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Remodeling a shower on a budget isn’t a walk in the park, but can be made easier with proper planning. Establishing your end goal of the shower remodel should be one of the first steps in the planning process.
You’ll want to establish how much time, energy, and money you want to invest. Additionally, you should consider what your return on investment will be. Is this a remodel that will add noticeable value to your home? Or simply something that will make you more content with your daily bathroom routines?
Depending on the type of shower remodel you want to do, you should adjust your budget accordingly. Walk-in showers, tub to shower and vice versa, and shower stalls will all have their own set of challenges.
Before you get started, there are a few important things you should keep in mind during a shower remodel:
- Understand that you might find some walls, floors, or plumbing that were constructed poorly and will need to be replaced; this will impact the cost of your remodel.
- Don’t buy the cheapest materials available, this will come back to haunt you in the long run.
- Don’t go with the first contractor you find. Make sure to shop around and find someone with a good track record and reasonable pricing. The most expensive option isn’t always the best.
- A DIY project will save you money on labor costs, but it’s important to consider your skill level. If you’re doing everything yourself but doing a poor job, the money you save now might be spent on fixing problems in the future.
- According to AngiesList, a shower remodel can cost anywhere between $1,100 – $5,500. This is important to note as you start the project so you can get a feeling of how successfully you’re budgeting.
Walk-In Showers vs. Tubs
During your remodel, you will usually be dealing with either a walk-in shower or a bathtub. Both can be remodeled on a budget, you just have to find the right material for the job.
You basically have two options: You’ll want to either buy a new tub liner or refinish your current tub. Of course, you could buy a whole new bathtub, but that’s going to be the most expensive option. If that’s the route you prefer to take and the price is not an issue, I suggest checking out a more luxury experience through steam showers.
Bathtub refinishing involves cleaning, sanding, patching, and painting your existing bathtub. As you can imagine, this is one of the most budget-friendly choices because it’s so simple. For a job like this, you can either hire or a professional or look for DIY kits that you can use yourself. If you’re not looking to totally revamp your bathtub, this could be the perfect option for you.
Buying a new bathtub liner is more expensive, but if you’re looking for longevity, this is the right choice. Refinishing only adds a small layer of new material, while a liner is a completely new addition. The downsides of a new bathtub liner are that they slightly decrease the size of your tub, and they’re more expensive.
Walk-in showers are usually going to be more expensive than remodeling your tub because there are more factors to consider. You have to think about the shower door, flooring, and walls. Check out our article about what you need to know about walk-in showers.
Tile or Acrylic
One of the main decisions you’ll find yourself making is what material you’re going to use in your shower. Picking a low-cost option while still reworking the design of the shower is easier said than done.
Acrylic and Fiberglass
The budget choice for remodeling the shower is going to be between acrylic and fiberglass. There are prefabricated acrylic panels that can be applied quickly and easily to the shower walls. If you’re replacing tile, you’ll first have to remove all the tile to ensure you’re attaching the acrylic to a smooth surface.
While this may sound like the cheaper option, you can still find designs and styles that complement any aesthetic that you’re going for. Whether it’s modern, industrial, or traditional, you’ll be able to find an acrylic panel that’s right for you.
Rather than re-tiling the floor of the shower, fiberglass shower pans are an excellent budget option for your shower. They come in many different sizes, shapes, and styles, and you should be able to easily find the right fit for your space.
Going this budget route with your shower is easier if you’re remodeling a walk-in or shower stall. If you’re converting from a tub to walk-in, you’ll have to consider the cost of tearing out the tub and disposing of it.
If you have your heart set on tiling, the two main choices are ceramic and porcelain tiles. Ceramic tiles are the best choice as they’re not as expensive as porcelain. Both materials are sturdy and reliable and if installed correctly, should last you decades.
If you decide that you want to re-tile your shower, this is when your costs can increase. Once again, if you choose to DIY, you’ll save money. However, it’s a time-consuming task and we recommend watching your fair share of YouTube videos to see how the pros do it. Check out this video on How to Tile a Bathroom Wall for Beginners.
How Much Will a Shower Remodel Cost Me?
After reading through all this information about planning your shower remodel, picking a style, picking materials, and looking at your budget, you’re probably wondering how much this thing is actually going to cost you!
Home Advisor has an excellent guide that breaks down the average costs for a low budget shower remodel. The national average is $3,165. However, that price can fluctuate dramatically based on what you want. Here’s a look at the cost breakdown of a basic shower remodel.
- Acrylic shower kits fit over your existing tub and shower walls, and they provide an instantly fresh look at a low price of $150 to $250. On the downside, these kits usually come in limited colors and styles, and the material doesn’t last nearly as long as tiles can.
- Alternatively, installing new fixtures and tiles can create a great visual without spending too much. Stick with basic ceramic tiles, which start as low as $1.30 per square foot.
- Simple glass doors cost $100 to $300, and single showerheads start at around $40, making it easy to get a sleek, fresh look on a budget.
Trade Winds Imports also has a great variety of shower fixtures to choose from.
With this information, you should be able to start planning your shower remodel. Remember, you don’t need to go over the top with your spending. It’s normal to go a little over budget, but try to stick to what you promised yourself. Good luck, and happy remodeling from the Tradewinds Imports team!
Karina Rodriguez is a content specialist for World Trade Imports. She has prior experience in sales and furniture industry. She currently resides in Longmont, Colorado with her husband and two fur babies.