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(walk-in ceramic tile shower with a valve, showerhead, and door)
(acrylic square shower with a valve, showerhead, and no door)
(luxury stone slab shower with a bench and performance shower system)
Cost to install a shower varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from plumbers in your city.
The majority of adults living in the United States today use showers rather than bathtubs to clean each day. Showers are quick and easy-to-use for those with disabilities, and they use substantially less water than a bathtub, making them a greener solution as well. Showers can be installed alone, alongside a tub, or as a tub/shower combination. They can be made of a single prefab unit or custom made using tile or slab materials. They can contain benches, body sprays, and steam or be simple with a single showerhead. This endless customization makes it possible to put a shower into nearly any bathroom.
Showers come in many sizes, shapes, and materials. The national average range for a fully installed shower including the plumbing, walls, and base is between $7,000 and $12,000. Most people pay around $8,000 for a 48” x 36” walk-in shower with ceramic tile walls, pressure-balancing valve, speakman showerhead, and standard door. A 36” x 36” acrylic stall shower without a door can be installed for $3,000, while a luxury 60” x 60” stone slab shower with a bench and performance shower system costs about $20,000 to install.
|Shower Installation Prices|
|National average cost||$8,000|
A shower is made of several components, including the pan, walls, plumbing, accessories, and what you use to hold the water back from the rest of the room. Shower walls or liners come in many material types. Get a water-resistant material.
Shower surrounds are created in one of two ways. You can purchase a prefab stall, which includes the walls, pan, soap dishes, grab bars, and drillings for the shower valve and head. These are the fastest, easiest, and least expensive ways to create a shower.
Prefab stalls come in many sizes, from 36-inch square to up to 60-inches long and 48-inches wide. They are priced by the unit, and costs vary based on the size and features:
|Prefab Surround Material||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Fiberglass||$300 - $600|
|Acrylic||$300 - $1,000|
|Cultured Marble||$600 - $2,000|
Fiberglass 1 shower surrounds are a good, lightweight choice if you have a small shower. They come in one piece, so they work best in new construction or full tear outs where you have room to maneuver. Fiberglass is long-lasting and durable, and fiberglass shower surrounds come in several colors. Sizing is more limited with this option, with small stall showers and neo-angle showers being the most common. They cost between $300 and $600 on average.
Acrylic shower stalls are the most common for prefab units. Acrylic is a type of plastic, and these shower stalls can be molded into many shapes, sizes, and colors. They can come in a single piece or three or four separate pieces. This means that in a retrofit, you can easily bring the separate pieces into the shower to install, rather than trying to put an entire stall in at once. Acrylic shower stalls cost between $300 and $1,000, depending on the features and size.
Cultured marble is another popular material for stall shower units and prefab showers. These showers have a soft gel coat, making them easy to clean. They also come with a marble-look finish with textures or swirls of color instead of solid color units. You can find cultured marble prefab units in solid-piece showers or multi-piece units, making them good for new construction and retrofits. They tend to be larger than other units and have more features. They cost between $600 and $2,000 on average.
You can also build a shower by creating a custom stall with cement backerboard and lay tile or slab material over it. This gives you more options and designs, but it is also more costly.
|Custom Surround Material||Average Costs per Square Foot (Materials Only)|
|Ceramic Tile||$1.25 - $100|
|Porcelain Tile||$3 - $30|
|Stone Tile||$5 - 100|
|Porcelain Slab||$8 - $30|
|Glass Tile||$20 - $50|
|Stone Slab||$40 - $400|
|Solid Surface||$100 - $200|
Ceramic tile is one of the most popular materials for showers. Ceramic tile comes in nearly any color, shape, size, and finish, so you can create many looks. Tile is easy to care for in the shower and does not require sealing or special maintenance if the ceramic tile has a crackled or crazed finish. Ceramic tile can be used on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the shower with no issue. Depending on the tile, it costs anywhere from $1.25 to $100 a square foot.
Porcelain tile is another popular and low-maintenance material for shower surrounds. Porcelain tile is made by compressing clay dust into a tile form, then firing it to extremely high temperatures. This makes it dense, durable, and easy to care for. Porcelain tile often comes in sizes much larger than ceramic, making it good for contemporary designs. It costs between $3 and $30 a square foot on average, depending on the size and finish.
Many types of stone tiles can be used in the shower. Marble, granite, and slate are the most common for shower use. While there are other stones, they do not hold up as well in showers. For example, some types of limestone disintegrate under constant water spray. All stone in the shower must be sealed properly to prevent staining and resealed frequently. Some stones, including green marbles, must be installed with an epoxy setting material, increasing costs. Stone tiles cost between $5 and $100 a square foot, depending on the stone’s color and rarity.
A relative newcomer to the custom shower field are porcelain slabs. These are large tiles made of the same material as a porcelain tile. These are more comparable to a tile size-wise but ⅝-inch thickness rather than the standard ⅜-inch. They have all the benefits of porcelain tiles but have fewer grout lines for a sleek and contemporary look. They cost between $8 and $30 a square foot on average. If you choose slabs for your shower wall, you need to select a different material for your shower floor because slabs cannot be installed in this area.
If you want a shower that is easy to care for, full of color, and reflects light, consider glass tiles. Glass tiles come in various sizes, finishes, shapes, and colors. They can be completely transparent or iridescent and formed into thin, contemporary mosaic pieces. Glass tiles can be cleaned with a glass or window cleaner, making them very easy to care for. However, they require special installation, which increases the total cost. For the material, expect to pay between $20 and $50 a square foot on average.
If you like the idea of a prefab shower but want to customize the shape, size, and color, solid surface showers are the ideal compromise. Solid surface is a unique material made of plastics. This material is also used on countertops, with the popular brand name Corian. It can be melted and fused in the shower so that there are no seams. You can even combine different colors on one wall for a custom look without any grout lines. You need to find a specialty installer for this material because not all fabricators install showers. It costs between $100 and $200 a square foot.
If you want a stone shower without any grout lines, it is possible to use stone slabs rather than tiles. However, this presents a few issues that you need to keep in mind. First, stone slabs are thick - 2cm to 3cm in thickness, meaning that you need extenders for your shower valves and showerheads. They are heavy, so they require reinforcing your shower walls. Costs are much higher, not just for the materials but also for the installation and transportation of the slabs. If your walls move or settle over time, your slabs are at risk of cracking. Tiles have grout, which absorbs movement and prevents cracks. Slabs have nothing to absorb the movement, so they must have perfectly level walls. Expect costs for a stone slab shower to be between $45 and $400 for the materials.
|Stone Slab Material||Average Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)|
|Marble||$40 - $300|
|Granite||$75 - $400|
|Quartz||$100 - $200|
Marble slabs in a shower have some drawbacks and considerations. Green marble slabs should not be used in this area because they are likely to spall or become flakey and scaly with time. Bianco Carrara slabs are likely to rust in a shower because they have high iron content. Marble slabs need to be sealed regularly, and as most are 2cm thick, they are more likely to crack over time. Marble slabs start at $40 a square foot, with most costing $100 to $300 a square foot.
Any type of granite slab can also be used in the shower. Commercial granite slabs come in many colors, textures, and styles. Lighter-colored granites are more likely to stain in the shower than dark-colored granites, and all granites should be sealed regularly as part of their upkeep. Most granite slabs are 3cm in thickness, which should be considered for the size of the shower and plumbing. Granite slabs cost between $75 and $400 on average.
Quartz slabs are not technically natural stone, but they contain roughly 90% natural quartz rock. The remainder of the slab is made up of resins and pigments. These slabs are lower maintenance than granite or marble. They are always 3cm thick, which has considerations for shower size and plumbing. Some quartz slabs may have issues with bending when used vertically due to the amount of resin. This may impact long-term installations. Quartz slabs typically cost between $100 and $200.
Showers can be constructed in many shapes and sizes. The exact shower dimensions should be based on many criteria. This includes your bathroom’s size and shape, how many users the shower has, and what needs you have for the space, including benches, performance showers, steam, or tub.
When it comes to a custom stand-up shower, the layout does not impact costs tremendously. The shower’s size drives most of the costs. However, for a prefab unit, there is a set range of costs. The shape or layout influences the cost slightly, while the size makes up the majority of the remaining costs. Each layout has positive and negative attributes that may make one a better fit in your bathroom than another. With a custom shower, you do not need to conform to a set layout and are free to create various other designs. The following layouts are for prefab units only:
|Layout||Average Cost (Prefab Units Material Only)|
|Rectangular/Square||$300 - $1,000|
|Walk-In||$300 - $1,000|
|Neo-Angle||$400 - $1,000|
|Tub/Shower Combo||$500 - $2,000|
|Barrier-Free||$750 - $3,000|
|Curved||$900 - $2,000|
The vast majority of shower enclosures are rectangular. Square and rectangular showers fit nearly anywhere. You can use them between two walls, next to a separate tub, or tucked into a cubicle. They come in many sizes, although the smallest that meets code is 30-inches square, and the smallest recommended size is 36-inches square. These shower units cost between $300 and $1,000 on average for the unit.
Any shower that does not have a tub is considered a walk-in shower. It can be any shape, size, or have any interior layout. A walk-in shower may have a bench or standing-room only. It can be made for one or two users and have performance features or a single showerhead. Walk-in showers are common in master bathrooms but less common for guest baths or shared bathroom spaces. They cost $300 to $1,000 for a prefab unit.
A neo-angle shower is a type of corner enclosure shower. With a shower in a corner, two walls extend on either side. The front of the shower can be configured in two ways. The least expensive and most popular way is to create a neo-angle. In this, the shower base has three angles to the front. It makes the base of the shower look like a cut diamond shape. Neo-angle showers need special neo-angle doors. You can create this type of shower enclosure with a neo-angle pan and custom walls or a prefab unit costing between $400 and $1,000.
Most family bathrooms in the U.S. have a tub/shower combination. This is important for resale because most people want at least one tub. By combining the tub and shower, you save space. A tub shower combo typically does not have a deep or large tub. The average tub is 14-inches deep and about 60-inches long, although you can opt to put in a deeper or longer tub with custom walls. Tub-shower units cost between $500 and $2,000, depending on the material. Size does not vary tremendously with these units.
A barrier-free shower is a walk-in shower without a curb. Instead, the pan and the bathroom floor are flush with each other. This allows a wheelchair user to roll into the shower or a person with limited mobility to walk in without having to step over a curb. These showers tend to be larger, and they often include a bench. Expect to pay between $750 and $3,000 on average.
The other way to create a corner enclosure shower is to use a curved front pan. In this layout, the shower is in a corner, with the two walls extending out. The front of the pan curves outward into the room. It takes more space than the neo-angle and is harder to fully enclose. For this reason, it is difficult to make a custom curved shower enclosure. Most people opt for a prefab unit that has its own shower door that completes the curve. Because these units include the custom curved door, they cost between $900 and $2,000 on average.
Wet rooms are a unique type of bathroom that is popular in Europe. In a wet room, instead of having a shower enclosure with a barrier to keep the water in, the entire room is designed to get wet. There is no shower door or curtain, so the water can spray freely, and the entire bathroom floor slopes to the drain.
To create this, you need to make sure that the walls are completely tiled over a waterproof cement backerboard. Any vanity or cabinet materials need to be water-resistant, and the entire floor must have 2-inches or smaller tiles to accommodate the slope.
The average cost to create a wet room is around $250 a square foot, including materials. Larger spaces can include dry areas if they are far enough away from the reach of the spray, but most wet rooms are small, requiring waterproofing of the entire area.
In any shower, you need a way to turn the water on and off. You do this via a mixing valve installed in your wall, which sends the water to the showerhead or any body sprays or tub spouts. In the U.S., we have two types of mixing valves - pressure balancing and thermostatic. Both give consistent water temperature but work in two different ways.
|Mixing Valve||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Pressure Balancing Valve||$150 - $400|
|Thermostatic Valve||$400 - $1,200|
A pressure balancing valve is a concealed shower valve that uses one handle. The valve and pipes are inside the wall, so all you see is the trim kit and a handle. As you turn the handle, the water gets hotter. It senses changes in water pressure from the hot to cold lines and swings to close the line with more pressure to keep the two systems balanced. This system is less expensive both to purchase and install but gives less control over your shower. A pressure balancing valve system costs around $150-$400 for the complete set and trim.
Thermostatic valves use separate handles for water temperature and water volume. You set the shower temperature to an exact degree and then use a separate valve to control the flow. In a thermostatic shower, you can have multiple water sources, each with volume control. This system is more expensive to purchase and install but gives very precise control over your shower. Thermostatic shower valve kits with trim cost around $400-$1,200 for a single volume control, and separate controls can be added for roughly $100 each.
A big piece of your new shower is the showerhead. Showerheads come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and finishes. They can also come in a few different functioning types. All types of showerheads have a full range of sizes, finishes, and costs. For many people, function is the most important feature.
|Showerhead Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Single-Setting||$25 - $500|
|Multi-Setting||$50 - $100|
Single-setting showerheads spray water at a constant speed and pressure. These showerheads include speakman, sunflower, rain, deluge, tile, and waterfall. Sometimes, a single-setting showerhead includes a small lever on the side that increases or decreases the pressure, like a speakman showerhead. Otherwise, these showerheads do not pulse, rotate, or otherwise change the water delivery. They have a wide range of costs because there are so many types in this category. A simple speakman or bell showerhead starts at $25, while extra-large rain or deluge heads go as high as $500.
If you want control over the water pressure and whether it is massaging, pulsing, or a gentle mist, you want a multi-setting showerhead. Many hand showers and several types of stationary showerheads have multiple settings. The settings are achieved by turning or twisting either the head or a level on its face. Your sizes, finishes, and styles are more limited with this showerhead, so they tend to have a tighter price range. Costs range from $50 to $100 for a showerhead with multiple settings.
The vast majority of showerheads are made with brass. Brass is a long-lasting material that works well for faucet or showerhead bodies. The brass is then plated or finished with various other materials to give it different looks.
A few less expensive showerheads may be made of a mixture of brass and plastic. The plastic may be coated with a film to give it the look of a metal finish for a lower cost. Finishes vary by manufacturer. The only regulated material in the U.S. is chrome. All other finish materials can be proprietary and vary from one brand to another. For the best results, always purchase your showerhead, shower valve, bathroom faucets, and accessories from the same manufacturer to ensure they match. Otherwise, opt for chrome for consistency.
|Showerhead Finish Material||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Plastic||$20 - $30|
|Stainless Steel||$25 - $50|
|Chrome||$25 - $400|
|Nickel||$50 - $500|
|Oil-Rubbed Bronze||$60 - $600|
Plastic showerheads are not completely made of plastic. They are often a mixture of brass and plastic, and the bell, sunflower, or exterior shape of the showerhead is made of plastic. These showerheads usually have a finish painted on to mimic the look of metal. They are flimsy and crack over time. They cost between $20 and $30 on average.
If you want a showerhead with a brushed finish that is cooler in color than brushed nickel, a stainless steel finish is an option. This finish may be actual steel-plated over the brass. It is often either a brushed chrome finish called stainless or a painted finish. If this is a real steel showerhead, beware that it can discolor with mineral buildup and scratch with harsh cleansers. Stainless steel showerheads are often limited in size and style and cost between $25 and $50.
Chromium or chrome is one of the only finishes in the U.S. with a strictly regulated finish depth. The same amount of chrome must be placed on every faucet, handle, and showerhead. For this reason, chrome always matches chrome regardless of brand. Chrome showerheads come in every style and size. Chrome is often the least expensive finish offered by most brands, and costs will be between $25 and $400, depending on the style.
Nickel is a very warm “silver” finish. It has a little copper in it, which gives the metal a richer color than chrome. Nickel can be polished, stain, brushed, or “black,” and every manufacturer has a proprietary nickel finish. It can be difficult to match nickels across brands because one brand may physically brush their nickel with wires for a deep finish, and another may lightly scuff their “brushed” nickel. Nickel is more costly than other finishes, but it is available in nearly all styles. It costs between $50 and $500 on average.
Real bronze is a copper alloy with a rich, bright brown color. But when it comes to the bathroom, what most people think of as bronze is a color known as oil-rubbed bronze. This is a deep, almost black brown with hints of copper showing through. Every company has its proprietary bronze, and they do not often match. Some companies, such as Kohler and Newport Brass, make their own “true” bronze color. These finishes tend to be the most expensive, and they are not available in every style. They cost between $60 and $600 on average.
Many showerhead and faucet manufacturers, particularly those who produce nickel, bronze, and stainless steel finishes, also have a PVD finish on their items. PVD stands for physical vapor deposition, and it is the process in which metallic ions are deposited on a metal surface inside a vacuum. These ions do not change the appearance of the metal beyond giving it a slight luster. They make the finish impervious to everything except bleach. PVD-finished showerheads never discolor or show limescale. They also do not change or fade over time.
However, a PVD finish cannot be cleaned with bleach. Bleach reacts with the ions, breaking them down inconsistently and creating a milky film on the metal’s surface.
Chrome never has a PVD finish because chrome is already impervious to many things that can harm another metal. If you choose a nickel, bronze, or stainless steel finish, consider opting for one with a PVD coating. Most brands that offer PVD include it on their more-susceptible finishes.
Your showerhead can come in several shapes and styles. They can give you varying amounts of water, pressure, and different looks. Most come in various finishes and sizes, meaning a range of costs for each type.
|Showerhead Design||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Speakman||$20 - $40|
|Sunflower||$20 - $60|
|Hand Shower||$20 - $100|
|Waterfall Showerhead||$50 - $100|
|Tile||$60 - $100|
|Rain Shower||$100 - $500|
|Deluge||$100 - $500|
The speakman showerhead is the most classic showerhead design. It comes in several sizes, all the same shape, slightly conical with a wider base than the top. Speakmans can adjust the pressure slightly via a lever on the side. This is a good, consistent showerhead that performs the same way each time, regardless of water pressure. They cost $20 to $40 on average.
The sunflower is a retro-style showerhead. This style is frequently used with clawfoot tubs. It has a brass inner body, but a ceramic “sunflower” shape flange around the face. Finishes are more limited with this style, and you will not see much bronze or nickel. Expect costs of $20 to $60.
Hand showers are used as a standard showerhead or in addition to a standard showerhead. This is a showerhead with a handle meant to be removed from its holder. This allows you to bathe children and dogs, clean the tub, and make it easier for those with disabilities to bathe. They come in all shapes and sizes, with single or multi-function controls. They typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on the features.
If you want the feeling of standing underneath a fast-moving waterfall, a waterfall showerhead may be for you. Waterfall heads are usually large, flat, and installed in the wall. They send a large sheet of water out at a time, rather than individual sprays. They come in several finishes, although only the smallest flange can be seen flush with the wall. They cost between $50 and $100.
If you want a showerhead that can be installed flush with the ceiling or want multiple ceiling showerheads for a unique shower effect, consider the tile showerheads. These are square, flat showerheads that install on the ceiling, often flush with the surface. They come in many finishes but are mostly chrome, steel, or nickel. They have a modern look that works well in large showers. Expect costs of $60 and $100.
If you want a gentle shower that feels like falling rain, a rain showerhead may be for you. These showerheads are much like watering cans. They have flat bottoms and a curved top. They fill up slowly from bottom to top, then gently release the water like rain. They come in many sizes, including some up to 12 inches in diameter. They cost between $100 and $500 on average.
If you like how a rain showerhead looks but want something with more pressure and power, get a deluge head. Deluge heads look similar to rain heads, but they give you a lot of water all at once. This is a better choice for people with thick hair or who want to shower more quickly. They attach to the ceiling or a wall via a long arm. Prices range from $100 to $500 on average.
All-in-one shower stalls come with a built-in pan or tray, which is the shower’s bottom or floor. However, if you plan on using tile, slab, or custom walls for your shower, you need to purchase a shower pan for the floor. All shower pans are designed to slope to the drain.
For pans that are tiled, the tiles must accommodate that slope without cracking. For this reason, any tiles installed on the pan must be 2 inches or smaller. Shower trays are available in three main types:
|Type of Pan||Average Costs|
|Ready-Made Pan||$200 - $500|
|Ready-to-Tile Pan||$500 - $800|
|Custom Shower Pan||$650 - $3,500|
A ready-made shower pan is usually acrylic but can be fiberglass or composite. They come in several sizes and shapes, with a drain in the center or at one end. They are usually white, but some can be custom ordered in different colors as well. Most have a small lip, but you can find some barrier-free models. They cost between $200 and $500 on average.
If you want a tile shower floor and are using a standard-size shower, such as 36-inches square or 48” x 60”, you can opt for a tile-ready pan. These molded pans are designed to receive tile. They install very quickly, so they cost less than a custom pan. Sizes and shapes are limited, so it may be tough to find in this style if you want something specific. Prices range from $500 to $800 on average.
Custom pans are built on-site by your plumber. There are different kinds, including sheet metal and hot mop, which is built with hot tar. They are labor-intensive and expensive to build, but you can have them done in any size or shape. If you want something that you cannot find in a ready-to-tile pan, this is your best option. Not every plumber builds custom pans, and those who do have a preferred method. They cost between $650 and $3,500, depending on how large the pan is and the method your plumber uses.
Shower pans can be found prefab in several materials. Or, once they are tiled, they can be finished in a few materials. Because the pan’s surface is visible and walked on, consider the material your pan is either made from or finished with. Each one has characteristics of appearance and care as well.
Prefab pans are mostly made of acrylic. They may also be made of fiberglass or composite materials, although these are often less common. Their costs are primarily driven by the pan’s size.
|Acrylic||$200 - $400|
|Fiberglass||$200 - $400|
|Composite||$300 - $600|
Acrylic shower pans are generally the most common. They are made of tough and durable plastic, often with a textured, non-slip surface. They are usually white, but a few can be ordered in other colors. They may have a lip, or be barrier-free, and come in many sizes. They cost between $200 and $400 on average.
Fiberglass shower pans are a lot less common than acrylic but are still a good choice. They are very tough and durable and less likely to crack over long periods like acrylic. They are also lightweight and come in many sizes. They are mostly white but can be found in limited other colors as well. Prices range from $200 to $400.
Composite shower pans are nice if you want a pan that closely resembles the look of stone. Composite pans are made with a mixture of resins and often quartz or another stone. They may have the look of marble or granite or a solid color. They come in several sizes and colors, all with a non-slip finish. They cost between $300 and $600 on average.
If you opt for a tile-ready pan or a completely custom pan, it needs to be finished. This is done with tile measuring 2 inches or less. This is important because the tiles must slope to the drain. Tiles larger than 2 inches may crack rather than slope. Any floor-rated ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile can be used on a shower pan, and many types of stone can be used as well.
|Custom Pan Surface Material||Average Cost per Square Foot (Surface Material Only)|
|Tile||$20 - $50|
|Stone||$20 - $100|
Tile pans can be created to match or coordinate with the tile walls of a shower or make a statement independently. Many tiles come in sizes small enough for a tile pan, and tiles, such as glass, can be used to create a fun pop of color or sparkle in this area. Because mosaics are more expensive than larger tiles, the tiles you choose for this area cost more than the tiles used elsewhere. Tiles used for shower pans typically cost between $20 and $50 a square foot on average.
There are many ways to create a stone shower pan. A popular method is to use pebbles or rounded beach stones, which massage your feet while you shower. You can also use a textured stone underfoot like slate or marble or granite that matches your shower walls. Avoid using soft stones like limestone on the shower floor because these may pit. Also, avoid green marbles because these may spall or become scaly over time. Any stone in this area should be sealed to impede staining. Stone for a shower pan costs between $20 and $100 a square foot.
Not all showers need or use doors. Some use curtains, while others use stationary panels, and some showers are installed in wet rooms with no way to contain the water at all. However, the majority of showers use a door. Many prefab shower stalls come with a built-in door, but others need the door fitted separately. Any custom shower requires a custom-built door to match to get the exact fit.
|Shower Door Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Spray Panel||$100 - $300|
|Framed||$300 - $400|
|Sliding||$400 - $1,000|
|Frameless||$900 - $1,200|
|French||$1,000 - $1,400|
|Decorative Glass (Frosted, wave, bubble, tinted)||$50/sq.ft. extra|
The fitting and labor costs to replace a shower vary depending on the shower type. A prefab acrylic shower stall is a fairly straightforward install that can be completed in about 3 - 4 hours. After the plumbing is roughed in, the unit is set in place and screwed into position on the flanges at the top and sides. Caulk is used to fill the gaps, and the drain is set. The trim for the valves, showerhead, and other accessories are installed last.
A plumber charges between $45 and $200 on average. Roughing in the new plumbing takes about 2 hours, and installing the surround and trim takes another 3 - 4 hours. This makes the cost of installing a prefab shower around $225 to $1,200, depending on the cost of plumbing in your area and the time needed.
A custom shower installation is more labor-intensive and involves different professionals. First, the shower is framed out. This includes studs so that you could eventually install grab bars. Then, water-resistant cement backerboard is installed, the shower pan is created or laid, the rough plumbing is installed, and then the walls and pan are tiled. After the shower is complete, the trim is put on, and any shower doors can be installed. This entire process takes between 2 - 4 days. Tile installers charge between $5 and $10 a square foot in addition to the plumbing costs. Framing costs are around $5 a square foot, and the cost of installing shower doors is usually included. The labor portion of a custom shower is usually around $4,000 total, including the framing, plumbing, tiling, and finish work. If you opt for slab walls, expect your costs to be closer to $8,000 in labor to account for the additional work involved.
You have three choices of shower pan for your shower. You can purchase a ready-made pan, which costs about $100 to install. You can have a ready-to-tile pan, which costs roughly $300 to install. Or, you can have a custom pan installed, costing $500 to $1,200, depending on the shower size and your plumber’s rate.
If you install the pan when the rest of the stand-up shower is remodeled, some of these costs may be prorated or rolled into the total because most installers have a minimum charge.
Tiling a shower is one of the most popular ways to finish this area. Most tile labor costs fall between $5 and $7 a square foot. However, some materials take extra work and cost up to $30 an hour. This means that for a 48” x 60” shower, expect labor to be around $450 to $630 if only the walls are tiled and $550 to $770 if you tile the floor. If you use a specialty material, labor costs can reach $3,300 for a shower this size.
Any shower that does not have a tub is considered a walk-in shower. You can have a prefab acrylic shower installed for $800 or a large custom walk-in shower installed for $8,000 or more. Size, material, style, and whether you opt for a prefab or custom shower influences your shower’s cost. Expect the labor portions to cost $225 to $5,000 or more.
The cost to install your shower plumbing depends largely on the shower type. A basic shower with a single pressure balancing valve and showerhead costs considerably less to plumb than a shower with a thermostatic valve, three-volume controls, two showerheads, and three body sprays.
The plumbing’s accessibility also factors into the cost. In a complete remodel, it is easy for the plumber to get in and install the pipes and valves. When replacing the valve, your plumber may have a harder time reaching things, increasing the labor cost.
Another factor influencing costs is your shower wall material. Prefab and tile showers are straightforward to install the plumbing valve and trim on. But a slab requires the plumber to put extenders on the valves, increasing time and costs.
For a straightforward pressure balancing valve shower plumbing installation, expect to pay roughly between $300 and $500 total, with labor making up $150 to $300. For a thermostatic system or performance shower, costs range from $1,500 to $2,500 altogether, with labor making up $500 to $1,500 of the cost.
The cost of installing a shower valve depends mostly on the valve type. Pressure balancing valves are fairly easy to install and take about 1 - 2 hours, less if the wall is already open for a remodel.
Thermostatic valves take longer to install because they are part of a set and require a separate volume control for each water source. This means 1 - 2 hours per valve in the set, with a minimum of two valves for a minimum of 2 - 4 hours.
The labor for installing a valve is between $45 and $200 an hour, so labor costs between $45 and $800, depending on the valve system. The valves themselves cost between $150 and $1,200 for a total of $195 to $2,000 for valve installation.
Many variables go into replacing a shower. You can replace your existing shower with an identical one. You can also go from tile to prefab, prefab to tile, or these to slab walls.
In addition, the layout and size of the stand-up shower may remain the same or change. The plumbing and valve systems may remain the same types, or they may change. This makes for a wide range of costs.
If you currently have a prefab shower and replace it with another prefab, expect to have tear-out costs of around $200. There is also a new installation, which can cost $800 at the low end and $4,500 at the high end, for a total range of $1,000 to $4,700.
If you have a prefab and are moving to tile, expect tear-out costs to be the same, but the new installation will be closer to $8,000 with the framing, backerboard and tile installation, and a new pan.
If you currently have a tile shower, tear out costs start at $500. This can go higher if the tile is old. Mud jobs can still be found in many older bathrooms, and they can take a lot of work to remove, bringing the tear-out costs to $1,000. Assuming that you replace the shower with a similar size and material, your total shower replacement costs are between $8,500 and $9,000 on average.
If you have a bathtub that you want to replace with a shower stall, many variables influence the total cost. Bathtubs come in many materials, including acrylic, fiberglass, steel, and iron. Metal tubs can be heavy and difficult to remove. Tubs can also have a tile surround or be one piece with walls of the same material.
Removing the tub costs between $200 and $1,000, depending on the material, how difficult it is to remove, and how invasive the tub’s flange is with the walls. For example, if you need to cut open the walls or the floor to remove the tub, costs are higher.
From there, you need to decide the size of the new shower. Most tubs are around 30” x 60”, but you may want to make your shower larger or smaller. Framing, backerboard, plumbing, and the new shower stall material - prefab or custom - follows.
Depending on what you ultimately decide you want to install, changing the bathtub to a shower could cost between $1,000 and $9,000 on average.
If you currently have a prefab, fiberglass shower, replacing it with tile can give your bathroom a fresh new look. Many fiberglass showers are one piece, so to remove it, you need to cut it into pieces and tear it out. This costs between $400 to $500 on average.
Installing a tile shower costs around $8,000 for a 48 x 60-inch shower. Many fiberglass showers are smaller, so unless you are enlarging the existing shower, your costs are likely closer to $5,000 to $6,000 to replace a fiberglass shower with tile.
If you want to be completely immersed in water from multiple places at once, a performance shower or full-body shower is a great choice. In a full-body shower, you have a thermostatic shower valve for precise temperature control. You also have a volume control for each showerhead - most full-body showers have two - and control for your body sprays.
Body sprays are small heads installed in a row on your wall and send water directly to your body. They are installed to hit your legs, low back, and upper back while the showerheads hit your head and the other side of your body. Body sprays must be installed in one line, and they need to be installed in groups of three. For every group of three, you have a separate volume control.
For the body sprays to give you an equal amount of pressure and water at once, they must be connected in a pressure balancing loop. Your plumber will run pipes down the sides of the three valves and across to each of the valves. They cannot work unless they all get an equal amount of pressure, and the pipes ensure that they do.
A full-body shower prices are around $2,500 in valves, showerheads, and body sprays. Installation takes 5 - 6 hours. You need to support at least 24 gallons of water per minute and have at least a 100-gallon hot water tank installed in your home.
Many wells are not capable of putting out 24 gallons of water a minute. Therefore, this system may not work in homes with wells but should be reserved for homes with street water.
A shower tower is a good way to give yourself a performance shower without including plumbing or extra costs. Most people investing in a shower tower do so as part of a minor remodel, rather than a brand new shower.
A shower tower fits over your existing valve and showerhead. It contains two or three body sprays and a showerhead, and an occasional hand shower as well. It has many limits for performance showers, but it is easier and less invasive to install. Shower towers cost between $1,000 and $2,000, making them more affordable than custom full-body showers, but they lack the versatility and control of the custom models.
Bathroom showers come in nearly any size or shape that you desire. To meet code, your shower must be a minimum of 30-inches square. However, this is very small and often uncomfortable for people to bathe in, so the smallest recommended shower size is 36-inches square.
Your shower can technically be any height as well, but to meet code, you need to either extend your tile or shower surround to 3-inches above your showerhead. Or, you need to tile or otherwise cover your ceiling if your showerhead is on the ceiling or if it extends from the wall just below the ceiling.
The most common shower size in the U.S. is roughly 48-inches wide by 60-inches long and 81-inches in height. If you have the space, you can certainly go larger.
Your contractor will want to measure the area for your new shower stall. However, you can spend a few minutes doing this yourself to help understand the costs associated with the supplies required. A typical drop-in shower kit will measure 32 to 60 inches in width and 32 to 72 inches in length. Most walls are over 80 inches in height. It is best to measure where you want to locate the shower to determine the best type of shower for your space. Next, you will measure from the base of the shower to the top of the wall. Thirdly, figure out the measurement between the back wall to the front of the enclosure on both sides.
A half bathroom contains only a toilet and sink. These are often very small spaces that do not have room for a shower. To add a shower, you likely need to knock down a wall to take space from a nearby room or closet.
Adding a shower to a half bathroom would now make this room a ¾ bath rather than a half bath. Framing and fitting of the shower costs roughly $4,000 to $8,000. This is in addition to the cost to open the wall into another space and the finishing costs to make the space cohesive. Expect these costs to add another $1,000 to $3,000 to your total, making the total cost to add a shower to a half bath between $5,000 and $11,000 on average.
The cost to add a shower to a bathtub ranges from $300 to $2,000. You very seldom see a bathtub that doesn’t also have a shower. Older homes or a specialty tub can mean that there isn’t a shower included. Many homeowners have no interest in taking baths, or they would like the option to rotate between bathing and showering. The good news is that the existing tub plumbing can run the water through the showerhead. An expert craftsman will need to remove the drywall to access the pipes and then replace the drywall at the cost of $75 to $350. For tile removal and replacement, expect to pay $300 to $500. If the walls are made of waterproof material, it will require that tile or other appropriate product be installed at the cost of $1,000 to $5,000.
Remodeling an existing shower in your home can take on many variations. It is possible to leave your existing surround but change the trim and showerhead and install a new door. You can also replace an existing prefab shower with a new one, remove tile and trim, leave the plumbing and walls the same, and install new tiles and trims.
You can also tear the shower down to the studs and start over completely, installing new framing, backerboard, plumbing, and surround.
Each of these scenarios has a cost. At the lowest end, you can do a minor shower remodel for around $1,000, or you can do a completely new shower remodel for as high as $10,000. Most people find their shower remodel is in the middle, with typical remodeling costs of $4,000 to $5,000 on average.
If a shower door is not being used and you are not using a wet room, a shower screen may be necessary. A shower screen is any material used to contain water. In some cases, a sliding glass door or a fixed panel can be referred to as a shower screen but so can a shower curtain.
In some areas, folding shower screens are also available. These are accordion-like panels that fix to the wall and pull across the shower. They are uncommon and may be difficult to find. Some of the nicer, glass versions typically cost around $400-$700.
Steam showers can be a great addition to many bathrooms. They allow you to sit, relax, and enjoy the steam, but they can also function as a standard shower. The key is to completely seal up the room and use a non-porous material on the walls, like porcelain. The average steam shower costs around $6,000 to install, including the unit, doors, and a new porcelain surround.
No one enjoys the eye-opening feel of cold shower water. An electric shower allows for an immediate warm to hot shower for a relaxing, cleansing experience. Using a cold water feed, the water is filtered over a heating element resulting in instant hot water. The advantages of an electric shower include never running out of hot water because someone else used it all, decreased electric bills, and an easier way to build a new bathroom. The disadvantage is the cost and the fact that the water pressure is usually lower. This job can be a little costly on its own as it requires both a plumber and an electrician. Each of these professionals will charge separately at $350 to $400 for labor, and the parts run $100 to $500.
The cost of a smart shower could be prohibitive as the system can cost as much as $2,500. Labor will generally require an electrician, a plumber, and someone to finish the wall area. The labor starts at $350 to $375, and wall finishing costs $75 to $125.
A smart or Wi-Fi shower connects to your smart home system, a smart app, the shower’s smart display, or a voice command product. It enables the homeowner to control and change temperatures, flow, shower duration, water pressure, and a turn-on ahead of time feature. Your smart shower Alexa or smart shower Google Home works with these devices to provide a “just the right temperature” shower. Smart showers are the ultimate in convenience and energy savings and are aesthetically pleasing as there are no knobs or handles protruding from the wall. However, keep in mind that if your internet goes out, you don’t have water to shower. Also, if you aren’t tech-savvy, having a smart shower can become a burden. Probably the biggest concern is the high cost of installing a smart shower.
It is generally recommended that at least one bathroom in a home contains a tub or a tub/shower combination to improve resale value and potential. Bathtubs make bathing children easier and add versatility to the home.
Many people choose to install a tub/shower combination in at least one bathroom. This helps maintain resale value and makes the bathroom more versatile. However, it is possible to either remove the tub altogether or install a tub/shower in one bathroom and a stand-alone shower in another.
The benefit of installing a shower vs a tub and shower is that a shower can be any size or shape. You can fit one into less room than a tub can take up or make it more spacious. You also eliminate the step of having to climb over the tub.
A 5-foot acrylic tub costs around $2,500 to install. If you choose a custom tile surround, this increases costs. An acrylic shower costs around $800 on average to install, while a custom shower has much higher costs, up to $8,000 on average. Costwise, both have a wide range with a lot of overlap, but a basic acrylic shower is less than a basic acrylic tub.
If you have a small bathroom, making it a wetroom instead of a traditional bathroom can have some benefits. Wetrooms eliminate the need for a shower curtain or door because the entire room is waterproofed. This makes the room seem larger because there is no separation between the tub and the rest of the room. Wet rooms are also easier to navigate for those with disabilities or mobility issues.
However, wet rooms cost more on average to install. A 144 sq.ft. wetroom costs $21,600, while the same-size traditional bath costs around $18,000. Larger bathrooms with space can also more easily accommodate a separate shower, which means that more than one user can use the space at the same time. Both layouts have their advantages and drawbacks, making this decision a personal one based on habits and space, rather than on style.
If you are installing a new shower, it may be a good idea to upgrade the bathroom fan to accommodate the steam. Fans are required by code in most areas, and having one function properly can prevent mold growth. Make sure the fan is sized for your bathroom. Most are sized based on square footage. Bathroom fans cost around $350-$400.
When installing a performance shower with more than one showerhead and body sprays, you will likely need a hot water tank upgrade too. The average performance shower uses 24 gallons of water a minute. The average 50-gallon water heater would only provide you with a few minutes of truly warm water. Upgrading helps you enjoy your shower longer. New hot water heaters cost around $1,000-$3,200 for an 80-gallon heater.
If you worry about falling or have mobility issues, you may wish to install grab bars in your bathroom. Grab bars are screwed into the studs on your walls and can prevent falls. Towel rails are not a substitute for a grab bar because they may pull out of the wall during a fall. The average cost to install grab bars is around $243.
Good lighting is important to any bathroom design. You want lighting over your sink and overhead as well. If you have a large or dark shower area, you can install a light in this area. While LED lights can be used in any light fixture, they reduce your electricity usage and come in many tones. The average LED bulb costs between $6 and $20, while fixtures cost $100 to $300 each.
The cost to put in a shower depends on the size, material, and whether you have an existing shower or are building from scratch. The average cost of a brand new shower with framing, backerboard, plumbing, and tile costs around $8,000 on average to install. You can also install a prefab unit for closer to $800.
The cost of installing a new acrylic shower is around $3,000 while installing new ceramic tiles in an existing shower is around $2,620. Tearing out the old shower costs around $500-$1,000, depending on the existing materials. If you are completely gutting the shower and starting from scratch, costs are closer to $8,000 on average.
The answer to this question relies on the type of showerhead you have, how much water it uses a minute, and whether you have a standard shower or a performance shower. A water-saving showerhead uses 2 gallons of water per minute. This means that a 20-minute shower uses 40 gallons of water. But a deluge showerhead uses 10 gallons of water a minute. This makes the 20-minute shower use 200 gallons of water. A performance shower uses roughly 24 gallons of water a minute for 480 gallons of water in 20 minutes.
This depends on the type of pan. With a ready-to-tile or custom pan, yes you can tile this. For an acrylic or readymade pan, no you cannot tile these because they are not designed to hold tile and could cause cracks.
Any shower that does not have a tub is a walk-in shower. Unless you are considering getting rid of the only tub in your home to replace it with a walk-in shower, they function well.
This depends on what the pan is made of. They can be acrylic, fiberglass, custom made of sheet metal, or composite materials. They can last 10 to 50 years, depending on the material. How they are treated and whether or not they are tiled also impacts longevity.
No, shower curbs are not necessary. If you use a barrier-free shower, you need to slope the rest of your floor toward the drain because the curb keeps the water closer to the drain. Most barrier-free showers have mosaic floors outside of the shower area for this.
(walk-in ceramic tile shower with a valve, showerhead, and door)
(acrylic square shower with a valve, showerhead, and no door)
(luxury stone slab shower with a bench and performance shower system)
Cost to install a shower varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from plumbers in your city.