Suggest tile for my tub/shower surround

maryann_mApril 13, 2012

We've been moving along in our bathroom remodel and have made many of our choices. One thing that we still need to select is tile for our tub/shower surround. I've previously had ceramic tile at a number of places throughout our home, but I've grown to hate trying to keep grout clean. I opted to use wood-look vinyl planks for flooring in this bathroom remodel. But, I'm willing to go with tile for the tub/shower surround if the tiles are fairly large and the grout lines are rather minimal. So--no floor tile to match or coordinate in this case.

I've learned about rectified tile by reading this forum, and I've learned that I can have very tight grout lines if I select a rectified tile. I'd love some recommendations of tile brand and size for a 5' alcove bathtub/shower surround. Pictures would be wonderful!

I'm planning to install this tile myself. I've previously done a tub surround, a kitchen backsplash, bathroom floor, foyer floor, etc., so I have some experience. Is installing rectified tile in a shower surround something that a semi-experienced DIY'er should attempt? From what I'm reading, it's a very exacting process.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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We used Florida Tile's "Pristine" with 1/16" grout lines in our tub surrounds with unsanded grout and love the result. The tiles are nice & large at 9"x18". Here's a couple pics...

For our master shower, we went with Florida Tile's Renaissance with 1/16" grout lines using unsanded grout on the walls. It comes in 4 different colors & the largest wall tile is 10"x 13".

While they are not truly rectified (usually you have to go with natural stone to get truly rectified--cha-ching!$$$$), our tile guy said the edges were cut straight enough to pull off the smaller grout lines. As far as scrubbing tile & grout, the trick is to squeegee after you're finished showering, then you don't get water spots/mineral deposits on the tile and nothing growing in the grout so no grout scrubbing!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Mydreamhome, thank you for sharing your photos. I like the crown molding treatment above your tub in the first picture. From what I've seen so far in looking at tiles, most places are recommending a 10 x 13 or 10 x 16 tile for tub surround. We need to select our tile soon so that we can move forward with this project!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Mydreamhome, I had to read this post twice, because we are doing two bathrooms--and we chose Florida Tile Pristine for one bathroom, and Renaissance for the other! LOL!
We are doing the 9 x 18 in the walk in shower and the 10 x 13 in the tub/shower.
The walk in shower is our current project, and the other bath will follow (hopefully in the summer).
Nice to see how pretty it looks installed! I did a little digging and saw you got a great price on that tile. I was quoted significantly more...5$ a sq. ft. for wall and 18$ sq ft. for the floor :(
DH can plumb and install tile, but we are considering subbing out the tile and might hold off on ordering it--maybe we can get a contractor discount...
Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:32AM
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Mydreamhome, I have another question. We're planning to create a niche in the tub/shower surround. I've noticed the curved bottom shelf of your niche in the bottom photo you've shared. Maybe I'm not looking at the right places, but I've seen similar curved shelf pieces in other people's niches on this forum, but I've never seen pieces like that in a store. Where do you get them?

We were thinking of using a piece of a marble baseboard or threshold as I've seen mentioned by others. That wouldn't create the rounded edge (which is also OK), but I'm curious where everyone is getting the rounded pieces.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Good catch, Dreamweaver! We actually used a large marble tile cut to size and design to create the shelf. Our tile guy did it for us based on our specs. It took some work to find just the right color. To do something similar, it will have to be a natural stone product--no other types of tile will work. DH didn't think we needed the extra depth, but I knew we definitely did. The standard depth works fine in the kids' baths but there's just more stuff when there are 2 of you sharing the shower + all the lady stuff :-) Plus it looks pretty!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:48AM
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