Shower Remodel Design Guide: 10 Things You Must Know

I am so happy to be sharing our master walk-in shower remodel with you – finally!!  If you have visited the blog before, you have probably already found the Master Bathroom Remodel:  Hardware Accessories post, but are now looking for a little more detail on the actual remodel itself.  So, today I will begin a new bathroom series where I break it down into smaller sections and provide answers to your most frequently asked questions.  Who’s ready?  Shower Remodel Design Guide:  10 Things You Must Know.


Shower Remodel Design Guide: 

10 Things You Must Know

Let’s see where it all began.  Here is a before picture of our shower in our master bathroom.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

And after.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 

  • If you want to shop shower items or get the shower dimensions guide, scroll to the END of the post.  

***Note*** This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase something from these links.  Please see my privacy and policy disclosures below.  Thanks for your support.  🙂


Shower Remodel Design Guide:  

10 Things You Must Know

When I started writing this post, I thought I would gear it more to the before and after pictures reveal, or even just a shower makeover tips post.

But then as I started diving into it, I realized that I learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t have known when beginning the remodeling process. 

I figured that y’all are probably like me, and really have a ton of questions on how or what goes into a shower remodel.  Or even where to begin.

So I did a ton of digging in order to help answer as many of those frequently asked questions –  that I had also.  

Whether you’re looking to do a small bathroom shower remodel on a budget or a large shower renovation diy-style, here are 10 important things to mark off that unknown checklist.

10 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1.   How much does a shower remodel cost?
  2.   What is the Return on Investment (ROI) from a bathroom remodel?
  3.   How long will the bathroom shower remodel take?
  4.   How to choose and arrange shower wall tiles?
  5.   Do I need a half wall (also called pony wall or knee wall)?
  6.   Do I need a shower bench?
  7.   How to choose shower hardware?
  8.   What height should a shower tile accent border be?
  9.   What height and dimensions should shower niche be?
  10.   What is the difference between frameless and semi-frameless glass shower doors?

Let’s get to it!!  Shower Remodel Design Guide:  10 Things You Must Know.


10 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTION #1:  

How much does a shower remodel cost?

According to Home Advisor, a shower remodel (installation)  will cost anywhere between $1,426 – $6,528:  on average ~$3,972.

A walk-in shower remodel (according to Home Advisor) will cost on average ~$6,000.

Of course this amount will depend on many different factors:

  • the square feet of your project
  • if you’re doing a low-end, mid-range, or high-end renovation
  • if you’re hiring out a contractor or doing DIY- style

Just to give you an example of pricing, our custom glass shower door (handle and installation included) was around $1500 for a ~ 8×4 door.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #2:

What is Return on Invest (ROI) of bathroom remodel?

According to remodeling.com Cost versus Value Report 2020, the average ROI is 64% for an entire bathroom remodel (this doesn’t list each bathroom component separately, but as a whole). 

This ROI is based on a mid-range remodel.  So be smart when choosing higher-end fixtures, tile, lighting, etc.  Otherwise, it is possible you will not get that money back when selling.

On the other side, if it makes you happy – go for it!!

For our shower, I wanted a marble tile inset with marble trim.  It was the one of the most expensive parts of the shower, but worth it – for me!

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #3:

How long will a shower remodel take?

According to thespruce.com, it takes approximately 23 days to do a small bathroom remodel (entire room).

If no weekends are worked, that breaks down to ~4 1/2 weeks.  I personally believe the time frame to be more accurately around 6-8 weeks, maybe even up to 12 weeks for the entire room.

Even though this statistic is based on an entire bathroom remodel, I would agree that a shower (alone) remodel is probably about the same amount of time (4 1/2 weeks).

I know it probably seems like a quick process, but a ton of planning (and building codes have to be met)  for the entire process to run smoothly.

Here is picture of what our shower looked like when partially demo’ed, so you can see how much work goes into it.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #4:  

How to choose and arrange shower wall tiles?

To make this process easier, go ahead and search through pinterest or Houzz to get ideas for your new shower.  Then save those inspiration pictures to a board or file folder you can reference quickly.  

This will help you narrow down your choices before you actually begin looking at tile in person.

TIP #1:  I recommend choosing 3 top inspiration pictures and study the color of the tile, the direction of the tile placement, the size of the tile, and how many different tiles are used.

For example:  I wanted white, large marble (looking) tile – horizontally set for the wall, a dark charcoal gray and white tile accent feature wall with marble trim, and coordinating gray penny tile for shower floor.  

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

*Now when you go out, ONLY look for the things that you highlighted in those 3 pictures.  This will help you NOT to get sidetracked or overwhelmed – trust me!!  

You can also follow a couple of these helpful tips:

  • TIP #2:  If you want your shower to look bigger or wider, lay your tile horizontally.  If you want your shower to look taller, lay your tile vertically.
  • TIP #3:  Using larger sized tiles will also help your shower to appear bigger – because there are less grout lines.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #5:

Do I need a half wall (also called pony wall or knee wall)?

When I was first choosing shower inspiration pictures from pinterest, I was really drawn to the full frameless glass shower door style.  They were all so classy and looked very upscale.

But the more I saw pictures of showers with the half wall design, I began to change my mind.  I decided to go with function over looks only.

Plus, I wanted to “hide” some of the clutter and toiletries that get stuck in our shower over time (see #6 below).  And the half wall helps keep the shower feel more like a spa, than an outhouse – ha!

Our half wall dimensions:  23″ W x 36.5″ H x 6″ D

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #6:

Do I need a shower bench?

We decided to put a shower bench (seat) in our shower because I wanted a leg rest for shaving!  But it wasn’t the only reason.

Having a shower bench is great if we do need to sit down, and it really comes in handy to hide all of our “extras” behind the half wall.

I didn’t want to have this beautiful custom shower built, and then see razors, shaving cream, glass squeegee, etc…. as soon as I walked into the bathroom.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends:  shower seat height of 17” to 19”, and a seat depth of 15” for standard size.

Our Bench Seat Dimensions:  20.5″ H x 30.5 W  x 17″ D.

  • TIP #4:  Make sure the seat slightly slopes toward the floor or you’ll have water puddle on top.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know 


QUESTION #7:

How to choose shower hardware?

Choosing hardware doesn’t seem too difficult, but just like choosing tile, it can get overwhelming.  

Like mentioned above, choose some inspiration photos – but on hardware only.  These might be different photos than your “tile loves” photos.

What hardware finish is your favorite: nickel, bronze, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze? 

Do you like traditional or modern style?  Do you want a hand held shower head with hose, fixed shower head, or even a rain shower head?

TIP #5:  Do some research.  After you know what you like, research the cost, check out reviews and availability.  Does it work with your current valve system or do you need to change out everything?

We went with a fixed shower head (again – wanted it to have a clean look), traditional style, with dual handles.  All in polished nickel.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 

And we added the rain shower head also with 12″ long shower arm (ceiling mount extension) both in brushed nickel.  

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #8:  

What height should a shower tile accent border be?

According to the diytileguy.com, you should follow the golden rule as a guidleline to add accent tile.    Basically the golden rule is 1.618 to 1 = 1.618/100 = ( .618). 

For more information check out this post.  It contains a ton of helpful information.

This guide can be used for a vertical or horizontal shower tile accent border (strip), and also for a tile accent feature wall.

So, here’s how it works:

our wall height:  9 ft x .618 = 5.5    

our wall width:  ~6 x .618 = 3.5

3.5/5.5 = .64 is to 5.5/9  = .61 = .6 (or basically 2/3 rule).

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

Not only does this golden rule work for wall placement, it applies to the actual size of the feature tile accent itself.  

To the left of our accent wall  is ~1.5′, to the  right ~ 1 ‘ = (1/1.5 = .66)

Our tile accent feature wall dimensions:  ~ 3′ W x 5′ H = (3/5 = .6)

Love this rule!!  It seems to work every time!!


QUESTION #9:  

What height and dimensions should shower niche be?

According to homeguides.sfgate.com, the ideal height for a shower niche is 48″-60″H.  Standard dimensions are 12″ W x 24″ H –  and 3.5″ D  (according to habitardesign.com).

Our shower niche dimensions are:  26.5″ W x 10″ H x 4″ Deep, and a shower height of 39.5 “H.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 

You can tell that we went with a horizontally shaped shower niche (versus vertically shaped), at a lower height than suggested above.  

The reason:  as mentioned previously, I did not want the niche (and clutter) to be seen when entering into the bathroom.  So we came up with this lower placement, for function only.  

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


QUESTION #10:

What is the difference between frameless and semi-frameless glass shower doors?

According to insightglass.com, a frameless glass shower door needs to be at least 3/8″ or 1/2″ thick so that it doesn’t need support of a metal frame. 

A semi-frameless glass shower door has metal support everywhere except on the side of the actual door itself (like the one we used to have –  before picture). 

A framed shower door is entirely framed out in metal. 

*This post (insight glass above) contains a lot of helpful information – so check it out.*

TIP #6:  Make sure you choose a glass shower door that can pivot or swing – open outwards and inwards.  This allows you get into the shower (door out) while water is running, and allows water to drip inside the shower (door in) after you’re done.

Our new glass shower door is frameless 3/8″ thick, just a FYI.

To see picicture of the door swinging out – go up to question #1.  

And here is a picture of the door swinging in.

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 

Don’t forget about the shower pull also.

TIP #7:  Make sure you buy one that is dual, back to back, so that you can open your shower door from both sides.

You don’t want to get stuck inside your new beautiful shower without a way out.  😉

shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 


SHOP SHOWER ITEMS

  1.   Accent Tile – Tile Bar Highland Blossom
  2.   Accent Tile Marble Trim (edging) – Floor & Decor Bianco
  3.   Floor Tile – Floor & Decor Penny Tile
  4.   Shower Head  & Handles – Home Depot Kohler Worth
  5.   Rain Shower Head – Home Depot Kohler 8″
  6.   Rain Shower Arm (ceiling mount) – Home Depot Kohler 12″
  7.   Ladder Pull – Home Depot Dual 12″ Back to Back Brushed Nickel Pull
  8.   *Wall Tile 12×24 Polished – Floor & Decor (Volaskas dicontinued)

*Wall Tile – 12×24 Polished – similar here


shower remodel design guide: 10 things you must know

 

I hope that many of your questions were answered, and that you can now remodel your shower with confidence!

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Have a Great Spring!

Love & Spring Hugs 🙂

Recommended Posts:

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How to Plan Your Kitchen Remode:  Tips & Ideas

Opening Up Kitchen Wall to Living Room

Adding a Shiplap Feature Wall to Living Room

Hurricane Harvey Flooded House Makeover (Part 2)

 

 

 

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