Shower Tile Ideas: Stunning and Standout Tile Designs for Stylish Showers

Finding the perfect tile for your shower can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom. With so many options to choose from like natural stone, ceramic, glass and more, it can be overwhelming to select shower tiles that are both stylish and functional. This article will explore some stunning and standout tile designs that can help create a spa-like shower you’ll love.

Best Materials for Shower Tiles

When selecting shower tiles, the material is one of the most important factors as it determines the overall look, durability, maintenance and pricing. Here are some of the best options to consider:

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are classic choices perfect for shower walls and floors. Pros:

  • Durable and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Affordable option available in endless colors and styles
  • Low porosity prevents mold and mildew growth

A con is that unglazed tiles can be slippery when wet. Opt for porcelain tiles or ceramic with a textured glaze on shower floors.

Natural Stone Tile

Elegant and luxurious, natural stone like marble, travertine, slate and granite brings the beauty of nature into the shower.


  • One-of-a-kind veining and patterns
  • Timeless, classic look
  • Variety of natural colors and finishes
  • Durable and easy maintenance

Cons are the higher cost and porous nature requiring sealing. Limit porous stones like travertine to shower walls.

Glass Tile

For amodern, sleek look, glass tiles add brilliant shine and reflect lightbeautifully.


  • Dramatic accent for any design style
  • Customizable with endless colors, finishes, shapes
  • Extremely water-resistant and easy to clean
  • Adds luminosity and visual depth

The delicate nature makes them harder to install and prone to scratching/cracking. Use smaller glass mosaic tiles and care when cleaning.

Shower Tile Design Ideas

When selecting your shower tile, don’t just default to basic white subway tile. Here are some stunning and standout shower tile design ideas to create a spa-like oasis:

Linear Tiles

Linear tiles like subway, brick laid or rectangular styles create clean, streamlined looks perfect for modern or contemporary bathrooms. Pros:

  • Timeless and versatile for any style
  • Visually expands smaller showers
  • Streamlined for a relaxing spa aesthetic
  • Easy to install in straight vertical or horizontal patterns

Mix colors, patterns and textures for added visual interest. Add complementary rectangular floor tiles laid perpendicular to shower tiles.

Large Format Tiles

Oversized tiles like 12”x24” rectangular or large square tiles generate an open, airy feeling.


  • Minimal grout lines for a seamless look
  • Visually expand smaller showers
  • Modern, sleek and contemporary
  • Easy maintenance with less grout

Use contrasting grout colors to accentuate the large tile format. Combine with intricate mosaic floor tiles.

Mosaic Tiles

For a lively focal point, mosaic tiles in fun patterns add energizing style.


  • Artistic, handcrafted look
  • Customize with endless pattern options
  • Makes a bold style statement
  • Adds visual interest and depth
  • Often used as an accent

Use mosaic tiles sparingly on one wall or shower floor. Opt for larger tiles on remaining walls to prevent overwhelm.

Marble & Stone Tiles

Marble, travertine and other natural stone tiles evoke elegance and luxury.


  • Timeless, classic beauty few materials can match
  • Light veining provides depth and visual interest
  • Conveys high-end luxury in the shower
  • Variety of finishes like tumbled, polished, flamed
  • Durable and easy maintenance

Limit stone to shower walls which have less direct water contact. Use with glass doors and upscale metal trims.

Patterned & Moroccan Tiles

Intricately patterned, encaustic cement tiles and Moroccan tiles inject color, geometry and global inspiration.


  • Vibrant pops of color enliven showers
  • Intricate patterns add visual drama and interest
  • Distinct global style from Moroccan, Spanish, Mexican influences
  • Created from cement or clay for durability

Use as a backsplash or limit to one accent wall to prevent overwhelming the space.

Shower Floor Tile Ideas

The shower floor endures direct water contact and footing traffic. Selecting shower floor tiles that are attractive, slip-resistant and durable is key.

Mosaic Floor Tiles

Small mosaic tiles create pleasantly textured, slip-resistant shower floors full of visual appeal.


  • Hundreds of patterns, colors, stone and glass options
  • Excellent slip resistance from grout spacing and texture
  • Softer underfoot than large tile formats
  • Intricate beauty and interest underfoot

Use mosaic tiles alone or border with larger floor tiles.

Porcelain Floor Tile

Porcelain floor tile is ideal for shower floors thanks to very low porosity, stain resistance and style.


  • Extremely dense, waterproof, stain proof surface
  • Available in slip-resistant textures
  • Durability supports weight and usage
  • Affordable, elegant styles mimic stone, wood, concrete etc.

Select textured, matte finishes rather than polished for wet areas.

Pebble Floor Tiles

Rounded pebble tiles create an organic, spa-like texture perfect for shower floors.


  • Natural appearance provides warmth
  • Slip resistant from shape and grout spacing
  • Distinctive styles like stone, glass or ceramic
  • Soft underfoot feel is comfortable

Use same size pebbles or a mix of sizes for characterization.

Wood-look Porcelain Planks

Wood-look porcelain tile planks offer warmth with the benefits of porcelain.


  • Natural wood visual minus maintenance
  • Grout lines offer grip traction when wet
  • Porcelain durability stands up to water
  • Warmer, inviting look than plain tile

Select planks with grip traction scores suited for wet areas.

Shower Wall Tile Design Ideas

Shower walls provide ample room for creativity. Here are inspiring shower wall tile ideas:

Vertical Staggered Tile Layout

Staggering vertical tiles in a brickwork pattern adds stylish asymmetry.


  • Modern, versatile aesthetic
  • Offsets repetitive tile patterns
  • Visually widens and elongates
  • Adds contemporary geometric interest

Looks great with subway, rectangular or square tiles.

Horizontal Stacked Tile Layout

Stacking horizontal tile rows conveys modern simplicity.


  • Streamlined look maximizes minimalism
  • Allows varied tile shapes/types
  • Matches linear fixtures and fittings
  • Ideal for mid-century, contemporary styles

Use with linear drainage and rectangular niche shapes.

Contrasting Tile Color Scheme

Contrast shower wall tiles in complementary hues for visual pop.


  • Brilliant way to add color without overwhelm
  • Crisp, sharp, vibrant aesthetic
  • Modern, graphic, energetic feeling
  • Visually expands smaller showers

Consider colors like cobalt blue, marigold yellow or emerald green.

Allover Mosaic Shower Walls

Tiling walls in mosaic tiles creates lavish impact. Consider:

  • Use mosaic sheets for easier install than individual tiles
  • Opt for glass or stone mosaics for low-maintenance durability
  • Limit to one or two accent walls to avoid overwhelm
  • Accent with metal or glass tile trims and accessories

An allover mosaic wall imparts regal glamour.

Contrast Grout Color

Select a contrasting grout color to make tiles pop.


  • Light tiles with dark grout or vice versa
  • Emphasizes each individual tile
  • Crisp, sharp, tailored aesthetic
  • Add visual interest without much change

Only use with grout widths designed for contrasting grout colors.

Chair Rail Wall Divider

Add a chair rail at the shower midpoint for traditional charm.


  • Classic wainscoting look remains timeless
  • Visually expands and elongates shower
  • Adds architectural detail and interest
  • Contrasting tiles above and below rail

Use complementary classic patterns like herringbone and metrobrick.

Shower Ceiling Tile Ideas

Don’t overlook the ceiling when tiling a shower. Tiles can make this utilitarian area feel luxe.

Skylight Ceiling Tiles

Skylight tiles have thin translucents between opaque tiles to recreate open sky.


  • Creates spa-like ambiance
  • Sense of openness, ventilation and space
  • Allows natural light into shower
  • Relaxing, calming effect

Also called ventilation tiles. Use with recessed lighting.

Mosaic Ceiling Tiles

Intricate mosaic patterns infuse visual delight overhead.


  • Intimately scaled detail overhead
  • Hundreds of varied mosaic patterns
  • Makes standard ceiling an artistic focal point
  • Adds warmth, texture and nuance

Ideal for smaller showers needing personality.

Coffered Ceiling Tiles

Coffered ceiling tiles add neat architectural definition.


  • Geometric structure and visual interest
  • Can echo other architectural details
  • Sense of shape in an amorphous shower box
  • Reflect light differently than flat expanse

Works well with ventilation skylight tiles.

Stone Ceiling Tiles

Natural stone ceiling tiles impart organic texture and beauty.


  • Travertine for rustic, Old World character
  • Marble for timeless elegance
  • Slate for wonderful graying and variances
  • Limestone for soft natural creaminess

Use with recessed lighting to amplify variations.

Shower Shapes and Sizes

Beyond material and design, the shape and size of the shower itself impact the overall look and function.

Square Shower Spaces

The most common shower shape, a basic square works well tile designs.


  • Standard and straightforward to tile
  • Efficient use of space
  • Easy to keep proportional looking
  • Fits most budget and layouts

Add a rectangular niche and vertical shower tile layout.

Rectangular Shower Spaces

A rectangular footprint creates an elongating effect.


  • Fits narrow spaces like galley bathrooms
  • Feels roomier than cramped square
  • Alcove option easy to retrofit
  • Use horizontal tile layouts to widen

Provide two showerheads for double occupancy.

Neo-Angle Showers

Neo angle showers have angled corners to open up smaller spaces.


  • Angled front creates feeling of more space
  • Makes shower naturally focused away from door
  • Door can be narrowed as angled out of way
  • Showcases gorgeous back wall tile

Use frameless glass doors for completely unobstructed views.

Curved Showers

A curved shower enclosure adds soft, organic shape.


  • Sweeping curves for a spa aesthetic
  • Visually appealing break from boxy spaces
  • Circular showers maximize flow and space
  • Radiating tile layout from centerpoint

Use smaller mosaic tiles to ease intricate shaping challenges.

Walk-in Showers

A walk in shower offers ultimate luxury convenience.


  • No door threshold for easy access
  • Wheelchair and aging accessible
  • Expansive feeling of space and rainfall showerhead
  • Use linear drainage grate for long clean modern lines

Select slip-resistant porcelain tiles.

Shower Tile Ideas By Design Style

The tile you select can complement your chosen bathroom design style seamlessly.

Modern and Contemporary

For contemporary style, sleek linear large format tiles, mosaics, patterned cement and porcelain tiles work beautifully.

Traditional and Transitional

Traditional bathrooms can incorporate classic subway tiles, mosaics, marble and natural stone for timeless elegance.

Rustic and Farmhouse

Rustic showers work with natural stone like slate and travertine as well as wood look porcelain planks.

Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial

Handcrafted patterned tiles, mosaics with elaborate motifs and terracotta work well.

Asian Spa

Natural elements like bamboo, pebble and stone blended with glass mosaics help create a tranquil Asian spa vibe.


Concrete look tiles, or real concrete, bold mosaics and brick tiles complement industrial design’s raw utilitarianism.

Shower Tile Installation & Maintenance Tips

Proper tile installation and maintenance helps shower tiles stay stunning over time.

Use Waterproof Backerboard

Waterproof backerboard, like cementboard or Wedi, helps stave off moisture damage like mold.

Check Coefficient of Friction

Select tile finishes rated for wet areas with a COF of .60 or above for slip resistance.

Seal Natural Stone

Seal porous natural stone tiles beforehand and reseal yearly to prevent staining.

Install Bullnose Edges

Bullnose tile edges have rounded profiles that give a clean finished look.

Apply Sealant Properly

Seal tile edges, corners and joints fully with mildew resistant silicone sealant.

Grout Correctly

Grout provides structural integrity. Follow product instructions for proper mix, application and curing time.

Clean Tile Regularly

Clean tile surfaces regularly with specialized cleaners and protect against soap scum buildup.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shower Tiles

Many questions come up when planning a shower tile installation project. Here are helpful answers to some common FAQs:

What tile materials work best in showers?

Ceramic, porcelain and natural stone like marble and granite are best for shower walls and floors. Glass tiles can also be used successfully. Avoid wood look tiles inside the shower itself.

How do I choose slip resistant shower tiles?

Look for tiles rated COF .60 and above when wet. Also consider tiles with grip traction patterns or gaps like mosaics. Textured finishes are ideal for shower floors.

What size tiles should I use in my shower?

This largely comes down to personal preference. Many love classic subway tile while large format 12”x24” tiles create sleek modern looks. Mosaics make great accents. Balance visual interest with ease of cleaning.

How long do shower tiles last?

With proper installation and maintenance, tiles will last for decades without needing replacement. Inspect grout and caulk over time and reseal as needed.

Should I get a tiled shower floor or bench?

Built-in tiled benches offer handy seating and tile on the floor helps reduce slip hazards. Select textured, slip-resistant porcelain tiles in both cases.

How do I clean and maintain shower tiles?

Use specialized tile cleaners and avoid abrasive scrubbing. For natural stone, use cleaners safe for the material. Reseal porous tiles annually. Apply grout sealer every few years.

Achieve Your Dream Shower Style with Stunning Tiles

The exceptional range of high-end designer tiles on today’s market makes it possible to achieve nearly any imaginable shower style from sleek modern spa to ornate Old World luxury.

With fundamental material knowledge and design savvy guiding tile selection, you’re sure to discover eye-catching tiles that perfectly suit your shower vision.

Aim high. Dream big. And know that realizing your ideal shower sanctuary beautifully adorned in stunning tiles can readily shift from pipedream to incredible reality.