If you find yourself in a position where you need to remodel your shower, or your entire bathroom, you are probably doing a lot of research on the internet and becoming utterly confused and overwhelmed with the different options out on the market.
I get it. There are so many different styles, colors, trends, and materials that it can make your ability to choose one almost impossible.
So today, I’m going to try to help you narrow your options by educating you on the different products and their benefits, as well as their drawbacks.
Fiberglass showers are the cheapest available option, but not the most durable. Acrylic showers give you the best bang for your buck and are a favorite for most consumers. Solid surface showers are a great luxurious look without the maintenance and upkeep normally needed with other options. And tile is only worth it if you are certain that it is installed properly.
If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of these common shower options, keep reading and we will discuss them so you can benefit from our professional knowledge and experience.
Fiberglass Showers – Cheap is Seldom Good
Let’s start with the ever-common fiberglass shower.
Fiberglass showers are the showers that you will most likely see in a new construction home. They are typically the showers that you want to rip out and update immediately so you can give your bathroom the personality it needs and deserves. These fiberglass products will be the most affordable showers you can put in your bathroom area.
However, only plan to have this shower for a maximum of 5 years. These products are not made to last. They are made to pass a building inspection. For this reason, you will find the only companies that will actually install them these days, besides independent contractors, are plumbing companies.
Fiberglass is porous and when it is manufactured, it has a gelcoat applied to it. This gelcoat comes off easily with use and with regular cleaning. When that coat comes off, the fiberglass is exposed and it stains, cracks, and is the cause of water penetrating through to your walls.
Chances are if you talk to any plumbing company owner, they will highly recommend that you just invest a few thousand dollars more and get the shower you actually want.
These fiberglass showers can retail anywhere between $5000 to $7000 and you should only plan to have it last for around three to five years.
Is this really the investment you can see yourself making?
Acrylic Showers – The Best Bang for your Buck
Next, let’s discuss the ever-growing line of luxury acrylic showers.
In my personal opinion, I believe these showers are the best thing on the market today. And what I mean by best is it will be the best bang for your buck.
Depending on the size of your shower, the color and style options you choose, and any specific accessories you add to your shower area, these showers can range anywhere between $8,000 to upwards of $12,000, or more. The benefits of these showers are that they are affordable, have a lifetime warranty, and can be installed in as little as one day.
This product is not only great for people who wish to age in place, but they are beautiful luxury items that the everyday homeowner would love to see in their bathroom.
Solid Surface Showers – Luxury without the Maintenance
Let’s examine the logical next step up from acrylic showers and move into the realm of solid surface showers.
These are products made by companies such as Onyx Collection and Fibo Wall Systems.
The benefits to these showers are not only that they are lifetime warranty products and can be installed in as little as one day, but the style, color and trend options that are available to you are almost limitless.
These shower surfaces are non-porous and easy to clean. They don’t require abrasive chemicals for cleaning, just a mild cleaner will wipe any stain or soap suds right off.
If you want the luxury tile-look without the tile and grout maintenance that comes along with it, you should select one of these options.
You will pay less than a custom tile shower and have less maintenance to upkeep. Doesn’t that sound like a full packaged deal?
These solid surface showers will cost more than an acrylic shower, and depending on your requirements and what look you want for your bathroom, these showers can retail for as low as $9,500 and upwards of $13,000.
Tile Showers – Only as Good as the Installer
The last option we are going to discuss today is the most well-known: the tile shower.
When installed properly, they can be some of the most beautiful showers you will see, most of which are featured in the biggest mansions around the world.
The average homeowner with an average sized bathroom should still expect to start pricing for their tile-shower at $13,000 and up.
I can’t give you a cap on the cost of the tile shower because the options and combinations can be endless.
Have you walked through a Home Depot or Lowes recently? Chances are, if you are considering a shower remodel, you’ve done your research and have seen the numerous tile options out on the market. You may choose a ceramic or porcelain tile or you may choose a natural stone such as marble or granite. You could choose 12 inch by 24 inch pieces of tile or you could choose complete wall slabs.
Tile is absolutely beautiful and timeless, and don’t be fooled into thinking that it will be one of your cheaper options. If a contractor is offering to install a custom tile shower for you for less than what we are suggesting in this article, please be aware that one of two things is going on; the first is that they are planning on cutting a corner, possibly by not waterproofing your wet area properly which requires extra materials and time.
The second is that they just don’t know that they are cutting a corner because they don’t really know how to install a tile shower properly. You decide which is the worst of these two likely reasons.
Installing a tile shower is not the same thing as installing a kitchen backsplash. If you don’t have a certified tile installer installing your shower, someone who actually took an exam to make sure he or she knew how to do this properly, you don’t have a qualified installer for your shower.
When your tile shower is not installed properly and adequately waterproofed, the water will start seeping into your drywall behind the shower walls. You will eventually have mold on your grout and caulk, your tiles will eventually start falling off, and you will have black mold growing behind your walls.
The cost of repairing all that alone will be more than if you had initially invested a little bit more money in a company that knew how to install a tile shower properly.
Wouldn’t you rather do it properly the first time and not have to redo the job again in a few years for more money?
No matter which shower option you choose for your bathroom remodel, it should be an option that you are happy with and that serves your purpose in your home.
It should also be the shower option that you feel is worth paying for. Above all remember, it’s not just about the material that you choose to have put in your shower area, it is more so the company that you trust to do the job one hundred percent correctly.
Personally, I would feel more comfortable paying more money for a fiberglass shower installed 100% correctly by a professional than I would to pay less money for a tile shower installed improperly.
I guarantee that I will get more time and use out of that fiberglass shower then I would that tile shower. The golden rule in remodeling is not paying the lower price. It’s understanding how to get the best value.
If you would like to explore the different acrylic, solid surface and tile shower options available, schedule your free consultation with us today!