Selecting Wall Tile


How to choose Wall Tile

Tile is an excellent addition to the walls—shower walls, backsplashes, or even standing alone as a statement wall. The sheer volume of options, stylistically, is nearly endless. What you put on the walls can add depth, character, and dimension to your space. It can also add protection.

Wall tile lasts for years and is easy to maintain. It’s virtually worry-free, especially when compared to other wall options like paint and wallpaper. Let us help you find the perfect tile for all the walls in your space. 

Best Wall Tile Materials

When it comes to wall tile, you can choose from porcelain, ceramic, glass, stone, and more. As a vertical surface, you don’t have to worry about standing water or slip resistance. That means you can choose from just about any material, size, or shape.
Ceramic or glass are arguably the best wall tile. They easily stand up to the heat and mess of the kitchen backsplash or the daily sprinkling of the shower. They are both water and stain resistant. Ceramic is easy to cut, making it the perfect choice for spaces that call for customization or unusual cuts.
Prepare your drywall, wood, plaster, or cement properly before placing wall tile. This ensures success and avoids future problems, such as moisture behind your tile or cracking due to an uneven surface.

Backsplash Wall TIle

The backsplash is as much a statement of style as it is a protection to your kitchen or bathroom walls. Ceramic or porcelain backsplash wall tile offers you mosaic options, as well as larger tile or even slab for a contemporary seamless look. Glass mosaic is a chic look, especially for the bathroom, and the current offerings go way beyond 1x1 squares. Glass, ceramic, and porcelain are easy to clean and care for and go up in less than a day.

Natural stone mosaics are becoming the new favorite for backsplash wall tile. They offer luxurious style and unique personality. While they do require a little more care than glass or ceramic, with regular sealing and a little extra effort, your backsplash will last a lifetime.

Shower Wall TIle

Because the shower is always wet, plans for the shower wall should garner some special attention. As a vertical surface, shower wall tile doesn’t have standing water or foot traffic to grapple with but should be able to withstand a daily wetting and regular cleaning. For these reasons, and so many more, tile is a top contender for the shower wall. 

Shower wall tile requires proper moisture barriers or backer board to ensure the installation stays watertight. Visit our installation guide to learn more about shower tile installation

Peel & Stick Wall TIle

Installing wall tile just got easier with peel & stick technology now available from Daltile. The perfect choice for DIYers, they install quickly and easily. Far from being run-of-the-mill, these stylish mosaics aren’t just simple to install, they look custom and professional.

Transform your space in an afternoon with mosaic tile from our Minute Mosaix™ natural stone mosaic collection or SimplyStick Mosaix™ stone and glass collection. Your walls will thank you.
Rooftop patio with stacked stone-faced bar under a pergola.

Indoor to Outdoor

Wall tile intended to withstand the elements is essential in designs that seamlessly move from the indoors to the outdoors. Daltile’s Verticals™ wall complements from the Xteriors™ collection does just that. This wall tile is the perfect place to start for obtaining beautiful outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, barbecues, and more. 

In stone, brick, and classic looks, your options include everything from well-appointed mosaics to seamless natural stone look slabs. Available in natural cleft stacked stone or stone look porcelain, each is equipped with natural capability or technology to increase slip resistance, stand up to freeze-thaw cycles, overcome blistering summer temps, and look great while doing it.
Extra-large format porcelain
Daltile’s Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces™ feature porcelain slabs that really make a statement on the wall. Whether used as a minimal accent in an alcove, on the backsplash, or spread across a large bookmatched wall, the effect is stunning. 

Choose from realistic marble looks with dramatic veining in a natural color palette. Purchase full size slabs (10 feet x 5 feet) or smaller pieces pre-cut from the slab. Discover all the possibilities with Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces™.

Wall Tile Looks

Wall Tile Questions Answered

What is wall tile?

Wall tile is ceramic, porcelain, stone, or glass tile that can be installed on the wall. It can be a mosaic, standard size tile, or large format tile. Wall tile can have texture, patterns, or 3D design that adds interest to backsplashes, shower walls, or feature walls. 


How much does it cost to tile walls?

The cost of wall tile depends on the type of tile you select and how much tile you need to cover your wall. A marble tile may be much more expensive than a ceramic tile wall. On the other hand, a custom tile picture wall or custom pattern in 1x1 tiles can be a significant investment.


What are standard wall tile sizes?

Wall tile comes in sizes ranging from one-inch mosaics to seamless slabs. Most wall tiles are mosaics or standard sizes, which include 1”, 2”, 4”, 6”, and 8”. You can use some floor tiles on the walls as well. Standard sizes include 12” x 12" and 12" x 24”.


Which wall tile is best or most durable?

Glass tile is waterproof and easy to clean, doesn’t scratch, and has high breaking strength. Porcelain is a close second and is impervious to water, scratch and chemical resistant, and lasts for years. Ceramic is also a close contender. It is water, chemical and scratch resistant. Natural stone requires an investment of time and care but with sealing and regular maintenance, it also lasts indefinitely.


What shapes of wall tile are available?

Wall tile comes in all shapes but the most popular are square, hexagon, and rectangular in both small and large sizes. Specialty shapes like lanterns, chevrons, abstract, linear, etc. are also excellent choices for the wall. Discover all the mosaic options.


What’s the best layout or pattern for wall tile?

Your wall tile pattern or layout is a matter of personal taste but the most popular are a grid or brickwork layout. Herringbone is another favorite. One-inch square or hexagon mosaic tile allows for customization for the wall that personalizes your design. Try our mosaic designer tool to get inspired. 


How high do you install tile on walls?

For kitchen backsplash, the standard is 4 inches. But you might choose to do a full height backsplash, which extends from the countertop to the bottom of the overhead cabinets, usually about 15-18 inches. You can also opt to take your wall tile all the way up to the ceiling if you are going for a more contemporary look.


How do I pick the size of wall tile?

Wall tile size is a matter of personal taste and manufacturer recommendations. If the tile you select is appropriate for the wall, you can choose any size. A good rule of thumb is that smaller tile looks better in smaller spaces and larger tile in larger spaces. Occasionally a designer will opt to use larger tile in a small space depending on the dimensions of the room. 


Can floor tile be used on the wall?

Most floor tile can be used as wall tile. Be sure to check manufacturer recommendations. Consult with an architect or designer if you have any questions. (Selected Daltile Showrooms offer complimentary consultations from our interior designers.)


Can you use wall tile on the floors?

Maybe. While many wall tile is suitable for flooring, not all of them are. Check recommendations from the manufacturer. Consult with a trade professional if you have questions. (Our interior designers offer free consultations at selected Daltile Showrooms.)


Can you use wall tile in the shower?

Wall tile is excellent in the shower. Pick a durable ceramic, glass, or porcelain for best results in this damp area.


What do you clean wall tile with?

Wall tile needs only all-purpose cleaners or basic soap and water to look great. Occasional chemical cleaners may be used for water stains or other issues. Please consult our care and maintenance guide for more information.

Related Information

Daring Kitchen Backsplashes

HGTV Star Chip Wade offers suggestions for creating spectacular backsplashes.

Installing Walls & Countertops

Our experts provide step-by-step installation instructions and helpful tips.

Beveled Subway TIle

Consider adding texture with beveled subway tile for a new take on classic style. 

Mosaic Tile to the Rescue

Mosaic tile packs a tremendous visual punch that breathes life back into any outdated kitchen.

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