What Are the Best Tiles for Shower Floors?

What Are the Best Tiles for Shower Floors?

The shower is where you go to get energized in the morning or relax at the end of a long day of work. Slipping and falling is the last thing that you want to experience during your shower, so you need tile flooring that provides excellent traction.

The best tiles for shower floors offer security and stability for your feet. They also look great, feel luxurious underfoot and hold up through shower after shower. Start your search with this guide to the best shower floor tiles.

Look for Tiles That Will Reduce Slipping

One of the top bathroom safety concerns is making sure that you don't fall in the shower. The material that you choose for the shower floor can play a big difference in how much traction your feet have.

Slick, shiny glazed tiles can be a hazard waiting to happen. While glazed ceramic or porcelain can be a popular choice for tile walls, they're risky on the floor. If you're anxious to use one of those materials, choose tiles with a matte or textured glaze instead of a glossy one.

You can use a tile's DCOF rating to learn more about whether it might be a good choice for your floor. DCOF stands for "dynamic coefficient of friction," and tiles for wet areas should have a DCOF rating or 0.42 or higher.

Stone can be a smart alternative. Some varieties, such as slate, are naturally textured. Bumpy pebble tiles can also work well for shower applications. For an example of that look, check out the floor around this bathtub:

Small tiles are another way to increase the friction of your shower floor. The more tiles there are, the more grout there will be, and grout usually has a rougher texture than tile. You could use round penny tiles or a creative mosaic like this bathroom has:

Choose a Tile Size That Works Well for the Shower's Contours

Your shower floor isn't completely flat. In order for the water to flow out, it needs to slope toward the drain. It may slope from more than one corner.

Since the shower floor isn't one flat, continuous surface, lining it with oversized tiles can be a challenge. Small tiles work much better with the shape of most shower floors. Some experts recommend keeping your floor tiles to no larger than 4 inches by 4 inches.

Small tiles may also be easier to arrange around curbs, corners and other shower details.

You can see a good example of small floor tiles in this image:

Select Tiles That Treat Your Feet Right

The shower should be a relaxing experience for your whole body, including your feet. Some people describe travertine as a softer natural stone that feels nice underfoot.

If you're a naturally chilly person, you may want a flooring material that can help warm you up. Slate tiles may be a top choice for that role. This type of natural stone has the ability to retain heat, so you won't have to worry about freezing your toes while you wait for the water to warm up.

Another consideration for your feet is how far apart the tiles are. Extra-wide grout lines create divots that can be uncomfortable to walk on. Whichever tile style you choose, your feet will appreciate it if you keep the grout lines close together.

Pick a Material That Can Stand Up to the Rigors of the Bathroom

Showers require flooring materials that won't absorb water. When making your tile decision, the ability to resist water should be one of your top considerations.

Some types of tile, such as ceramic, need to be glazed in order to keep out water. Glazed porcelain rates even higher than ceramic on the water-resistance scale. Just remember that you have to be careful to choose a glazed surface that isn't slick.

When sealed, many varieties of natural stone, such as slate, marble and travertine, can resist water as well. Your tile installer can apply the first sealant treatment and provide tips for future tile maintenance.

This bathroom has a basketweave design made with Carrara marble:

Not only can water penetrate the wrong types of tiles, but the minerals in the water also have the potential to cause stains. Soaps, shampoos and lotions may stain the floor too. Between porcelain and ceramic, porcelain is the more stain-resistant option. If you go for stone tiles, you'll want to apply a sealant that protects against stains.

Opt for a Design That Meets Your Style Standards

Finally, don't discount looks when picking out your tile flooring. The best tiles for shower floors are the ones that complement your bathroom design.

The choices are nearly endless. You can go for an ornamental look or a geometric one:

Some people prefer muted neutrals, and others like to use bold, bright colors, like these greens and blues:

The shower floor might have its own look, or it could be an extension of the flooring that covers the rest of the room:

You could pick floor tiles that contrast with the shower walls, or you could use similar colors throughout the room:

The ideas in this video may inspire not only your shower floor designs but your entire bathroom remodel:

After reading through this guide, you may have a better idea of the best tiles for your shower floor. Next, it's time to get a professional input about how to select shower tiles that are safe, long-lasting and beautiful. To get started, reach out to the experts at Artsaics. Our team can prepare and install custom stone tiles for your shower remodel.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.