What Is The Best Tile For A Steam Shower?

Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

What is the best tile for a steam shower is an often asked question that does not have a specific answer for several reasons.

The choice is undoubtedly the watchword here, with product and installation costs, property style, texture, color options, design, and ongoing maintenance. These all require consideration, but hopefully, this article will help the reader in their quest to reach a decision.

steam cabin tiles

Porcelain Tiles For Longevity

Porcelain tiles are favorable for steam showers when longevity and safety are your priorities. A perfect blend of aesthetic appeal and durability, porcelain tile is non-porous and durable. In addition, porcelain tiles are excellent insulators and retain heat – this adds to their efficiency and saves energy.

Consider porcelain tiles if you are concerned that they will not look as good as natural stone. You can now find porcelain tiles in various colors, patterns, and textures that simulate the look and feel of natural stone. Porcelain can still give you a custom look you’ve always wanted for your steam shower.

Innovations have allowed porcelain tiles an anti-slip finish without affecting the design An excellent option for wet areas, such as your steam shower floor. Keep your steam shower floors comfortable and stylish.

Pros & Cons Of Porcelain Tiles

The Pros: Highly Durable – Moisture Resistant – Many Styles – Easy To Clean – Low Maintenance – Wear Resistant. The Cons: More Expensive – Heavier To Handle – Difficult To Install – Difficult To Repair.

Ceramic Tiles For Colours & Styles

Other wall coverings for steam showers include ceramic tiles, which have a vast choice of colours and styles. They are also nonporous and thus an excellent choice for a steam shower. All tile designs provide a unique texture, finish, and detail. 

Natural stone tiles cannot withstand wear and tear like ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles. Ceramic tile makes a superb steam shower choice if grouted correctly and cared for regularly. It is good to check the (PEI) number on the manufacturer’s rating for their hardness to ensure they are strong enough for use in the shower. 

Historically, clay has always been a crucial ingredient in ceramic tiles. Nowadays, though, gypsum, sand, vermiculite, talc, and ground shale help control shrinkage and extend the clay. Before firing ceramic tiles, a liquid glaze of silicates and pigments serves as a hard protective coat. This glaze, as well as being functional, is also decorative. Ceramic tiles are certainly a good option as an alternative to porcelain tiles.

Pros & Cons Of Ceramic Tiles

The Pros: Glazed Is Water & Stain Resistant – Very Durable & Tough – Low Maintenance: Many Design Options. The Cons: Unglazed Tiles Need Sealing – Hold & Cold On Shower Floors – Long Time Install – Heavy For Upper Floors.

steam shower tiles

Glass Tiles For Steam Showers

As a nonporous and mostly stain-resistant material, glass tiles are another option for a steam shower. Just be aware that clear glass tiles can reveal any moisture trapped behind the tiles, so colored glass is the best choice for a steam shower.

When using glass tiles, steam vapor clouds can dull their sparkle, dulling their luster. Glass tiles can be very versatile, though, in designing your steam shower.

There are many colored tiles available in frosted matte and polished finish. Glass tile styles that suit any interior and shower walls are ideal because of the easy-clean surfaces. 

Pros & Cons Of Glass Tiles

The Pros: Many Design Options – Wipe Clean Surface The Cons: Hard To Install – Expensive – Requires Upkeep.

Natural Stone Options Instead of Tiles?

Without including the acclaimed natural stone options, no article about tiles and steam showers would be complete. A natural stone shower adds a luxurious touch to any bathroom creating that up-market feel. It depends on your preferences but is this the right choice for your bathroom? 

The care of natural stone showers can be a bit more involved than that of ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles. You have various choices for natural stone for your steam room. If you choose to proceed with either option, consider a few essential things from the outset.

The first step is to use a smooth stone to aid future cleaning and maintenance. Showers with textured stone tend to get grimy more quickly and are more difficult to clean.

Likewise, you will need to care for all the crevices and nooks with river rock, pebbles, and stacked stone. Cleaning all those grout joints and stone is a challenge.

Marble For that Classic Look

The classic appearance of marble in a bathroom, especially in light tones, makes it a popular choice. However, for your steam shower, consider that paler shades of stones are porous, causing them to stain more easily. Moreover, some marble varieties are corrosive if not correctly sealed due to their high iron content.

Pros & Cons Of Marble

The Pros: Marble Is Stylish – High-End Appeal. The Cons: Light Marble Can Stain – Needs Regular Sealing

steam shower ceramic tile

Slate Provides Rich Colours

You can use slate in steam showers. Several rich colors are available, including warm terracotta and traditional slate grey, perfect for home decor. Choosing a suitable slate is essential because some varieties tarnish, flake, and crumble more easily. A steam shower with slate needs sealing regularly.

Pros & Cons Of Slate

The Pros: Widely Available – Variety Of Colors. The Cons: Some Slate Can Flake – Requires Correct Sealing 

Granite Walls & No Grout!

Other popular choices are granite, especially the lighter shades. Choosing a granite shower is a great way to create a harmonious look for your bathroom if you have granite counters or vanity cupboard tops.

Clients may install shower walls made of granite without grout lines to create a cleaner appearance and make cleaning easier. A granite shower needs to be sealed every year, just like other natural stone options.

Pros & Cons Of Granite

The Pros: No Grout Lines – Easy Clean – Low Maintenance The Cons: Granite Is The Most Expensive

Engineered Stone – Low Maintenance

Made from crushed stone and other materials means that engineered stone is durable. A natural stone look with minimal maintenance is possible with this method.

Durable, stain-proof, and grout-free, engineered stone shower walls are highly functional and attractive. There are different types and brands on the market with beautiful finishes. The stone looks truly remarkable without requiring time-consuming sealing or other maintenance.

Pros & Cons Of GraniteThe Pros: No Grout Lines – Easy Clean – Low Maintenance. The Cons: Granite Is The Most Expensive.


What is the difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile?

Porcelain tile is denser than ceramic tile, making it more durable and less susceptible to chipping and cracking. Porcelain is also less porous than ceramic, meaning it absorbs less water and is better suited for areas that will see a lot of moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens. Because of these properties, porcelain tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles.

Does the ceiling need to be tiled in a steam shower?

No, the ceiling does not need to be tiled in a steam shower. While tile can withstand moisture, it is not necessary for a steam shower. Ceiling tiles can actually make it harder to clean the shower.

If you are looking for a material that can withstand moisture, consider painting the ceiling with a waterproof paint or using waterproof panels.

Can granite be used in a steam shower?

Yes, granite can be used in a steam shower. Steam showers are becoming increasingly popular, and many people are looking for ways to incorporate them into their homes. Granite is a popular material for bathrooms and kitchens, so it makes sense that people would want to use it in their steam showers.

Granite is a durable material that can withstand high temperatures, so it is an ideal material for use in a steam shower. It is also easy to clean and maintain, which is important in a wet and humid environment like a steam shower.

Can quartz be used in a steam shower?

Yes, quartz can be used in a steam shower. Quartz is a material that is resistant to high temperatures and does not absorb moisture, making it an ideal choice for use in a steam shower. When choosing quartz for your steam shower, be sure to select a product that is certified for use in wet environments.