Best shower floor tile options?

NewEnglandSaraAugust 10, 2014

Hi All,

We need to purchase tile for two shower floors this week. In our previous house, we really messed up the shower floor tile, and we are hoping that we won't repeat the mistake. I would love some input on which types of tile (color, material, size, etc.) tends to hold up best!

A few details: We tend to use organic/natural shower and cleaning products, and I am not sure if that made a difference in how our previous shower floor wore over time. Also, the tile installers did not seal the tile or grout....At first, we had white penny rounds with white grout. The penny rounds had a slight gray-ish edge to them, and they were not installed all that evenly. The floor always ended up looking dirty with inconsistencies in color. We saved up over the course of a year and decided to re-do the shower floor with a 2 X 2 square tile that was a smaller version of our bathroom floor tile: a beige porcelain tile with some subtle darger beige striping to it. Unfortunately, that tile also ended up looking gray-ish in spots with an inconsistent color to it. We could never figure out exactly what we were doing wrong.

Fast forward to now, and we are shower floor tile shopping again! I am scared to go with white or beige again, although all tile salespeople claim that those colors should wear fine. I was thinking of a colorful tile, but most of those only come in glass. (One option is to go with Sicis since it is a very small glass tile that is consistent in color all the way through.) If we want to avoid glass, we could try to go with a darker color tile or take our chances on white or beige again. We definitely don't want to try natural stone.

Any tips? We are looking at some pretty white porcelain tile, some colorful penny rounds, Sicis glass or maybe a porcelain mosaic with enough "movement" to hopefully hide discoloration that might occur.

Thanks so much!

Sara

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Babka NorCal 9b

I never heard of porcelain tile discoloring. Natural stone can be affected by some products. Did you have a hard water scale build-up that would cause a coating on your previous porcelain? Did you try a vinegar soaked towel on it overnight? Sometimes these build-ups require some chemicals. If you don't want the build up from hard water/soap scum, you will have to wipe/squeegee all the surfaces after EVERY shower.

-Babka

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:17PM
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NewEnglandSara

Babka, thanks so much for the tips! Maybe it was just build-up that we had before, but NOTHING would get it off. (We even tried harsh chemicals and opened all of the windows.) :-) My husband thinks the issues might have been bad install, lack of grout sealing and/or bad grout. So in general, you don't see an issue with white tile on the shower floor?

Thanks so much!

Sara

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Shouldn't be a problem with properly installed porcelain. Porcelain doesn't need a sealer like natural stone might. There are different kinds of grout and sealer on some of those will keep them from staining. Your DH is probably correct.

-Babka

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:35PM
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