Shower wall ideas – 11 striking finishes for the walls in your bathroom

Step up the style stakes with these shower wall ideas, all artfully applied for a dynamic effect

Shower wall ideas
(Image credit: Future)

If you are looking for shower wall ideas that are a little more eye-catching than the usual choices, you are in the right place.

Here, we cover expected wall surfaces – albeit with more unusual presentations – and some more original looks and walk-in shower ideas, so that your space can feel truly unique, whatever its size and style.

Shower wall ideas

From tiles to tadelakt, marble to the latest mosaics, these are the shower wall ideas we love most. Take inspiration from these shower room ideas – and other bathroom pictures to plan your dream space. 

1. Create a freestanding shower wall in the middle of your bathroom 

Walk in shower room ideas with marble surround

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

Elegant and timeless, marble bathroom ideas still remain one of the most popular and lusted after materials to use for your shower wall ideas.

'For a truly eye-catching statement consider a marble shower wall that sits in the middle of your bathroom, okay, so you need to have a big space, but if you can achieve it, it will really be the most striking design feature,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor at Homes & Gardens 

2. Create a timeless simplicity with large-format tiles

marble tiled shower wall with chrome shower and black framed glass shower doors

(Image credit: Waterworks)

'There was a time, not too long ago, when showering in the tub was just fine,' says Barbara Sallick, co-founder at Waterworks. 'However, once you have experienced a powerful cascade of water with precisely the right temperature in a large glass enclosure, the walk-in shower becomes a ‘must have’ design feature of any new bathroom. The evolution of exposed shower systems adds to the aesthetic value of the experience as does your choice of surfaces.' 

'Flat rectangular tiles are the most familiar shape of any ceramic material, for good reason. Essential for building, they project a kind of timeless simplicity and austerity that compliments any architectural style.'

3. Combine colors to create a bold shower wall

yellow and taupe shower room with black and white geometric tiles

(Image credit: Future/ James Merrell)

Bathroom color ideas might not be the first element you think of when designing a shower wall, but it should certainly not be an afterthought. 

'Make a dramatic statement in a small space with a bold monochromatic shower wall,' says Lucy Searle, global editor-in-chief, Homes & Gardens. With a hint of 70s style, this eye-bending shower tile idea looks modern when teamed with the bold canary yellow ceiling and taupe walls.'

4. Vary the scale to create an elegant neutral scheme 

neutral walk in shower with neutral various shaped tiles, shower bench, chrome shower

(Image credit: Waterworks)

'I favor hues that are soothing; for example, soft blues, grays, and layered shades of cream – colors that produce an elegant and neutral bath experience,' says Barbara Sallick. 'A note about color: the smaller the space, the more potent it becomes. It is tempting to go over the top – and getting your scheme back under control can then be difficult. 

'Consider the natural light that floods the shower and how that will appear at different times of the day or evening, or how color will affect your face during the application of makeup. A consideration of the shower room in its entirety will help you give even a bold color its appropriate weight.'

5. Use the floor tiles on the shower wall for extra impact

blue Moroccan style tiles in walk in shower, bath tub and mirrored wall

(Image credit: Drummonds)

'One of the biggest stories in today’s interiors is feature walls using colors or textures in selected areas to create design focus,' explains James Lentaigne, creative director at Drummonds.

Tiles are both waterproof and washable, making them perfect for the walls of walk-in showers, showers with trays, and for the floors of wet rooms, too. 

Here, this bathroom uses colorful geometric tiles to great effect to create the shower zone within the bathroom, offering a visual counterbalance to the white metro tiles on the other walls.

6. Not keen on tiles? Opt for a waterproof plaster 

walk in shower with mid grey walls, alcove shelf, brass shower head

(Image credit: TR Studio)

Hygienic, seamless and extremely beautiful, polished plaster is a popular choice right now for small wet room ideas.

'We like to use waterproof plaster like Tadelakt or Beton Cire in shower and wet rooms, it has a really modern feel to it and works across many interior styles,' says Tom Rutt, founder of TR Studio

7. Opt for mosaics to create a characterful shower wall

blue mosaic tiles in walk in shower, white tub, wooden floor, vanity

(Image credit: Kimberley Harrison/David Duncan Livingston)

'A spa retreat meets tree house escape in our client's home,' says Kimberley Harrison, principal designer at Kimberley Harrison Interiors

'This client wasn't afraid to be different, and did not want white and grey subway tiles and Carrara marble like everyone else. The bathroom is small so we designed the space with the shower as the focal point. As such, we knew we needed a show- stopper and selected blue and grey toned glass mosaic tiles for the surround and complemented this with the dreamy glass mosaic for the shower floor, both from Artistic Tile.'

8. Encompass yourself in a decorative shower

green patterned tile shower with shelf, black framed glass doors, black wall hung radiator

(Image credit: Bert & May/@yellowcloudstudio)

Mosaics allow you to create flexible shower tile ideas, and are especially useful is you want to create a shower room that is bursting with color, pattern and personality.

'These colorful mosaics create an inviting and cocooning shower experience – the patterns take center stage and add a playfulness and warmth to the room,' says Lee Thornley, founder of Bert & May

9. Bring nature in with a trailing floral design

walk in shower with floral mosaic display

(Image credit: Drummonds/Sophie Head Interiors)

Forgo any notions of a purely functional space. Your master bathroom should be every bit as unique and desirable as the rest of the home. 

'The back wall has been cleverly reconfigured to incorporate a generously sized walk-in shower space,' says James Lentaigne. 'Against a delicate backdrop of decorative mosaic tiles, the double showers from Drummonds bring a sense of grandeur and emulate the look and feel of a spa-like wet room.'

10. Add a fun striped wall in a small shower room 

blue & white shower tiles in walk in shower

(Image credit: Bert & May/@thelandscapelodge)

Small wet room ideas open up the opportunity for contemporary design with a difference. 'Creating a bold graphic pattern on your shower wall, as seen here, with our Blue Alalpardo tiles sets the color palette for the room and adds a fun energy to the space,' says Lee Thornley. 'Matching your floor tiles to your shower walls also creates a seamless and cohesive look whilst making a bold statement.'

11. Use a decorative wall covering for a touch of drama

Shower room idea with wall decor

(Image credit: Wall&Deco)

'We are always on the lookout for innovative design solutions and Wall&Deco's WET System is one of them. Their patented totally waterproof wall covering allows you to have beautifully decorative shower walls without the use of tiles,' says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief, Homes & Gardens 

What can I use for my shower walls?

As shower wall ideas are not easy to change once fixed, often timeless, simple designs are a popular choice.

‘When choosing materials for showers and wet rooms, less is more,' explains Katie Lion, interior designer, Kitesgrove. The current trends for marble surfaces shows no signs of abating. ‘Natural marble is a quietly luxurious choice that instils a sense of sophistication and calm in any shower room. Its unique veining can be a simple but impactful way of bringing interest and layers to what is often a smaller space.'

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributing Editor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.