Updated on October 20th, 2021
A shower should be a sanctuary, a stress-reducing environment, somewhere you can easily relax and free yourself of a hard day’s work. But if your shower is beginning to feel outdated or is showing signs of wear, a shower renovation may be needed to breathe new life into your bathroom. Showers can come in many different shapes and sizes to fit the aesthetic of any bathroom, and even the smallest upgrade can go a long way in transforming your bathroom into the sanctuary you envision as your perfect escape. If you’re planning a shower remodel and need inspiration – look no further. From shower heads to tile selection, take a look at these bathroom shower remodel ideas to help inspire your soon-to-be renovation.
Tub and shower combos
Enclosed tub and shower combo
A tub and shower combo is a shower remodel idea that is ideal for homeowners who love to take baths and showers but don’t have the space to fit both in their bathrooms. This combo consists of a tub with a bathroom shower head fixture and can have several configurations. For families with kids who need a secure place to bathe or older adults who cannot stand for long periods, this shower renovation option is a great choice to accommodate different needs.
Freestanding tub and shower combo
A freestanding tub and shower combo is a tub with all four sides exposed as opposed to connected to the surrounding walls. This shower combo usually comes in two different forms, a freestanding tub and shower enclosed by circular shower pipes and curtains with a freestanding shower head connected to the tub’s faucet or a nearby water supply or a tub placed in a large shower.
Clawfoot tub and shower combo
A clawfoot tub and shower combo is similar to the freestanding bathtub, however, a clawfoot tub rests on four feet. These types of tubs are seen as timeless, classic, and are typically larger and deeper than other tub styles.
Garden tub and shower combo
As with the above options, a garden tub and shower combo consists of an oval-shaped, soaking tub with a shower head fixture.
How much does a tub and shower combo remodel cost?
Depending on where you live, a tub and shower combo remodel can cost you upwards of $4,500-$8,000. Installing a new bathtub typically ranges from $3,500 to $7,300 depending on what type of tub you are interested in and what modifications are needed. If you plan on retiling the surrounding wall, make sure to account for around $12.50 per square foot and up to $25 per square foot for new tile.
Walk-in shower options
Rectangular shower or square shower
A rectangular shower or square shower is the most common shower found in bathrooms. It’s versatile enough to fit any bathroom size yet spacious enough not to feel cramped. As the name suggests, this design consists of four corners on each side and is usually placed at the end or center of a bathroom. These types of showers give you more versatility in design and can be custom built to fit your bathroom’s dimensions.
A corner shower is a smart bathroom shower remodel idea if you don’t have much space in your bathroom. These showers fit right in the corner and consist of two wall panels and two to three glass enclosures. Corner showers typically don’t require partitions and can fit next to a vanity or toilet.
Similar to corner showers, a curved shower is rounded as opposed to a square. This type of shower is a great option for bathrooms with odd dimensions and can even be offset if space allows.
Round showers are similar to a curved shower, however, they typically don’t take up a corner and are shaped like a circle. These types of showers require more space, are usually free-standing, and are found in more modern designs.
How much does a walk-in shower remodel cost?
If you are looking to do a custom walk-in shower remodel, it can cost you around $5,000 to $10,000 depending on how much space you are working with and the specific changes you would like to make. As with any remodel, some materials such as stone or certain hardware like shower heads, will cost more than others. If you need to remove a tub to make way for a shower, expect to pay around $1,400 to $3,700. Additionally, if you need to rework plumbing it may cost anywhere from $300 to $1,500 depending on how significant the job is. Work with a professional to get an exact quote of how much a walk-in shower remodel may cost you.
Design ideas for your shower remodel
Build-in niches for more storage
If you’re looking for a bathroom shower remodel idea to hide your shampoos, conditioners, and hair products, adding built-in wall niches when remodeling your shower provides a great dedicated space to house your products. These can take the place of soap dishes or shower shelves and can easily be hidden from sight if installed thoughtfully.
Having a window in or near your shower is a great way to bring in natural light, especially if you have ample space in your bathroom. If you live in a place that gets plenty of sun, such as Calgary, AB, or Flagstaff, AZ, installing a window can help increase ventilation and add design appeal. If privacy is a concern, there are many workarounds to secure your space, including vinyl blinds, shutters, tinted film, or frosted and textured glass. If your roof allows, installing a skylight is also a great way to bring in light from above.
If installing a window is not an option, install recessed lighting instead. Recessed lighting shines light over a larger area, comes in a variety of styles, and makes for a modern look. It is also the *number one most valuable home trend for buyers in the United States.
Lastly, opt for a mirror to reflect vanity lighting. According to Lola Castle, a Redfin Home Services Listing Concierge from Arizona, “In rooms with little to no natural light, the use of mirrors will help bounce light around the room. Keeping the walls and cabinetry light and using reflective fixtures such as chrome will help maximize lighting.”
Add a seat to your shower
Adding a seat into your shower is a simple shower remodel idea that can bring comfort and sleek design to your shower. For those who do not have the space for a tub, a shower seat for older adults or kids is a great alternative to help increase safety when bathing.
Raise the ceiling for better air circulation
One of the most critical features of a bathroom is air circulation. If your bathroom lacks windows or does not have proper ventilation, it can cause mold and mildew to grow on your walls due to increased humidity. More so, the air in your house may feel sticky and warm. To help assist with your bathroom’s ventilation, installing a shower below a higher ceiling or raising the ceiling can help steam travel more efficiently to where it will be properly ventilated outside your home.
Upgrade your shower tile for some added design
The tile you choose for your bathroom can bring your shower and the rest of the space together. When selecting what will look best, choose a tile color scheme that matches the theme and aesthetic of your vanity and cabinets. Also, use the Rule of Three when picking through your tile selections – no more than three tiles of the same color palate should be used in the space to limit distractions.
You’ll also want to consider different shower tile sizes. Mix and match between larger and smaller tiles between the backsplash, accent tiles, and flooring to create interest. “Shower tile size is important in a shower remodel because it can create a calming or chaotic effect, depending on how it is used. On shower walls, using a larger tile can help keep the bathroom from looking too busy. It will also cut down on grout lines which can be challenging to clean. A smaller tile, 2″ or less, is ideal for shower floors. It will prevent the likelihood of cracks and is easier on the feet,” said Castle.
Tile shape is also extremely important during a shower renovation. “It’s recommended to use floor tiles with round or curved edges such as pebble stone or penny tiles,” shared Castle. “Tiles with straight or sharp edges tend to be uncomfortable on the feet.”
Make sure to choose tiles that fit your lifestyle. If you want a tile that’s easy to maintain, porcelain and ceramics are better options for cleaning and upkeep. For shower floors, avoid glass tiles because they tend to be slippery when wet.
Some tile options you can choose from include:
- Polished Stone
Lastly, choose a shower tile design that matches your personality. For example, white subway shower tile is a popular choice on shower walls due to its clean look and rectangular shape, which allows for it to be installed in many different patterns. Some patterns include herringbone at 90 degrees, herringbone at 45 degrees, classic herringbone, step ladder, or stacked vertically. For shower floors, pebble floor tile is a great option that provides foot traction and is aesthetically pleasing.
Shower door types: how to select the right door for your shower remodel
Also known as a bypass door, these doors consist of two to three panels that slide along a track for easy back and forth maneuvering. Sliding doors are typically used for tub and shower combos or smaller bathrooms.
Also known as pivot doors, these doors open from a single corner and are great for openings that are too narrow for a sliding door. Some models can even swing inward and outward.
While the name might be misleading, barrier-free doors consist of a fixed door panel instead of an actual door. A panel separates the shower space from the rest of the bathroom and prevents any water spray from escaping. This design can make a bathroom feel bigger and provide easy access.
Round shower door
Round shower doors are usually used for curved or round showers. They have a curved glass design with two smaller doors in the center that attach to the top and bottom for added stability.
Bathroom shower heads: pick a shower head that works best for your needs
Single spray shower head
Single spray shower heads or contractor-grade shower heads are the most basic installation you can choose for your shower remodel. These shower heads are affordable, only have one spray function, and cannot be adjusted.
Adjustable shower head
Adjustable shower heads are versatile and can have anywhere between 3 to 12 spray patterns depending on the model. This shower head gives you various pressure options from low to high and is a flexible shower remodel idea for guest bathrooms.
Handheld shower head
Handheld shower heads detach from their holder to allow you to freely move the shower head around when bathing. This type of shower head is also great for bathing children, dogs, and even when cleaning the shower as you can easily spray any part of the shower.
Dual shower head
Dual shower heads typically include two shower heads – a handheld and a multiple spray option.
High-pressure shower head
High-pressure shower heads are a great shower remodel idea if you like a deep clean. Their high-pressure function makes it easy to get clean and can even feel like a massage in the shower.
Rainshower shower heads are an elegant option and can be installed in many different ways, such as on the ceiling or mounted to the wall. A rainshower pours water straight down with a single low-pressure spray pattern.
Eco-performance shower head
Eco-performance shower heads are great for the environment and can use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute vs. the typical 2.5 gallons per minute.
Filtered shower head
Filtered shower heads are becoming increasingly popular due to built-in filtration systems that softens water and removes impurities. This can be great for your hair and skin leaving the body feeling nourished and less dry.
LED shower head
Incorporate an element of smart home tech into your shower renovation by adding LED shower heads. LED shower heads have multiple settings and can change colors based on temperature. You might have to pay extra for this bathroom shower remodel idea, but the tradeoff is worth it.
If you are planning on selling your home, consider working with a professional in order to maximize your sale price. An expert will manage every detail of the renovation, recommend the highest-impact shower remodel ideas, and bring the best out of your bathroom to ensure it helps your home sell faster and at a higher price.
*Per home listing data on Redfin.com, as of October 2021.