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Can You Use Large Tiles on a Shower Floor?

  • December 21, 2020

Remodelling the bathroom is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Looking through images of contemporary and modern bathrooms on Pinterest or other social sites provides some confusing thoughts about the right tiles to use for your shower.

There are plenty of designs of large tiles, especially for shower floors. Traditionally, shower floors feature smaller tiles, but why? Can you use large tiles on a shower floor?

There are plenty of large-tile designs, and you feel it’s the right choice for your new shower remodel. In this post, we’ll unpack the mystery behind using large tiles on your shower floor.

Perseo Alpine Roomset
Perseo Alpine Roomset

Why Do Showers Use Small Tiles?

So, let’s start with understanding why showers typically use smaller tiles over larger ones. According to professional tilers, small tiles help you achieve two primary objectives when fitting a shower floor.

The first is to meet the slope of the shower pan. Smaller tiles are easier to adjust to a gradient, allowing the water to run away freely down the drain. Since most showers are small spaces, using large tiles on the floor interferes with the shower pan slope. As a result, you get a shower floor that floods easily.

Modern showers can feature larger designs with more floor space. Therefore, if your shower pan has the size to accommodate large tiles and still manages to drain properly, you won’t have any issues.

The second reason why people typically use smaller tiles on shower floors is to provide more traction to the surface. Typically, smaller tiles provide ridges between the tiles, giving you more grip on the floor to prevent slips.

However, modern ceramic tiles come with textured surfaces for grip in the shower. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about slip-and-falls in the shower that result in injury.

Small bathroom tiles
Damask White

What are the Advantages of Using Large Tiles on a Shower Floor?

  • Minimalist Grouting – When you use bigger tiles, you use less grouting. Therefore, you finish the job faster and use fewer ancillary materials. Less grout means your shower floor has a unified look, providing a streamlined and modern styling to your bathroom.
  • Less maintenance – Less grouting means less maintenance in the upkeep of the grout.
  • Attractive Aesthetics – Large tiles on the shower floor enhance your bathroom’s aesthetic, lifting your property demand and value.
  • Create more space – Large tiles give the shower a feeling of more space.

How Do I Choose the Right Large Tiles for My Shower Floor?

Today, large tiles are available in a variety of styles and designs. From squares to rectangles and even hexagons, there’s plenty of variety available. We recommend you determine the right tiles for your shower floor by matching them to your bathroom’s theme.

Larger tiles look good on shower floors if they match the bathroom décor. The most popular large-size tile measures 12″ x 24″, giving you plenty of floor coverage. Look for colours and designs that match your bathroom’s colours and consider contrasting colours to bring more life and light into the room.

Amerka Grigio
Amerka Grigio

What Is the Coefficient of Friction on a Large Shower Tile?

The last thing you need is to slip on your tiles whilst taking a shower. It’s important to note the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of your shower tiles to prevent slips-and-falls. The COF describes the grip on the tile’s surface, and whether it’s suitable for use on floors that get wet.

If you fit a shower floor, avoid any tiles with COFs under 0.5. Preferably, you want a tile offering a COF of 0.6 for your new shower floor. If you can’t find the COF value, call the manufacturer for the information.

What Kind of Mortar Do I Need for My Shower Floor?

The mortar is the most under-thought element in installing a new shower floor. You need a good-quality mortar to ensure a safe and secure surface. Large tiles are heavy, requiring a specially-formulated mortar to handle the tile’s additional weight.

Large shower floor tiles require a medium-bed mortar mix, as thin-set mortar shrinks as it dries. A medium-bed mortar resists any shrinkage, creating a secure and long-lasting bond that compensates for any substrate and tile irregularities.

Floor tiles with adhesive
Floor tiles with adhesive

Can You Use Large Tiles on a Shower Floor? – The Verdict

Yes, it’s entirely possible to use larger size tiles on your bathroom floor. However, you need to ensure your shower pan meets the criteria listed earlier. Make sure you choose a set of tiles that have a COF above 0.6. This rating provides the best grip in the shower to prevent slip-and-falls.

Always remember to use top-quality grout, adhesive, and membranes when fitting your shower floor. Using low-quality products results in water getting under the tiles, causing mould growth and discoloration.

If you’re having trouble choosing the best tile options for your shower floor, call an expert. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about installing the best tiles for your new shower floor.

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