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How to Choose a
Shower Tile

Much like our bathroom tile guide, there is only one RULE when buying tiles for your shower, the tile must be functional.  


Once your tiler has followed correct tiling procedures and grouted your tiles properly, most tiles will be suitable for use in a shower area. 

Are you planning on using a tile across all walls in the bathroom including the shower area? Are you buying tiles only for shower area? What colour scheme is your bathroom furniture? What STYLE is your sanitary ware (especially the shower and shower head!)?

Black Shower Tiles

Some of the answers to the above questions will begin to guide you in which direction of tile you should be looking for

Will your tile be across all walls in the bathroom including the shower area? If yes, you need to be sure that you like your tile choice, as you will be seeing a lot them.  Are you buying tiles only for your shower area? If you are – why not be bold with your choice and choose a punchy pattern tile to raise the colour and character of your bathroom. 


What colour scheme is your bathroom furniture? If you try and use the same colour be conscious everything could become too similar, conversely you should be aware of potentially creating a clash of colours.  What style is your sanitary ware? Sleek, minimalist sanitary ware is fantastic. Traditional, big rounded sanitary ware is fantastic. However, if you pair the wrong style of tile with the wrong style of sanitary ware with the wrong style of tile, your bathroom could be a big jarring mismatch. And you do not want that! 

Natural Stone Effect Tile Shower Area
Traditional style bathroom ware paired with traditional style natural stone-effect tiles.
Metro Tile Walk-in Shower
Modern wet room shower tiled with metro tiles and paired with sleek modern bathroom ware.


The dominant tile material for use in shower areas is porcelain. The super strong and hard-wearing properties slightly elevate it above, ceramic in the popularity stakes. Both materials are perfect for household bathroom showers. Now it is really up your creativity and taste of which type of style shower tile you wish to go for.

Grout for many is an afterthought but it should be kept in mind when choosing a tile for your shower. Showers, unsurprisingly get wet and grouting can discolour over time due a mixture of water, shampoo and cleaning products.


So bear in mind, avoid light grout where possible.  Dark grout when used to dramatic effect against white tiles has the benefit of contrast, but it will also retain its colour for decades.

Pattern tiles work well in shower areas, especially to add a splash of colour, design and pizazz. Natural stone-effect tiles work wonderfully in traditional style bathrooms. 


There are some adaptable tiles though that can dazzle in a variety of bathroom styles that could easily be the classy understated wall tile in a traditional bathroom and shower with walnut furniture, early 20th Century style tap and shower. On the other hand, this same tile could easily be the dominant tile and tone setter for an über slick monochromatic bathroom.

Make sure your tile choice is functional for your shower needs first, then allow your taste to take care of the rest, while bearing in mind the above recommendations about colour, style, grout and size.

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