Steam room in a modern home

How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Steam Shower

A steam shower is a wonderful bathroom feature that gives you a spa-like experience at home! Steam showers have a dual purpose, combining the functions of a sauna with those of a regular shower stall. They can generate a soothing vaporous cloud as well as jets of freshwater to cleanse and refresh! What are the benefits? A calming ambiance that can help you relax, soothing water vapor that can help clear your sinuses, and a skin-friendly at-home detox!

Steam room in a modern home

Beautiful bathroom with white bath and sauna and shower in a modern home

Because steam is far more invasive than water, a steam shower demands more attention than a regular shower. There’s a lot more to it than just adding a steam generator and a control pad to the equation. Building a steam shower requires a brand-new, integrated system that functions and operates as a whole, from the drain to the ceilings to the kind of tile selected.


The selection of tile is an important step in this process. To make the process of choosing the right tiles for your at-home sauna a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most important factors to consider for a long-lasting steam shower!


How to Pick the Right Tile for a Steam Shower


The basics of a steam shower are covered above, and the first important choice you’ll have to make is which tile material to use. Before selecting a shower design, you should research the benefits of each material.


Porcelain Tiles


There’s no better alternative for a steam shower than porcelain tiles when it comes to durability and safety! Porcelain tile is the ideal blend of aesthetic appeal and functionality since it is nonporous and durable. Porcelain tiles also retain heat and function as an insulator for your steam room, increasing its effectiveness while conserving electricity!


If you’re afraid that porcelain tiles won’t match the beauty of natural stone, reconsider. Porcelain tiles now come in a variety of magnificent colors, patterns, and textures that are meant to resemble the appearance and feel of actual stone, giving you the genuine aesthetic you’ve always wanted!


Why not give your steam shower a smooth marble effect with porcelain tile, which is more lasting, gorgeous, and affordable? When used throughout the steam shower, these tiles will produce a smooth, clean design that will open up the room.


To feel more connected to nature, you don’t have to live in a remote mountain hut! Porcelain tiles that resemble wood might be an ideal alternative to hardwood if you want to add an organic touch to your shower’s atmosphere while keeping it sturdy and economical.


Porcelain tiles are also great for transforming your bathroom into a Scandinavian-style sauna! The wood grain porcelain tile’s warmth is adaptable enough to fit into any shower design.


Porcelain tile for steam showers is a low-maintenance option that combines excellent performance with an elegant appearance without the care or weathering that other materials need!


Natural Stone Tiles


Like the luxurious marble found in ancient Roman baths, natural stone tiles set the tone for the ideal showering experience. Natural stone tile has such a timeless appeal that it is still one of the most popular options for traditional bathroom designs and contemporary showers!


When it’s not in use, though, it’s important to establish an atmosphere that repels water and stays as dry as possible. As a result of their porous nature, natural stones are not usually the best tiles for steam shower enclosures.


Steam is absorbed by natural stone tiles, which can retain moisture. Aside from that, natural stone tiles release heat rather than retaining it, allowing all steam to escape. That means you’ll need more electricity or a bigger steam generator for your stone tile wall.


If you want to use natural stone tiles in your steam shower, be sure to verify with the manufacturer to make sure the tiles are appropriate for your needs. Prepare for a regular maintenance regimen, such as sealing tiles at least once a year and checking your walls, ceilings, and floors for mildew, to ensure the long-term beauty of your marble or stone tiles.


Glass Shower Tiles


Because it is a non-porous and stain-resistant material, glass tile is another choice that is technically ideal for steam showers. However, you must choose specific glass tiles appropriate for a steam shower, as we’ll explain.


Clear glass can display any moisture trapped below the tiles. Thus colored glass is the ideal choice for a steam shower. Glass tiles may cloud due to steam vapor clouds, dulling their luster while in use.


Ceramic Tiles


Ceramic tile, like porcelain, is a non-porous alternative that is great for steam showers. Allow your imagination to go wild when it comes to shower ideas that include a wide selection of colors; ceramic tiles will keep up! There is a lovely range of tile colors to pick from, each with its own detail, texture, and finish.


What if you want a little more color? You can simply create a colorful wall inside your steam shower with ceramic tiles by selecting from a spectrum of stunning colors.


Natural stone tiles cannot endure the same amount of wear and tear as ceramic and porcelain tiles. A ceramic tile is a low-maintenance option for steam showers with the correct grout and frequent cleaning. Check the manufacturer’s hardness rating with the (PEI) number just in case to be sure they’re strong enough to use in the shower.


Which Tiles Should You Use in a Steam Shower?


Hopefully, the sections above have answered this question and provided you with the information you need to find tiles that suit your requirements and cleaning preferences.


To summarise, natural stone tiles will appear beautiful, but they will require more attention to proper cleaning, frequent sealing, and a greater capacity steam generator to maintain the temperature. In the long run, ceramic or porcelain tiles may be less expensive to maintain while providing the same aesthetic advantages as stone or marble steam shower tiles!


Recognizing different materials is unquestionably the most important step, but it is not enough in and of itself to choose the best steam shower tile. Continue reading to learn about a few design considerations you should make before making your tile selection.


Key Factors To Consider When Installing A Steam Shower


Check for Insulation


Even if you choose the most flawless and long-lasting steam shower tile, you’ll need a properly insulated substrate to place your tiles on. This will help you get the most out of your tile and work investment while also preserving the integrity of your walls and ceilings since water condensation may cause wall cavities, which can lead to fungus growth and structural damage!


Even with most steam showers, improved waterproofing methods have made it feasible to avoid moisture from leaking into the walls or foundation! Before you place tiles anywhere in your steam shower, make sure you have proper insulation, regardless of the sort of tiles you pick.


Slanted Ceilings with Smaller Tiles


A slanted ceiling is another important design aspect for a steam shower since it enables condensation to drain properly and prevents large drops from landing on you while you relax!


On curved ceilings, use smaller tiles because they create more beautiful slopes. Always use mosaic tiles with a mesh backing with at least 95% contact between the tile and the backer board because you need that contact between the tile and the wall.


How to Clean Steam Shower Tile


Finally, whatever tiles you choose will need some maintenance to guarantee that they last as long as possible. Steam cleaners provide the best results on even the most difficult to clean surfaces when it comes to cleaning your tiles in a steam shower. Cleaning steam shower tiles is, fortunately, a lot easier than you would imagine! Instead of cleaning, you can use a steam unit to remove dirt, germs, and grime from your surfaces! When you take the time to steam clean your shower tiles correctly, your shower will not only look shining, but it will also be hygienic and germ-free, making for a healthier environment!


Another important factor in preventing moisture damage and mildew in your steam shower is ensuring it has enough ventilation. While it’s important to keep the shower totally enclosed while it’s in use, it’s also important to let it air out after each shower.


To eliminate any chance of humidity causing damage to your tile or shower joints, run the exhaust fan in your bathroom during and after your shower, and keep the door open after usage to allow the residual vapor to evaporate entirely.


To keep your shower tiles clean, have a low-PH cleanser on available and spray and wipe them off after each use. After cleaning the tiles, a shower towel should be used to wipe away any residual water and allow for proper ventilation.


Are you looking for a simple way to keep your faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures clean? It’s as easy as squeezing a lemon! Cut the lemon in half and rub it over regions with strong water stains. Allow it to rest for up to a minute before washing it off and wiping it down with a clean towel.


Consider the Tile Size


The size of the tile chosen will be determined by the size of the bathroom. The taste of the particular homeowner and the budget and current trends all play a role in the selection. To get a sense of the current styles, go to tile stores or look them up online and start dialing in your preferences. Some people like the aesthetic of plain white subway tile, while others prefer the look of patterned large-format tile. There’s a lot to look at, and the size and layout of the bathroom should also be considered while making a decision.


While there are no hard and fast restrictions, some of the most common tile sizes, such as 12 × 12, 16 x 16, and 12 x 24, are among the most popular. 3 × 6 subway tiles are also widely used. We recommend using large tiles to make a space look larger and small tiles to make a room appear more streamlined. If it’s going to be a do-it-yourself project, consider that as well. Despite their popularity, large-format tiles may be challenging to work with, particularly when putting them on a wall. Smaller tiles require extra grouting and/or cutting.


Adventurous DIY enthusiasts may wish to experiment with other layouts to add interest as well. Smaller subway tiles, for example, can be put in a variety of patterns, including running bond, offset, herringbone, and diagonal. A diamond form can be created by rotating square tiles. As a feature strip or even a feature wall, mosaic tile or smaller tiles might be used. The layout can be used in a variety of ways to improve the design’s attractiveness. Just remember to put in some additional time for planning.


It’s simple to make a layout mockup on a tile floor, but it’s more difficult on the walls of a shower. Remember to take accurate measures and to keep in mind that there are multiple walls to consider, and they are often connected. Also, keep in mind any built-in design elements, such as a shower niche, may be difficult to replicate with a certain style of tile. Before buying a shower tile, consider the size and arrangement of the space. This will help you in selecting the material that will work best in the space.


Should You Be Worried About Slipping?


While large format porcelain tile is ideal for the walls, as previously said, we prefer small format porcelain tile for the floor, along with a steam shower grout. Larger formats with a textured surface are also an option. A honed or brushed floor finish offers grip and safety, but honed surfaces don’t resist water as effectively as brushed surfaces, which is why a solid drainage system is necessary.


Does the Color or Shade of the Stone or Tile Matter?


There’s no need to worry about color or shade with non-porous materials, but darker stones should be avoided since they may effloresce, which means minerals in the stone find their way to the surface and create a white haze. On dark stones, the hazing is even more visible.