How to Choose Marble Tile Shower Materials?

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Marble tile shower is one of the most desirable and functional natural materials for most homes. This is even more important for small marble bathrooms. Marble tile flooring is a desirable application for most bathrooms.

Marble tile bathrooms are typically in polished surfaces. Most people associate this with slippery marble floors. On the contrary, most polished marble bathrooms are less slippery compared to other surfaces. 

marble tile shower

Marble bathroom problems can easily be eliminated by choosing the right material for the right application. Let’s check the pros and cons.

Residential bathroom shower applications:

These applications require relatively easy maintaining and cleaning for everyday use. A typical house bathroom is used daily, sometimes multiple times, and may need cleaning weekly.

Bathroom tile and shower tiles should be chosen according to the desire and lifestyle of the occupants of the bathroom and their desired aesthetics. For example, if you are doing a rustic style house you should choose earth colors and use travertine tiles.

White Carrara Honed 1x1 Marble Mosaic 12x12

White Carrara Honed 1x1 Marble Mosaic

White Carrara Honed Basket Weave Marble Mosaic 12x12

White Carrara Honed Basket Weave Marble Mosaic

White Carrara C Polished  Marble Tile 12x12

White Carrara C Polished Marble Tile


If you are doing a modern house, your tiles should be more contemporary, such as White Carrara marble. Shower tile applications should have wall tiles, floor tiles, a shower niche, and perhaps a marble soap dish. You can use pretty much use most of the marbles and ceramic tiles in bathroom shower walls.

Ivory Travertine for Rustic Bathrooms

Ivory travertine for rustic bathrooms and white Carrara marble for modern bathrooms is ideal. Wall tiles used can be a 12×12 tile, or anything larger than 6×6 size. Keep in mind that smaller the tile size, more grout joints you will have. Grout joints are essential to keep the tile installation easy and provide some cushion for movement in the foundation ( keep in mind that this can only happen in wood construction homes.) 

Ivory Brushed  Travertine Tile 12x12

Ivory Brushed Travertine Tile

Ivory Honed  Travertine Tile 12x12

Ivory Honed Travertine Tile

Ivory Tumbled  Travertine Tile 4x4

Ivory Tumbled Travertine Tile


However, your grout joints may get dirty and you may need to clean them periodically with a grout cleaner. Ardex is a company that provides good quality grout. Please see Ardex for more information on grout. 

As for shower floor tiles, this area is more demanding in terms of material selection for a couple of reasons. Firstly, shower floors are submerged in water and you may have large quantities of water remaining there for a considerable time.

Therefore, these tiles should be relatively non-absorbent and should not deform over time underwater. Furthermore, you will need some sort of slope so that water is draining faster. Smaller tiles such as 4×4, 2×2, 1×1 mosaics are ideal for this purpose.

Marble Tile Shower Materials

Your installer can easily create a slope so that water will drain quickly. In this case, having extra grout is necessary to prevent some slip resistance on the shower floor. Our 2×2 Diana Royal mosaics or 1×1 Avalon mosaics are perfect for most shower floor applications. 

Finally, a shower niche or a marble soap dish is necessary to complete your bathroom tile project. Shower niches are made by your carpenter and you can have your fabricator or installer cut a hole and insert cut pieces of marble tiles or mosaics in there.

This area is used to store your soap, shampoo, or other bathroom essentials. We recommended having a matching tile or mosaic for your shower niche so that it is more aesthetically appealing. If your contractor is not comfortable with this, you can buy a marble soap dish in matching marble tiles or stone tiles so that you keep your uniformity.

Installing Shower Tiles

Marble Systems carries the most popular soap dish size which is an 8″ radius. Our soap dishes come with a rounded edge so that is easy for cleaning. 

Another option is installing full pieces of porcelain slabs for the entire shower. Porcelain slabs are very popular because of the fact that they are very impervious to staining. Stone looking porcelains slabs come in popular White Carrara look or Calacatta look. 

You can literally cover the whole bathroom with 2 or 3 pieces of slabs. These slabs are manufacturers on-site with a qualified installer. There are no joints and it is very easy to clean. The disadvantage is that these slabs are very fragile during installation and transportation and they can easily chip. 

marble tile shower

Porcelain tile that looks like Carrara Marble is very popular and available in multiple sizes and finishes. 

Finally, bathroom shower tiles need a good sealing after the first installation and periodic sealing with a first quality sealer like fila sealers. See more: you can choose a color enhanced sealer versus a neutral one. The difference being is that the former brings out the color of the natural stone. 

Commercial bathroom tile applications:

Commercial bathrooms such as office buildings, hotel rooms, and multi-unit residential bathrooms have requirements similar to residential bathrooms with one major difference being cost. Due to the cost variable, these types of bathrooms need to be more economical and easier to clean. A typical hotel bathroom must be cleaned daily and the cost of cleaning is a major factor. 

Porcelain tiles are the preferred material for most hotel rooms. There are few choices available for these applications and wall tiles, floor tiles must match and be more economical. We often use the same material in mosaics for shower floors. More luxurious hotels prefer to use marble tiles and marble mosaics for their shower tile applications. 

More uniform marbles like White Carrara marble, Crema Marfil marble are desirable. They not only provide budget cost but they are also in more uniform in color selection.  

Installation for Marble Shower Tile:

These tiles are normally installed with a good quality thin-set such as Ardex. We also recommend dry laying all the marble before installation to ensure a good color blending and harmony before installation. We recommended to use good waterproofing material for the substrate. This provides good bonding and prevents dirt and residue in the subfloor coming to the surface. 

Matching marble thresholds are available for most natural stones carried in the market. There are many types of thresholds depending on the type of installation. The most typical marble threshold is the 4×36″ double bevel threshold.

As always please seal your marble tile shower after installation

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