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Shower Tiles Horizontal Or Vertical

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Shower areas are not the most spacious places in the house. Although you have little control over how big your shower area actually is, you can give it the illusion that’s wider or taller than it really is. That’s where shower tiles come in. How you want to change the appearance of the shower will decide whether to have the shower tiles horizontal or vertical.

If you want your shower space to look wider and more spacious, then you should place them horizontally. The long horizontal lines give the impression the area is wider than it really is. But if you want the walls to look taller and the ceiling higher, then place the shower tiles vertically. 

The design and patterns on the tiles can also accentuate the widening or lengthening effects shower tiles have. Read more to find out which style is in vogue and when you should choose one style over the other.

Shower Tiles Horizontal or Vertical

Shower Tiles Horizontal or Vertical

It’s no secret that horizontal shower tiles are quite popular and have been so for many years. Every time you visit a shower, you’ll notice that the tiles are arranged horizontally. This usually gives the shower a wider appearance. And that’s exactly how most people prefer that space to look. Wider and more spacious beats taller any time of the day. 

But vertical shower tiles are making a comeback. If for nothing, at least to stand out and have a unique shower look. When the majority of shower tiles are horizontal, then a shower with vertical tiles will have a distinct look. Not to mention that vertical tiles give the cabinets and appliances in the shower more depth. 

The vertical lines of the tiles are easy to align with the cabinets to give the shower an elegant and texture-rich appearance. More often than not, using the right vertical tiles is all the interior decorating you need in that part of the house. 

Pros And Cons of Horizontal Shower Tiles

Pros And Cons of Horizontal Shower Tiles

When almost everybody is choosing horizontal shower tiles over vertical ones, there must be a reason behind it more than just the need to conform. In fact, horizontal shower tiles make sense in more ways than one. 

Pros of Horizontal Shower Tiles

  • Make the shower area look wider. The horizontal lines especially when combined with narrow and long tiles have an effect on the brain. They make the shower look bigger than its actual size.
  • Horizontal lines blend in the background easily. When you think about it, horizontal lines look more natural than vertical lines. This is why you can not go wrong with horizontal shower tiles from a design point of view.
  • If you want to play it safe, horizontal shower tiles give you a nice-looking shower without taking design risks.

Cons of Horizontal Shower Tiles

  • They look common and boring. When every shower has horizontal tiles, then your shower has nothing unique or distinguishing.
  • That style doesn’t go well with a daring or edgy shower look or theme.

Pros And Cons of Vertical Shower Tiles

Pros And Cons of Vertical Shower Tiles

Vertical shower tiles on the other hand are quite uncommon which is both an advantage and a drawback at the same time. Here are the pros and cons of vertical shower tiles.

Pros of Vertical Shower Tiles

  • If you have a low ceiling, then vertical shower tiles are the go-to solution to make the shower look taller.
  • Use vertical shower tiles to create a unique style that goes well with vertical cabinets and shower appliances.
  • This style of tiling gives the shower more depth and makes the textured layers of the shower more pronounced. 

Cons of Vertical Shower Tiles

  • They are harder to pull off.
  • Vertical shower tiles don’t go well with all designs and cabinet styles.
  • Only suitable with matching decor that focuses on slender and tall styles.

Which Types And Sizes of Tiles Look Best Vertical

Which Types And Sizes of Tiles Look Best Vertical

In general, you should go for long and slender tiles that help create the overall effect of taller showers. Avoid gloss tiles and large tiles since they defeat the purpose of slender and elegant design. Matted tiles and dark colors do a good job with vertical tiles since they don’t distract or reflect too much light.

Also, pay attention to the patterns on the tiles. Avoid complex patterns and contrasting colors that become the center of attention and can defeat the purpose of having vertical tiles that give the shower more height. At best the shower tiles should blend in the background and never steal the limelight. Tiles that are too showy tend to become the focal point in the shower.

Which Types And Sizes of Tiles Look Best Horizontal

For the best horizontal look, you should go for large tiles. They help give the shower that wide and deep appearance. Along with the lines of the tiles, the texture and finish also help enhance that look. This is why you should choose glossy tiles that reflect the light and make the shower look brighter and more spacious.

Large slabs of marble or tiles that have faux marble designs are ideal for horizontal shower tiles. The glossy tiles mirror each other which intensifies the light in the shower and make it look larger and wider.

How do Shower Shape And Size Determine Whether Tiles Should Be Vertical Or Horizontal?

How do Shower Shape And Size Determine Whether Tiles Should Be Vertical Or Horizontal_

The shape and size of the shower are major factors in determining the type, shape, and styling of the tiles you use. For starters, a small and narrow shower, such as a walk in shower, would require glossy tiles laid horizontally to reflect the light and make the shower look larger than it really is. Make sure the tiles have neutral colors and simple patterns to enhance that impression.

This applies to rectangular showers that are long and narrow. You won’t have many cabinets or large appliances which means that the tiles themselves become the centerpiece of the shower’s decor. Make sure the light in the shower is bright enough and let the reflective surface of the tiles take care of the rest.

Large showers especially when they have square shapes are the ideal candidates for verticle tiles. This is true when the shower has a low ceiling and your goal is to make the shower look taller. To make this work, you’ll need to make the tiles part of the overall design which also includes the cabinets, appliances, shower heads, glass door, and shower curtains if any.

Darker tiles that are long and narrow will serve the purpose here. Make sure that the colors match or complement the rest of the shower. Here, the tiles are not the focal point of the shower. They play a supporting role that allows the shower to look taller without getting too much attention. 

I also recommend neutral patterns that put all the focus on the vertical lines and the texture-rich layout of the shower area. Complex designs or jarring patterns are rarely used for the shower tiles unless you’re aiming for a unique or outlandish theme. 


Whether you go for horizontal shower tiles or vertical ones, it all comes down to the shape and size of the shower as well as your personal preferences. Horizontal shower tiles have been the norm for years. They’re a safe option since they give the shower more space and depth. 

Vertical shower tiles make the shower look taller and are best suited for edgy decor ideas that focus on the cabinets and appliances and make a statement with the slender and elegant lines and rich texture in the shower area.

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