Ceramic Tile Shower Change the Aura with Trendiest Shower Tiles

A bathroom makeover starts with the shower. Replacing outdated, worn-out shower surrounds with new ceramic tile can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Ceramic tile infuses color, pattern and texture, creating an invigorating shower experience. With so many trendy tile options now available, you can customize your shower to match your unique style.

Why Choose Ceramic Tile for Your Shower Walls

Ceramic tile has distinctive advantages that make it a top choice for shower surrounds:


Ceramic tile is extremely water-resistant and stands up well to daily wear and tear. The dense composition resists cracking, chipping and peeling. The glazed surface is easy to keep clean. With proper installation and care, ceramic tile can last for decades.

Low Maintenance

Unlike fiberglass surrounds, ceramic tile does not show soap scum or minerals from water. A quick wipe down keeps ceramic tile looking fresh and clean. Re-grouting every few years will keep joints tight.

Moisture Resistance

Impervious to water, ceramic tile prevents leaks and damage to walls. Using waterproof backerboard and proper sealing techniques, a tiled shower surround stops moisture from seeping behind tiles. This prevents mold and mildew growth.

Easy to Clean

The non-porous glazed surface of ceramic tile repels water, soap and grime. A gentle scrubbing easily removes buildup without damaging the tile. Strong cleaners can be used to sanitize tile and grout.

Design Flexibility

Available in a huge range of sizes, colors, textures and patterns, ceramic tile provides limitless design options. Mix and match tile layouts and finishes to create a unique shower look. Accent with glass, stone or metal tiles.


Ceramic tile is one of the most budget-friendly surfacing materials. Basic white tiles start at just a few dollars per square foot. Stylish designer tiles run just $10-20 per square foot. Even high-end handmade tiles average only $50 per square foot.

With this winning combination of performance, easy care and customized style, ceramic tile is the best medium for creating an inviting shower sanctuary. Keep reading to explore the latest trends in ceramic tile showers.

Top Ceramic Tile Shower Trends

Here are some of the most popular looks and styles for tiled showers:

Large Format Tiles

Gone are the days of 4-inch square tiles. Large format tiles, 12 inches or bigger, create a contemporary sleek look. Fewer grout lines make maintenance easier. Oversized tiles can expand a small space. Pair big tiles with slim grout lines for a stunning effect.

Bold Patterns and Textures

From graphic prints to 3-D surfaces, statement tiles liven up plain walls. Honeycomb tiles, fishscale mosaics, handpainted patterns and protested finishes upgrade basic white. Add bands of decorative tile or a vibrant floor for a pop of color.

Marble and Stone Looks

Marble-effect ceramic tiles emulate the beauty of natural stone at a fraction of the price. Realistic textures and veining capture the essence of marble and granite. Pair faux marble tiles with brass fixtures for a glamorous vibe. Stone-look tiles in slate and travertine add organic texture.

Wood-Look Tiles

Wood-look ceramic tiles lend rustic warmth to contemporary baths. Planks in natural hues from gray oak to brown walnut resemble reclaimed barn boards. Or choose painted tiles for a more colorful, modern twist. Wood-look shower benches offer built-in seating.

Moroccan-Style Tiles

Intricate mosaic patterns in bold jewel tones create a Moroccan spa vibe. Tiny tiles cover walls in ornate geometric designs. Borders and accents contrast with white tile. Lantern sconces and freestanding tubs complete the exotic look.

Modern Metallics

Once reserved for backsplashes, metallic tiles now shine in showers. Slim glass tiles coated in copper, pewter and silver bring glamour to neutrals. Mixed metal mosaics combine silver, gold and bronze. Metallic grout highlights subtle sparkle.

Minimalist White

Crisp white tile keeps the focus on sleek modern design. Extra-large format tiles and thin grout lines amplify the monochromatic look. Penny rounds encased in white tile accentuate curvature. Pair with rain showers, frameless glass doors and floating wood shelving.

Vintage Styles

Black and white hexagons, retro pink diamonds and glossy subway tiles recreate early 20th century charm. Authentic details like wavy tiles, chiseled edges and handpainted designs capture old-world appeal. Add period fixtures for a nostalgic bathing experience.

Nature-Inspired Tiles

Organic shapes and textures bring the outdoors into the shower. Freeform tiles evoke natural stone. Watery blues and sea greens conjure ocean views. Etched designs and mottled glazes resemble weathered wood, travertine and limestone. Embossed tiles with delicate leaves or vines enhance the nature theme.

Planning Your New Ceramic Tile Shower

The perfect shower starts with thoughtful planning. Keep these tips in mind:

Set A Budget

Costs add up quickly with tile projects. Determine your budget upfront and find tiles and materials to match. Shop sales and discount outlets to stretch dollars. Budget extra for unexpected issues.

Design For Function

Focus first on practical needs like seating, accessible curbs, storage, lighting and anti-slip tile. Then choose surfaces and finishes to match your decor. Include a hand shower if desired.

Choose Tile Type

Glazed ceramic and porcelain are the best tiles for steamy showers. Mosaics work for accent bands. Natural stone tiles require extra sealing. Check ratings for durability, slip resistance and water absorption.

Select Universal Design Options

If aging in place is a concern, install grab bars, a fold-down seat and a curbless entry. Adjustable hand showers suit all users. Contrasting grout aids visibility. Large tiles minimize grout for easier cleaning.

Work With A Pro

A professional contractor handles plumbing and installation details to prevent leaks, promote safety and ensure proper slope. Experts also know which waterproofing methods and materials work best.

Focus On Preparation

The success of a tile project hinges on careful prep work. Protect walls with cement backerboard. Use a waterproof membrane over substrates. Check that the floor is sturdy enough to support tile and solidly leveled.

Step-By-Step Installation Guide

Once you’ve selected the perfect tile and layout, it’s time to tackle the installation. Follow these key steps:

1. Remove Old Surrounds

Take down existing wallcoverings like plastic surrounds or sheetrock. Check for leaks or damage behind walls and repair as needed. Examine the wall framing and repair any issues.

2. Install Cement Backerboard

Cut cement backerboard to size and fasten securely to studs with screws. Seal seams and screws with thinset mortar. This provides a stable, waterproof surface for tile.

3. Waterproof the Walls

Apply a waterproofing membrane over the backerboard, sealing seams and corners. RedGard, Kerdi and Nobleseal TS are top products. This critical step prevents moisture damage.

4. Prep the Tile

Arrange tiles and blend boxes to mix color variations. Cut border and accent tiles to fit. Use tile nippers for curves and odd shapes. Soak porous tiles before installing.

5. Install the Tile

Apply a layer of thinset mortar to the wall with a notched trowel. Press tiles into the thinset and lightly twist to adhere. Check for even coverage and alignment. Allow thinset to cure before grouting.

6. Grout the Tile

Push grout into joints, holding the float at a 45 degree angle. Wipe diagonally across tiles to remove excess. Apply grout sealer after curing to repel stains. Avoid epoxy grout in wet areas.

7. Finish the Details

Caulk perimeter joints, corners and fixtures with flexible silicone sealant. Install shower shelves, grab bars, showerheads and trim. Finally, seal the grout and enjoy your new ceramic tile shower!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to common questions about installing and caring for ceramic tile showers:

What type of thinset mortar should I use?

Use white polymer-modified thinset for porcelain or glass tiles. Gray unmodified thinset works for ceramic. Make sure it’s formulated for wet area installation.

How long does the thinset need to cure before grouting?

Check the thinset label, but most require 24-48 hours of curing before grouting. This allows thinset to fully harden and adhere to the tile.

What’s the best way to cut ceramic tiles?

Use a wet saw with a diamond blade for straight cuts and mitered edges. Nippers and tile snaps work for small notches and holes. Use an angle grinder for curves.

Should I seal the grout?

Sealing grout is highly recommended to prevent staining and mildew, especially in showers. Apply a penetrating grout sealer like Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold after grout has fully cured. Re-seal yearly.

How do I maintain my ceramic tile shower?

Clean regularly with a gentle cleaner and soft scrub brush. Re-caulk when needed. Have existing grout professionally cleaned and re-sealed every 1-2 years to keep it looking fresh.

Can I install radiant floor heating under ceramic tile?

Yes, radiant heating can extend right into a tiled shower floor for luxurious comfort. Use a uncoupling membrane over the heating elements before installing tile.

Should I use epoxy grout?

Epoxy grout is more chemical-resistant but harder to install and repair. Regular cementitious grout with sealer works well in showers. Only use epoxy for heavy commercial use.

How do I remove soap scum and hard water stains?

Use an alkaline cleaner like tile soap scum remover or a paste of baking soda and water. Scrub gently with a stiff nylon brush and rinse thoroughly. Vinegar also removes buildup.

Transform Your Bath with New Ceramic Tile

Installing ceramic tile transforms an outdated tub or shower into a relaxing retreat with the look, color and style you love. With the wide range of trendy tiles now available, you can create a custom shower that matches your dream design. Durable, low maintenance and water-resistant, ceramic tile stands up beautifully to daily use. By following sound installation techniques, your new tile shower will provide an invigorating escape for years to come. Let ceramic tile inspire your next bathroom makeover and change the aura of your space with trendiest shower tiles!