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Shower tile can add a tremendous amount of style and personality to your bathroom. But it's also a more permanent fixture that can't be swapped out easily whenever trends come and go. Therefore, serious consideration and care should go into selecting the right shower tile before your next bathroom renovation.
We've put together this guide to help you narrow down your search for the right tile, gain a better understanding of the different types of shower tiles and where they are appropriate to use, recognize how your choice of tile colors can coordinate with the rest of your bathroom design, and highlight the various styles of shower tile that are available so you can select one that suits your personal taste and preference.
Types of shower tile
Tile is used extensively in bathrooms and often exclusively in showers because of its moisture-repellent properties. Standard shower tiles are typically clay-based (porcelain or ceramic) because these materials are nonporous, slip-resistant, and more affordable than other tile options and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles. Stone or glass shower tiles are another option that can add a higher-end look to your bathroom remodel or provide a more natural feel.
|Look||Classic & lively||Sophisticated & luxurious||Modern & sleek|
|Options||Porcelain, ceramic||Marble, lime, sand, slate||Glass|
|Uses||Floors & walls||Walls||Walls|
It’s important to note that choosing stone tile for your shower, with the exception of slate, will require you to maintain a consistent seal on the tile as it is a porous surface, making this one of the least appealing options for shower tile.
Color of shower tile
Most homeowners choose a neutral tile color and leave the bolder design choices to less permanent bathroom components. Although neutral may seem limiting, it's more than just white or cream. Neutral colors typically fall into the earth-tones category and include various shades of black, white, gray, cream, and brown. These colors are tried and true because they coordinate easily with most color schemes, and selecting a bold paint or wallpaper can be an easier and more cost-effective way to stay with current trends.
More recent design trends have started including a new suite of colors in the neutral category because of how easy they are to decorate with. The new neutrals include lilac, olive green, rose, and even navy blue.
If you do want to incorporate something trendy or bold in your bathroom design, consider using just a pop of color in a shower wall niche or as an accent tile strip rather than using it for the entire shower. Many homeowners also choose to save the bold or patterned tile for the flooring so they can still make a statement without overwhelming the space.
Style of shower tile
Once you have the type and color of your shower tile selected, you can explore the limitless options of styles they come in. Tiles can be half-inch slivers of glass or solid slabs of marble. You can lay individual tiles in various patterns or use mosaic tile that comes attached to a mesh netting for easier application. Some tiles have an inlay of metal or mirror for a stunning, eye-catching look.
Grout will be necessary for all tile work, and it can add just as much style as the tile itself. You can give a simple white subway tile a completely different feel by using thin white grout lines versus thick, dark gray grout lines. And don't forget to finish it off with trim for a polished look; trims can be bullnose tile, quarter round, or aluminum edging.
Shower tile is an integral part of any bathroom remodel. If you find yourself in the position to retile your shower, consider opting for a functional and timeless look that can still lend itself to a style just as unique as you.
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