In every home there are a several places that are used on a daily basis. The kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom are probably the top three for most people, and for that reason these are the areas that, naturally, we would like to be the most comfortable and functional.
In the bathroom, one amenity which is absolutely indispensable is the shower. For those who are considering a bathroom remodel , this is an excellent place to start. The shower can very easily be transformed from a nondescript utility where the routine of your day begins, into a comfortable, relaxing sensory experience that you’ll look forward to every morning. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.
First, you’ll need to establish a budget. There is a wide price range for new showers depending on the type of materials and fixtures you’ll be using. Also, you’ll need to decide if this is a “do it yourself” project or if you’ll be hiring a licensed, professional contractor for the job. Depending on the complexity of the project, many shower installations can be done in just a day or two, but the average cost for a contractor can run from $500 to $1000 per day. As for materials, you can choose between inexpensive pre-fabricated units to more elaborate custom tile designs. Obviously, the price ranges can be very widely because of this, which is why establishing a budget is so important.
Even pre-fabricated shower enclosures can run from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, but most people who really desire a luxury shower design will opt for either custom tile or quality solid surfaces like cultured marble or Swanstone .
Ceramic tiles are one of the most popular choices for shower surfaces and can cost from $1.00 to over $4.00 per square foot. For other types of high quality stone tiles the cost can go even higher. Most budgets for tile installations should start at a minimum of $1000, and that would be for smaller shower unit sizes. After you add in the cost of materials you could easily be pushing $2000, however, this is for a modest project. You’d therefore need to take into consideration the size of the enclosure and whether or not you’d be including a tub. A more reasonable expectation then would be closer to $3000 and up.
There is such a wide selection of shower materials available that it’s highly recommended that you spend some time at a local bathroom specialty store that offers a choice of different tiles and surface materials, in addition to bathroom fixtures. This will give you the best idea as to what your options are, along with some specifics on pricing.
Although tile is extremely popular for showers, other surface materials may appeal to you as well. Marble slab , for example, is very appealing, however, can require some maintenance and can be subject to wear and tear. An excellent alternative, for those who wish for marble is manufactured – or “cultured” – marble, which is both affordable and luxurious. One of the primary benefits of cultured marble is that it is very low maintenance and long lasting. It is excellent for resisting stains and water penetration as well which cuts down on any mold or mildew issues that sometimes arise with more porous ceramic tiles and grout.
Another popular surface choice is Swanstone , which is considered one of the top “green”, environmentally friendly , bathroom surfaces by homeowners. It is a manufactured composite that has the look and feel of real stone and comes in wide variety of textures and colors. It is much longer lasting than other types of organic surfaces, therefore it rarely requires replacing. One of the primary benefits of Swanstone is that much more resistant to heat, cracks and stains than materials such as marble or granite. It is also about 20% less expensive than similar surface types, like Corian .
The finishing touch to your new shower will be the shower fixtures . There are myriad choices when it comes to shower fixtures, and three of the top brands you’ll want to explore are Grohe , Hansgrohe and Koehler . Keep in mind that Grohe and Hansgrohe are two different companies with two completely different lines of shower fixtures and appliances. The shower head is probably the best place to start as it is really the central piece of equipment to any shower. You can even design your new shower with multiple shower heads in mind for an even more indulgent experience. Most new showers can be nicely equipped for in the low to medium hundreds of dollars.
One last component to your new shower will be the shower door . Here again, there are many different choices. There is clear glass, textured or frosted glass, tinted, mirrored or even sandblasted glass. You’ve got different thicknesses and weights as well. You can have a standard door height or you can choose from a steam shower door which is fully enclosed all the way to the ceiling. Again, your best resource for making this choice will be your local bathroom retailer who can explain the differences, but more importantly show you the look and feel of these shower products and materials.
Good luck with building and designing your new shower. As always, a consultation with an experienced, licensed contractor is always the best place to start for ideas and estimates.
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