Many factors come into play in choosing the perfect shower tile, and often the shower’s design will dictate the type of tile that can or should be used.
For example, if you love a curved shower bench, you will need to use a smaller tile. That might seem like an easy task, but remember, you need a tile that is suitable for floor and wall use. This same tile also needs to be approved for a wet location. So when it’s installed, 95 percent of the back side of the tile needs to be in contact with the thinset (tile concrete). Often, thinset is installed with a notched trowel, and not all tiles such as many mosaic tiles can reach 95 percent coverage.
Using a large format tile is great for barrier-free design and aging in place. But is that tile safe? Smaller tiles offer more grout lines and slip resistance, so if you’re searching for a large tile, look for one with a good slip resistance rating. A tile with an A or B rating is far safer than a tile with a C slip resistance rating.
A little known fact is that if you’re using glass tile or any sheet mosaic tile, it is up to the manufacturer or retailer to inform you if the tile is acceptable for submersion or pool use. Your shower floor should be built like it will be submerged. It is also the responsibility of the manufacturer of glass tile to specify the type of setting materials you need.