Is mosaic tile safer for shower floor?

4 days ago
last modified: 4 days ago

I'm about to select bathroom tiles in a complete house renovation and am keen for a very minimal clean look so will be using the same tile on floors in and out of the shower area with a linear drain (see photo below for installed example)

I've selected 23' x 23" textured porcelain tiles that are approved for wall/floor in wet areas but the manufacturer (a well-known high end brand) says that they can't guarantee them as non-slip for shower floors and recommend using a 2"x2" mosaic for added grip, which they or I can cut. But then the sales rep also told me that the larger tiles are actually fine on shower floors but the reason they don't recommend that officially is for legal liability (esp risk of accident on high traffic commercial projects) and it's really up to me to decide. I heard the exact same line from a competitor tile brand who I spoke to earlier that day about their tiles.

Does anyone have experience with this issue? Would appreciate some advice in weighing up the decision. Larger tile would give me the look I'm after. Given the manufacturers all seem to want to assure me that either route is fine, should I listen to them? Does mosaic tile provide enough of a difference to warrant a design compromise?

Comments (9)

  • branson4020

    I have 1.5 x 1.5 mosaic tile on my shower floor. My daughter has that same large, textured stuff you are talking about. Having used both, I didn't notice ANY difference.

    Dade thanked branson4020
  • girl_wonder

    Does your GC or tile guy have an opinion on installation? The shower floor needs to slope to the drain, which is another reason why they want small tiles. (you probably know this, but with small tiles, the grout between the tiles helps create a non-stick surface).

    FWIW, I've been a caregiver for my aging parents, and it's making me think about "aging in place." (In my shower, I'm adding blocking so we can add grab-bars later. Whoo-hoo.). Would you let a fragile 85 year old loved one use this shower? (or, will this become an issue for future owners?) If it were me, I'd play it safe and go with the known safe alternative. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but it someone slips, they could really hurt themselves. Is a beautiful floor worth-it?

    Dade thanked girl_wonder
  • Dade

    @girl_wonder yes I was thinking about aging too, although my parents are in their 80s and love their walk-in shower with large tile floor! I'll speak to my GC although I suspect no one wants to take on the liability of telling me it's ok without a mosaic.

  • Danette

    If you decide to use the smaller tile in the shower, use the same as, or cut from, the floor tile and match the grout 100% so it's not noticeable. That's what I am doing as I'm renovating to "age in place." I'm even installing some nice grab bars which makes me chuckle (very active, in my 50's), but, hey, us active folks can get injured too.

    Dade thanked Danette
  • girl_wonder

    Great, now you have to lose sleep worrying about your parents using their own shower, lol! Good luck with this. Your bathroom is going to look gorgeous.

    Dade thanked girl_wonder
  • Karen Rose

    I have 24x24 matte dedicated for bathroom floor tile. It has times where it could possibly be slippery. I would not consider doing it in a shower. Stick with something with a lot of grout and texture.

    Dade thanked Karen Rose
  • jmm1837

    A polished mosaic tile with a poor anti slip rating is going to be more slippery than a matte finish large tile with a good anti slip rating, grout or no grout. We have large format tile in our shower and they are not at all slippery. Come to think of it, neither are the 12 x12 tiles in the hydrotherapy pool I go to. Focus on the anti slip rating.

    Dade thanked jmm1837
  • Dade

    I should add the tile I'm looking at has an anti slip DCOF rating of > 0.42

  • PRO
    Creative Tile Eastern CT

    As long as you meet the acceptable DCOF rating for wet areas large format is fine. Preferable in my opinion.

    Dade thanked Creative Tile Eastern CT

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