July 12, 2024

KJ Home

The Best Home for Creating Lasting Memories

36 Refreshing Shower Tile Ideas to Make Over Your Bathroom

3 min read

Another time-honored aesthetic? White subway tile on the walls and penny tile on the floor. The pairing is easy to care for, easy on the eyes, and can be done on a modest budget. You’ve seen the look everywhere from restaurants and cafes to luxury hotels, and it always looks elegant. Porcelain tile and ceramic tile are the most durable options—and are wise choices for a shower that gets heavy use. They’re also easy to keep clean and don’t require sealing that is needed for more porous options, like marble or other natural stones. In addition to being less subject to daily wear-and-tear, the density of porcelain tile makes it more durable than ceramic tile. Porcelain tile is stronger and available in a variety of incredible textures, says Zuni Madera, VP of the NYC–based design firm Foley & Cox. Some options can resemble linen, sisal, or wood. “It gets you bang for your buck,” Madera says.

On the other hand, if you have a healthy budget for your bathroom remodel, marble is a timeless options, per Laurie Davis, cofounder of Eralyn Interiors. Laurie points to Carrera or Calacatta marble as popular options for those looking to outfit their bathrooms using the sleek stone. “Every trend can be incorporated to complement marble,” she adds. For the same look at a fraction of the price, porcelain slabs can also be purchased in a large format.

What is the best color tile for a shower?

The color tile you choose largely comes down to personal preference, but common design principles still hold true. White walls and other neutral tones can help make a space feel brighter and more airy. Darker colors, like gray tiles or vivid greens, may make a space feel more cozy. “When a shower appears smaller, it’s okay; showers aren’t generally thought of as large spaces, so making a shower feel spacious shouldn’t be the first priority in design,” explains Heather Mastrangeli of Innovatus Design, which offers virtual design services.

Guest bathrooms and kids’ bathrooms are both prime venues for experimenting with shower tiles. “These are great places to interject personality and really have fun with color and pattern,” Mastrangeli says. You can take the idea to heart by choosing floor tiles or wall tiles that have an unexpected or whimsical design. These spaces are ideal for playing with unexpected pops of color or unusual color combos.

Do small or large tiles make a shower look bigger?

Tile size can be one of the most important decisions homeowners make when designing their space. Small tiles with dark grout will visually make a shower feel smaller, but small tiles with lighter grout may make a shower feel larger, per Mastrangeli: “When more pattern is introduced onto a surface, it will visually make that area appear smaller.” Using smaller tiles on the floor can help with slip resistance.

These days, homeowners are leaning into a more modern look by using bigger tiles, which allow for fewer grout lines. Larger tiles, like a 24×48″ tile, work well in spacious bathrooms because they have more square footage to show off the tile design, says Kendal Cavalieri of Kendal Cavalieri Design in Buffalo, New York. “Using the same tile in a smaller bathroom will only allow you to use 10 or so tiles and will likely make the space feel cramped.”


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