Modern shower with pebble flooring

Best Use with Caution Avoid

Small Porcelain Tile

Bamboo

Marble

Pebbles

Glass

Hardwoods

Sealed Stone Tile

Wood Slatted Platform

Best Shower Floor Options

You have tons of flooring materials to choose from, but the best shower floor options meet three demands of a bathroom:

  1. Stands up to water
  2. Has grip
  3. Looks beautiful

Small tiles meet all these demands, whether nonporous porcelain or a sealed stone. The smaller sizes create more grout lines, which in turn increase the grip available on the surface. Stone pebbles and 1-inch glass tiles do the same.

Best Flooring for Walk-In or Shower Rooms

When doing a shower remodel, keep in mind that different styles might suit different needs. However, sealed stone tile or pebbles make the best flooring for two main reasons:

  1. They’re slip-resistant. Pebbles require tons of grout and most natural stone has natural grip.
  2. They bring the earthiness of a spa into your bathroom.

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Best Tile for Shower Floors

With literally hundreds of materials, sizes, designs and colors available, it’s tough to say which beats out all the others as the top choice. However, follow these tips:

  • Small, water-resistant types are in showers.
  • While good, glass tends to be a bit slippery when wet.
  • Try tumbled travertine, nonporous stone, porcelain and pebble tiles.

Best Size Tile for Shower Floor

When choosing a smooth tyle, like porcelain, always use a small size for the bath. Smaller tiles mean more grout lines which means more grip. If you pick something with more natural grip, like travertine, any size works.

Best Non-Slip Tile for Shower Floor

The best non-slip tile is pebbles. They have excellent grip and look amazing.

Best Tile for Shower Floor and Walls

The top choice for your walls isn’t always the same as the floor. While you can use the same throughout, consider that:

  • Floors need grip. The smaller the tile, the more grip available.
  • Walls don’t require grip. This means you can use larger ones which reduce grout lines. Less grout means easier cleaning and sealing.

Best Way to Tile A Shower Floor

Hire a bathroom remodeling pro near you to install your shower and do all the tile work. It’s always the best solution when dealing with wet environments. Avoid the risk of water damage, repairs and wasted time.

Your professional will most likely:

  • Carry a license and insurance, protecting you from mistakes.
  • Use special sealers.
  • Use epoxy or acrylic grouts that stand up to water better than standard grout.
  • Have the experience to lay it in such a fashion that all water drains and none is left standing.

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Best Material for Shower Floors

Use materials that grip well, withstand water and clean easily. Typically, this includes most types of stone and ceramic tiles, pebbles and in some cases, glass.

Best Type of Tile Material for Shower Floor

The top flooring material choices include:

Best Wood for Shower Floor

Bamboo or teak shower floor mats make great, stylish additions to your bathroom. These wooden mats are made of slats to allow the water to drain. Because it needs extra cleaning, these floor grates are removable, sitting on the floor as an insert, flush with the surrounding floor.

Although technically a grass and not a wood, it works well when installed properly by a professional. It drains well and dries quickly with little moisture retention.

Pebble Shower Floor

Pebble flooring not only look amazing and bring the spa to you, but it also has excellent grip. Installed properly, you also get a slight foot massage. The only downside: the immense amount of grout you need to clean and seal.

The best way to clean pebble shower floors is to use a grout cleaner and sealer. You might also need to use a hard water stain remover or distilled vinegar regularly to keep the film from building up.

Avoid Marble Tile Shower Floors

While it might fit your design, marble scratches and chips easily. It’s also incredibly slick when wet, making it a poor flooring choice. If you must use it, try very small, polished tiles that allow more grout lines while the polish helps resist scratching.

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Shower & Floor Costs

Installing a shower in total costs $1,500 to $6,000. We’ve broken these costs down in our bathroom and flooring cost guides listed below.

Shower Installation & Repair Costs

Porcelain tile installation costs

$900-$2,700

Stone tile install price

$1,000-$5,000+

Slate flooring costs

$1,000-$2,500

Subway tile installation prices

$500-$1,500

Bathroom shower retiling costs

$500-$10,000

Cultured marble wall installation price

$700-$2,500

Repair tile and grout fees

$300-$600

DIY vs Hiring a Professional

Don’t take on a shower floor yourself. One failed seam or improperly installed component and you’ll be paying for water damage repairs. Hiring a licensed and insured bathroom tile contractor near you might cost a little more upfront, but it’s worth the long-term savings and peace of mind.

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FAQs

Can you use cement board for a shower floor?

You can’t use cement board for floors. It’s only useful for walls. It will crack under any loads. Always use weight-bearing materials, like cement, for floors.

Are acrylic showers any good?

Acrylic showers, while not the most aesthetically pleasing with a cheap look, are waterproof and easy to clean. For budget-conscious installations, it’s a great choice.

Are pebble shower floors slippery?

Pebbles aren’t usually slippery when they’re cleaned regularly. Due to the texture and high amount of grout, you’ll have plenty of grip.

Should I tile my shower ceiling?

It is up to you whether you want to tile your shower ceiling. It’s not necessary but often completes the shower design aesthetic.

What kind of concrete do you use for a shower floor?

You want to use a mortar mixed with portland cement, which naturally resists water. Look for products designed for shower pans, bedding mixes or floor mud. Find out how to build a tiled shower pan.

Is porcelain tile good for shower floors?

Porcelain makes an excellent shower floor, although you’ll want to get small tiles for better grip.

Can you use ceramic tile for shower flooring?

Ceramic tile isn’t recommended for shower flooring because it has a higher water absorption rate than porcelain.

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