Tile School: Ceramic Tile vs. Glass Tile Shower
One of the most popular and practical shower solutions, both ceramic and glass tile offers a lasting, water-resistant surface for your shower from the ground up. However, choosing the right shower tile for your project is one of the most important decisions you'll make when designing or remodeling a bathroom. To help make the decision process a little easier, we've put together the pros and cons of both materials, as well as some shower tile design inspiration from some of our favorite projects!
Remodeling your entire bathroom? Start here with our complete guide to bathroom tile.
Can't choose between the two? You can always pair the two materials as they did in the bathroom below!
Let's start with Ceramic Tile!
Ceramic tile is a classic choice for shower tile design. Whether you're covering a floor, a shower wall, or even a tub surround, our Recycled Clay Tile offers a timeless look that will make your shower the center of attention.
Although ceramic tile is considered a classic shower tile choice, your tile design style doesn't necessarily need to be traditional. Subway tile is always a great choice, but if you're looking for a more contemporary or modern look, mix things up a little and try a bold splash of color, or an interesting specialty shape. No matter what style you choose, ceramic tile offers your shower space a surface material that will last a lifetime in both durability and style.
Pros of using ceramic tile in the shower:
1. Ceramic tile is classic and timeless, making it a sustainable design choice.
2. Price is one of the biggest pros when it comes to ceramic tile. Ceramic tile comes in a variety of price ranges, offering something for every budget. This also makes it a great choice for larger surface areas such as the floor, ceiling, and walls.
3. Ceramic tile is one of the most durable materials you can choose for your shower. It will stand the test of time against daily wear and tear, and with the right grout and regular care, ceramic tile will be fairly low maintenance.
4. There are hundreds of tile colors to choose from, each one offering unique texture, finish, and color variation. Ceramic tile is also available in our largest selection of shapes and sizes, offering more options for customization.
5. Ceramic tile has a variety of trim and architectural moldings to choose from, allowing you to add the perfect finishing touch to your tile design.
Bullnose pieces create the perfect clean edge to a shower surround and quarter rounds help finish edge details on the wainscot wall:
Cons of using ceramic tile in the shower
1. Ceramic tile is handmade which means slight irregularities and variation in size and color should be expected. We love this about our tile as it adds character and an artisanal feel but if you want a more consistent feel, Glass will be for you!
2. If certain ceramic tile glazes are exposed to water for extended periods of time, there is a potential for light staining if the tile is not sealed correctly or regularly. We offer complimentary dip sealing on our more crackly glazes (more on those here) if needed to protect your tile and the longevity of your install. Please ask your rep or Design Consultant if you have any questions!
Glass tile showers offer a modern look that is refreshing and sleek. Our palette of glass colors creates an opportunity to create an eye-catching statement with your shower.
Pros of using glass tile in the bathroom
1. Glass tile is beautiful and offers your bathroom modern visual appeal, and with a curated selection of colors available in both matte and gloss finishes, your design options are limitless.
2. Glass tile is relatively low maintenance, all you need to keep it clean is window cleaner and a cloth, making it an ideal choice for the shower where you will experience soap build-up that needs to be cleaned regularly.
3. Glass tile is impervious to water, and will not stain.
4. Glass reflects light, making your shower appear larger. It's also translucent, therefore, unlike any other surface material, that beautiful color you picked out will show all the way through the tile, providing an additional sense of depth and dimension.
Cons of using a glass tile shower
1. Glass tile in the shower requires more care during installation, especially if you have architectural details in your shower that require special cuts. This is why we always recommend a professional tile installer.
2. Glass tile can be higher in price than some of our ceramic tile options. If Glass is over your budget, you may want to consider using glass as an accent, rather than covering large surface areas.
3. Although glass is easy to clean, its reflective surface highlights imperfections. This means it will require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
4. While Glass Tile is fine for a shower pan floor, it should not be used underfoot for the rest of your bathroom.
We'll say it again! If you cannot decide between the two materials for your shower, you don't have to! Glass and tile do make a dynamic duo--with the colors easily complimenting each other.
Need help figuring out which Fireclay Tile product is best for your shower? Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.