Location is Colorado Springs, where we have a fairly dry climate but are not immune to mildew. We are remodeling, turning the old shower into a linen closet and the old bathtub area (a long jacuzzi tub) into a shower. We did have mildew of tiles and painted areas in the old shower.
The old/new bathroom is enclosed. The ventilation is via a new attic fan that will be very close overhead to the new shower.
What benefit can we reasonably expect from tiling the shower ceiling vs. just using mildew-resistant paint? We believe that tiling the shower ceiling is at least $1,000. We are willing to pay it if it's reasonable to expect real benefits.
Update from the husband
We are considering tiling the shower ceiling to reduce the instances of mold or mildew high on the walls as well as on the ceiling. Even though we have a dry climate in Colorado, long, hot showers can cause severe moisture problems, even affecting the woodwork, despite good ventilation.
To Tim B's comment: The ‘attic fan’ is an-appropriately-sized 150 cfm fan at the entrance to the new shower. It has a 6” insulated vent pipe, and will exit through the roof by the end of next month (all of this is an in-process project). To your excellent point, the old fan did vent into the attic, a practice that used to be acceptable, for some strange reason.
To Jimmy Fix-it's comment: You are exactly right: $1000 is ridiculous, which is what brought this subject up. The shower will be approximately 45” x 96” (based on the width of our bathroom on that side; that drives the cost of the tile). The shower wall tile is rectified porcelain 12” x 24” in a Carrera Marble look, and is nice, but expensive. Instead of repeating that in the ceiling, at the current price, we are considering smaller, and less-expensive 12” x 12” inch white porcelain tiles at ¼ the price.
In addition, the ceiling is where the much more expensive, epoxy-based grout is most important, because of its mold/mildew resistance. That was another key part of the $1k.
The biggest issue is neutralizing the mildew/mold impact of lengthy, hot-water showers.
(Note from the wife: He's not shower-shaming. He wants to make me happy and have confidence in the best solution. We do realize that wipe-downs after showers are key.)
Some interesting links about tiling … almost all are in favor of it, but some suggest less expensive—and maybe smaller—white tile. Note that others prefer larger.
Interesting link about mold on grout
And how to avoid paying $75 a bag for thinset