Should A Shower Drain Match The Tiles?

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Lavender bathroom with mocha tile bath trim

Planning and renovating your bathroom may sound simple enough, but the last thing you need is to hit an unforeseen roadblock halfway through. For example, one of the possible issues you will come across here is whether the shower drain matches the tiles. Should you go with different sets of tiles or use the same design? What are the factors to consider to decide on the best course of action? Continue reading to find out. 

There is no mandatory rule that dictates to have the shower drain match tiles. However, creating a cohesive overarching design in any room should be the goal. So, while matching the shower drain with tiles is strictly up to the individual, there are several factors that you must consider before deciding.

Before heading out to buy bathroom tiles, you will need to consider a handful of crucial factors. These are safety, design/style, and installation. These factors are necessary not only in a practical sense but also in the aesthetic side of things. Now, let us discuss said factors in detail to help you figure out which of the dozens of bathroom design routes to take.

Bathroom Tile Guidelines

Interior of stylish bathroom with gray and pink walls, grey tiled floor, comfortable bathtub and double sink on white countertop

Before deciding whether you use the same tiles for both shower drain and bathroom wall, you will need to go through a checklist of bathroom tile features to help point you towards the best answer. Here are aspects that you should consider when picking bathroom tile for both the floor and wall.


Safety should always be at the top of your concern when choosing bathroom tiles due to their floor being almost constantly wet. Always go with slip-resistant tiles and if possible, pick smaller tiles for your shower drain as the more compact surfaces offer more traction and are less slippery when wet. 

If you prefer larger tiles, pick one with a non-slip coating to improve its slip resistance. If that type of tile is unavailable, you can apply anti-slip stickers to the tiles as a good alternative. 

In order to optimize the slip resistance of your bathroom tiles, it is crucial to ensure that tiles are all evenly installed on the floor. Having an uneven shower drain floor will force pools of water to form, increasing the risk of slipping and even allowing mold and mildew to develop faster.

Design and Style

You can opt for different tile designs for your shower drain and wall as long as it still creates a cohesive aesthetic. Mixing and matching tiles in the bathroom are also not limited to their appearance. You can also combine small and large tiles if you wish. 

As noted earlier, smaller tiles might be best for the shower floor as it provides more safety and is more slip-resistant. However, as for the shower wall, small tiles are not exactly practical as you will probably spend more than needed compared to simply getting larger tiles. 

The standard 12 x 12-inch tile is suitable for walls. Not only will it help make your shower stall appear more spacious, but you also won’t need to grout it as much, which is always a plus. However, sticking with smaller tiles on the wall is not only costly as you will need to buy more tiles, but it will also make the wall look cramped.

Now, you can also combine small and large tiles if you are aiming for a fresh and modern vibe. However, this will require extra planning to ensure that the tiles blend nicely and do not look like a Picasso painting. But, of course, if that is what you want, then don’t let us stop you. 


Installation of tiles is a pretty straightforward affair. In fact, in most cases, you can do this yourself, especially if we are talking about smaller spaces like bathrooms. Larger tiles are quicker and easier to install than smaller ones and won’t need as much grouting. If you plan to combine large and small tiles, we highly advise you to arrange the pattern ahead to cut the installation time by a significant margin. 

Speaking of planning ahead, if you renovate your bathroom, you need to consider all the fixtures already installed. Some bathroom fixtures cannot be removed, such as plumbing and drains. Remodeling your bathroom requires extra care and planning as you will most likely be tiling around several bathroom elements. 

Final Thoughts

The key to efficiently installing tiles in the bathroom is planning ahead and considering the three factors listed above. Once all aspects are considered, the bathroom renovation can begin with little to no issues.