5 things you need to know before starting a shower renovation

If you’ve decided to renovate your bathroom, chances are you’ve considered a walk-in shower. A walk-in shower can indeed transform a space and make the room feel more spacious, cleaner and modern. Walk-in shower enclosures are often cited as a safer option than traditional bathtubs, as they are more accessible without “stepping over” your tub when entering. While bathtub/shower combos offer a multipurpose approach, walk-in shower enclosures offer a wide range of design possibilities. But, before you commit to a shower enclosure, there are several things to consider, each important in their own way.

Renovate For Good Ltd. in Calgary is a professional construction and renovation business, specializing in bathrooms and basements. They report that 90% of the ensuite renovations they do now involve removal of huge rarely used tubs, and replacing them with beautiful new walk-in showers. They share some advantages and things to consider before you choose a new walk-in shower:

Tile walls vs acrylic and fibreglass walls

One of the first design considerations of the shower enclosure design is choosing what materials you want for the walls. Tiles, acrylic, and fibreglass all offer a stunning finish, but each has its benefits and differences. Reputatble renovators will always ask customers what’s most important to them to help them decide.

Tiles are available in any number of designs, shapes, colours, and textures for a customized finish. Not only do tiles add significant value to the home, and an upscale look, but there are also eco-friendly options available. Still, tiled walls require a higher amount of maintenance to keep looking clean and watertight. And, to avoid tiles developing mildew, calcium buildup or getting stained, they will need regular cleaning. If installed well, and maintained under normal use, tiles can last for decades, providing a beautiful and reliable centrepiece for your bathroom.

Compared to tiles, acrylic and fibreglass are lower-cost and lower-maintenance options for shower enclosures. Unlike fibreglass, acrylic shower enclosures are much more resistant to scratches or scuffs, and scratches can be buffed out if necessary.  On the other hand, fibreglass is more at risk of scratches and colour fades, but it costs less to repair if needed. For those who are passionate about buying local, and lower carbon footprints, there are local manufacturers of well made acrylic shower enclosures with full warranties.

Shower Base

Shower Bases are another interesting and important consideration. Is it most important to you that your shower be easy to clean? Is it style that matters most? Or price? Or a sense of security about water-tightness? All of these are important, and achievable with either acrylic or tiled shower bases. But, if cost and easy cleaning are your focus, an acrylic prefab shower base might be the best option for you. These one-piece shower pans are virtually indestructible and watertight when installed correctly, and provide a streamlined look. They’re also easiest to clean with some foaming spray cleanser and a quick rinse with a shower wand.

If you’re looking for something a little fancier, something to express your design personality, a custom tiled base might be more your style. While these systems are more expensive, and do require more regular inspection to ensure it remains completely watertight, they can be striking and luxurious to look at. Depending on the size of your shower enclosure and the tiles you choose, tiled shower bases can often cost between $1000 and $3000 to install, versus an acrylic base costing an average of $500 to $1500.

Benefits of glass doors in your shower enclosure

The biggest benefit of glass doors in a shower enclosure is the instant style and clean, modern design boost it provides. If you’re looking for a way to update or transform your old bathroom, then this is a sure way to do so. Costs for glass doors vary widely, depending on the thickness of the glass, the width of your shower, whether they are fixed, hinged or sliding, etc. For larger bathrooms, swinging shower doors are more popular. It also pays to ask if there are any quality problems with the doors you select, either with the mechanism, chipping, cracking, or corrosion. On average, expect to pay between $1000-$3000 for a reliable, good quality shower door, with a full guarantee from the manufacturer and installer.

There are countless design possibilities

Glass Shower Doors are customizable to almost any style. Even door frame and glass type are customizable, typically with personal taste in mind. New, frameless door frames are quickly becoming the favoured choice because of the visual appeal, and ease of cleaning. As for the glass, both tint and texture are customizable to match your bathroom decor and personal taste. Still, clear, non-tinted glass remains the most popular for that open, clean, spacious look – especially if you have beautiful tiles you’d like to show off!

Additions such as benches, foldable seats, niches and grab-bars can also be installed for added comfort, convenience and confidence. Or, for a more ultimately luxurious addition, install wall jets, a rain-head, a shower wand, or ALL of the above!

Need ideas? Take a look at these beautiful walk-in shower enclosures for ideas for your own shower project!

Cost considerations of shower enclosures

Budget and cost considerations are important for any renovation, but especially with a shower enclosure. Depending on the size, quality and any additional features, the costs will vary accordingly. A prefab walk-in shower kit is the least expensive option, as the confident adventurer can DIY over a weekend; or have a certified professional install it for peace of mind and guarantees. If you choose a custom walk-in, though, it’s best to leave it to professionals, especially when battling the power and instinct water has in finding cracks, weaknesses, and leaks; horror stories abound when it comes to poorly installed showers! Prefabs will cost between $800 and $2,500, while a unique, custom built shower can range from $6,500 to $15,000 on average.

Bathroom Renovations in Calgary

Renovate For Good Ltd. is dedicated to absolute customer satisfaction through high-quality work. They can help with everything from full renos of bathrooms and basements, to decks and fences. Their team of Red Seal trades is just as qualified and skilled as they are passionate about their work and their customers. When you work with Renovate For Good Ltd. they guarantee you’ll love the work they provide.

Renovate For Good Ltd. is a Social Enterprise that donates time and money to great Calgary charities that help make family life better – yours, and those who need it most!

Don’t hesitate to contact them today for questions, or help!


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