A shower remodel can’t be too complicated, or can it? Believe it or not, more decisions go into that tiny bathroom space than you might think. Whether you are planning a bathroom overhaul or just updating your shower, a considerable amount of research is necessary for a successful remodel, as is professional assistance. We’ll try our best to simplify a shower remodel for you with the breakdown below.
What do you want from your shower?
First, you have to figure out exactly what you want your bathroom shower to be. Do you want it to be a walk-in or a shower/bath combo? Do you care most about function or style? Or both? What’s you budget?
These questions will help get you on the right path. Ultimately, you can afford either a walk-in shower or a shower/bath combo with any reasonable budget. It’s the makeup and specific features of either that will sway your budget one way or the other.
You certainly won’t be short on options for a shower remodel. All sorts of materials can be used for both the shower base and walls. Manufacturers are also becoming more and more creative with flooring/wall and even fixture designs.
Let’s dig into materials, designs, and overall costs…
Selecting a base type and wall type
Fiberglass has long been a reliable shower/tub material. A fiberglass shower/tub is pre-shaped as a single piece. It is used most commonly in homes that are being built because installation is easiest when walls are not yet in place. Already-built homes, on the other hand, are not as welcoming of fiberglass showers because the pre-formed piece can’t always fit through the door frame, so that’s something you’ll have to keep in mind.
Other than its potential trouble with installation , fiberglass stands as a waterproof material that will endure the test of time. It’s white color may eventually yellow and the surface can scratch; however, occasional cleaning should resolve those issues rather easily.
Acrylic is another common shower material. It’s selling point is its affordability. Essentially, you’re just paying for acrylic sheets to cover the base and the walls. The sheets are water-resistant and rather versatile in design. They do a good job for a while; though, problems can arise over time.
Constant water pressure can weaken acrylic sheets at the seams and water can seep through. Such an occurrence can obviously ruin the base and even cause considerable leaking. The biggest issue is that you won’t know what kind of damage is happening beneath the surface until it’s too late and repairs can be costly. With all of that said, acrylic may fit your budget and you may never run into any issues with the material for your shower. Our input is simply a precaution.
What about ceramic or porcelain tile for your shower?
Both are fantastic options. Ceramic and porcelain offer function and style. You can customize designs and find either in all sorts of sizes, colors, patterns and textures. In addition, ceramic and porcelain tiles offer grip, which is certainly important when showering. Generally speaking, the smaller the tiles the more grip you will have at your footing. That’s why you often see 1-inch-by-1-inch tiles installed in shower floors.
You might be wondering what the difference is between ceramic and porcelain and why they are so often spoken of interchangeably. Basically, ceramic is slightly more water absorbent than porcelain. Porcelain’s water absorption rate is less than 0.5%; therefore, any rate slightly above that mark will be classified as ceramic.
No matter which you choose, you’ll be getting a very durable material that is also visually appealing. And assuming your new shower will not have a shower curtain, a visually appealing shower is actually very important to the overall bathroom design.
Natural stone is the most visually appealing material of them all. Unfortunately, it is not as protective against water as fiberglass, ceramic or porcelain. Natural stone—granite, quartz, marble, travertine, soapstone, limestone—is porous, meaning moisture can cause damage. You’ll always want your natural stone to be covered by a protective seal, whether it be for your shower, living room floor or kitchen countertop. Sealants are clear and provide a protective barrier. A sealant in a shower may have to be replaced as often as every six months.
You may be able to get away with natural stone as a shower wall material, but using it for your shower floor is a definite risk. Constant water pressure will likely result in cracks or discoloration to your natural stone floor, which will cost quite a bit in the first place.
How to approach shower design
So far, your shower remodel is pretty simple, right? You just have to decide on flooring and walling and those two decisions make most of the headway. But you also have to decide on various design elements.
You see, choosing a functional shower is not too difficult. However, going the extra mile in establishing an impressively designed shower is going to bring about many more decisions. For example, you could opt for a frame-less glass shower with a built-in bench, two rows of ingrained shelving, a skylight and a focal point design wall. Or you could go for a door-less shower with multiple shower heads, including steam options, and an added shower window to let in some natural light.
What shower trends are in and not going away any time soon?
Modern home master bathrooms are indulging in the frame-less glass shower look. A frame-less glass shower turns your bathroom into an elegant space. It opens up your bathroom to seem larger, also adding a tremendously sleek appeal. And we know sleek is a welcome characteristic in any modern home. Framed glass still looks nice, but why not improve your look by making a simple design adjustment? Get rid of the frames!
HOW ABOUT A SHOWER WITHOUT DOORS?
Who needs shower doors really? Water sprays in one general area. As long as you open up the base floor just slightly, water isn’t going to leave the shower area.
Such a shower type is best for master bathrooms. What you’ll typically see is a half wall to provide at least a little cover. An individual would enter the shower to the left by simply walking in (no doors to open or slide). That person either goes to the right or left which is where the actual shower area will be.
HALF GLASS/HALF OPEN
You could also go with the half glass/half open design. As it sounds, half the shower opening would be covered by a vertical glass panel and the other half will be open, enabling the shower user to walk right in.
If you have a generous budget, or no limitations, perhaps you should consider a steam shower. Spa-like showers are all the rage in today’s advanced master bathrooms. Being able to truly turn your home bathroom into an area of pure relaxation is going to bring a smile to a few faces. The shower aspect will basically be the same; however, you will have steam settings and steam fixtures alongside. Doesn't sound too bad, huh?
Have some fun with tile design for your shower remodel. Other rooms throughout your home may be held to a more sophisticated standard, but those rooms are also deprived of the design flexibility which a bathroom offers. You can mix wall colors for your three shower walls (if your shower has three walls). The side walls might be solid in color while the back wall is a duel-colored pattern. You could stick with all solid colors, but maybe have your side walls a gray porcelain and your back wall a turquoise or a light red.
In all, your bathroom shower gives you the creative space to add character to the room. Often times the shower is straight across from the bathroom entrance. Using your shower as a unique focal point is a brilliant idea. Of course, the shower design really only matters if you have glass panels or if your shower is door-less. A shower covered by a curtain makes wall and floor design superfluous.
How much will all of this cost?
A shower remodel can range from $200 to $5,000. It just depends on the amount of work that you are asking to be done and the specific materials that you are using for the remodel. For example, installing a new liner over your shower/tub combo will typically cost less than $200. Re-tiling your shower may cost $500. In fact, you’ll pay more for labor than the actual tile for a re-tiling project.
Tiling will cost $25 – $30 per square foot, material and labor included. Ceramic tile can be both the cheapest tile and the most expensive. You’ll have a ton of styles to choose from, some cheap and some not so cheap. Porcelain is more of the same and natural stone tiling will generally cost $3 -$10 per square foot. Shower tiling is the one situation in which natural stone will not be among the most expensive. Again, natural stone’s porosity is what discounts the material for bathroom showers.
It’s the fully transitioned showers that will veer towards the higher side of the aforementioned shower remodel price range (around $5,000 or more).
Make the most of your bathroom
If your kids have grown up and you have no reason for having a bathtub, perhaps it's time to either save some bathroom space or it by installing a walk-in shower. If you decide on a walk-in shower, you’re looking at paying a few thousand dollars. But this is a purchase you will likely only have to make one time throughout your life, and it will be well worth the expense.
Your master bathroom probably doesn’t have a shower/bath combo, but if it does, you may want to consider an upgrade in that area as well. Master bathrooms are perfect for appealing and roomy showers. If you still have the time to enjoy the occasional long bath, the appearance of your master bathroom will look even more impressive with a stand-alone tub and a walk-in shower. You’ll need plenty of space; however, that’s definitely a layout that you will be happy with.
Nadine Floor Company
Whatever you decide, minor shower remodel or major, rely on Nadine Floor Company to make it happen. Our remodeling team will discuss in detail your expectations for your bathroom. We’ll offer advice and suggestions along the way and we’ll take care of all installation needs. And you don’t have to limit your remodel to just the shower. We can complete bathroom overhauls, including new countertops, cabinets, floors, lighting…you name it!
Please visit our website—www.nadinefloors.com—to learn more about our many services and check out our blog for additional helpful tips on home remodeling. We hope to turn your bathroom into the masterpiece you imagine it to be!