Whether purchasing a prefabricated shower or a custom design, there are a ton of options for homeowners to choose from. Before making your purchases, there are some important things to keep in mind:
If you plan on ever selling your house or apartment, avoid bold colors and patterns. Major appliances and fixtures in bright or bold colors can scare away potential buyers.
Don’t forget about storage options for your shampoo and other necessities!
Be sure to measure any large pieces and the doorways/stairways it has to be carried through in order to reach your bathroom. Many homeowners neglect to do this, and end up buying pieces that cannot fit into their house!
With that in mind, the first major option when purchasing a new shower is whether to buy a prefabricated shower or to have a custom shower built. Just because a piece is prefabricated does not mean the homeowner has few options. Although formerly only made from white or cream plexi-glass or acrylic, prefabricated showers come in a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.
Prefabricated showers can also come as a one-piece unit or in several pieces. Most people recommend buying the several-piece unit, as very few homes have doorways large enough for a one-piece unit to come through. Some prefabricated units come in kits and can be installed by a do-it-yourselfer.
For those interested in creating a customized shower, tile can be the ultimate. The size, shape, and material of your tiles will determine the number of tiles needed and the type of mortar and grout needed. A polyurethane shower pan (floor) is highly recommended. This shower floor can be tiled over to match the walls, and helps prevent future leaks in the shower floor.
Tile materials include glass, ceramic, mosaic, subway, and stone. Glass tile brings in light and an interesting texture to your shower—in corner shower units, glass walls can bring in a lot of sought-after natural lighting. Recycled glass tiles have become very popular because they are considered more eco-friendly than regular tiles.
Pebble tile creates an earthy look and interesting texture to your shower. Installing this tile on your shower floor also eliminates the need for a non-slip mat.
Ceramic tile is a classic approach to shower stall construction. Found in a variety of colors and treatments, this tile is a less expensive option when renovating your shower. Mosaic tile, although more expensive, adds a touch of class to any bathroom. These are often used sparingly throughout a room along with ceramic tile. This is done not only to be easier on the renovation budget, but also to avoid overwhelming the room with too much pattern.
Grout color is also a big decision. Many shy away from white or cream grout because it is so difficult to keep clean. A nice look is to pick a color a few shades lighter or darker than your tile. This way the grout matches and looks nice but can easily be cleaned as well.