Believe it or not, shower remodeling can prove to be a bigger task than you might think. Whether you’re completely renovating your bathroom or just updating your shower, proper research is necessary, along with the help of a professional. Read on to learn more about shower remodeling.
What do you need from your shower?
First of all, you should figure out exactly what type of shower you want in your bathoom. Do you want a walk-in or a shower/bath combo? Do you care more about function, style, or both? Additionally, you should keep your budget in mind.
Answering these questions can help you get stated. In the end, you can afford either a walk-in shower or a shower/bath combo with any reasonable budget. It’s the specific features of either that will sway your budget one way or the other.
You definitely won’t be short on options when it comes to a shower remodel. All types of materials can be used for both the shower base and shower walls. Manufacturers are also becoming more and more creative with flooring/wall and fixture designs.
Let’s get into the details of materials, designs, and overall pricing…
Choosing a base and wall type
Fiberglass has been a reliable shower/tub material for quite some time. A fiberglass shower/tub is pre-shaped as a single piece. It’s most commonly installed 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 great for fiberglass shower installation because the pre-formed piece won’t always fit through doors, so that’s something you’ll to keep in mind.
Other than potential installation trouble, fiberglass is a great waterproof material that will endure the test of time. It’s white color may eventually yellow and the surface may scratch, but occasional cleaning should fight off those drawbacks rather easily.
Acrylic is another common shower material. Its affordability is what draws homeowners to it. Essentially, you’re just paying for acrylic sheets to cover the base and the walls. The sheets are water-resistant and quite versatile in design. They last for a while, but problems can arise over time.
Constant water pressure can weaken acrylic sheets at the seams and water can end up seeping through. Such situations obviously ruin the base of the shower and can even cause quite a bit of 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. That being said, acrylic may fit your budget and maybe you’ll never run into any issues with the material for shower remodeling. Our input just serves as a precaution.
What about ceramic or porcelain tile for your shower remodel?
Both are great options. Ceramic and porcelain provide both functionailty and style. You can customize designs and find both materials in all kinds of sizes, colors, patterns and textures. Additionally, ceramic and porcelain tiles provide grip, which is obviously important to have in a shower. Generally speaking, the smaller the tiles, the more grip you’ll be provided with. That’s why you often see 1-inch-by-1-inch tiles used as shower flooring.
You might be wondering what the difference between ceramic and porcelain is and why they’re used so interchangeably. Essentially, ceramic is slightly more water absorbent than porcelain. Porcelain’s water absorption rate is less than 0.5%. Thus, any rate slightly above that mark will be classified as ceramic.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll be getting a durable material that is visually appealing. And, assuming your new shower will not be hidden by a curtain, a visually appealing shower is quite important to overall bathroom design.
Natural stone is the most visually appealing material on the market. Unfortunately, it’s not able to guard against water as well as fiberglass, ceramic or porcelain can. Natural stone—granite, quartz, marble, travertine, soapstone, limestone—is a porous material, which means that moisture can cause damage. You’ll want your natural stone to be covered by a protective seal, whether it’s being used in your shower, living room floor or kitchen countertop. Sealants are clear and serve as a protective barrier. A sealant in a shower might have to be replaced every six months.
You might be able to get away with natural stone as a shower wall material, but using it as flooring for your shower is definitely risky. Constant water pressure will probably result in cracks or discoloration of your natural stone floor. Actually, natural stone flooring costs quite a bit in the first place.
How to approach shower design
It probably seems like a shower remodel isn’t that hard, right? You just have to choose the flooring and wall material – those are the major design choices. But in addition to flooring and wall materials, you also need to choose other fixtures.
Choosing a functional shower isn’t too difficult. However, going the extra mile in establishing an impressively designed shower is going to bring about many more decisions. For instance, you could opt for a frameless glass shower with a built-in bench, two rows of ingrained shelving, a skylight and a focal point design wall. Or you could opt for a doorless shower with multiple showerheads, including steam options, and an additional shower window to let in some natural light.
What shower trends are not going away?
Modern master bathrooms are indulging in the frameless glass shower look. A frameless glass shower changes your bathroom into a whole different space. It’ll make your bathroom seem larger, also adding modern appeal. And we know modern looks are popular for any home. Framed glass looks fine, but why not opt for a cleaner, more modern look!
WHAT ABOUT A SHOWER WITHOUT DOORS?
Why not choose a shower without shower doors. As long as you open up the base floor just slightly, water won’t spill outside.
This shower type is great for master bathrooms. What you’ll usually see is a half-wall to provide some form of protection against water flowing out of the shower. With these showers, a person would enter the shower to the left by simply walking in.
HALF GLASS/HALF OPEN
You could also opt for the half-glass/half-open design. It’s just the way it sounds, half the shower opening would be covered by a vertical glass panel and the other half would be open, allowing a person to walk right in.
If you’re budget allows for it, consider having a steam shower installed. Spa-like showers are extremely popular for today’s master bathrooms. The shower part will essentially be the same, but you’ll have steam settings and fixtures alongside.
Have some fun with your shower remodel project! Other rooms around your house might be held at a sophisticated standard, but those rooms are also deprived of the design flexibility which a bathroom offers. For bathrooms (particularly showers) you can make more bold, vibrant color choices to create a more customized area.
Overall, your shower gives you the creative space to add character to your bathroom. Often times, the shower is straight ahead from when you walk into the bathroom. Using your shower as a focal point is a great idea when it comes to a shower remodel. As you’d expect, the shower design really only matters if you have glass panels or if your shower is doorless. A shower covered by a curtain makes wall and floor design a bit pointless.
How much will it cost?
Shower remodeling projects can range from $200 to $5,000. It all depends on the amount of work that you want done and which materials you’ll be using. For instance, installing a new liner over your shower/tub combo normally costs less than $200. Re-tiling your shower might costaround $500. In fact, you’ll pay more for labor than the actual tile!
Tiling will cost $25 – $30 per square foot when you consider both the material and the labor. Ceramic tile can either be the cheapest tile and the most expensive. You’ll have many different types to choose from, some cheap and some more expensive. Porcelain is priced similarly and natural stone tiling will normally cost $3 -$10 per square foot. Shower tiling is the rare occasion in which natural stone will not be the most expensive option. As we mentioned earlier, natural stone’s porosity is what makes it a less popular option for bathroom showers.
It’s the fully transitioned showers that will be higher in terms of price range (around $5,000 or more).
Make the most of your bathroom
If your kids have grown up and no reason remains for having a bathtub, you might want to focus on saving space and being more comfortable with a walk-in shower. If you choose to get a walk-in shower, expect to pay a few thousand dollars. But it’s a purchase that will last quite some times, and it will be one well worth the expense.
Your master bathroom probably doesn’t have a shower/bath combo, but if it does, you might want to upgrade that as well. Master bathrooms are perfect for appealing and spacious showers. If you have the time to enjoy the occasional long bath, the appearance of your master bathroom will look even more elegant with a stand-alone tub and a walk-in shower. You’ll need plenty of space, though.
Whichever type of shower you decide on, regardless of minor or major shower remodel, trust Toscana Remodeling to make it happen. Our remodeling team will discuss the plans for your new bathroom in detail. We’ll offer advice and suggestions along the way and take care of all installation needs. Also, you don’t have to limit your remodel to just the shower. Toscana Remodeling can complete entire bathroom remodels, including new countertops, cabinets, floors, lighting…everything you could think of!
Please visit our website—toscanaremodeling.com—to learn more about our many services and check out our blog for more helpful tips on home remodeling. We strive to turn your bathroom into the masterpiece that you imagine it to be!