The shower is an integral part of your home, offering an oasis of luxury and relaxation from the demands of a busy life. Whether your current shower is in disrepair or you are simply looking to update your bathroom design, creating a beautiful shower enclosure can be enhanced by considering several factors. Keep in mind your end goal is a beautifully functioning, highly durable, and easy to clean shower that will bring years of relaxation and a spot to unwind and freshen up.

Custom or Kit?

The first consideration is whether to purchase a prefabricated kit or choose to custom-build your new shower. Prefabricated kits are made of fiberglass or acrylic and consist of a pan and one, two, or three wall panels. The parts are shipped to your home and assembled by the homeowner or a professional and offer few design choices. The benefits of showering replacement kits are the purchase and installation costs are low and there are few or no seams which reduce leaking and make cleaning a snap. The down-sides are they are only available in limited sizes and, because they are made of inexpensive materials, they add very little to your home’s value. Also offered in this category are wall kits which include prefabricated walls but do not include a pan.  Wall kits can be installed onto bare studs or can be glued over existing tiles or wallboard. 

Custom shower enclosures are built on-site using various materials such as glass, travertine, or tiles. These types of shower replacements offer good design options, flexible sizing, and are eco-friendly. It is much more costly to purchase the materials needed for custom shower enclosures and the installation can be labor-intensive since the materials are heavy and require more effort. Custom showers also are more prone to leaking and mold growth, and require greater maintenance by the homeowner.

Walls, Floors, and Doors

The walls and floors of prefabricated kits offer few options. However, custom showers have many different choices for the homeowner.

Shower floors can be constructed of glass, marble slabs, textured porcelain, and travertine to name a few. Things to consider when selecting your floor type are slip resistance, durability, ease of cleaning, and cost.

There are also many options from which to choose when selecting wall materials for your new shower installation. Marble, with the highest purchase price, can be cut into any shape and size and comes in almost unlimited colors and patterns. It has a timeless look and will last for years with proper maintenance. 

Solid surface walls are also a popular option since they can be installed over existing materials, offer many design choices, and are easy to maintain. They are, however, difficult to install due to their weight and become slippery when wet which are drawbacks for this material.

Crushed stone shower walls are an excellent option for your shower walls because they outlast all other products. They are extremely durable, easy to clean and come in multiple colors. They are heavy so installation can be tricky and they are not offered in large sizes. 

Another choice for replacing shower walls is back-painted glass. This option looks very modern and clean. It has unlimited color options, resists mold, and is very durable so scratching is not an issue. The downside to glass tiles is you probably will need a professional to install them since they require extensive cutting to fit properly. 

By far the most popular wall covering for shower walls is tile. These tiles can be either ceramic or porcelain with porcelain rated as the more durable choice since it is denser. This means it is also more expensive. Both types offer a huge selection of colors, shapes, and textures allowing a homeowner to create one-of-a-kind shower designs.


A shower replacement can be as little as $1400 for a replacement kit and can grow to much higher depending on materials selected, plumbing requirements, style, and pre-installation costs for removing existing showers. 

A small shower replacement will cost you about $1000 for a free-standing model and less for a tub/shower combination. 

In a medium-sized bathroom, a free-standing shower with glass doors will cost, on average, $1,100 installed with prices rising quickly for walk-in showers. These can range from $800 to $10,000 plus.

 Large shower replacements can reach upwards of $15,000 all depending on your options which may include heated shower floors, multiple headed showerheads, built-in seats, and upscale shower doors.

The shower in your home is more than a place to freshen up. It can become an oasis of luxury, offering homeowners a retreat for relaxation and renewal and a sanctuary for escaping the stress of daily living. Keeping good design elements, long-term durability, and ease of maintenance in the forefront of your mind you will be able to make your dream come true. 

Have you been thinking of remodeling your shower? Contact us today! We are shower remodeling experts in Irvine, Orange County.