As more and more homeowners are turning to tile to create their shower surrounds rather than relying on readymade one-piece units, a lot of questions about the style and function of the shower arise. This includes the decision of whether or not to tile your shower ceiling. In some bathrooms, this is merely a personal decision that can stem from what kind of field tile you are using and the specific pattern. In other bathrooms, however, tile on the ceiling is not a decision – it’s a necessity.
The Height of a Shower
Your shower ceiling height could be anywhere from 7 to 10 feet in height. Technically, the height of the ceiling has little to do with whether or not you tile it; it is the height of the shower head that matters.
According to many building codes, there must be at least three – and sometimes six – inches of waterproof material installed above the shower head. This includes the ceiling if the ceiling comes within that three to six-inch range.
Therefore, if your showerhead is installed just below the ceiling, you will need to tile the ceiling in order to pass inspection. Because every state has slightly different building and plumbing codes – some stricter than others – you may want to pay a visit to your town hall to find out at what height your showerhead can be installed.
If your showerhead sits well below the ceiling, then the question of whether or not to tile it becomes a personal decision. If your bathroom tends to get humid or you are installing a steam shower, you should tile the ceiling to help protect it from moisture. Note: if you are installing a steam shower you need to slope (slant) the ceiling. Sloping the ceiling avoid condensation from accumulating and dripping on top of unsuspecting heads.
Otherwise, the best time to install tile on the ceiling is if you are doing an accent wall in the shower and want to extend the tile overhead. For example, if you tile the floor and back wall of your shower in pebbled mosaic, it can be very dramatic to extend the rocks overhead as well, and possibly install your shower head on the ceiling to complete the look.
If tiling the ceiling will not help your shower’s function or fashion, it can be left alone. If you have any questions on the right decision for you, contact us or stop by one of Conestoga’s showrooms. We are always happy to help!