Why You Shouldn't Use Peel-And-Stick Tile in a Shower Stall

New, shiny, clean tile in a shower stall looks beautiful, but adding and grouting porcelain tile takes time that you might not be willing to expend. And if the old tile you have is in a rented property where the landlord has refused to replace the tile, adding new tile and grout is an expense you shouldn't have to take on.

Peel-and-stick tiles start to look really good in situations like these as they are very affordable, come in different patterns, and don't take long to install. However, for shower stalls, they are not the best choice. Traditional porcelain tiles and grout are much better, with peel-and-stick tiles suitable for some areas, but not the shower stall.

It's Permanent

First, most peel-and-stick tiles are permanent. Sure, you can peel off the tile later, but you'll leave adhesive behind. And that's a best-case scenario where you've used the tile only on top of a smooth, hard surface; if you use the tile on drywall, too, you'll ruin the drywall. This is not a tile you want to use in rental properties where you need to leave the property in the condition in which you found it, nor is it a tile you want to use when you just wanted a change that you might want to change later. What might be better in these situations is to use cling film that uses static cling or water instead of glue and that can be removed in seconds.

Peel-and-stick tile is good for smooth, hard surfaces where you can leave the tile in place and don't have to remove it. The areas where you place peel-and-stick tile should be dry, too, and not exposed to water. A stove backsplash, for example, is a great place for peel-and-stick tiles.

Also, it's not really repositionable. Did you just place a sheet of peel-and-stick tile and find that it's slightly misaligned? Act fast, because once the adhesive sets, you won't be able to reposition the tile — and the adhesive tends to set very quickly, much like sticker adhesive.

It's Not Grouted, and Many Brands Aren't Waterproof

Because the walls of a shower stall will have regular water exposure, you need tiles that are waterproof. Water might not soak through the peel-and-stick tile itself, but the edges of those tiles aren't grouted. This is where porcelain tiles are miles beyond peel-and-stick in terms of health because porcelain tiles are grouted and sealed, so water can't seep behind them and create a mold problem.

If you're thinking that you'll just cover older porcelain tiles and grout, so the stall walls will still have a waterproof layer below the adhesive tiles, even that has its issues. The peel-and-stick tiles may be bigger than the porcelain tiles and allow water to seep between the two along grout lines. Plus, the peel-and-stick could block access to the grout and porcelain tile should those need repair.

It Needs a Completely Clean and Flat Surface

Your shower stall walls likely have some soap scum residue on them. No matter how well you think you've cleaned, you may have missed spots, and those can affect how well the tile adheres to the wall. The result is peeling or bubbling tile.

If you want new bathroom tile for a shower stall, have the porcelain tile and grout redone completely. Remove the old materials and have new tile and grout installed professionally. The result will be clean, upgraded, and properly sealed tile and grout that give your shower stall a new, refreshing look.