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.

Fixtures

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.

Flooring

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.

Doors

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.

Find a Shower Repair Service Near You

Shower Replacement

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.

Common Tub Repairs

Make your bathtub look as good as it makes you feel after a long day. Tub refinishing can improve and preserve the appearance of a tub and is the best option to keep an antique or rare bathtub in pristine condition. Compared to the cost of installing a new bathtub, repairing is a more cost-effective solution with an average cost of $450. Tub fixtures such as faucets and handles can easily be swapped to fit your personal preferences, but replacing a tub drain demands specialized tools. Tub drains are directly connected to your home's plumbing and help prevent pipes from clogging, but a bad repair can compromise smooth-running plumbing.

Cracked Tub Repair

Repairing a damaged tub may only be a temporary fix for a larger problem. If the tub's foundation is cracked, determine if a repair is a suitable solution or not. Tub repair kits are available, but a professional can help apply the correct treatment while following safety procedures.

Get Back to Bubble Baths

Tub Replacement

If your tub has structural damage or is simply outdated, you may be ready for a replacement. Basic bathtubs can cost as little as $300, but the true price lies in the pesky hidden costs. Demolition, removal, installation, and plumbing issues can quickly add up to more than $3,000, making a new tub quite the investment. If you're thinking of replacing your tub with a traditional shower, consider how this could affect your home's resale appeal to potential buyers.

Spa Day Ahead

Tips for a Spotless Shower and Tub

To prolong your beautiful bathroom fixtures, you need to take care of them on a regular basis. We recommend using a tub or shower cleaner once a week, wiping down the doors, floors, and tiles. Avoid cleaners with bleach because these products strip the built-in water repellent from grout and can cause discoloration, making your shower or tub even more susceptible to mildew. You should seal grout once or twice a year and deep clean showerheads and doors as needed to get the best out of your dream bathroom.

Give Your Shower or Tub a Good Scrub


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