The Impact of Size And Layout On Shower Remodel Costs

Remodeling a shower can transform your bathroom into a sanctuary of comfort and style. However, the journey to your dream shower comes with its own set of considerations, particularly concerning cost. The impact of size and layout on shower remodel costs is profound, affecting everything from materials to labor. 

The size and layout of a shower remodel significantly impact costs, with larger and more complex designs increasing expenses due to higher material, labor, and customization needs. Efficient planning can optimize both elements to manage costs effectively.

This article dives deep into these aspects, offering a comprehensive look at what to expect when planning your project through a shower remodel service company.

The Impact of Size on Shower Remodel Costs

Size Matters: Bigger vs. Smaller Showers

When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, the size of the shower can make a significant difference in both the cost and the overall bathroom experience. 

Here's how bigger and smaller showers stack up against each other:

Bigger Showers


  • Spaciousness: Larger showers provide more room to move around, enhancing the showering experience. They can accommodate multiple showerheads, benches, and even steam systems for a spa-like experience.

  • Customization: With more space, there's greater flexibility in design and customization. You can incorporate unique features like rainfall showerheads, body jets, or built-in storage niches.

  • Accessibility: Larger showers are easier to design with accessibility in mind, making them suitable for individuals with mobility issues. Features like barrier-free entrances and grab bars can be seamlessly integrated.


  • Higher Costs: More square footage means more materials and potentially more complex plumbing, leading to higher costs for tiles, glass enclosures, and labor.

  • Space Requirements: Not every bathroom can accommodate a large shower without sacrificing other elements or undergoing extensive renovations.

  • If there is a second person in the shower they may be cold if the water is not on them.

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Smaller Showers


  • Cost-Effective: Smaller showers require fewer materials and less labor, making them more budget-friendly. They're a practical choice for tight spaces or as part of a secondary bathroom.

  • Efficient Use of Space: In smaller bathrooms, conserving space is crucial. A compact shower can allow for the inclusion of other features, like a larger vanity or additional storage.

  • Simplicity in Design: With limited space, design choices are often simpler, which can streamline the selection process and construction.


  • Limited Features: There's less room for luxury features or customization. Standard showerheads and basic fixtures are more common in smaller showers.

  • Cramped Feeling: Smaller showers can feel cramped, especially for taller or larger individuals. This can affect the overall comfort and relaxation aspect of the showering experience.

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The Impact of Layout on Shower Remodel Costs

Layout Complexity and Its Cost Implications

The layout complexity of a shower remodel can significantly influence the overall costs. A more intricate layout not only demands more materials but also requires specialized labor and potentially more sophisticated waterproofing and plumbing solutions. 

Here’s how layout complexity can impact the cost:

Increased Material Costs

Complex layouts often use more, or more expensive, materials. For example, custom-cut tiles or glass to fit unique shapes or accommodate built-in features like niches or benches can raise material costs. 

Additionally, unique or irregular layouts may necessitate higher-end materials to achieve the desired aesthetic or functional quality.

Higher Labor Costs

Intricate designs require skilled craftsmanship, especially for tile work and glass installation, leading to higher labor costs. The time it takes to precisely measure, cut, and install materials in a complex layout can significantly extend the project duration, further increasing labor expenses. 

Specialized contractors or tradespeople may also charge more for their expertise in executing complex designs.

Plumbing and Waterproofing Considerations

A complex layout may involve relocating plumbing fixtures or adding additional water sources, such as multiple showerheads or body sprays, which can complicate the plumbing requirements. 

Each additional plumbing feature not only adds to the material costs but also requires more labor to install.

Potential for Custom Solutions

Complex layouts often require custom solutions, such as made-to-measure shower pans or bespoke glass enclosures, which are considerably more expensive than standard off-the-shelf options. 

These custom components can significantly impact the overall budget due to the need for precise fabrication and installation.

Increased Design and Planning Time

The time and expertise required to design a complex shower layout can also add to the cost. Working with a designer or architect to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that meets building codes and personal preferences can increase the upfront planning expenses.

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Comparing Costs: Standard vs. Custom Layouts

Standard Layouts

Cost Implications

  • Materials: Standard layouts typically use prefabricated shower units or standard-size shower pans and doors, which are generally less expensive than custom options. Material costs can be significantly lower due to the mass production of these components.

  • Labor: Installation costs for standard layouts are usually lower, as the process is more straightforward. Standard units are designed for quick and easy installation, reducing labor time and costs.

  • Overall Costs: The total cost for a standard shower layout can be considerably less, making it an attractive option for those on a tighter budget or looking for a simple upgrade.


  • Simplicity and Speed: A standard layout can often be completed more quickly, allowing for less disruption to daily life.

  • Ease of Installation: Prefabricated units can be easier to install, which might also reduce the likelihood of installation errors.

  • Availability: Components for standard layouts are readily available, reducing lead times and the potential for project delays.

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Custom Layouts

Cost Implications

  • Materials: Custom layouts often require bespoke materials and components, such as custom-sized shower pans or glass panels, which can significantly increase material costs.

  • Labor: The labor costs for custom layouts are higher due to the complexity of the installation. Custom designs may require skilled tradespeople, such as custom glass installers or tile setters, who command higher rates.

  • Overall Costs: The total cost for a custom shower layout is typically higher, reflecting the personalized design, higher-quality materials, and increased labor involved.


  • Personalization: Custom layouts allow for complete personalization to fit specific tastes, needs, and the dimensions of the bathroom.

  • Optimized Use of Space: A custom layout can make the most efficient use of available space, accommodating unique bathroom shapes and sizes.

  • Increased Home Value: High-quality custom designs can increase the value of your home, offering a return on investment through enhanced appeal and functionality.

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FAQs On The Impact of Size and Layout on Shower Remodel Costs

What influences shower remodel costs?

Size, materials, layout complexity, labor, and plumbing changes affect costs.

How can I reduce my shower remodel expenses?

Use cost-effective materials, standard layouts, limit luxury fixtures, and DIY where possible.

Is a custom shower layout a good investment?

Yes, for personalization, space optimization, and potential home value increase.

What's the typical duration for a shower remodel?

Varies widely, from a few days for simple updates to several weeks for extensive renovations.

Can remodeling my shower increase my home’s value?

Yes, especially with high-quality materials and modern designs.

Understanding the Costs Related to Size and Layout

Remodeling your shower is an investment in your home and your quality of life. By understanding the impact of size and layout on costs, choosing materials wisely, and planning for features that enhance your experience, you can create a space that meets your needs and reflects your style. 

With the right approach, your shower remodel can be a rewarding project that adds value to your home and your daily routine.

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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.