Shower Remodeling: Where to Splurge and Where to Save

When it comes to remodeling your shower using a shower remodel expert, knowing where to splurge and where to save is crucial for achieving a balance between luxury and budget. 

Splurge on quality showerheads, durable tiles, and glass doors for longevity and aesthetics. Save by opting for removable seating, using plumbing fixtures that are functional but not overly expensive, and choosing affordable tile options. Balance between high-impact areas for investment and cost-effective solutions for a successful remodel.

This guide will navigate you through the process, ensuring that every dollar you spend adds value and comfort to your bathroom.

The Importance of Strategic Planning in Shower Remodeling

Strategic planning is crucial in shower remodeling as it ensures the project aligns with your vision and budget. It allows for the identification of cost-saving opportunities, helps avoid costly mistakes, and streamlines the remodeling process. 

A well-thought-out plan enhances communication with contractors, increases the success rate of the project, and mitigates risks by preparing for unforeseen challenges. 

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Shower Remodeling: Where to Splurge

When embarking on a shower remodeling project, it's essential to know where investing a little extra can significantly enhance your bathroom's functionality, aesthetic appeal, and overall value. 

Splurging on certain aspects of your shower can transform an ordinary bathroom into a luxurious spa-like retreat while ensuring durability and ease of maintenance. 

Here are the key areas where you should consider splurging in your shower remodeling project:

High-Quality Tiles

The shower area is constantly exposed to moisture, so choosing tiles is crucial for both the longevity and appearance of your bathroom. Investing in high-quality tiles can prevent problems such as cracking, mold, and mildew growth. 

Premium materials like porcelain, stone, or glass tiles not only offer superior durability but also come in an array of designs and textures to create a visually stunning space.

State-of-the-Art Showerheads

A high-end showerhead can completely revolutionize your showering experience. From rain showers that mimic a gentle downpour to body jets that provide a therapeutic massage, the options are vast and varied. Look for showerheads with water-saving features to enjoy luxury and efficiency. 

Splurging on a model with adjustable settings allows everyone in the household to customize their shower experience according to their preference.

Smart Shower Systems

In the era of smart homes, a smart shower system is a splurge that brings cutting-edge technology to your bathroom. These systems allow you to control water temperature, pressure, and flow with the touch of a button or voice command. 

Some even offer the convenience of starting your shower remotely, ensuring the water is at your preferred temperature the moment you step in.

Custom Shower Layout

Customizing your shower layout to fit your specific needs and preferences can be a worthwhile splurge. Whether it’s incorporating a bench for comfort, multiple showerheads for a luxurious experience, or built-in niches for storage, a custom shower layout can significantly enhance the functionality and enjoyment of your space.

Heated Floors

 While not limited to the shower area, heated floors are a luxurious addition to any bathroom remodel. Stepping out of the shower onto a warm floor enhances comfort, especially in colder climates. 

This feature not only adds a touch of luxury but also helps to dry the floor quicker, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Quality Fixtures

High-quality fixtures not only look better but also offer superior performance and longevity. Investing in solid brass or stainless steel fixtures can ensure that your faucets and knobs remain functional and attractive for years to come. 

Plus, they come in various finishes and styles to complement your bathroom’s design theme.


Adequate lighting is essential in a shower, not just for functionality but also to enhance the ambiance of the space. Consider splurging on a combination of overhead lighting, task lighting, and mood lighting. 

Waterproof LED lights can offer brightness and efficiency, and installing dimmers allows you to adjust the lighting to suit different times of the day and moods.

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Where to Save in Shower Remodeling

Remodeling a shower can be a costly endeavor, but there are several areas where you can save money without compromising on quality or functionality. 

Making smart choices in these aspects can help stretch your budget further while still achieving a beautiful and functional shower space. 

Here are key areas where savings can be made during a shower remodeling project:

Save by Opting for Removable Seating

Opting for removable seating over built-in benches can offer a versatile and cost-effective solution. Removable seats not only provide the flexibility to adjust the shower's layout according to your current needs but also significantly reduce the overall cost of the remodel. 

These seats come in a variety of styles and materials, allowing you to add a touch of personal flair to your shower without breaking the bank. This choice supports practicality and budget-friendliness, ensuring your remodel is both beautiful and economical.

Using Plumbing Fixtures That Are Functional but Not Overly Expensive

Splurging on the essential elements that define the quality and durability of your shower experience is crucial, but you can save a substantial amount by selecting plumbing fixtures that combine functionality with cost-effectiveness. 

The market is flooded with a range of fixtures that promise to deliver both performance and style without the hefty price tag associated with luxury brands. 

By focusing on reputable brands that offer warranties and durability, homeowners can find fixtures that not only meet their aesthetic and functional needs but also align with their budget. 

This approach allows for allocation of funds towards high-impact areas of the remodel, such as high-quality tiling or a more efficient shower layout, ensuring the remodel is both stunning and smartly budgeted.

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Tile Selection

While high-quality tiles are recommended for areas exposed to high moisture, you can save money by choosing less expensive tiles for the less wet areas of your bathroom or by using high-end tiles as accents alongside more affordable options. 

Ceramic tiles, for example, offer durability and moisture resistance at a lower price point than some of their stone or porcelain counterparts.

Simplifying the Design

A simpler shower design can lead to significant cost savings. Avoiding intricate tile patterns and sticking to a straightforward layout can reduce both material and labor costs. 

Similarly, minimizing the number of glass panels used in shower enclosures can also help save money.

Standard Shower Doors

Instead of custom glass doors, consider standard-sized shower doors or even a high-quality shower curtain for a cost-effective alternative. 

There are many stylish options available that can complement your bathroom's design without breaking the bank.

Clear glass is less expensive then privacy glass such as etched or frosted glass.

Consider Refinishing Instead of Replacing

Bathtubs, sinks, and even some tile work can be refinished rather than replaced. This can provide a fresh new look at a considerably lower cost.

Limit Changes to the Plumbing Layout

Keeping your shower's plumbing layout unchanged can save a lot of money. Moving plumbing fixtures requires significant labor and materials, which can quickly escalate costs.

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FAQs On Where To Splurge And Save During Shower Remodeling

What materials are best for durability in a shower remodel?

Porcelain or ceramic tiles, tempered glass doors, and solid surface materials are durable and moisture-resistant choices.

Is a custom shower design worth the investment?

Yes, if you seek specific features or want to maximize space, a custom design can be a valuable splurge.

How can I save on my shower remodel?

Save by choosing affordable tiles, reusing fixtures, opting for a pre-fabricated shower, and doing some DIY work.

What features are worth splurging on?

High-quality showerheads, durable tiles, and glass doors enhance functionality and value.

Can DIY work save money on a shower remodel?

DIY can save on labor costs, but be cautious of potentially costly mistakes if you're inexperienced.

Maximizing Value in Shower Upgrades

By strategically deciding where to splurge and where to save, you can transform your shower into a luxurious and functional space without breaking the bank. 

Remember, careful planning and informed decisions are your best tools in achieving the bathroom of your dreams.

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About the author

Hi my name is Jeremy Maher. My wife, 2 kids and I went through Contractor Nightmares for 3 years straight.

Ben, Mark, and I teamed up to start Phoenix Home Remodeling to help homeowners remodel without the common contractor nightmares.

Learn more about Jeremy's expertise and topics he likes to write about on his author page.