What Type of Natural Stone Should Be Used on a Shower Floor?

Written by kelly marzka
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What Type of Natural Stone Should Be Used on a Shower Floor?
Natural stone is an attractive addition to a shower floor. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you're choosing finishes for your new or remodelled bathroom, you'll likely need to make two flooring decisions: first, the tile for your main floor area, and second, the tile for your shower stall. The tile you choose for your new shower floor should be attractive, but more importantly, it must be slip-resistant for safety.

Qualities of Appropriate Shower Floor Tile

In small or standard-size showers, tiles should be 4 inches square or smaller, because smaller tiles mean more grout lines, and more grout helps make your floors more slip-resistant. Your tile installer will also need to angle the floor toward the centre drain, and if the tiles are too large, they will be more difficult to install at an angle. Smaller tiles will produce a smoother floor when installed at an angle.


Travertine tile cut to a small size or in a mosaic pattern works well as a shower floor, but it must be honed or textured. Polished travertine would make a very slippery, dangerous flooring choice. Travertine is a relatively affordable tile option, coming in at around £3 or less for 1-inch square tiles in a 12-inch by 12-inch piece, as of the date of publication.

River Rock

River rock, also called pebble tile, is a popular choice for shower floors because of its natural slip resistance and soothing feel on the bottom of your feet. You can find river rock in a variety of colours to suit your space. River rock averages about £5 to £6 per square foot.


Honed or textured slate makes an attractive, suitable choice for a tile floor. Natural-cut slate has texture along its edges and on top of the tile, giving it an uneven, ragged appearance that cuts down on slipping and makes for a beautiful, natural surface. Slate comes in dark and light versions and usually costs between £6 and £9 per square foot for 1-inch square tiles.

Other Alternatives

Ceramic tile is a functional, practical choice and very budget-friendly, at just 60p to £1.30 per square foot. You can also find ready-made shower floor pans that are manufactured for this use. Marble can work in a shower if you choose a very small tile, such as penny tile. Nearly any stone can work as long as it has a brushed, tumbled, antiqued, honed or textured finish.

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