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What To Put On Bathroom Ceiling Above Shower

Are you remodeling your home and thinking, “what to put on the bathroom ceiling above the shower?” You need to know what types of material you can safely use to deter mold and keep your bathroom looking pristine. Choosing the wrong material can mean repairs and a headache. The best material will be flexible, durable, and built to withstand heat and moisture.

The NKBA says that a bathroom ceiling should be at least 80 inches tall. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not prone to water splashes. This is especially true for the ceiling over your shower. Water splashing is why it’s essential to use a material that can handle moisture.

What To Put On Bathroom Ceiling Above Shower

Several materials can be suitable for you to use on your bathroom ceiling. The material should be mold-resistance, within your price range, and need minimal maintenance

Things To Consider Before Choosing What To Put on the Bathroom Ceiling Above the Shower

You need to look for a durable and mold-resistant material. Learning which materials are durable and mold-resistant enough is only half the battle. You shouldn’t go to the hardware store or hire a professional yet. Here are a few other things to consider first. 

Building Regulations

Before remodeling anything in your home, you need to know about building regulations. Knowing any building regulations can make sure you don’t get in trouble. If you don’t follow them, you could face hefty fines or worse. There aren’t many regulations about bathroom ceilings. The IBC says you can’t use combustible material on the bathroom ceiling.

Not using combustible materials is a rule for all building interiors. There might be more regulations depending on where you live and the type of home you have. Rules could include needing a professional license to do the remodel. You should check with your county for extra regulations before beginning the remodel. 

Bathroom Style

Everyone has a different style. So, going with a material that fits your style and aesthetic is a good idea. When you choose something that’s not your style, you might spend more money fixing it later. This will cost you more time and extra money you might not have.


Besides your style, you need to think about the required maintenance. All ceilings need maintenance to keep them in the best condition possible.

Even if you love how a certain material looks, you need to know about the maintenance. If you can’t keep up with the maintenance it needs, it might not be the best option for you. Choosing a material that looks good and is low maintenance is ideal.

The Cost

This might be a given, but you should always consider the cost of the materials you choose. Some materials are more expensive than others. Sticking to your planned budget can ensure you’re happy with the result and not break the bank. Fiberglass is inexpensive and a great option for almost any budget.

Metal tiles usually have a higher price tag. The best thing you can do is shop around. This allows you to find the best prices possible and stick to whatever your budget is. 

Shower Ceiling Materials

There are a surprising number of materials that you can use on the ceiling above your shower. We’ve made a list of the best ceiling materials. They’re durable, moisture-resistant, and worth looking at for your remodel or build.

Shower Ceiling Materials

Metal Tiles

Metal tiling is a pleasing ceiling choice that many homeowners choose. This material tends to be affordable, looks impressive, and is easy to install.

Metal tiling is pretty water-resistant. You’ll still need to clean it often. This helps prevent rust and mold from forming. There are things you can do to prevent moisture from seeping into the metal tiles. Sealing the cracks and spaces with caulk is the best way to do this.

When water seeps into these cracks, it can decrease the durability of your metal tiling. One thing to remember about metal tiles is if they have damage, you might need to replace the whole ceiling. It’s much more difficult than replacing only one tile. 

Glass Tiles

Glass ceiling tiles are great options! They come in a variety of different colors, patterns, and sizes. You can pick several glass tiles with different patterns if you want. This allows you to get creative and make something unique to your home.

I love glass ceiling tiles because they’re waterproof. Being waterproof makes them a top choice for bathroom ceiling materials (for other interesting bathroom ceiling ideas, check out our guide on dropped ceilings). They help reduce noise, and they’re easy to clean too. The price range for this material can vary. You can find some tiles very cheap while some costly options are available too.

Remember that glass ceiling tiles are prone to cracking. They also can get moldy if you don’t clean them. Wiping down glass tiles is easy, so you can do it every day or every few. 

Acrylic Panels

Acrylic panels are a simple option to go with for the bathroom ceiling above your shower. They’re durable and resistant to scratches, fading, and stains. Acrylic panels are easy to clean and hardly get moldy or mildew. 

People like acrylic panels because they don’t have grooves like tiles. Not having tiles helps prevent bacteria from building inside the grooves. They’re pretty plain, so if you want a fun pattern or color, you might want to go with another option. 

Cement Board

A cement board is excellent to use above the shower in your bathroom, but most people don’t only use cement board. Using cement board as a backing before putting up ceiling tiles is popular. This helps ensure the ceiling is as durable as possible. It also helps keep moisture from damaging the ceiling. 

While it’s a great backing you don’t need to use it. If you’re trying to keep your costs low, skipping this step is in your best interest. The good news is that cement boards aren’t that expensive. It can cost anywhere from $5 to $25 per square foot, and for small bathrooms, that will make a dent in your budget. 

False Glass

False glass or a false ceiling is a smart material to use on your bathroom ceiling and above the shower. 

Manufacturers make the material with non-crystalline glass. Non-crystalline glass makes the bathroom look expensive and is an excellent insulator. It’s non-transparent, and you can add designs to it if you choose to. This material isn’t the most affordable option. It’s still worth mentioning for those who have a larger budget or are willing to splurge. 

It’s easy to clean, but you’ll need to be careful not to crack the material. If there are cracks, moisture can seep in, and bacteria can grow. When this happens, you’ll need to replace the entire ceiling. 

False Glass


One of the most common bathroom ceiling materials is fiberglass. You’ll find it in bathrooms because it’s an affordable material. Applying it over the shower can give a sleek appearance, which many people strive for.

Fiberglass remains a popular choice because it’s easy to clean and durable. Most people don’t need to replace it or repair any parts of it for years. So, fiberglass is the way to go if you’re looking for a great low-maintenance, and affordable option.

You can install fiberglass on your own with a little research if you want. Since you’ll need to remove drywall it might be easier to hire a professional to handle the job. 


Paint isn’t the first material people think of using on the ceiling in a bathroom above the shower. Even still, it’s not a bad option. It’s easy to apply and inexpensive, and you can do it yourself without wasting money on a contractor. 

Flat and semi-gloss are the two best paint types for bathroom ceilings (Sherwin Williams is a popular brand choice, learn more about it here). Flat paint reduces glares in the bathroom, while semi-gloss is shinier. You should look for water-resistant sealant and paint to protect your hard work.

A downside to using paint on the ceiling above the shower is that it can start to peel after months of moisture. That’s why priming and sealing the ceiling are an important part of the process. As long as your shower has ventilation, you can prevent too much peeling altogether. 

Drywall/Green Board

Moisture-resistant drywall or green board are two excellent options. You must look for drywall and a green board that can handle all the moisture bathrooms see.

If you’re going to use drywall, you’ll want to paint and seal it. This helps prevent moisture damage from happening too soon. 

The green board comes with face paper, offering extra water damage protection. Although it’s a little pricier than drywall, the extra layer of security makes it worth it. Green board and drywall installation and finishing are similar in price. The main difference is the initial material cost. 

Final Thoughts

With so many excellent ceiling material choices, you have some decisions to make. The bathroom ceiling above the shower needs something durable, affordable, and low maintenance (if you notice brown spots on your ceiling, read here for more information).

You can choose tiles, fiberglass, paint, or something else. Either way, you can get your bathroom ceiling above the shower looking great in no time.

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