Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray
Maybe your bathroom décor is tired and outdated. Or perhaps you’ve moved to a new house, and you are dying to remodel. Your brand new shower tiles will look fantastic, but you need to decide whether they will go all the way to the ceiling or not.
Most decorators will agree that showers should be tiled all the way to the ceiling if it is within the homeowner’s budget. It is more aesthetically pleasing in most cases, and it will also protect the walls against mold and mildew. Tiling to the ceiling can also make a bathroom look more spacious.
Remodeling a bathroom can border on being an art form these days. There are so many stunning tubs, showers, faucets, sinks, and a host of accessories that can give your bathroom the feel of belonging to a millionaire. But millionaire or not, you will need to make some fundamental decisions about your tiles and bathroom accessories before your contractor arrives.
The Pros & Cons Of Tiling The Shower Up To The Ceiling
When you’re building or remodeling a bathroom, it’s no longer a case of simply being a functional space, as perhaps it was yesteryear. A bathroom needs to be beautiful too. Let’s see the benefits and downsides of tiling the shower all the way to the ceiling.
The Pros Of Tiling All The Way To The Ceiling
You’re at a time in your homeownership when you are getting ready to trash your bathroom before making it look beautiful. There are more reasons to tile your shower up to ceiling height than not.
The Aesthetic Value In Tiling To The Ceiling
You want your shower to look spacious and colorful, and there are many hacks to achieve this. Tiling all the way to the top makes the ceiling seem higher and the bathroom larger because you are not cutting the wall height in two.
Depending on where the shower is situated, a floor-to-ceiling tiled wall can be the bathroom’s focal point. To make the walls look sleek and properly finished, you would either need to finish with a final row of full-size tiles, or you would need to cut them to size if they are too big. You could then finish the last bit before the ceiling with tile trim.
Tiling bathrooms and showers halfway or three-quarters of the way up is an outdated way of decorating a bathroom and is decreasing in popularity. And rightfully so, along with the strange colored (avocado green, lavender, turquoise, etc.) matching bathtubs, toilets, and bathroom sinks that were so popular in years gone by. Fully tiled showers are more practical, though.
The Practical Advantages Of Tiling Up To The Ceiling
If you tile all the way to the top, your shower wall will be completely protected from the water. The showerhead needs to be at least 6 feet 2 inches high or even higher if your household has taller people. Steam and condensation collect on shower walls. Tiles protect the wall from getting damaged by dampness, and they are easier to clean.
Untiled shower walls can easily fall victim to damp, flaking paint, mold, and mildew if they are not prepared correctly. The preparation is quite labor-intensive, and the walls would still need painting with special paint. Tiling all the way to the ceiling takes away the need for all this effort.
Tiling A Shower To The Ceiling Is Cost-Effective
The proverb “penny wise, pound foolish” is very relevant here. If you take a small financial hit and tile the entire shower to the ceiling, it could save you a lot of money later on. If untiled walls are not treated correctly, you will need to repair the shower later, which could be costly.
The Cons of Tiling A Shower To The Ceiling
Although tiling the shower walls all the way up seems to be the answer, there are situations where it may not be the best option.
Tiling To The Ceiling Can Lessen The Aesthetic Appeal
When ceilings are an average height, tiling the entire shower wall makes sense. But if you have extremely high ceilings in your bathroom, it is best to end the tiles a row or two above the showerhead. Tiling to the top would look very odd.
The Cost Factor
Let’s face it, most of us are on a budget, especially when doing alterations to our homes. Tiling to the ceiling can push the said budget over the edge. One must make sure you are not being short-sighted in this regard because painted shower walls can also come with costs and efforts of their own.
Preparation And Painting Of Untiled Section Of Shower Wall
Should you decide to leave a section of the shower wall untiled, the area that needs to be painted requires a lot of elbow grease to complete. First, you have to sand the walls down to grip the primer and paint. Skipping this step will result in a lack of durability and the paint flaking off.
You will then have to give the walls a coat of acrylic latex primer. This is a vital part of the process that will prevent the paint from flaking. You will have to find durable paint to last in humid conditions.
Paints Suitable For Bathrooms
Wet areas of a home require special paints. These are some that will work on shower walls:
- Appliance epoxy paint is durable and gives a glossy sheen that repels water.
- Marine paint is highly moisture-resistant and is ready to apply immediately compared to epoxy, which needs to be mixed first.
- There are also special bathroom paints containing water- and mildew-resistant chemicals.
Tiling the shower walls all the way up is the best decision in most scenarios. It looks good, it is a cost-saver in the long run, and can also save you a lot of extra maintenance in the future. But it can be costly and blow your budget. It may also look odd if your ceilings are too high. When remodeling, it’s best to tile all the way up while the contractor is present, or you may regret it later.