Porcelain Shower Materials: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

We use it daily, but when it comes to redesigning our homes, the shower is often sadly neglected. It waits, in the corner of the bathroom, for someone to swoop in and remodel it.

With so many options to choose from, how do you know where to start? A lot goes into picking the perfect design. Most of us think it’s simply a case of seeing one we like and opening our wallet. But getting it right is about more than looks alone. What tile size and shape work with the size of your room? Do you live in a hard water area? Does the look you want, compromise the safety of your shower? All of the above and more can factor into your final decision.

As a durable, waterproof, and hygienic option. It is well established that porcelain is an ideal choice for any shower interior. But it comes in a number of different forms. Below are some of the different things you’ll want to look at when making decisions about your next redesign.

The size of the tile

A one-piece shower wall

Basically, a durable, waterproof wall covering. One of the most recent developments in shower design.

Good for:

  • A modern innovative look
    It offers something a little different to a traditional, tiled, shower appearance. And can make your bathroom look sleek and sophisticated.
     
  • Easy cleaning
    The grouting between tiles is always harder to clean than the tile itself. One piece means no grouting to contend with. A simple wipe should keep showers clean.
     
  • Easy to fit
    When compared with smaller alternatives involving hundreds of tiles, a one-piece wall is much easier to handle.

Not so good for:

  • Longevity
    OK, so they still last a good long time (around 15 years), but tiles live longer. If it gets damaged the whole shower wall will need replacing as oppose to just one small tile.

 

Large format tiles

Standard square/geometric shaped tiling
A timeless choice, popular since the dawn of tiling.

Good for:

  • Ease of use
    Square tiles are easy to work with, and it’s easy to calculate how many you’ll need. And geometric patterns fit together seamlessly, by their very nature. 
  • Variety
    They come in all shapes and sizes, from large format to tiny mosaic tiles, meaning you can choose your look.
  • Price
    Being the most available option, the price point is often lower than when going for a more unique or ‘fashionable’ alternative. 

Not so good for:

  • Interesting design
    This one is more of a stereotype. Standard square tiles have really come a long way in the design stakes and can offer a versatile range of options. However, you can’t go far wrong with a classic, and they do still have a reputation for being boring. Those who want a real eye-popping design may look elsewhere.

 

Non-standard tile shapes

Many designers are now experimenting with all kinds of shapes from stars to ovals.

Good for:

  • Interesting, eye-catching design
    Great if you want your bathroom to look a little different to the bog standard checkerboard design.

Not so good for:

  • Being universally suitable
    You’ll need to figure out if the design you want works with your space. It may not.

 

The finish of the tile

Gloss finish

Tiles that sparkle and shine

Good for:

  • Easy cleaning
    The smooth surface means that just a quick wipe will suffice.
  • Small rooms
    With light bouncing off of the tiles and around the room, it will appear much bigger and brighter.

Not so good for:

  • Safety
    The glossy finish can be very slippery when wet, adding an extra unwanted risk element to your morning routine if used on the floor.

 

Matte finish

A clean and simple alternative to gloss.

Good for:

  • Safety
    They have much less slip risk than glossy tiles.
  • A modern look
    They have the potential to up the style factor in a room.
  • Maintenance
    Matte tiles keep their new look for longer and need cleaning less often.

Not so good for:

  • Sturdiness
    They can be more susceptible to scratches and stains than their shinier alternative.

 

Last but not least…

Custom tiles

Providing the freedom to do exactly what you want with your bathroom.

Good for:

  • Bringing your design dreams to life
    Custom tiles are the best way to design a real life shower that’s as close as possible to what you wish for.
  • Freedom from restraints
    You will be free to choose the design, size, finish, everything in fact, to suit your needs.

Not so good for:

  • A tight budget
    The word custom always comes at a price. That’s the cost of total freedom.

 

Once you have perused over the options and worked out which styles definitely wouldn’t work for your room. The rest is down to personal preference. 

Happy decorating!