Matte Vs. Glossy Tile: Which Is Better For A Shower?

Bathroom remodeling is not that easy. You will have wide options to choose from and it will be difficult for you to decide. You might wonder and start to question yourself, which is better for a shower—matte tiles or glossy tiles? We have done the research to help you answer this question

There is no wrong or right answer when choosing between matte or glossy tiles for your shower. Tile finish depends on your preference, and the functionality you'd like for the tiled area.

Additionally, consider the following:  

  • Matte finishes are durable, yet more laborious to keep clean.
  • Matte finishes are typically non-slip surfaces, whereas glossy finishes are prone to be slippery.
  • Glossy finishes are scratch-resistant and easy to clean; although, any imperfection is easily seen.
  • Glossy finishes will brighten a space, creating the illusion that smaller showers are larger, whereas matte tiles are dull and can darken the immediate area.

Still can't decide? Continue reading as we have made a guide for you to choose between a matte or a glossy finish for your shower room. 

Ceramic Tiles. Tiler placing ceramic wall tile in position over adhesive with lash tile leveling system. Matte Vs. Glossy Tile Which Is Better For A Shower

Matte Finish Tiles

Matte tiles lack shine and bright appeal compared to glossy ones. Here are the pros and cons:


Low angle view of a modern shower enclosure, with chrome fixtures. matte finish floor tile

Low Maintenance

When you want to hide stains and scratches, matte tiles are best for your shower. It does not require you to clean it regularly. This is why it is called low-maintenance tiles. These tiles are also best for busy places such as offices, hotels, and the like.

Rustic and Natural Finish 

Matte tiles are known to be durable and longer shelf life. It also gives a natural look. Moreover, it is best if you want your shower to have a rustic theme. So if you want to go for a rustic look, then this is the best fit.


One of the best features of these tiles is their non-slippery characteristic. Matte tiles have more improved friction compared to glossy ones. This is one of the reasons why matte tiles are the go-to option for wet areas such as your shower room.

If you have kids or have a senior citizen in your household, better opt for this one. However, make sure that the floor is dry, as wet floors could hinder slip resistance. Not just that, wet surfaces are prone to algae and moss which makes the floor slippery. Keep it dry and clean it regularly.


Hard to Clean

You will be fighting against stains and spills as they are hard to clean. Matte tiles are dull and rough compared to glossy ones. It sticks on the floor and it won’t easily come off. You might need to do a heavy scrubbing than usual.

Not for Your Dark Room

These tiles are dull and are not reflective of lights. It does not have its own natural lighting as glossy ones. Do not use matte tiles if you have kids around your house or senior citizens as the presence of reflective floors is significant. If it is not, the room could be prone to danger.

Yes to Conceal But Not To Prevent

Matte tiles can hide scratches but won’t let you prevent them from happening. This won’t suit busy areas such as your kitchen or your living room.

Glossy Finish Tiles 

Glossy finishes bring light into a space, which is particularly good to give the illusion of larger showers—so they can be a great choice depending on how you find these pros and cons relate to your bathroom's needs for function and aesthetics: 


Modern bathroom interior with minimalistic shower and lighting, white toilet, sink, bathtub and roof windows. glossy floor tile


Glossy tiles are manageable. They are easy to maintain and clean. You do not need to do forceful scrubbing compared to matte tiles. Just using a mop, you can sweep away dirt and stain.

Best for Small Rooms

Glossy tiles reflect the surface and bounce lights around the space. If you have a small bathroom, you can use glossy tiles for the walls so that the area looks larger and brighter. These are also excellent for small rooms that take less light.

Achieve Elegant Look

Glossy tiles add elegance and a chic look to any of your spaces in the house. This is perfect for your shower, kitchen, living room, and dining room. It mimics the marble look and does not require similar, high maintenance.

For Bathroom and Kitchen Backsplashes

You may or may not use a backsplash in your bathrooms. Some use it for aesthetic purposes. For either bathroom or kitchen application, the backsplash is significant as your defense from oil, water, food, and damaging elements.

The glossy finish is resistant to scratches and comes in different styles and designs.


Reveals Imperfections

Unlike matte finish tiles, this one does not conceal but reveals. Even the tiniest scratch or stains can be visible to the eye. So, you need to clean the tiles frequently, or else the dirt and stains will settle on the tiles and will be difficult for you to clean them off.


These mirror-like tiles are not advisable if you have kids, senior citizens, and pets in the house. Definitely not ideal for wet areas such as the bathroom. It tends to become more slippery when wet.

Matte or Glossy For Your Home Improvement

For sure, you are still considering tiles for improving and beautifying your home. So, where will you start?


Floor Tiles

For floor tiles, they should be slip-resistant, durable, and long-lasting. For wall tiles, you may consider choosing the usual tiles you want. Use the Mohs scale to indicate the hardness or the softness of a certain tile. Matte glaze and textured tiles are best to use as flooring.

Shower walls

For your shower walls, consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Shiny glaze tiles are less of a problem. What you can do is get samples and bring them home considering using them for a test in all the areas that you want to install it. In that way, you can check for scratching, soap reaction, water drops, and the ease of cleaning.

Widely used Types of Tiles for Bathroom 

Backlit grey slate floor tiles revealing the texture of the stone

Slate Tiles

For a high-traffic shower room or bathroom, you need a robust finish, then choose slate tiles. Slate is considered one of the most durable tiling materials that are nearly impossible to tear off and scratch.

It comes in different textures and colors. It has also a unique appearance which creates an original stunning effect inside the bathroom. Slate can be expensive but worth your investment.

Top view of marble and wood wall bathroom interior with tiled floor, French window, white bathtub, and double sink

Marble Tiles

This one is the popular and commonly used tile for bathrooms. However, it is generally the most prone to staining among natural stones. The most vulnerable are the highly polished ones. Like most stones, marble needs to be sealed in a silicon sealer and is maintained from time to time.

White glossy ceramic tile floor repair

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles share the same material. It is water-resistant and has fewer chances of tearing off. It is one of the most common tiling selections for many homeowners.

The best thing about ceramic is that it can be used on walls and floors to achieve a unified look. They are cost-effective which helps you save money. It has many luxurious styles and designs sold for less.

Check out these tiles on Amazon. 

Porcelain stoneware square samples laid on kitchen countertop as examples

Porcelain Tiles

If you want long-lasting tiles, porcelain is the ideal choice. This is best for your bathroom as it is water-resistant, durable, and won’t easily scratch or stain.  Porcelain is effective in making the house beautiful and elegant. It has also a wide range of styles and colors.

See these tiles on Amazon. 

Can You Combine Matte and Glossy Tiles?

There are many ways you can mix matte and glossy finish tiles.

  1. Create a sleek feature on a certain area. For example, you want a small space for your backsplash. You can use a matte for the background and then make it glossy on the outside where it can be seen visually.
  2. You can alternate both tiles. Alternating matte and gloss tiles is a fun and challenging way to install them in your kitchen and bathroom. However, we won’t let you use glossy tiles for the bathroom and kitchen floor as it is slippery when wet.
  3. If you have a space with matte tiles, you can add some glossy ones. It can create a good visual to the space and it adds depth to the room. Glossy borders are a great option.

Installing tiles floor in construction work. Matte Vs. Glossy Tile Which Is Better For A Shower

In Conclusion 

When it comes to adding a spark to your interiors, especially to your bathroom, you have wide arrays of choices for matte and glossy tiles. Although choosing the best one could be challenging, choosing the right style and design make your home stand out.

Before you go, make sure to check these related topics:

Can Epoxy Floor Go Over Tiles? 

How to Grout Vinyl Floor Tiles?

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