Dress up your bathroom with one of these inspiring shower tile designs. A variety of materials, colors, shapes, and layouts create unique shower tile ideas for a one-of-a-kind bathroom.

By Kelly Roberson and Jessica Bennett
Updated April 07, 2021
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There are as many ways to tile a shower as there are colors and types of tiles. The only must-follow design rules are to select bathroom tiles that are waterproof and durable and to ensure that they are grouted properly. Before you begin planning your shower tile patterns, take the time to learn about the different types of tile and see which material will work best for you. Many different types can make beautiful shower tile ideas, including ceramic tile, stone tile, glass tile, marble, granite, and more. Once you've decided on a tile material, it's time to stretch your creative imagination. Get inspired by our favorite bathroom shower tile ideas to create your own unique escape.

Shower with blue tile accent
Credit: Emily Minton-Redfield

1. Add an accent tile wall inside the shower.

Look to the kitchen for bathroom shower tile ideas: Many homeowners use the space behind a range for an intricate mosaic tile showpiece. You can create a similar effect with shower tile. To keep the space from looking too busy, keep the border and the rest of the walls a fairly neutral color. Or, for a more subtle change, mix up the pattern of the tile on one wall, such as tile laid on the diagonal, for example.

shower with teak bench shower seat
Credit: Michael Partenio

2. Vary the bathroom shower tile size from the rest of the space.

If you're unsure about shower tile ideas that mix and match materials, you can still add subtle visual contrast by choosing a different size of tile inside the shower. Try a large, square granite tile on the floor, for example, and a smaller rectangular ceramic tile (in the same color) in the shower. The subtle difference will set shower boundaries without calling them out loudly.

shower patterned floor blue tiles
Credit: Edward Gohlich

3. Switch up the tiles inside the shower.

You're not required to stick with the same tile inside the shower. For example, use white subway tile to wainscot height, glass mosaic tile above that for an unexpected visual twist, and pebble tile on the floor for a gentle foot massage. Some of the best shower tile ideas use a variety of tile types to their fullest potential.

elegant marble shower with white and grey accents
Credit: Brittany Ambridge

4. Use bathroom shower tile patterns to add visual interest.

Go for mosaic glass tiles in a recurring border, or use a border of black tiles to divide a white and brown mosaic tile creation, breaking up the wall space. A single strip of patterned tiles will do the trick, too. Visit your local hardware store to find ceramic tile shower ideas inspired by what they have in stock.

shower under sloped dormer
Credit: Richard Leo Johnson

5. Supply contrast with tile in the shower.

Shower tile ideas can stand as a great counterpoint to other tile in the bathroom. A slender black border in a shower, for example, is a great way to complement a black tile floor. You can also match a backsplash on the bathroom vanity to the tile in your shower.

Charcoal bathroom with white cabinetry
Credit: John Gruen

6. Tile the shower ceiling.

Most of the design and color focus in a bathroom and shower tends to be the walls and the floor. But shower tile designs can extend to the ceiling, another surface that can add texture, color, and pattern through tiling. Doing this will also prevent mold from growing in your shower from rising steam.

bathroom sliding glass shower
Credit: Marty Baldwin

7. Add color to niches and benches.

Small shower insets are a natural spot to show off different types or colors of shower tile in either contrasting or complementary colors. For example, a wall of white subway tile can get a fun pop of color with blue mosaic or encaustic tile inside a recessed shelf. Or, keep the tile the same color and type for a more subdued look. If you build a recessed wall shelf yourself, be mindful of plumbing and pipes in your shower.

Bathroom with dark brick and marble
Credit: Annie Schlecther

8. Complement materials in the rest of the room.

Outside the shower, some baths might not have a lot of tile. Bathroom shower tile patterns are a great opportunity to highlight other colors and materials throughout the room. For example, dark navy shower tiles can accent medium-gray walls and bright white trim. Marble tile looks extra glam when paired with gold accents and light fixtures.

walk in shower subway tile
Credit: Werner Straube

9. Use grout for contrast.

Bathroom tile isn't the only way to add color. You can also use grout for unusual color contrast in a shower—dark grout against a white tile, for example. If you really want to get trendy, you can try painting your grout any color you want. However, if you have unglazed shower tiles, you'll want to avoid this DIY project.

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