Shower and Tub Updates for the Bathroom of Your Dreams
A bathroom remodel is easier than ever with a repair or replacement to your shower or tub. Find out how much it costs to give your bathroom a little extra TLC.
Has your shower or tub seen better days? Bathroom renovations and updates can breathe new life into your bathroom -- and increase your ROI. Whether you're dealing with leaky fixtures, cracked tile, or just want to try something new, here's what you need to know when deciding to repair or replace your shower or bathtub.
Do You Need a Repair or a Replacement?
Redoing a bathroom is a daunting endeavor, especially when dealing with critical fixtures like showers and bathtubs. Before you rip up tile and tear down walls, figure out if you can get away with a quick repair or if a full replacement is necessary.
When it comes to bathrooms, a little touching up can go a long way. In fact, replacing specific fixtures or patching up cracks and leaks is what most shower and tub repairs require. These replacements are often simple fixes, but that's not always the case. Sometimes an issue that may seem small is actually an indicator of a much larger problem. For example, leaking pipes can be a sign of a serious plumbing issue and should be evaluated for proper treatment.
If you're upgrading several fixtures at once, it may be easier to replace the entire unit to create a cohesive look. Another sign you may need a replacement is if there are large cracks in the base of your shower or tub. Replacing these units is a more complicated project that sometimes requires rerouting plumbing and opening up walls to access old pipes. Since showers and tubs are usually built-in fixtures, they have to be sized correctly in order to fix the existing area. Keep those measurements in mind when shopping for a shiny new shower or tub.
Common Shower Repairs
Whether you're changing styles or updating old tech, replacing showerheads, faucets, doors, and floors can aesthetically enhance a bathroom, making it appear more expensive.
Upgrading chrome-plated plastic fixtures to brushed-nickel or gold-plated fixtures is a simple shower repair that can transform your bathroom from lackluster to luxe in a matter of minutes. Depending on the type and material, faucets and showerheads can cost between $20 and $300. From the typical wall mount and hand-held showerheads to massaging body spray and stress-relieving rain versions, a new showerhead can be the difference between a regular shower and a spa-like experience.
Shower floors take a lot of wear and tear and are one of the most common shower repairs. At the first sight of cracks, start thinking about replacing your shower floor to limit the risk of bathroom leaks and possible flooding. Replacing the shower pan -- the waterproof barrier placed underneath shower tile -- not only boosts your shower's look, but also protects your bathroom from water damage and mold growth. A new shower pan can cost $100 to $600 for a tile or stone look-alike version.
Tile flooring can add luxury to your shower by creating stylish patterns or adding artisan touches. Ceramic tile is most popular among homeowners for its variety, strength, and waterproofing abilities, however, hand-crafted tile can add a unique design element. Shower tile can cost between $1.50 and $20 per square foot based on material -- an inexpensive way to revamp your shower.
Shower curtains should be reserved for college dorms and starter apartments, not your dream home. Trade in your shower curtain for a sleek shower door to add major value to your bathroom. Shower doors have clean lines for a modern update and provide a solid, waterproof barrier that can last for years with regular cleaning. Homeowners can choose between framed and frameless shower doors and various finishes (clear glass, frosted glass, rain glass, tinted glass, and hammered glass) to suit their tastes. Shower doors can cost between $100 and $1,000 to install, depending on type, finish, and location, and can be customized to fit all your bathroom wants and needs.
Repairing Shower Leaks
Repairing shower plumbing is a complicated job. Sometimes a leaky faucet can be fixed with just a screwdriver, wrench, or new shower valve, but knowing which parts to repair and replace is the tricky part. An improper repair can damage plumbing in other areas of your home, especially if you need to replace part of a pipe. Replacing pipes requires opening up your walls, which can quickly grow into a larger project.
Out with the old and in with the new! Although shower repairs can immensely alter a bathroom's appearance, sometimes a replacement is necessary for a fully-functioning shower system. A complete shower set also has matching fixtures that flawlessly integrate with one another for a flawless finish.
There are two basic types of showers: full showers and shower/tub combinations. Full showers take up less space and work well in smaller bathrooms; shower/tub combinations are convenient for homes with children and can be used for a quick shower as well, but involve extra plumbing and space. Showers can be purchased in single or multi-piece units -- separately or as part of a shower kit -- to create your ideal shower. Homeowners typically spend between $1,100 and $5,500 on shower installation. Full showers are the less expensive option, but have a lower resale in the long run.