Cabinets, Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Give Your Bathroom a Makeover: Shower Remodeling Cost Breakdown

Modern Shower Remodeling

The average cost to remodel a shower is $4,500-6,800 depending on the size, materials, and complexity of the remodel. The material you choose for shower walls and flooring has a big impact. Tile, especially ceramic or porcelain, generally ranges from $5-25 per square foot installed. More premium glass tile or natural stone tile can range from $25-100+ per square foot. If doing a full gut remodel down to the studs, costs rise significantly more. Complete tear outs including new plumbing and fixtures can start around $9,000-$12,000+ on average.

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen and bath, starting with your outdated, cramped shower into a luxurious custom walk-in shower, you’re probably wondering – how much will it cost? Shower remodel costs can vary greatly based on the size, materials, and special features you choose.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Remodeling your shower can completely transform your bathroom experience. Dated showers with moldy grout and peeling surrounds can be demolished and replaced with spacious, spa-like walk-in showers. You may opt for a luxurious custom tile shower, or choose an affordable prefabricated shower kit. With so many options, it’s important to understand what impacts your shower remodel cost before starting a project.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the cost factors for a shower remodel, including size, materials, plumbing, demolition, fixtures, doors, benches, accessories, and more. You’ll find typical price ranges for different types of showers, as well as money-saving tips. We aim to provide the information you need to budget for your shower remodel and get the bathroom of your dreams!

Key Factors That Impact Shower Remodel Cost

Several key factors will determine the final cost of your bathroom remodel project:

Type of Shower

The most basic decision is choosing between a standard tub and shower combination, or upgrading to a walk-in shower. Walk-in showers require demolishing the existing tub and custom-building a new, larger footprint. This significantly impacts cost. Prefabricated shower kits are a budget-friendly alternative. We break down pricing for each shower type in detail later in the article.

Size and Layout

In general, larger showers will cost more. Standard tub and shower combinations are usually 30-60 inches long. Walk-in showers range from 32 to 72 inches long if rectangular. Custom shapes and sizes greater than 60 inches long will add cost. The plumbing, lighting, materials, and labor scale up with size.

Materials

Shower tile, stone, glass, and other enclosure materials have a wide range of price points. Natural stone and glass tile cost more than ceramic. Handmade subway tiles can be cheaper than stone slabs. The design, finishes, and patterns will also affect cost. More intricate tile work is pricier.

Plumbing

Modifying the plumbing system to accommodate new shower valves, heads, body sprays, steam, etc. adds expense. Converting from a tub to a walk-in requires rerouting the drain and water supply lines. Luxury fixtures like rainfall showerheads cost more as well.

Benches, Niches, and Accessories

While not essential, built-in benches, shelves, niches for toiletries, and designer accessories will increase your remodeling budget. These provide added function and spa-like ambiance but are specialty items requiring custom carpentry and tile work.

Labor

If you hire a general contractor vs doing it yourself, expect to pay for demolition, framing, tilesetting, plumbing, electrical, and finishing labor. Most homeowners don’t attempt shower remodels solo as specialized skills are required.

Now that we’ve covered the main variables, let’s look at typical shower remodeling costs for different types of projects.

Shower Remodel Cost by Type of Project

Standard Tub and Shower Combination

Simply updating a standard tub and shower configuration with new tile, fixtures, doors, and plumbing generally costs $3,500 to $7,000 on average. This includes a complete tear out and replacement of the tub surround with tile, installing new valves and showerhead, adding glass doors, and modifying supply lines.

Costs can go higher if expanding the shower size, using luxury materials like natural stone tile or glass tile, or adding accessories like shelves and grab bars.

However, there are ways to save as well, here are some of the best bathroom remodeling ideas for you:

  • Use a tub and shower combo instead of tile for a budget-friendly update
  • Stick with basic white ceramic wall tile and acrylic tub surrounds
  • Choose a simple shower curtain rather than splurge on glass doors
  • Install a basic showerhead rather than a fancy rainfall fixture
  • Keep existing plumbing and just replace worn-out valves/handles

Overall, you can expect to invest $2,000 to $5,000 for a minor tub and shower combos with cost-saving finishes.

Basic Walk-in Shower Remodel

Converting from a tub and shower combo to a walk-in shower with basic finishes costs $6,000 to $12,000 on average. This assumes a relatively small 32 to 60-inch walk-in shower with ceramic tile walls and floor, a glass shower door enclosure, standard showerhead and valves, and minor plumbing modifications to reroute drains and supplies.

As the shower size increases, more tile and finishing work is required, boosting costs. For a larger custom walk-in shower greater than 60 inches long, expect to pay $10,000 to $15,000 or more.

Ways to save on a basic walk-in shower remodel include:

  • Use 12×12 inch ceramic tile rather than natural stone or mosaic tiles
  • Select frameless glass doors rather than a custom tile enclosure
  • Install wall-mounted mixer valves rather than a full digital system
  • Keep the showerhead simple and standard
  • Limit specialty lighting and accessories

High-End Custom Walk-in Shower Remodel

For a spacious, glamorous walk-in shower with all the bells and whistles, costs typically run $15,000 to $30,000+. This allows for stone tile finishes like marble or travertine, intricately patterned tile layouts, rainfall showerheads, heated flooring, body sprays, programmable digital valves, built-in seating, niches, and high-end doors and fixtures.

The more luxurious the materials and specialty features included, the higher your cost. Glass mosaic tiles, granite slabs, handmade artisan tiles, radiant heat, smart home controls, and steam generators boost the budget significantly. Working with an interior designer to customize the look and layout adds expense as well.

While the sky’s the limit, keeping your shower remodel in the $20,000 range is feasible with some more cost-conscious choices like:

  • Mixing natural stone and ceramic tile instead of all-stone
  • Limiting decorative tile accents
  • Choosing one statement feature like rainfall showerhead OR steam, not both
  • Using granite or marble tile in place of slab stonework

Now that we’ve given general shower remodel cost estimates, let’s look at pricing the individual components.

Shower Remodel Cost by Component

Below we break down costs for the main parts of a shower remodel. Pricing can help guide your decisions and budget allocation.

Plumbing

Updating behind-the-scenes plumbing for a new shower costs around $2,000 to $6,000. This includes rerouting drain lines, adding new supply lines and valves for showerheads, installing diverter valves and body sprays, and tying into existing water supply and sewer lines.

Some special features like steam generators or digital thermostatic valves, and plumbing costs go up.

Some specific plumbing remodel costs:

  • Rerouting drain line: $500 – $2,000
  • New valves: $200 – $600
  • Rainfall showerhead: $200 – $2,500
  • Body sprays: $200 – $500 per spray
  • Digital thermostatic mixer valve: $500 – $1,500
  • Steam generator: $1,500 – $3,500

Shower Pan

Installing this to create the shower base costs $900 to $1,500 on average. Options include:

  • Poured concrete pan: $1,000 – $1,500
  • Prefabricated acrylic or granite composite pan: $900 – $1,200

The size and shape of your pan impact cost. Custom pans for irregularly shaped showers cost more.

Shower Drain

A basic shower drain kit with a drain cover costs $100 – $300. More decorative or linear drains run $300 – $500. Upgrading to an automatic, voice-activated drain can cost $1,000-$1,500.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is essential to prevent leaks and moisture damage. Options include:

  • PVC shower pan liner: $1 – $2 per sq ft
  • Liquid membrane like RedGard: $5 – $7 per sq ft
  • Cement backer board: $8 – $10 per sq ft

For a standard 36-inch x 36-inch shower, figure $500 – $1,500 for quality waterproofing.

Tile Surrounds

Tile costs for shower walls and floor account for a significant portion of your budget. Factors like tile size, texture, pattern, accent shapes, and grout color impact pricing.

Some typical tiling costs:

  • Basic white 4 x 4 ceramic wall tile: $5 – $10 per square foot
  • Stone finishes like marble, granite, or travertine: $50+ per square foot
  • Glass tile or mosaic sheets: $15 – $50 per square foot
  • Accent border tiles: $10-20 per linear foot
  • Bullnose caps for edges: $5-10 per linear foot

A 60-inch x 32-inch walk-in shower requires approximately 65 sq ft of wall tile, or $325 to $650 for basic ceramic. The floor tiling costs approximately 20 sq ft or $100 to $200. Stone tile can easily multiply tiling costs by 5x or more.

Shower Door

Frameless glass shower doors cost $700 – $1,500 on average for a standard walk-in shower:

  • Frameless sliding door: $700 – $1,000
  • Frameless hinged door: $800 – $1,200
  • Semi-frameless: $500 – $800

Larger or custom showers with multiple doors or partitions cost $2,000-$4,000.

Shower Bench

Adding a built-in teak or tile bench costs approximately $500 – $1,500. Prefabricated shower seats cost less at $250 – $500. The size, material, and integration with your surroundings impact pricing.

Shower Niche

Installed recessed niches for toiletries run $500 – $800 on average. Again, material choices like tile vs glass affect cost. Having an electrician add lighting inside the niche costs extra.

Shower Grab Bars

Safety grab bars cost $50 – $150 each installed. Opt for simple stainless steel bars in strategic spots vs multiple designers grab bars to save money.

Average Cost to Remodel a Shower by Size

Shower size is a major cost factor. Larger showers require more tile, labor, plumbing, and expense across the board. Here are some average installed costs for common shower dimensions:

  • 30-inch x 30-inch stall shower: $3,000 – $6,000
  • 32-inch x 60-inch walk-in shower: $6,000 – $12,000
  • 42-inch x 42-inch neo-angle shower: $8,000 – $15,000
  • 60-inch x 36-inch walk-in shower: $10,000 – $20,000
  • 72-inch x 48-inch custom walk-in shower: $15,000 – $30,000

As you can see, increasing the footprint from 30 x 30 inches to over 60 inches adds several thousand dollars in cost to accommodate larger tilework, doors, benches, plumbing, etc. Carefully measure your existing space and design your shower layout accordingly.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average bathroom renovation costs $10,148. Showers account for about 25% of that cost.

Saving Money on Your Shower Remodel

If your dream shower remodel is out of budget, there are ways to save:

  • Use a tub surround kit. Affordable fiberglass or acrylic surrounds cost under $1,000 for a basic refresh.
  • Install a prefabricated shower unit. Budget prefab showers cost as little as $1,500 and can be installed in a day.
  • Go for a smaller tile. 12 x 12-inch tiles cost less to install than large format 24 x 48-inch tiles.
  • Use layout patterns that minimize cuts. Grid, stack bond, and other simple layouts require less tile cutting.
  • Select standard shower valves and heads. Avoid pricey digital mixers and opt for basic chrome shower fixtures.
  • Buy tile and fixtures directly. Skip the middleman markups by purchasing materials yourself.
  • Do demo and prep work. Knocking down existing walls and tiles saves on labor costs.
  • Work with a handyman vs a contractor. For simple shower updates, an experienced handyman may cost less per hour.

Even modest materials and DIY efforts add up, so be sure to budget at least $3,000 – $5,000 for a frugal shower remodel. Upgrades like tile, plumbing, size, and accessories scale up from there.

According to Angi, the average price range for a standard 5×3 shower installation is $4,000-$8,500. Upgrades like tile and glass doors add $2,000-$5,000.

Hiring a Contractor

We highly recommend hiring a professional shower remodel contractor unless you have expert DIY skills. Shower installation requires experience with:

  • Demolition – Removing old tub/shower enclosures, surrounds, and plumbing
  • Framing – Building out stud walls for the shower area
  • Plumbing – Rerouting drains, adding new supply lines and valves
  • Tiling – Waterproofing, laying the shower pan, tiling walls and floor
  • Construction – Installing fixtures, doors, benches, accessories
  • Finishing – Grouting, sealing, caulking and cleaning up

Licensed contractors have the skills, tools, and knowledge to complete these shower remodel steps up to code. Be sure to get 3+ quotes and check reviews before hiring.

Maintaining Your New Shower

Once your new shower is installed, proper care and cleaning will keep it looking fresh. Follow these maintenance tips:

  • Seal grout and use caulk in joints annually
  • Use a squeegee to remove water after showering
  • Clean with non-abrasive cleaners weekly
  • Use a humidifier and ventilation fan to minimize moisture

Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive brushes, and excessive moisture. Re-caulk and re-seal as needed. Proper maintenance allows your shower to stay beautiful for years before needing updates again.

FAQs

What is the cheapest way to redo a shower wall?

The most affordable option for redoing a shower wall is to use peel-and-stick tile or tile sheets. These can be applied directly over existing tile or waterproof shower backer boards. Peel-and-stick tiles cost around $5 per square foot including materials and labor.

How much should I charge to replace a shower?

The typical labor cost to replace a standard 5×3 shower is $2,000-$4,000. Many contractors charge hourly rates of $70-$100 per hour. Knocking out walls, installing new shower pans and valves, laying tile, and installing fixtures takes 15-30 hours for a basic job. High-end showers with tile accents and niches can take 40+ hours.

How much does it cost to re-tile a shower?

To retile a standard-sized shower, expect to pay around $1,000-$2,000. Tile prices range from $2-$50 per square foot installed. A 5×3 shower has roughly 30 square feet of wall tile area. Other costs like demo, waterproofing, grout, and supplies add $500-$1,000. Luxury tiles like marble and glass raise the price to $5,000 or more.

Invest in Yourself with a Shower Remodel

After reviewing the many factors that influence shower remodeling costs, it’s clear that creating your dream bathroom oasis is a worthwhile investment that pays dividends through increased home value and everyday enjoyment. While the price tag for a top-to-bottom luxury shower remodel can seem intimidating at first, realizing that you’ll use this space daily for self-care and relaxation helps put the costs into perspective.

With proper planning, savvy design choices, and expert help when needed, you can complete a shower remodel that fits your budget and lifestyle needs. Don’t settle for fighting with outdated fixtures and tiles every morning – take control and create a shower you love stepping into each day. The confidence boost you’ll get from an invigorating spa-like space is beyond value.