Remodeling a shower is always an exciting opportunity for a homeowner to level-up their bathroom experience and raise a home’s return on investment.
With the mere switch of a showerhead, one can transport from their bathroom to a tropical oasis or a luxe spa. At Modernize, we’re here to walk you through all the ins-and-outs of remodeling your bathroom’s shower situation. From the steps you need to consider, to the timing of it all — here’s what you need to know.
Bathroom and shower remodeling typically involves two big components: the fixture and the enclosure. Based on the bathroom’s purpose and who it’s serving, these answers can vary. A family bathroom with a shower-tub combo will look a lot different than a couple’s suite bathroom with a walk-in jet shower.
There are a few different types of showerheads you can consider depending on your needs. Popular showerhead types to consider include:
1. Fixed Showerheads: This showerhead fixture is the most basic option, optimal for small bathrooms. Like the name, fixed showerheads stay in one place and are great for smaller shower types and bathrooms. Even the most budget-friendly versions have variants with two or more spray settings, but it’s all coming from the same showerhead.
2. Handheld Showerheads: Handheld showers are ideal for situations including family and pet-use. Seen in master bathrooms, handheld options come with an attached hose and a wall attachment, where it can be used as a fixed showerhead.
3. Rain Showerheads: Perfect for that spa-like master, rain showerheads are larger, fixed showerheads usually installed higher than a typical showerhead or from the ceiling to mimic rainfall. It’s worth noting that rainfall showerheads can require special plumbing and larger drains. Consult with a Modernize-vetted contractor today about what it would take to upgrade your space.
4. Massage Showerheads: Massage showerheads are lauded for their versatility. Usually, a fixed showerhead with an abundance of settings, spray patterns include jet and aeration settings. These are higher pressure than a rain showerhead and can be used to relieve muscle soreness.
Cost of New Showerheads
Different showerhead fixtures can range in price anywhere from $25 to $2,000 depending on their attributes. A simple fixed showerhead will be on the cheaper end while a luxury spa like combination rain and massaging jet showerhead with multiple water pressure options could be in the higher price range upwards to $2,000. Modernize recommends discussing your budget for your shower upgrade and your specific needs with your bathroom remodel contractor ahead of time to find the best fit for your new bathroom shower.
Different Types of Showers
There are a few different types of shower enclosures and frameworks to consider depending on your space and desires when upgrading your bathroom.
A lot of your upgrade options can be dictated by a bathroom’s size in a remodel. For instance, a smaller bathroom may lend itself better to a simple, framed shower, while a medium-sized bathroom may work well with a shower-tub combo, which are lauded in kid-friendly neighborhoods for their resale value and versatility.
Here are the basic options to consider for different shower frames and enclosures:
1. Frameless Showers: Frameless shower enclosures are the sleek, strong, glass enclosures that don’t need metal framework to support the edges. They’re popular for their clean, metal-free look that can let a homeowner showcase the tile or stonework happening inside.
2. Semi-frameless Showers: This shower remodel option comes with the same sleek, refined look frameless shower enclosures offer, but with more room for accommodations around a layout that doesn’t have as much wiggle room or a smaller budget. Semi-frameless options have a metal window structure but keep the door portion frame-free.
3. Framed Shower Enclosures: This traditional option utilizes a strong framework to add clean lines and support. Like a window, it outlines the whole enclosure, including doorways. Homeowners can tie the whole look together by matching hardware to the finish of the framework.
And of course, once a frame is selected, the customizable options are nearly endless. From door styles, frosted or unfrosted glass and designs, to built-in benches, matching hardware and varieties of stone and tile work to consider, the cosmetic element alone is enough to completely overhaul a bathroom’s look and feel.
Shower Remodel Costs
Depending on the options a homeowner chooses, a shower remodel can average in price anywhere from $1,400 to $10,000 depending on a range of factors including materials used, the necessary plumbing work, the styles chosen and more. A bathroom’s size and the type of enclosure you opt for also play a role in a project’s cost. For example:
1. A small bathroom’s shower remodel, with just a shower and potentially other upgrades such as toilet and fixture replacements, flooring, and paint or wallpaper on average can start at $1,400.
Small Shower Remodel
A small bathroom shower remodel may include:
Small walk in shower upgrade
Installing new tile in or around shower
2. A medium-sized bathroom’s shower remodel, with a walk-in shower and some extra spruces, including paint or wallpaper and maybe a new vanity and fixtures can start at around $5,000.
Medium Shower Remodel
A medium size bathroom shower remodel may include:
Medium sized walk-in shower
Updated light fixtures
New vanity upgrades
3. Finally, a large shower remodel, featuring a walk-in shower in a primary bathroom can start at $10,000 and go up from there depending on added features and plumbing requirements as well as any other additional upgrades you’d like for your large bathroom.
Large Shower Remodel
A large primary bathroom shower remodel may include:
Large space walk-in shower
New vanity and sink
New bathroom flooring
Finding a Shower Remodel Contractor
A bathroom remodel will give you enough tricky decisions — finding a reliable shower remodel contractor doesn’t have to be one of them. Modernize can help you find and compare contractors with ease — we recommend comparing three to four contractor’s full bathroom shower quotes to find the best price.
It is important to talk to potential shower contractors about your ideal timeframe, as it may limit some of your bathroom renovation options. That is because some bathroom remodel projects can be completed in as quickly as one day! But these projects are not one-size-fits-all and it is important to account for a chunk of time without a bathroom or plumbing access.
Additionally, timing is not just about the length of a project — the start date of your shower remodel project can impact the competitiveness of contractor bids and your final cost.
Winter is the offseason for bathroom renovation and it can mean an opportunity for discounts. That’s because it’s a slower time for projects — meaning quotes should be more competitive than during the Summer or Spring when contractors are sometimes booked weeks in advance.
Additionally, fixture manufacturers may run discounts to align with the offseason, which can lead to more affordable upgrades on showerheads and enclosures.
Planning ahead is important since multi-day or longer-term bathroom projects typically call for water being turned off while work is being done. Much like any fixture replacement or room remodel, noise or dust can be factors. Modernize recommends working through a plan for these issues ahead of time and discussing options with a contractor.
However you decide to proceed, a shower remodel is an exciting chance to upgrade your bathroom and Modernize is ready to help you with it.
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Here are the top articles that homeowners found useful when planning their shower remodel project and navigating the contractor hiring process.
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