Can You Use 12×24 Tile on Shower Walls? Tile Talk

Can You Use 12x24 Tile on Shower Walls

Yes, it is possible to use large format 12×24 tile on shower walls. This spacious tile size can create a sleek, modern aesthetic for a shower. However, there are some important considerations to weigh before installing 12×24 tile in a wet shower environment.

Pros and Cons of Using 12×24 Tile on Shower Walls

Installing 12×24 tile on shower walls has both advantages and disadvantages to think about.

Large tiles can create a seamless, spa-like lookGrout lines may be more visible with large tiles
Fewer grout lines overallTile weight may require reinforced walls
Faster to install than small tilesDifficult to cut and work with large tiles
Contemporary styleExpensive compared to smaller tiles

The pros of 12×24 shower tile are a sleek, spa-like look with fewer grout lines, a contemporary style, and faster installation than small tiles.

However, the cons are visible grout lines that collect dirt, heavy tiles needing reinforced walls, difficult cutting and working for DIYers, and a higher cost than small tiles.

Ideal Conditions for Installing 12×24 Shower Tile

  1. While 12×24 tile can work well on shower walls in many homes, the best results come under certain conditions:
  2. New construction or full bathroom remodels where walls can be reinforced in the framing stage to support the tile weight.
  3. Working with a highly skilled and experienced tile installer who knows techniques for precision cutting, leveling, and working with large tiles.
  4. If a sleek, contemporary tile look is desired to match the homeowner’s style.
  5. For homeowners who don’t mind paying a higher material price for the modern, high-end aesthetic of large format tile.

Situations Where 12×24 Tile May Not Be the Best Choice

On the other hand, there are some instances where a 12×24 shower tile is not recommended:

  1. In bathrooms with existing shower walls that cannot be reinforced or opened up to add support.
  2. For DIY homeowners without much experience laying tile, especially large format tile. The precision required may frustrate novice installers.
  3. When shower walls are not in excellent condition. Any out-of-plumb or wavy existing walls will become glaringly obvious and prevent a quality tile installation.
  4. Homeowners who prefer a more classic or traditional tile design with visible grout lines may want to opt for smaller subway tiles instead.

Calculation Chart for 12×24 Tiles on Shower Walls

If after reading all the pros and cons, you decide on using 12×24 tiles for your shower walls, here is a simple calculation chart:

Back WallSide Wall 1Side Wall 2
Shower Dimension60 in40 in40 in
Tile Dimension12 in x 24 in12 in x 24 in12 in x 24 in
Number of Full Tiles2 tiles1 tile1 tile
Leftover Space12 in16 in16 in
Cuts Needed2 edge tiles cut to 12 in1 edge tile cut to 16 in1 edge tile cut to 16 in

Installation Tips for 12×24 Shower Tile

If moving forward with a 12×24 shower tile, keep these pro installation tips in mind:

  1. Confirm walls have adequate reinforcement behind them to support the heavy tile weight for years to come. This often requires furring out existing studs with additional framing.
  2. Use a quality leveling system designed for large format tiles. This will help ensure full coverage and support across the entire tile.
  3. Select premium setting materials like a polymer-fortified thinset that can prevent slipping, sagging, or cracking grout over time.
  4. Carefully measure and lay out niche and bench locations ahead of time. Cut and fit tiles around these elements with precision.
  5. Allow plenty of extra time for careful tile cutting, spacers, and alignment compared to small tile formats.
  6. Keep the tiles constantly supported and evenly spaced as the thinset dries. Use shims if any tiles start to sag or slip.

FAQs About Using 12×24 Tiles on Shower Walls

Can I use 12×24 tiles in a small bathroom?

Yes, but consider lighter colors to avoid overwhelming the space.

Are these tiles slippery?

Choose tiles with a textured surface for better slip resistance.

Can I mix tile sizes in my shower?

Absolutely! Mixing sizes can add visual interest.

In a Nutshell

The 12×24 tiles can indeed be a fantastic choice for your shower walls, but as with any design decision, it’s vital to weigh the pros and cons against your personal preferences and practical considerations. Whether you choose the modern appeal of 12×24 or opt for alternatives, the key is to create a space that suits your style and stands the test of time.

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