Can You Use Peel and Stick Tile Above a Shower? [Best Options]

The area above the shower can be one of the most difficult areas of the home to finish off. If you are thinking about using peel and stick tile, there are reasons you would want to consider your choice carefully.

Generally speaking, peel and stick tile is not designed for use above a shower. The tile itself may be waterproof but the joints are not waterproof by design. You can install it but it will not stay up very long due to the heat and steam coming from the shower.

Just because the typical style of peel and stick tile is not designed for use above a shower, that doesn’t mean that you are without options for finishing it off. In fact, there are many simple options that will do a wonderful and beautiful job.

It really boils down to choosing the right material for the job. The shower is one of the more difficult areas to design, not because of a lack of options but because of a limited range of options.

Can You Use Peel and Stick Tile Above a Shower?

Choose your bathroom tiles carefully

If you are determined to use peel and stick tiles above the shower, there are some things you can do that will make it last longer. More than likely, they will fall at some point or another but they are easy to put up and relatively inexpensive.

The biggest problem with using peel and stick tile in the shower is humidity. The steam rises, so any of the steam from the shower is going to work its way in through the joints of the tile and eventually, loosen them from the ceiling.

This is going to be a problem that is greater than simply a tile falling off. Prior to the time that the tile does fall off, you’re likely to have a problem with mold and mildew between the tile and the ceiling. It will not be evident until the tiles fall.

In addition, peel and stick tile is usually nothing more than a temporary fix when it comes to decorating the ceiling above a shower. Nevertheless, it is a fix and if you take the proper steps, they will stay up and stay nice looking for quite some time.

For any standard peel and stick tiles that are usually put on floors, you need to be extra cautious about the glue and the joints. In either case, they were not made for putting on the shower of the ceiling where steam, humidity, and heat are going to be a constant companion.

Rather than simply relying on the glue that comes on the peel and stick tile, you should use some type of liquid nail or other glue solution. Doing so will help the tiles to stay in place for a much longer time, perhaps even permanently.

Something else you can do to help the tile stay in place for a long time is to use caulking on the joints. Make sure that you use a clear silicone caulking and a very thin bead that is spread out, yet only covers the joint itself.

As long as you are using a good glue solution and some caulking on the joints, there is no reason why peel and stick tile would not stay in place for a long time. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a solution.

Are Peel and Stick Wall Tiles Waterproof?

Obviously, if you’re going to be using peel and stick wall tiles in the shower, you would want to know if they were waterproof. Otherwise, they would not be well suited for that part of your home.

Regular peel and stick tiles are not waterproof but there are tiles that are used in showers that are made for that area of the home. Specialty peel and stick tiles are waterproof and provide an easy to clean, permanent solution for use in the bathroom. They are also easy to install, as you simply peel the backing and stick them in place.

One of the reasons why people choose these specific waterproof peel and stick tiles for the shower wall is because they offer a 3D effect. Rather than simply being flat tile, they provide a surface that looks beautiful and can be changed very easily.

That being said, it’s important that you choose a peel and stick wall tile for bathroom use. Not all of these styles of tile are waterproof, and if you choose one that is not waterproof, you are going to have problems.

The biggest problem you will have from a peel and stick tile that is not waterproof is mold. Of course, the tile will also fall off the wall easily but it may develop mold and make you sick before doing so.

Once you put the tiles up, it is also important to waterproof the joints using clear silicone caulk. Some of these wall tiles will also overlap at the joints to keep moisture from getting underneath. A silicone sealant may still be necessary in these cases.

One recommendation for anyone choosing peel and stick shower wall tiles is to choose something lightweight. Choosing something heavy and expecting it to stay up with just a little bit of glue is not going to work well.

Choosing a light wall tile provides you with more of a permanent solution that is beautiful and safe for the home.

What Can I Use for Shower ceiling?

Finish your bathroom off with a beautiful ceiling

Just because you are limited by not using peel and stick wall tiles for the shower ceiling does not mean you are without options. 

Some of the best material for use on the bathroom ceiling includes acrylic, cement board, glass, and tile. They provide your bathroom with a beautiful, finished look that will last a long time.

Here is a more extensive list of materials for your shower ceiling:

  1. Fiberglass – These lightweight panels are used to cover ceilings throughout the home but they also offer an excellent option for the shower.
  2. Ceiling Tiles – There are a wide variety of ceiling tiles that can be used in the bathroom, where heat and moisture are a concern.
  3. Metal Ceiling Tiles – These tiles are not only in style, they are beautiful and come in a wide variety of colors and designs.
  4. Water Resistant Paint – Why not consider painting your ceiling? The color choices are unlimited and when you want a change, you simply repaint.
  5. Waterproof Wall Tiles – Wall tiles come in a variety of colors and designs. They tend to be lightweight, so they can also be used on ceilings. Choose a waterproof design for the bathroom.
  6. Acrylic – Many people tend to overlook acrylic tiles but they can be a very beautiful addition to your bathroom ceiling.
  7. Cement Board – Use cement board rather than standard drywall in the bathroom. It can be finished and painted
  8. Green Board – This is a great choice for the shower area because it is mold resistant. Green board is being phased out in favor of cement board
  9. PVC – Like acrylic, PVC is often overlooked as an option for bathroom ceilings. It is waterproof, beautiful, and long-lasting.
  10. Glass – If you really want to add some pizzazz to your bathroom ceiling, why not consider using glass? It comes in a wide variety of colors and will make the ceiling a showpiece in your home.

How Do You Waterproof a Ceiling Above a Shower?

The shower is the part of the home that has the highest level of humidity. Waterproofing in the area is essential.

A waterproof membrane can be installed in the area above your shower and then you can apply any number of different materials to finish things off. Waterproof membrane comes in many forms, including strips, sheets, and corners that will cover all areas and protect the green board or cement board underneath.

When waterproofing the shower or any part of the home, it’s important to start from the studs out. Cement board is the preferred type of drywall for use in the shower because it can withstand a high level of humidity and moisture.

After you have the cement board installed, you can finish it off with anything that is waterproof. People choose a wide variety of options, including the following:

  • Vinyl Wallpaper – Wallpaper is a fantastic addition to the bathroom because it dresses things up so nicely. You can choose from a wide variety of styles and colors, and as long as it is vinyl it is both waterproof and washable.
  • Tiles – You can choose from a wide variety of tiles, including glass, acrylic, PVC, fiberglass, and metal. These offer both beauty and durability in the bathroom.
  • Stone Tile – Don’t overlook the classic beauty and durability of stone. Choosing the right stone is important but you should also have it installed professionally because weight can be a problem.
  • Paint – Although it is an option that most people tend to overlook, paint can be a very beautiful part of the bathroom ceiling. Choose the right color or use a combination of colors. As long as you use moisture-resistant paint, the sky is the limit.

How Do I Stop My Bathroom Ceiling from Peeling?

Steam from the shower makes regular paint peel

Try as you might, you are running the risk of having your bathroom ceiling peeling. It is frustrating, but there are options to help.

If you want to stop the paint from peeling in the bathroom, then you must provide adequate ventilation. A ventilation fan in the bathroom that vented to the outside is always a good idea. You can also open a window. If using a vent fan, have it on a timer and allow it to run for an hour after you get out of the shower.

Moisture is going to get on the ceiling in the shower and throughout the bathroom but not allowing it to stay is the key to success. That is where the vent fan comes in. Without proper ventilation, the paint is eventually going to peel.

If you do have a problem with peeling paint, you need to remove it by scraping the paint from the ceiling. Make sure that you take your time and get as much of the peeling paint as possible so you have a solid surface to begin with the new layer.

Patch any damaged areas of the ceiling and then use a quality primer before adding new paint. Prime the entire ceiling and not just the part that was peeling to keep the color of the ceiling uniform.

Always use moisture-resistant paint in the bathroom. Otherwise, you are going to have the paint peel again.

You can also choose another material rather than paint, such as PVC tiles, glass, or any type of moisture-resistant tile.

Peel and stick tiles should not be used above a shower because they are not moisture resistant. You can choose specialty tiles, but you should also use liquid nails to attach them to the ceiling and silicone caulking on the joints. The steam from the shower makes common peel and stick tiles ineffective for use in the bathroom on the walls or ceiling.


I love doing things around the house. I'm taking my years of experience as a homeowner and a full-time handyman and putting them here for your benefit. When I'm not writing, you can find me on the beach watching the waves come in. Call me Tom or Tommy, it's all the same to me.

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