Close your eyes and imagine having a brand-new, remodeled bathroom shower with a flawless shower pan and gleaming walls. This room in the house is one dream that can be your reality with thoughtful planning, optional DIY work, and of course, some money.
Many homeowners like you feel the dread of using dingy, non-functional showers, and they've successfully turned it all around. Some have turned their bathroom into a personal spa, others have enlarged their spaces, and even more home do-it-yourselfers have tweaked details here and there that customize their shower time experience. You can, too! See the bathroom shower ideas that have sparked others into action and gather inspiration for your bathroom.
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Build In Niches for More Storage
Extra storage is great for your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and scrubbers. The more, the better. If you are in the process of remodeling, think about building a wall niche. Lolly Jane blogging twins Kelli and Kristi sank niches into the shower walls of their farmhouse bathroom remodel project while 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 tidy.Continue to 2 of 30 below.
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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 Burger did the tiling work by herself, this is one tiling task that depends on your attention to detail. Bathroom walls, backsplashes, and floor tile are not in direct contact with water all the time. However, showers are a different story. The tolerance for error is almost nil; the smallest crack or seam can allow water to damage the home's underlying structure.
What Is a Primary Bathroom?
Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "master bedroom" (or "master bathroom") as discriminatory. "Primary bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the room's purpose.
Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.Continue to 3 of 30 below.
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Waterproof Your Shower
As luxe as this shower remodel may seem, homeowner and Unexpected Elegance design blogger Angela calls it a "budget makeover." She swears that she didn't have to spend a ton of money (though she admits to splurging on the cabinet hardware). Over 80 boxes of self-installed tile went into this gorgeous creation.
Keeping water in the shower and away from subflooring—a major issue with any shower remodel—is easier when using a waterproofing membrane. Waterproofing 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.
Doing what a professional tiler would, Angela used Schluter Kerdi, a flexible plastic that can be cut with scissors and is applied to the cement board with non-modified thin-set mortar.Continue to 4 of 30 below.
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Should You Include the Tub?
Lately, whenever homeowners decide to remodel their shower/bathtub combinations, they opt to remove the tub and only have a shower. Kim and Scott at Yellow Brick Home bucked the trend and replaced their existing tub 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.
Considerations for Keeping or Ditching the Tub
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- Do you ever use the bathtub?
- 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.
- Do you have elderly or disabled persons guests or family who need to bathe? 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 eventually list the home for sale, bathrooms without tubs are considered a three-quarter bath—even with a nice shower.
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Brighten the Space With Frameless Glass Doors
If a window is in the shower, a frameless glass door will help brighten a bathroom by seamlessly spreading the natural light throughout the room. 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 shower doors.
Frameless showers use thick tempered glass attached by metal clips to serve as the walls. They don't need wood framing. If you don't want the whole glass enclosure, you can buy a frameless shower door only. Be prepared to pay for this luxe option; frameless shower units are usually significantly more expensive than framed showers.Continue to 6 of 30 below.
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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? Consider a quarter-round corner shower with a sliding door like this one featured by Tiffany Blue Eyes. 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 7 of 30 below.
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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 the 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.Continue to 8 of 30 below.
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Tie a Tub and Shower Together
When you have a 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 tiles. Try matching materials for a harmonious look. This pretty bathroom project by Reena Sotropa nicely pairs up a generously sized bathtub with an adjacent shower enclosure. By using white tile for both the shower and the tub surrounds, Sotropa deftly ties the two together.Continue to 9 of 30 below.
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Do Some of the Work Yourself
Any homeowner intent on remodeling a shower is probably also looking for ways to lessen costs. One time-tested, surefire way to save money on a shower remodel is to demolish the area yourself. Even if you hire a full-service contractor to build out the shower, this is one job you can do. Contractors are accustomed to homeowners doing pre-construction work, so talk to the contractor ahead of time and work according to the project plan.Continue to 10 of 30 below.
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Incorporate a Shower Curtain
If you're looking for a big, impactful change on a super tight budget, something as simple as changing the shower curtain can make a big change for under $40. Even if you have sliding doors (or are looking to remove them), look at a nice fabric curtain to elevate the room's mood by adding a splash of personality or tie in a theme for your bathroom space.Continue to 11 of 30 below.
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Ditch the Shower Door
When remodeling your new shower, think about another luxurious trend and remove the shower door entirely. Foregoing the standard shower door creates a seamless entrance. If you have a large shower area and good drainage, it gives the shower a spa-like quality by leaving the entryway open. You can still separate the rest of the bathroom by floor-to-ceiling glass panels or other three-quarter wall options. Barrier-free showers are a posh splurge.Continue to 12 of 30 below.
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Refresh the Fixtures
Classic metals always seem to be in style like brushed nickel and chrome. However, bold metal choices like gold accents, flat black, and oil-rubbed bronze are wowing bathroom remodel projects and are worth a thought. Some simple changes to faucet and shower fixtures can make a dramatic statement—make sure that, if you change one piece of hardware in the bathroom, that you change them all.Continue to 13 of 30 below.
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The floor tile or bath mat doesn't have to be the only place for a pattern in your bathroom. You can mix up patterns in interesting ways in a bathroom via wallpaper, tile designs, and shower curtains. The best part about pattern mixing in the bathroom is that it is one room where you can often get away with layering several patterns. So, if you are thinking about changing the tile in the shower, think about ways to add patterns to it. You can even layout the slate, subway tiles, or stone mosaic pieces in interesting ways to give the shower a graphical look.Continue to 14 of 30 below.
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If you are planning to redesign of your shower, you can think about changing up the color scheme of the rest of your bathroom too. A timeless classic for the bathroom is a monochromatic white, gray, and black array. It's simple, it's elegant, and the color scheme lends itself beautifully to unique fixture designs, patterns, and geometric tile layouts. It affords you the liberty to experiment with changing out the design style and accent colors in the coming years, too.Continue to 15 of 30 below.
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If you want to craft a simple, modern bathroom shower, be minimalistic. Pick up sleek fixtures that are free of excessive embellishments. Think modular with your design by erasing curves, patterns, and graphical design elements. Limit your decor to one or two simple pieces.Continue to 16 of 30 below.
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Splurge for Heated Shower Floors
On a bitter winter morning, a heated shower floor is the ultimate in luxury and convenience. Using a dedicated heating cable and carefully waterproofing the shower area, you can warm the shower floor like any other tiled floor. This option is pretty energy efficient, using about 300 watts less than an average space heater.Continue to 17 of 30 below.
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Welcome Dramatic Contrast
Make dramatic choices in your shower area if you want to make a striking impact on your whole bathroom. Get bold with your tile selection and harmonize your choice with a bold wallpaper pick. Use a consistent color palette so the contrasting looks integrate instead of clash. For example, you can easily create contrast with a black-and-white color scheme and add splashes of bright colors to complete the look.Continue to 18 of 30 below.
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Run With a Theme
Many years ago, picking a theme for your bathroom involved buying a few matching elements, like a shower curtain, bath rug, trash can, and soap dispenser that were part of a set. A theme or inspired design doesn't mean getting matchy-matchy; it's more about evoking a feeling. There are so many ways to go: coastal, vintage, industrial, farmhouse—the sky's the limit.
For example, if you're going for a coastal look like a seaside retreat, you have so many options with the color palette; you can pick colors like soft sandy browns, seagull grays, hints of blue, sunrise pink, and seagrass greens. You can tie in that theme in the shower with your choice of tile choices, door hardware, a shower curtain, and faucet fixtures. But also think about incorporating details in shower tiles, such as a mother of pearl mosaic tile with a scallop or fishtail design.Continue to 19 of 30 below.
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Make Your Color Palette the Star
Sometimes, a vibrant wall color or tile color choice can be all a bathroom needs to bring it back to life. A bold blue, jet black, or rich plum color might kick your remodel into high gear. You can draw this into your shower area with a tub, tile, or curtain pick.Continue to 20 of 30 below.
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Go White for Spaciousness
Make crisp white your primary color, and your entire shower area will look brighter, larger, and airier. Add dimension by introducing some light gray or another muted color choice.Continue to 21 of 30 below.
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Stand Out With a Freestanding Tub
If you have a lot of space in your bathroom, make your tub or shower a bathroom focal point by installing a freestanding tub right in the center of the space. Whether you get a clawfoot or a deep soaking basin, they're all elegant, modern, and jaw-dropping. You can still have a separate shower or fixture above your tub by using a curtain or build out an extra-large shower area by including a freestanding tub inside your shower enclosure.Continue to 22 of 30 below.
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Move the Tub/Shower Area
Although relocating the shower/tub area is a pricier option, it can sometimes be the best move. With the help of an architect or contractor, you might find out that moving the placement of the tub and/or shower buys you extra space. With a simple shift in the tub and toilet area of this kids' bathroom, designer Emily Henderson freed up space for a double vanity and extra storage. It got a facelift, making it feel brighter, bigger, and airier, too.Continue to 23 of 30 below.
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Think About Paneling to Cut Some Costs
Shiplap wall paneling is a signature of country, cottage, and farmhouse designs. It immediately makes a space feel casual, cozy, and quaint and is a unique alternative to painting, tiling, or wallpapering your bathroom walls. Although you should not use wood paneling in a shower or as a tub surround that comes into direct contact with water, there are many less expensive alternatives, such as high gloss acrylic or laminate panels, marble-patterned PVC composite, or textured laminate wall panels that look similar to wood.Continue to 24 of 30 below.
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Start With the Quickest Upgrade You Can Make
Probably one of the fastest and most impactful changes you can make for your shower experience is changing the showerhead and giving yourself a rainshower experience, adding varying settings, or getting a showerhead with an extra handheld head. This small change can make all the difference in the short term as you make bigger plans for a bathroom redo.Continue to 25 of 30 below.
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Upgrade the Lighting
A drab shower is often one that has low light because it's blocked by a curtain or has no overhead lighting. If planning a bathroom remodel, don't overlook the detail of having extra lighting in the shower. If you have a large shower area, you can get recessed lighting or be more inventive with sconces. If you upgrade your bathroom's entire look, light fixtures with a unique design should be on your list of considerations.Continue to 26 of 30 below.
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Add a Bench
A shower seat is great for many reasons. For people who spend time exfoliating or shaving, they're a great benefit to have. Also, people often shy away from a walk-in shower because they prefer a place to sit and relax. A shower seat gives you a spot to relax in a steamy shower. A walk-in shower can have a stunning seat floating above the floor or be built-in. It doubles as a spa seat, a place to prop your leg for shaving, or a spot for shampoo bottles and body wash.Continue to 27 of 30 below.
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Showers often feel like stalls, squared in. To soften the lines, add some curves with an arched entrance. It helps the shower make a statement and can tie together other design details or motifs in the rest of the bathroom.Continue to 28 of 30 below.
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Get Shelves for the Shower
A built-in shower niche is a lovely idea if you plan on doing a grand remodel, but if that's not doable now, and if your shower is large enough, add floating shelves or a freestanding shelving unit. Don't make the classic mistake of forgetting about shower storage as an afterthought; plan out where you will store your bath products.Continue to 29 of 30 below.
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Add a Shower Towel Rack
A heated built-in towel rack can make your walk-in shower feel extra luxurious—giving you that ritzy, hotel feeling. The steam softens the towels a tad, making them feel nice and cozy. Even better, you don't have to step out of the shower to dry off. To pull this off, you need to make sure that your shower dimensions are large enough that water won't splash on the towels.Continue to 30 of 30 below.
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Create a Place for Zen
The ultimate shower experience elevates a simple shower stall to a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. Create a spa-like atmosphere with multiple showerheads, including a rainfall showerhead that pours water from the ceiling, mimicking a relaxing rainfall. A ceiling-mounted showerhead and several more along the wall offer a completely personalized experience. A shower seat allows you to take the load off your legs as you give your pores a luxurious steam treatment.