Where To Stop Tile In The Shower [And Which Kind To Use]

Are you renovating your bathroom and wondering where the tile should stop in your shower? Do you tile to the ceiling or stop short? Great question! We've thoroughly researched where you should stop the tile in your shower and the benefits and other things to consider.

In general, you'll want to continue the tiling in a shower all the way up to the ceiling.

However, you might have seen tile in a shower that stops 2-3 feet below the ceiling. Typically, the reason for this is for builders to save time. Builder-grade bathrooms are engineered for quick fixes so they can move on to the next project.

What are the benefits of tiling to the ceiling? Are there any disadvantages? What kind of tile should I use? Should I hire a professional? What if I don't want to tile up to the ceiling? Is that ok? Continue reading to find out all the answers!

Extravagant decor of new bathroom with black tiles, Where To Stop Tile In The Shower [And Which Kind To Use]

What Are The Benefits Of A Fully Tiled Shower?

Bathrooms can make or break a home when getting a return on your investment. That's why you want to spend your money and time wisely.

New blue bathroom design with marble shower

So, let's go over the top 3 benefits of a fully tiled shower:

Preventing Mold And Mildew

Mold can become a big problem, especially in areas where moisture constantly comes into contact with the walls or ceiling. Furthermore, mold can make you sick and cause serious health issues, so avoiding mold and mildew should be at the top of your list in any bathroom renovation.

Waterproofing your shower with tile will pay off in more ways than one.

Rain water infiltration and leak inside a home building roof white wal

Modernizing A Space

Aesthetically speaking, the more tile, the better. It makes your space look larger because it draws your eye to the ceiling. One of the first things homeowners look for in a home is an updated bathroom.

Making your bathroom look more spacious, clean, and modern will impress any future buyer and make your time spent in the bathroom more enjoyable.

Saving You Money

You wouldn't think that using more tiles would save you money, but you'd be wrong! If you stop tiling 3/4's of the way to the ceiling, you have to use a bullnose edge tile to complete the look.

The edge pieces cost more than the tile itself, so it's best to opt for tiling the whole wall. Preventing mold, saving money, and creating a bathroom that looks more spacious is a win-win situation!

Why Shouldn't I Tile My Entire Shower?

There are many advantages to tiling to the ceiling, but are there downsides? Besides it taking a little more time to finish your renovation, there are no other drawbacks that we can see.

However, you could go without the edge pieces to save money, but this isn't recommended for the overall look and functionality.

What Kind Of Tile Should I Use For My Shower?

Once again, this is personal preference, but we do have some great recommendations for you! Picking the right tile can seem overwhelming because there are so many options.

The three most common picks are glazed ceramic, glass, and glazed porcelain.

Glazed Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are made of clay that come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Maintenance comes easy with ceramic tiles due to their scratch-resistant surface and glazed moisture barrier.

They are a little less expensive than porcelain tiles making them a popular choice.


Glass tiles are also long-lasting and easily cleaned with glass cleaner. They add extra sparkle to any bathroom, making them stand out in style and sophistication.

Glazed Porcelain

Overall, we recommend glazed porcelain because of its low maintenance and durability. Porcelain gets its longevity and strength from being fired at higher temperatures making it the best option over ceramic and glass.

Due to the better material, the cost is slightly higher than other tiles.

View these porcelain tiles on Amazon.

Should I Hire A Professional To Install My Shower Tiles?

Tiling requires time, patience, and the right tools. You might save money upfront by doing it yourself, but if you run into any major problems, it could cost you more in the long run.

Issues like cracked or loose tile, applying the wrong grout, or not planning for extra costs could cause major setbacks in your renovation.

Tiling can be tricky, so carefully weigh the pros and cons. It's best to leave it to a professional if you aren't an experienced DIY'er.

What If I Don't Want To Tile The Whole Shower Wall?

You don't have to worry about having things up to code when deciding whether or not to tile the entire shower wall.

That being said, it's your choice! Keep in mind that you don't want to be doing another bathroom renovation in a couple of years, so make sure you'd be happy with the choice in the long run.

Should You Tile A Shower Ceiling?

Modern shower with unique head

There's no right or wrong answer here, but most people don't tile their shower ceiling. It's usually not necessary to tile a ceiling. Still, if you have an extra humid bathroom without a vent, or a steam shower, tiling the ceiling might be a good idea to prevent additional moisture.

Tiling the ceiling would certainly be unique and give your bathroom a wow factor!

What Else Can I Use Beside Tiles For The Shower?

Are you tired of cleaning grout? Are you on a budget and want to spend your money elsewhere? There are other options available besides tile. Let's go over some alternate options.

Water-Resistant Paint

If you don't want to tile to the ceiling or you already have a shower that's not fully tiled, make sure to use water-resistant paint.

This mold and mildew proof interior paint is recommended to protect your walls from mildew and damage, saving you tons of cash.

See this paint on Amazon here.

Acrylic Shower Stall

The adjustable shower handle allows multiple heights for use

Another option is a more traditional route of a shower stall made out of acrylic. These are less expensive but don't last as long and, to most people, don't look as pleasing to the eye.

Shower stalls typically last about 10 to 15 years compared to a tiled shower lasting up to 20 years if properly cared for.

Fiberglass Shower Stall

Fiberglass is another great option if you are on a budget. It is one of the least expensive options around. However, it easily scratches and can crack or chip, which could eventually cause mold.

You know what they say; you get what you pay for.

How Do I Care For Shower Tile?

Overall, tile is relatively low maintenance due to the glaze or sealant that most tiles already have on their surface. However, regularly cleaning your tile and grout with vinegar or any household cleaning product will keep your bathroom looking shiny and new.

Besides regular cleaning, sealing your grout lines every couple of years will help prevent mold.

To Wrap It All Up

Whether renovating your dream bathroom or updating your current one, you want to make the best-educated decision, especially when it comes to tile. Tile is one of the most expensive and vital elements in any bathroom.

Doing your research beforehand and hiring a professional when needed will prove beneficial and allow you to enjoy your beautiful bathroom for years to come.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related posts below!

Can You Use Floor Tile On Shower Walls?

Can You Tile Without Grout? [And Here’s How]

Should You Insulate Interior Shower Walls? [And How To]

One comment

  1. Is it okay to use peel and stick backsplashes for a shower, even if you use it all the way up to the ceiling?

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