3 Types of Shower Tile Options to Avoid, According to an Interior Designer

Updated: Oct. 10, 2023

Avoid these dated (or soon-to-be-dated) shower tile ideas if you're looking to redo your bathroom.

No one wants to fall for a design trend that will likely feel stuffy and outdated in a few years, right? Especially when it comes to redoing your bathroom, which can be a costly and time intensive project.

Just like kitchen, living room and bedroom trends, bathroom decor trends can come in and out, including the design of shower tiles. Just because some trend seems cool now doesn’t mean it will look as classy or beautiful in five years or so—and thankfully there are some interior design experts online that tell us what trends are worth going for, and what shower tiles to avoid at all costs.

What Shower Tiles Should I Avoid?

TikTok creator Phoenix Grey (known as @mrphoenixgrey on TikTok) recently posted a video about the shower tiles you should likely avoid—both in terms of confidence as well as avoiding trends that aren’t actually aesthetically pleasing for your bathroom.

@mrphoenixgrey Its all a matter of preference, but almost every client dislikes these. Prwcticallity and aesthetic should come hand in hand #bathroommakeover #interiordesign #homehacks #designertips #toronto #designhack #homeimprovement ♬ vlog, chill out, calm daily life(1370843) – SUNNY HOOD STUDIO

In his video, he listed out the three shower tile design trends you should avoid if you’re redoing your bathroom.

  • Imperfect Zellige tiles: Grey says that while this tile design is trendy right now, you should probably keep in mind the water and grime buildup that these tiles will occur over time. Because they will take extra effort to clean, you may not like this design as much after all.
  • 12 x 24″ tiles: While this tile design tends to be cheaper and easier to put in, Grey says these tiles don’t offer a ton of personality for the style of your bathroom. In his opinion, they just look like tiles you would see in an underground subway platform. If you love the seamless look those larger tiles provide, Grey suggests going for a 30 x 30″ tile that will match the grout color so it looks uniform.
  • Accent tiles: While these accent tiles—aka a strip of tiles that are typically smaller and a different design that wrap around the inside of your shower—were a hit in the ’90s and ’00s, Grey says this visually stunts the height of your shower and makes it cluttered and breaks up the space compared to having an open, serene looking shower that works well with the aesthetic of your bathroom.

What Shower Tiles Should I Use Instead?

Green Luxury Bathroom, Black Rain Shower Head and black glass panel windowsImgorthand/Getty Images

If you’re looking for the best bathroom tile trends used today that won’t seem out of date five or ten years from now here are some classy shower tile designs for you to try.

  • Have an accent wall: While Grey says to avoid an accent strip inside the shower, if you’re still looking for a pop of color/design but don’t want to cover every surface of your bathroom with it (causing it to seem smaller and slightly claustrophobic), choose one entire wall to cover with an accent pattern tile or solid color. Accents could also work well for the shower floor if you want that pop of color without changing up the uniform look of your bathroom tiles.
  • Use contrasting tiles: If you prefer a bathroom aesthetic that leans more on grayscale and prefer to avoid all color, then one cool tile trend to attempt could be choosing contrasting tiles. For example, if one or two walls of your shower are a lighter gray color, why not make your accent wall a classy black marble? This gives the shower that texture you want without relying on a solid color or pattern to break up the space.
  • Warm it up with wood-colored tile: If you’re looking for a bathroom aesthetic that is warm and inviting, almost like the inside of a serene sauna, a wood-colored tile could be a unique spin for your shower. These longer pieces of tile also keep the shower looking tall and open compared to sectioning it off with shorter tiles, and also feel warmer compared to that “subway tile” that Grey mentions.