Standalone tub with large tile shower, custom shower bench, and custom shower enclosure.
In the luxury housing market, custom tile showers are very popular. Our clients tend to desire the following five features almost universally:
- Custom frameless shower doors
- Custom shower bench
- Large rain shower head and wall-mounted shower head
- Large tiles for shower walls
- Oversized shower
And for an extra dose of luxury, some homeowners also love to add body jets.
Bathroom design has been changing over recent years. People no longer want shower/tub combos. They want larger walk-in showers, deeper standalone tubs, and more customizable options.
We’d like to share some of our top custom shower ideas (and shower trends in 2022) with you to help you design the custom walk-in shower of your dreams.
1. Custom Frameless Shower Doors
Remember those old bulky shower door frames with sliding shower doors your parents had years ago? No one wants that dated-looking style now. Instead, homeowners want sleek, glistening frameless glass shower doors that are almost invisible.
What about a doorless shower? If your bathroom design includes a very large shower area or wet room, you may simply want to have a panel or two of a glass wall without any door at all. (Check out tip number 5 for a picture of one of our custom showers with no door.)
Why use custom shower glass?
Custom shower glass allows you to create whatever size shower you want. You aren’t limited to the standard old tub/shower combo widths. And you can have as many glass walls and corners as you would like so you can create unique shower shapes.
The shower idea pictured above has two glass walls and a custom glass shower door allowing plenty of natural light into your shower so that you don’t feel like you are in a cave. But the window doesn't have to be in the shower, itself.
A frameless shower door and glass shower enclosure help make your bathroom look bigger and more inviting and they showcase the beautiful tile work in your shower.
Sculptured standalone tub beside large custom tiled shower with gray tiles and wide custom shower bench.
2. Custom Shower Bench
Another big push in luxury shower trends in 2022 is a built-in shower bench — either a triangular corner one or a rectangular one). If you decide to have a drop-in tub beside the shower, an easy custom shower bench idea is to extend the edge of the tub decking into the shower and you have a bench! (See top image in post.)
But if you opt to have a standalone tub, as pictured above, then you may want a tile shower bench that matching your shower wall tile with a seat that adds some lovely contrast.
And while you’re at it, give your shower walls some love with custom wall tile designs using different sizes and shapes that create a unique effect like in the shower above.
5 reasons to have a custom shower bench
A shower bench serves a lot of great functions.
It’s a place to rest your foot when you are shaving your legs, scrubbing your feet, or washing your lower legs and feet without having to balance on one leg precariously like a flamingo. Falls in the shower cause a lot of injuries but having a sturdy built-in shower bench can help prevent a lot of falls. (For more tips on preventing falls, check out this post.)
Having a place to sit can be especially handy for people with injuries, arthritis, or balance issues. But it’s also a great place to relax and enjoy using a hand-held shower head even if you are perfectly mobile.
A wide bench also provides an extra storage place for soap, shampoos, shaving supplies, and conditioner.
A shower bench can be a beautiful design element that enhances the appearance of your bathroom design.
And it adds a lot of value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.
Large custom shower with ceiling-mounted rain shower head and dual shower heads on the wall.
3. Large Rain Shower Head and Wall-Mounted Shower Head
Looking for more luxury shower ideas? Today, luxury homes generally have multiple shower heads (or even a multiple shower head system) in the master bathroom shower. For many of our clients, three is often the ideal number.
- One large shower head overhead.
- One wall-mounted shower head.
- One detachable shower wand.
4 reasons to have dual shower heads or multiple shower heads
Having only one type of shower head limits your showering experience quite a bit. Here are some reasons to invest in a shower with multiple heads.
Having a ceiling-mounted large rain shower head allows you to have a completely immersive downpour experience which can be very relaxing. You can even choose options that have advanced features like LED lighting, different spray settings, or massage. But not everyone likes to get their head and face wet all the time during a shower.
Most people also want to have a wall-mounted shower head, maybe with different settings for massage. Or a wall-mounted rain shower head. This type of shower head is often preferred for shampooing hair and washing the body. Although, some people like to use both the rain head and the wall-mounted shower head at the same time.
A handheld shower wand is perfect for shaving one’s legs or for showering from a seated position. It’s also great for keeping hair dry. A handheld shower head makes washing off the kids or dogs much easier. And it’s wonderful for cleaning and rinsing the shower. You can get a dual shower head system that has both the fixed and hand-held shower unit combined.
Create a shower for two with a fixed shower head on each end of the shower or a few feet apart from each other.
Large white tile shower with hexagon tile shower floor and custom shower enclosure beside a drop-in tub.
4. Large Tiles for Shower Walls
Custom tile showers are extremely popular for luxury homes. As trends and designs change over time, we are seeing classic white subway tiles giving way to large subway tile for shower walls.
Sometimes these tiles are called large-format tiles. And they are being used more and more frequently for floors and walls in many rooms of the house.
What is large-format wall tile (LFTs)?
A large-format tile for a shower means tiles that are at least 12x24 inches or bigger. Or, some use the definition that at least one side exceeds 16 inches. But some LFTs can be many feet long, as well.
Why use large tiles in the shower?
Here are five advantages of large shower wall tiles that we love.
Most of our clients with large custom showers choose large tiles because they work in any sized or shaped shower. You can’t get a pre-made fiberglass or acrylic tub surround/shower surround for a non-standard-sized shower. And even if you could, you wouldn’t want to use a pre-molded shower surround for a luxury home.
Large shower tiles get rid of a lot of grout lines that can be distracting to the beauty of your aesthetic. Fewer grout lines also mean that the shower is easier to clean.
Large shower wall tiles also create an optical illusion that makes your space appear to be bigger than it really is.
Some LFTs are textured and have stunningly beautiful patterns, creating more opportunities for out-of-the-box thinking with design.
With the right design, they look very luxurious and opulent.
Other trends for shower wall tiles and shower tile ideas in 2022 and beyond
Shower tile shelf
For more tile shower ideas, we love custom shower shelves that are recessed into the walls to hold toiletries in a beautiful way. For an extra special effect, consider using a matching mosaic tile for the interior of the shelf to contrast the rest of the shower wall tile.
Shower tile colors
White bathroom tile tops the list of favorite bathroom tile colors in 2022 with gray shower tile following close behind. Black, blue, and green are also becoming increasingly popular.
In addition to solid colors, people are looking for bold patterned tiles, wood-look tiles, and 3D printed tiles that look like natural stone.
The most popular size for bathroom wall tiles
Today, most people choose 12” x 24” wall tile. And 24” x 24” are also increasingly popular.
If you don’t want something that large, you can still find some oversized subway tiles that are larger than the classic 3” x 6” but not large format.
Wood-look large-format tile in an oversized custom shower with hexagonal white tile floor.
Best tile for shower walls
For advice on your particular needs, check with your interior designer or custom home builder about which type of shower tile might be best for you.
The most popular options include:
Glass tiles come in a vast variety of colors, textures, and patterns. Many types of glass tile reflect and refract the light in brilliant ways. And some have metallic foil in the back that shimmers through the glass. Others look like wood. Some have bubbles or other textures underneath the smooth glass, as well.
Ways to use glass tile in the shower
You can have an entire shower wall of glass tiles that are all the same type. Or, you can have an accent ribbon using blue glass tile, for example, to add a splash of color while you have white textured glass tile everywhere else.
Want to mix it up? Use different kinds of tiles like ceramic, stone, or porcelain in the rest of the shower and glass only for the accents.
Glass mosaic tiles are another option that come in pre-made patterns that only have glass or have other materials like metal accent tiles.
Glass subway tile is very popular. You can find the usual dimensions of 3” x 6” or go bigger with extra large glass subway tile for a sleek, modern look.
You’ll want to see these tiles in person so that you can appreciate the full beauty of a glass tile shower as it looks different depending on the angle and type of light shining on it.
Glazed ceramic tiles
A popular option for the bathroom - ceramic wall tiles are often the least expensive option, especially for no-frills plain ivory or white tiles. The advantage is that they tend to be very durable. (If you have a house that was built in the 1960s, there’s a good chance you have some avocado green ceramic tiles that are still hanging in there just fine — unless you tore them out because you were tired of the color.)
But now, there are a whole lot more options than just white ceramic tile. You can get glazed ceramic tiles with different textures and effects. That can make the world of ceramic tile a whole lot more interesting.
For example, many people like to use wood-look ceramic tiles. Or consider ceramic tiles with patterns or that look like brick or natural stone.
Polished ceramic wall tile shaped like elongated subway tile can be installed vertically for a fresh, modern look with saturated colors.
Ceramic tile also comes in many different shapes and sizes you can use to create mosaics like harlequin, argyle, sprig, arabesque, hexagon, and more.
Glazed porcelain tiles
Porcelain shower tile is extremely popular. While porcelain shower tile is often a bit pricier than ceramic tile, it is a favorite in many luxury homes. You can find it in a myriad of shapes, colors, sizes, and styles.
Today, you can get 3D inkjet-printed porcelain tile that has an HD picture of wood, natural stone, or another surface on it so that it can be difficult to distinguish between porcelain and other materials.
Porcelain tile can look like almost anything you desire and is often lower maintenance than natural stone or real wood. So it’s used in kitchens, bathrooms, living room walls, and floors in any room in the house.
Some large-format polished porcelain tile is so stunning that it can be used almost as a work of art, covering the floor and running up the walls. Opt for 12x24 porcelain tile for a modern effect or even giant 24x48 versions for high drama.
What kind of porcelain tile options are there?
One of the most popular is a wood-look porcelain tile that is so realistic, that you seriously have to touch it to tell that it is tile. Porcelain wood tile can be used on walls or floors and in any room in the house. If you want a rustic wood effect in your bathroom that is waterproof, porcelain wood tile is the way to go.
Many of our clients love the marble-look porcelain tile. It is a very convincing replica of natural stone but you don’t have to worry about sealing or water stains . Because you can get these tiles in such large sizes, you can enjoy a beautiful large marbling effect that is quite stunning.
Many homeowners are looking for unique shapes or designs. You can find almost any kind of pattern, texture, or shape with porcelain — mosaics, matte, polished, patterned, solid colors, hexagon tile, and more. Consider a porcelain mosaic tile for accents in your shower or for your shower floor.
Another modern shower tile option is nanoglass tile. Nanoglass combines crystallized glass and marble that is fused to a porcelain backing for an exquisite shine and beauty that is as hard as granite, impermeable, and easy to clean.
Natural stone tiles
Marble tiles (and marble slabs) are extremely popular today, as well, for luxury showers. Often found in shades of white and gray — polished, tumbled, or honed marble tile can create a glorious shower wall that will be extremely durable.
Large black marble tile can be used on the floors and walls in your bathroom to create a monochromatic and dramatic effect.
Best tile for a shower floor
Shower floor tile needs to be more textured than the wall tile to prevent slipping and falling. And many times, people prefer to use mosaic shower floor tile (see below) rather than large-format tile in order to create the right slope for the shower floor to drain properly.
Mosaic tiles come in lots of shapes and sizes like hexagons, pennies, pebbles, and broken tile. The extra grout lines provide more grip for your feet. And the smaller tiles are easy to slope in whatever direction is needed. Just be sure to always choose textured/floor tile, not wall tile that is slippery for your shower floor.
If you have a large wet room, the bigger floor tiles can work well, if you have a good designer and builder to help you achieve the proper slope. Of course, you can choose from modern ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles that provide extra texture for grip.
And with a smaller shower floor, if you love larger tiles, there are options that allow for LFTs if the drain is a straight line toward the inside of your shower rather than having a small, round drain.
Large walk-in shower with custom shower glass, large shower head in the ceiling, and large tiles for shower walls.
5. Large Shower/Oversized shower
Homeowners are looking for a spacious walk-in shower design so they don’t have to worry about feeling cramped or bumping their elbows on the shower door. They also want the rest of the bathroom to provide a spa-like experience, as well.
Why have a large walk-in shower?
Oversized showers have a number of advantages that make them extremely attractive to homeowners.
People love being able to have a beautiful, unique, and customized shower that doesn’t look just like every other shower on the block.
With a large shower, you can truly enjoy a spa experience with multiple shower heads, a built-in shower bench, a steam shower, or even heated tile flooring. Showering has become a way to relax and indulge.
They are easily accessible to anyone in the family. No matter the age or level of disability, everyone can use a spacious walk-in shower.
Large subway tile shower with two shower heads and three large body jets.
Shower Body Jets Are an Added Bonus
Shower systems with body jets can be a fabulous addition to your dream shower design. This one (pictured above) coordinates dual shower heads and three body jets with a touchpad.
Why have a shower with body jets?
Here are 5 great reasons to add body spray jets to your shower.
A shower system with body jets provides an extra level of relaxation in your at-home spa experience at the end of the day.
The jets can also be a wonderfully invigorating way to get your morning of to a great start.
Massage away muscle tension without having to go to all the trouble of filling up a jetted bathtub or investing in an expensive hot tub that requires a lot of maintenance.
The jets spraying onto your torso help to keep you warm during your shower in the winter.
On a practical note, the jets do a fantastic job of cleaning your back without you having to try to reach awkwardly.
Large tiles for shower walls (beige) and custom shower enclosure beside drop-in tub. Custom shower bench extends from the tub.
Looking for a Trusted Custom Home Builder in Columbia SC?
At Blythe Building Company, we have built over 100 custom homes in the Greater Columbia, SC area. We are family owned and committed to quality workmanship, quality materials, and treating our customers with respect, integrity, and honesty.
If you’re ready to talk about building a luxury home in the Midlands of SC, we’re here to help.
We build in areas like Lexington, Chapin, Irmo, West Columbia, Pine Ridge, downtown Columbia, and Lake Carolina.
To see more of our work, please visit our portfolio page. The largest and most recent projects are toward the bottom.
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