shower floor tiles: elevate your design from functional to luxe

by clé tile | published: nov 21, 2020

A grey tiled wall with a debossed modern pattern and a brown leather couch.

creating a resort-style spa in your own home is all about shower tile. tile brings a pared-down, serene look and truly lets the elements take center stage. shower tile is also a great way to bring the patterns, colors and textures of your dream home spa to life.

with high-moisture environments like saunas, baths, and showers, there is the need to balance aesthetics with practicality; no easy task. even in residential bathrooms, particularly showers, this balance can be achieved through careful and creative use of tile.

so, let’s focus on shower tiles.

a shower has the ability to transform your state of mind. it invigorates the morning and washes away cares at night. however, it also has to function flawlessly, accommodating moisture, hygiene and, if lucky, lots and lots of steam. we love the way designers are really addressing this trend in creative ways while still incorporating the practicalities that a high-use area requires.

designing with tile on the shower floor

when building a shower, the focus often centers on shower wall tile as the main feature. it sets the tone and is one of the first design elements that can make a statement. shower floor tile, on the other hand, is often an afterthought… now, what to do with the floor?

a standard approach is to use the same tile for the shower floor as the walls, just cut into smaller pieces to accommodate a smaller area. for instance, if you are using a 12×24 slate for the walls, the floor tile can be sectioned into 4×4 slate squares. design influencers studio mcgee used this style in one of their home’s guest bathrooms: it sets a very seamless, clean, uniform tone that many homeowners desire.

at clé, we love matching the floor to the wall for a seamless look, but you can also elevate a shower design by choosing a contrasting tile for the floor. for example, offsetting rich charcoal slate walls with a carrara penny round, or, a weathered white zellige wall as a striking contrast to the darker belgian reproduction floor tile.

bold colors are a great way to animate a space, and a vibrant floor is a great way to create a design-forward focal point in your shower.

remember, showers do not exist in a vacuum: you should always consider the space in its entirety. if you want to create a cohesive look that blends your shower with the larger bathroom (great for a wet room or steam shower), let your shower floor tile extend over the lip of the shower into the rest of the bathroom where it can continue to work its magic.

step it up with tile: designing around a shower step

tile is not just a design factor, it’s also a construction tool. this means that shower tile can be cut, shaped, and mitered for custom looks that can take the shape of your shower’s steps, benches, and alcoves.

for a tiled shower step, have your contractor build up a sufficient height to create a threshold and cover it with tiles, mitering the corners together. this way you can make the most of the tile you’re already in love with, without settling for a store-bought “saddle” solution.

highlight shower nooks and alcoves with patterned tile

if your shower wall has built-in niches or shelving, incorporating your floor tile into the wall can give the shower an extra design embellishment. here’s an example using clé’s radar hex cement tiles.

shower tile for the outdoor shower

outdoor showers, while often reserved for utility purposes, don’t have to be mundane. here’s a great example of a playful approach, contrasting belgian reproduction flemish black terracotta with cement peabody metal, black, and white squares.

installing your shower tile

your installer will need to mind the mechanics of the shower floor, such as acceptable slope, curb/curbless considerations, slip resistance and ensuring the pan under the tiles is perfectly waterproofed. when it comes to texture the rule of thumb is: the smaller the tile and the bigger the grout joint, the more slip resistance there is. just a few things for your installer to consider with any bathroom tile design.

many of our shower tiles can be installed on a shower floor. however, the most important consideration is how you seal them. to help you with this, we provide detailed information for each tile in our resource guides, available under product specifications on each product page.

with so many spa-worthy possibilities, we are excited to see what you choose.

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