower wall can make you feel royalty at an instant.
12. Shades of Gray
Gray High-end Shower Wall Tile
The color gray is nothing but modern, sleek, and high-end looking. If you want cool tones for a more refreshing bathroom, shades of gray should be a fine option. While most settle for subway and marble, mosaic tiles of different shades of gray could easily do the trick. This one here is a fine idea to consider.
13. Artful mosaics
If you are into an all-in bathroom shower wall, you can only imagine the whimsical effect of artful mosaic tiles like this one. Customized and heavily patterned, it is a straight cut-out from high-end interior design magazines. With this overall view and design, who would not find it intimate and relaxing, right?
14. Wood-like ceramic tile
Wood-like Ceramic Tile for Shower Wall
Real wood paneling, while timeless, is not appropriate for damp environments like the bathroom. But if you insist on a cabin vibe up to the bathroom, you can install wood-like ceramic tiles like this one here. Going for the traditional rich brown color would surely give you all the woody feels.
15. Luxurious and elegant porcelain tile slabs
Luxurious and Elegant Porcelain Tile Slabs for Shower Wall
The effect of porcelain tile slabs is both timeless and luxurious. It is perfect for modern design bathrooms, neat and sleek pads, and minimalist designs.
They are installed in full-piece, giving the bathroom shower wall a continuous and cohesive look. Its natural stains are the icing on the top. This one here is a prime example.
16. Fish scale tile style
Be it nautical or trendy style you are going for, fish scale tiles are always go-to choices. They come in different colors, from vibrant to neutrals to popular monochromes.
The good thing about fish scale tiles is that they are good as they are but are also phenomenal when contrasted with another tile type. Here is an idea to take inspiration from.
17. Wave tile shower style
Just because you want a wave tile for the shower wall would mean that you should settle for just the monochromes. While the engraved wave in a ceramic full-panel tile is distinct, this colored wave shower wall tile is a true standout even for a small bathroom like this one.
18. Ombre tile—a unique pattern
For a high decorative appeal to your bathroom shower wall, going for an ombre tile pattern is one for the books. The fusion and fade effect of two colors are always a visual treat even for a bathroom wall. You can choose from any tile color but if you are eyeing a specific design scheme, say coastal, this blue and white penny round tile is perfect.
19. Trend alert: Navy Blue tile
There is nothing more sleek, bold and daring than going for a navy-blue tile for your bathroom shower walls. It is masculine and sleek, making a compact feel even for a large bathroom. Cool and invigorating, you can never go wrong with these navy-blue tiles in your shower walls. Tranquility is the apparent feel in these navy-blue, herringbone shower wall tiles.
20. Mid Century simplicity is back in style—Seafoam green shower tile
Seafoam green is a more tranquil, subdued hue of green. As such, it is perfect for a relaxing yet at the same time scenic look for a bathroom shower wall. It also easily blends into any contrast so it is a versatile choice to go for when it comes to a mid-century simplicity design.
21. Geometric wall backsplash
Another intriguing design to incorporate in your bathroom shower would be a geometric wall backsplash. It offers a sleek, modern look while maintaining the intricate delight of a classic marble accent. Overall, the subdued effect of this one is very delicate and phenomenal.
22. Natural stone
Natural Shower Wall Stone Tile
The effect of natural stone on bathrooms shall always be ethereal. If you want an all-natural, organic look for your bathroom shower walls, these natural stone shower wall tiles have their own magic to offer. The rich brown tone of this bathroom gives an intimate and warm feel for this bathroom shower.
23. Octagon and a dot
To give your bathroom shower wall a more unexpected turn, go for unconventional combos like an octagon and a dot. The golden yellow tones of the octagon and dot tiles go very well with the surrounding black tile for the flooring. The overall appeal is stark, bold and striking, all at once.
24. Subdued florals on large mosaic panels
Mosaic Shower Wall Tile Panel
If you want to give your bathroom shower a large, revamped look, using large mosaic panel tiles with engraved subdued florals is a fine choice. Refined and neat, this simple bathroom shower wall design and flooring really gets the eye.
25. White grids
While white grid tiles may be plain and simple, they boast a 3D effect when they are lay-out perfectly. For one, this classic style bathroom shower features white grids with subtle accents of dark gray porcelain tiles. With the dark grout and matte finish, this is a beautifully donned bathroom shower wall with an appalling traditional vibe.
When it comes to bathroom shower walls, there are more considerations to think about than it may seem. From the types of tiles to choose from and the factors that affect such choice, it is clear that one must be decisive as to what they are looking for in a bathroom shower wall.
With all things considered, it is important for you to have a working design or layout for your desired bathroom shower wall. This helps a lot when it is finally time to choose the right shower wall tile for it.