• One of the first things to take into consideration when choosing a tile for a tub or shower is the size. Larger tiles help make an area appear larger, but if you only have a 3’ wall a 20×20 tile will be too large. It is best to find the balance between the size of the tile and the size of the wall being covered.
  • If you choose a decorative pattern for your tile, consider where your plumbing valves will end up. You don’t want a body spray to end up right in the middle of your decorative accent!
  • If you choose a large format wall tile for your shower, you will need a coordinating tile for the shower floors that is small enough to be able to make the pitch on the shower floor. Typically,  4×4, 6×6 or mosaic tiles work best, depending on the size of the shower.
  • If you are implementing a design element into a shower or tub/shower that you want to feature, consider that a clear frameless shower door will show off that accent the most and a shower curtain will hide it the most.
  • Choosing to mix different tiles to create a pattern in encouraged, but be careful about mixing tiles with different thicknesses. Check with your tile designer or tile setter to see if your choices will work together for a smooth installation.


  • Run the tile all the way up to the ceiling or stop around 8’ above the finished floor height.
  • Finishing the tile – be sure to find out if the tile you select has a coordinating bullnose to finish off the edges of the last piece of tile.
  • For a tub/shower you will have the choice to stop the bullnose or finishing element at the top of the tub or continue running it to the floor.
  • Consider if your tile choice looks better with small or larger grout lines.
  • Using a sealer for your grout to help prevent mold and mildew issues

Decorative Design Options:

  • Set the tile square or straight lay with no added options
  • Set the tile at a 45 degree angle or on the diagonal
  • Set the tile with a brick joint or running bond pattern
  • Add a decorative listello at the top, bottom or eye level (straight or diagonal lay)
  • Clip the corners of the tiles turned on the diagonal and insert a decorative “dot’ made from tile, metal, glass or stone
  • Alternate colors to make a checkerboard pattern
  • Mix some of the elements above and set the tile straight, but turn one row at eye level on the diagonal. This can be outlined with a listello at the top and the bottom of the diagonal band or a decorative dot can be inserted in between the diagonal tiles
  • If you have a large enough wall, add a feature like a decorative picture frame. This can be created with a listello as the frame and it gives you the option of the choices listed above to accent the interior.


  • In your shower you can add a corner seat or shower bench, towel bar, soap dish, corner shelf or recessed niche
  • Some shower drains are offered in round or square shapes and a variety of colors that can be matched or coordinated to your shower valve colors.
Shower Surround 1
Shower Surround 3