Posted on: 04.04.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

In today’s modern and elegant look, we want our bathrooms to reflect this vision. The most important part of the bathroom is the shower. Whether shower tiles need to be glazed or left untouched depends on achieving a more modern look.

Your shower tiles do not necessarily need to be glazed for specific reasons. However, if you desire a glossy appearance, you can do so. When glazing shower tiles, it is best to stick to smaller tiles so that the grout lines can contour to direct water towards the drain. With larger tiles, the grout lines are wider and the tiles can collect more water, making the floor more moist.

You will not only gain the know-how to glaze your tiles, but you will also understand which tiles are best glazed for your shower. We even go into the topic of the right tile size for your shower and can ask for help.

How do you know if the tiles are glazed?

If you want to remodel your shower, you need to know if the tiles are glazed or not. Both glazed and unglazed tiles are made from clay that is tightly compressed. Both are then fired at high temperatures to ensure the tile remains in one piece.

Aside from the shared characteristics mentioned above, there are more differences that you can recognize. Once you know what to look for, the difference between them will be easier to recognize.

Glazed Tiles in Your Shower

Glazed tiles in your shower reflect light stronger. The tiles are also waterproof, but this makes the shower floor more slippery. Pores in the tile allow water to seep into the tile. The more porous the tiles are, the more water they absorb. However, when the tiles are glazed, there are no pores and the water sits on the glaze, making the flooring slippery.

If you are remodeling the bathroom, you can check the tile by a shine test. The shine test is done by cleaning the tile as thoroughly as possible to see if the surface is smooth and slightly glossy. If the surface looks rough and feels matte, then the tiles are unglazed.

Unglazed Tiles in Your Shower

Unglazed tiles are slightly rougher and more durable compared to glazed tiles. The reason for this is because glazed tiles are less dense than unglazed tiles. The unglazed tiles have larger pores after being fired in the kiln during their hardening process. Even after the firing process, the pores are still open enough to absorb liquids.

Another way to check if your tile is unglazed is to see if it has only one color. If the tile has only one color, then the tile is unglazed. Unglazed tile colors are more muted and usually not vibrant.

You can now recognize how glazed and unglazed tiles look. So, where do you place these two tiles in your shower?

Where to Use Unglazed or Glazed Tiles?

Renovating or rejuvenating your shower involves many moving parts. One of those parts is grasping the idea of wall and floor tiles. These two parts of the shower require different tiles.

For your shower wall, your tiles should be approximately 20% less than the floor tiles. This is because the wall is vertical, so if the tiles were heavier than necessary, they would detach from the wall.

The glaze used for wall tiles is also different than the glaze used for floor tiles. Wall tile glaze is not as thick as floor tile glaze and does not withstand scratches. Another reason why wall glaze is not as thick as floor glaze is because the wall is not subjected to as much wear and tear as the floor, so no extra protection is needed.

Glaze for your floor is more resistant and stronger. They weigh more because the tiles must endure any weight placed on them for a long time.

Knowing whether your shower tiles are glazed or unglazed is important when it comes to your budget. Unglazed tiles are more expensive than glazed tiles because they have a higher density. Next, we will look at the different types of tiles for your shower.

The Different Types of Tiles for Showers

You want your bathroom to shine in the best light. Every few years, there are different ways that others update their shower. How they place the tiles in a pattern and what designs they use to highlight the shower.

There are several different tiles that you can use in your shower, including:

  • Porcelain Tiles
  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Stone Tiles
  • Glass Tiles

All of these tiles can be glazed or have a glaze-like effect. If you want your shower to be slip-resistant, it is best to choose an unglazed tile. All you need to do is determine which tile you want to have in your shower.

Note that when considering which tiles to put in your shower, understand that stone tiles have weight. So, be honest with yourself if your walls can handle that much weight.

Choosing the Popular Glazed Porcelain Tile

With porcelain tiles, you can choose from a variety of different patterns that allow you to align your designs with the vision you have for your bathroom. When choosing a porcelain tile, you should be aware that the durability of the tile varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Each manufacturer has a different firing process that determines how strong their porcelain tile is. By the way, ceramic tiles are not as durable and thick as porcelain tiles. So, this can be a factor to help you figure out which tile you want to choose.

When glazing the porcelain tiles, there is about 5-7 micrometers of liquid glass added to the tile. Due to the amount of liquid glass poured onto it, the tile itself needs to be sanded. This contributes to the overall cost of the tile.

However, unglazed porcelain tiles are much more expensive and harder to find as they are thicker and hide scratches well.

The Affordable Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are less expensive than porcelain tile. Additionally, ceramic tiles are softer and can be cut by anyone. Just like porcelain, there are many colors and patterns to choose from. Ceramic tiles are made from:

  • Natural clay
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Feldspar
  • Quartz

Since ceramic tiles are much more porous, they absorb stains and spills. This means that if you spill red wine or something colorful, you need to clean it up before it can stain your tile. While you can buy glazed ceramic tiles, the unglazed tiles are a double-edged sword. They absorb stains but are also more slip-resistant.

The Natural Stone Tile

Stone tiles give your shower a more natural and modern look. Stone tiles are becoming more popular when renovating showers, so it can be hard to pass up this option. There are five stone tile options available for showers:

  • Marble: Marble is a stone that can be cut into larger slabs or small tiles. If you decide to buy marble for your shower, there are areas graded from A to D, with A being the slipperiest of the four.
  • Granite: With granite, you can be sure that no personal products falling on the floor or onto your walls can harm the tile.
  • Onyx: Onyx looks incredibly beautiful in a shower. The only downside is that onyx is extremely easy to scratch. So you have to be careful with things you bring into the shower that could damage the stone.
  • Travertine: This stone is almost like a ceramic tile. The travertine has larger pores compared to the other stones, but with professional help, you can have those pores removed.
  • Sandstone: Sandstone takes on earthy colors. So, if you are looking for a beige or brown appearance for your bathroom, this would be the perfect stone for you. Installing this stone in your bathroom requires a patient hand as the work must be detailed enough to seal the tile properly.

With all of these stones, you have to seal them properly and regularly. Cleaning the grout lines can be a tedious task, but the overall look of the shower is worth the effort to maintain the stone.

As for glazing and unglazing shower tiles, with stone you don’t have to worry about it. As long as you purchase a Class A stone with sufficient slip resistance, you’re good to go. Most people buy stone tiles because they look better and the white stone makes the space brighter.

The Eco-friendly Glass Tile

Sand and recycled glass are used to create glass tiles that are strong enough for your shower. Glass tiles come already glazed when you purchase them and are slippery when wet. You might want to take advantage and only place them on the walls of your shower. Unlike ceramic tiles and some stone tiles, glass tiles do not discolor.

Since these tiles come glazed, all the care that glass tiles require needs to be wiped away with glass or tile cleaner. This also helps with soap scum build-up. Since glass tiles are fragile, you need to be careful during installation. A drop can shatter the entire tile and cannot be pieced back together.

When looking at the price of glass tiles, they are more expensive than ceramic tiles. However, since it is recommended to only use them on your shower walls, you can save money by simply creating an accent wall.

Whatever tile material you choose, be aware that it is essential to have tiles in the right size to perfectly fit your shower.

Placing the Tiles in the Right Size in Your Shower

When it comes to choosing the tiles in the right size for your shower, you need to determine how big your shower is. If your shower is large enough, you can accommodate larger slate slabs or tiles with fewer grout lines.

Larger tiles require 2x more adhesive than smaller tiles. Additionally, stone tiles need to have extra adhesive applied to ensure they don’t fall off.

Most people opt for smaller tiles. This is because more grout lines are possible. If the tile you purchased does not absorb water, the water simply sits on the tile. However, with the grout lines, the water can now flow down to the drain.

Through the grout lines, your tiles can be shaped and placed in a slope towards the drain. If everything is flat, the water cannot move but stays where it is.

Ultimately, it is up to you how you want to size your tiles. Some prefer to place larger slate slabs in a smaller shower as it creates an illusion to the eyes and makes the space appear larger.

Get a Second Opinion

When it comes to doing things that can possibly cause harm, it is best to consult professional help. A professional can tell you why you should have unglazed or glazed tiles in your shower.

Professionals can also help you with the installation of your tiles so that no mistakes are made on your shower walls or floors. They know where your tiles need to be properly sealed to prevent water from seeping under the tiles and causing mold.

If you choose to install tiles on your shower walls, the experts can help determine if or not your walls can handle the additional weight. If you prefer to do the shower renovation yourself, you need to take a few steps to glaze your own shower tiles.

Glazing Your Own Shower Tiles

When starting this shower project, you should best be aware that the glaze can wear off year by year. This means that in the coming years, more glaze will be needed for the tiles to shine.

In this process of your shower renovation, you need a few utensils:

  • Goggles
  • Clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Gloves
  • Respirator mask
  • Tile cleaner
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Plastic sheet

With all of the items listed above, you can now work on your shower safely and properly. You need to first clean the tiles with a tile cleaner that does not leave scratches or stains. Use something that can scrub the sand off the tiles. This is where the soft bristle brush comes into play.

Now, you can protect everything from glazing by using the plastic sheet or plastic wrap to cover the floor or walls. Remove any removable shower doors that may hinder you.

Remove all grout around the shower. You want the tiles to be nice and even, and sealing prevents the tile from fitting flush with the floor or wall. Use an acid solution that can close the pores of your tile. Use a degreaser to wipe away any excess acid and then rinse the tiles with water.

Note that if you do not want to buy the acid, you can use sandpaper instead. Once the water has fully dried from the tiles, you can now start applying the epoxy primer onto your tile. You should apply at least two coats before applying the glaze.

Next, apply high-gloss or semi-gloss paint if you choose not to glaze the tile in its current color. Apply as many coats as you believe your tiles need.

Apply grout sealer to your grout lines to ensure no glaze seeps into them. Next, you can apply the glaze, which can be either clear or colored. Leave the area as is for 72 hours without running any water. After that time, the tiles should be shining and glossy.


Whether you choose unglazed or glazed tiles is up to you. There are several design patterns and tile materials that you can use for your shower renovation.

If you want to do your shower renovation yourself, you can still consult a professional to decide which option is best for you.

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