picking tiles for shower

Picking Tiles for Your Shower Enclosure

You’ve chosen your dream shower but before you can install it you still have to pick which tiles would go perfect with it. Many factors should be considered before picking tiles for your shower enclosure, which can quickly become a tedious process. Luckily, we’re here to help you pick the right tile for your dream shower.

Keep in Mind

When choosing tiles for wet areas like your shower, or a sauna, it’s crucial to pick a type that has suitable adhesive and grout systems in place. It needs to assist with any thermal expansion during the installation of the tile as a result of the temperature of the water.

When mixing your adhesive and grout with a latex-based additive, like Tal Bond, for example, it will help with water-resistance of the adhesive system.

Although it sounds like an unnecessary task to waterproof your shower floor and walls, not doing so will result in water filtering through the grout and adhesive. This can lead to damp patches on the adjoining walls or ceilings of the rooms underneath.

Picking Tiles for Your Shower

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of ensuring your shower enclosure is waterproof, let’s see what you need to keep in mind when picking tiles for your framed or frameless shower.

Large or Small Tiles?

When you’re picking tiles for your shower, you must think about the size. Larger tiles can be dangerous as you can slip easily since they have a larger surface that gets wet. So keep in mind when picking a larger tile, make sure you look for one that has enough slip-resistance.

Smaller tiles, on the other hand, can offer more slip resistance with its numerous grout lines.


When choosing your tile, make sure you get input from the manufacturer whether the tile is acceptable for submersion. As your shower will constantly be “submerged” underwater, the type of tile should be able to handle it.

Shower Bench

If your shower includes a bench, it’s better to pick a smaller tile. The smaller tiles will be able to handle the curves and bends of the bench a lot better than larger tiles.


On the other hand, if you have a bench with smaller tiles, it can become quite uncomfortable when sitting on it.

Mosaic Tiles

When choosing a mosaic tile for your shower enclosure, you’ll need to consider the amount of contact. For the tile to be safe, the contact from the backer board to the tile needs to be at least 95%. You cannot depend on the glue on the sheet of tile by itself.

Clear or Coloured Glass Tiles

We know you might be tempted to include some glass tiles with your glass shower. If the glass is the direction you want to go, rather look for coloured glass instead of clear. Clear glass can quickly look terrible after a few uses as water can become trapped behind the tile.

Various Tile Options

Not sure you want to stick to just one tile? Or you are stuck choosing between two tiles you absolutely cannot do without? Well, why not make a feature wall inside the shower enclosure? You can add a plain tile on the sidewalls of the shower and add some mosaic or bright tiles where the shower head and handles are located.

Another option if you want to include two different tiles is framing the one with the other. This method is perfect for those who want or have a little “shelf” like feature within their shower enclosure.

Look at the example below from trendir.com where they make use of three different tiles to create the look:


One of the most important factors when choosing a tile for your shower is, is it easy to clean? You don’t want to make work for yourself or allow your shower enclosure to look rundown after a while because you don’t have the time to clean it.

Keep in mind, smaller mosaic-type tiles will be more work than larger, slab-like tiles because of all the grout lines.


Another important factor to take into consideration is your budget. As tiles come in various shapes and sizes, pricing comes into play as well. Once you’ve set your budget, you’ll already have narrowed down your search for the perfect tile, hopefully making your search shorter than it needs to be.

Need Tiles for Your Shower?

With an array of glass shower doors ranging from framed to frameless, we offer shower doors for any and everyone. Whether you’re a hotel, guesthouse, or a homeowner looking to spruce up your shower enclosure, we have the shower for you. Get in touch to receive a free quote or visit www.showerline.co.za to browse our shower ranges.