Close your eyes and imagine having a brand-new, remodeled bathroom shower with a clean, flawless shower pan and bright, gleaming walls. This is one dream that can be your reality with smart planning, optional DIY work, and of course, some money.
Many homeowners like you have felt the pain of dingy, non-functional showers, and they've successfully turned it all around. You can, too! See what these homeowners have done so you can get inspired for your own bathroom.
01 of 09
Tie a Tub and Shower Together
When you have two different services—that is, full-size tub and shower—in the same room, you risk visual chaos. For example, a smooth acrylic bathtub surround may clash with a shower's tile surround. To avoid this, try matching materials.
Pearl Interiors' design for the Chateau Beaumont project nicely pairs up a generously sized wood-skirted bathtub with an adjacent shower enclosure. By using the same type of natural stone for both the shower and the tub surrounds, Pearl deftly ties the two facilities together.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Do Some of the Work Yourself
Any homeowner intent on remodeling a shower is probably also looking for ways to defray costs. One time-tested, surefire way to save money on a shower remodel is to demolish the area by yourself.
Even if you have hired a full-service contractor to build out the shower, this is one job that any homeowner can take on. Contractors are accustomed to homeowners doing pre-construction work by themselves. Just talk to the contractor ahead of time so that you're readying the area according to the project plan.
DIY home decor blogger Sara and husband Steve managed to find time in their busy lives to demo their shower area by themselves. The advantage of this is that they were able to assess a rotted support beam far ahead of the arrival of the workers.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Build In Niches for More Storage
You already know that copious in-shower shelving room is needed for all of your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and scrubbers. The more, the better.
With existing showers, you can retroactively install shelves by sticking them straight onto the walls with silicone caulk. But if you are in the process of remodeling, you can do better by building wall niches.
Blogging twins Kelli and Kristi sank niches into their farmhouse bathroom shower walls during the process of framing out the area. Two of these cubbies, one on top of the other, provide plenty of room for all of those bottles and tubes and keep everything neat and tidy.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Upgrade Your Tile
You'll adore your newly remodeled shower even more when you supersize it and add a light-filled frameless shower enclosure. Designer Jenna Burger did just that when she installed her own shower tile. With enough room for a bathing chair and plenty of light cascading through the frameless glass enclosure, this shower will make you never want to leave.
This raises the question, should you do your own shower tile work? While Jenna did the tiling work by herself, this is one tiling task that requires serious thought before you plunge in.
Wall, backsplash, and even floor tile are different because these areas are far less impacted by water. But with showers, the tolerance for error is almost nil, as even the smallest crack or seam can allow water to damage the home's underlying structure.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Waterproof Your Shower
As luxe as this shower remodel may seem, homeowner and Unexpected Elegance design blogger, Angela, calls it a "budget makeover." Over 80 boxes of self-installed tile went into this gorgeous creation. She swears that she didn't have to spend a ton of money (though she admits to splurging on the cabinet hardware).
Keeping water in the shower and away from subflooring, a major issue with any shower remodel, is made easier when you use a waterproofing membrane. This adds a critical layer of protection on top of the cement board, which will not be damaged by moisture but also doesn't stop it from passing through to the subfloor, if water gets behind the tile.
Just like professional tilers do, Angela used Schluter Kerdi, a flexible plastic that can be cut with scissors and is applied to the cement board with non-modified thinset mortar.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Should You Include the Tub?
Lately, whenever homeowners decide to remodel their shower/bathtub combinations, they opt to remove the tub and go shower-only. Kim and Scott at Yellow Brick Home bucked the trend and not only kept the tub but replaced it with a sleek Kohler Bellwether cast-iron white enameled tub. They dialed up the retro look by adding a ceramic regulator plate from Kohler's Antique line.
Questions you'll want to consider to help you decide whether or not to go tub-free:
Continue to 7 of 9 below.
- Do you actually use the bathtub or does it just seem like a good idea?
- Can you reglaze your current tub and save money?
- Do you have or expect to have children? It is simpler to bathe children in tubs than in showers.
- Will elderly or disabled persons be using this bathing facility? With their high walls, bathtubs can be difficult to step into; showers are much easier.
- Are you okay with the bathroom being listed as a "three-quarter" bath rather than a "full bath," if you ever list the home for sale? Bathrooms without tubs are considered three-quarter even when they have a nice shower.
07 of 09
Maximize Natural Light
Watertight, bath-rated light fixtures exist for a reason: Showers can be dark. But there's a better way to banish shower gloom: When you can get it, natural light is best.
You'll find no better way to do this than by combining a corner shower unit with frameless glass walls. Evolution of Style blogger Jenny was in her friend's house one day and captured images of that bathroom's unique three-sided corner frameless unit.
Frameless showers use thick tempered glass, attached by metal clips, to serve as the walls. No wood framing is needed. If desired, you can buy a frameless shower door only, instead of the entire enclosure. However, frameless shower units are usually significantly more expensive than framed showers.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Round Out Your Shower
When space is limited, you can't do much better than adding a corner shower. But what about when space is super-tight, as in a tiny house? You add a quarter-round corner shower with a sliding door.
Rounded corner shower enclosures come with a fantastic feature: doors that slide on tracks instead of swinging outward. This avoids potential space design headaches because door obstructions are not a problem. And since the door is acrylic, there is no chance that it will shatter.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Raise the Roof for Better Air Circulation
Enclosed environments like showers trap moisture and are prone to mold and mildew. Bathroom exhaust fans are one way to combat the problem. But fans use electricity and aren't always effective. A better way is to increase air circulation at ceiling level.
For this high-end residential bathroom remodel in Seattle's Greenwood district, Malboeuf Bowie Architecture popped off the shower ceiling, exposing the space to natural light and airflow.