9 Shower Remodeling Ideas for an Instant Upgrade

Candace Nelson
Written by Candace Nelson
Updated January 10, 2022
A modern bathroom having both a shower and a bathtub
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If your bathroom is ready for a redo, consider these remodel ideas for a shower upgrade

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A refreshing shower can be a total mood-changer. If you’re still cleaning up in a pastel-colored tub circa 1950, it might be time for modernization. Whether you like a tub and shower combo, a shower alongside a jetted tub, or a luxurious shower, you can spruce up your space and completely tailor it to your bathing preferences and design tastes with the latest features and styles. Check out these shower remodel ideas.

1. Tub and Shower Combo

A tub and shower combo in a bathroom with beautiful tiles
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The classic tub-and-shower combo provides an opportunity to layer on personal touches. Start with a tile pattern you love, then choose a shower door or shower curtain to match your style. 

Many of the door trends available for shower stalls are also available for tubs. Install sleek, frameless shower slider doors at tub height. You can also go for a half wall for an always-open shower entry that still keeps the water where it belongs. 

Families with small kids might prefer a fun shower curtain that opens easily to bathe wiggly kids and closes to hide their always-growing bath toy collection.

Regardless of what you choose, this is a smart remodeling project that offers benefits that go well beyond aesthetics.

“Installing a new bathtub or shower will boost the appeal of your bathroom and, consequently, the value of your home,” says Zach Reece, owner and chief operating officer at Colony Roofers in Atlanta, GA. “This project also has the highest ROI renovation because your shower and tub are used frequently and go through the most wear and tear over time."

2. Ditch the Door

A shower with no door in a modern bathroom
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Skipping a door on your shower stall can give your bathroom a luxurious, spa-like feel. To further reduce the barriers to entry, skip the shower pan and instead slightly slope the floor toward the drain.

These “curbless” showers make your space look bigger, increase accessibility, and give you one less thing to clean. Properly installed, you won’t have to think twice about water splashing outside of the designated area.

Doorless showers usually have three walls around them. If your space is bigger, you might opt for a doorway-size entrance and a half wall to keep your water in and cool air out.

3. Find Your Niche

Start the day with everything in its place. A built-in shower niche provides a spot for the bottles and bars you need in the shower. Get creative with a different tile pattern for your niche to separate it from the rest of the shower.

Depending on your shower size, you can include a small ledge storage niche or go big with a built-in floor-to-ceiling tile shelf. Either way, your niche is a practical enhancement that replaces bottles lining the wall and caddies hanging from the showerhead.

4. Steam It Up

A steam shower can feel like a fancy upgrade to add to your list of shower remodel ideas. With the push of a button on the wall-mounted control panel, your normal shower stall turns into a steam shower. After you’ve relaxed your muscles and warmed your body, you can always take the temperature down again by switching back to shower mode for a rinse. 

It’s easiest to add a steam shower when remodeling your bathroom, so you can accommodate the steam generator and the necessary components without cutting into your finished tile or walls.

5. Upgrade Your Shower Head

One of the quickest ways to refresh your shower is with a showerhead upgrade. Rain showerheads are a popular choice. Rain showerheads distribute the same amount of water as a standard showerhead over a larger area. So you’ll feel like you’re enjoying fresh rainfall. 

The design reduces the pressure of the flow. For even more luxury, install two showerheads for multiple water streams or a smart showerhead that controls water temperature. 

But showerhead options don’t end there. Choose the one that best fits your shower preferences. Handhelds offer flexibility and directed spray. Sliding bars adjust the height to accommodate the tallest and the shortest in the household.

6. Take a Seat

A concrete bathroom with a seat in the shower
Carlina Teteris/Moment via Getty Images

A shower seat can serve multiple purposes. If you’re installing a steam shower during your bathroom remodel, you might particularly enjoy a place to sit while the vapor does its thing. 

Otherwise, a seat can help prevent shower falls. It’s also an ideal spot to prop your leg when shaving. Of course, it can also serve as a ledge for bottles or a plant.

7. Go Frameless

Frameless shower doors give you a minimal, seamless look that eliminates the metal and rubber frame. Bonus: There’s a lower risk of mold growth.

This can be a great pick for a smaller or darker bathroom. A clear glass door lets more light in. Choose a curved door for a little more space in the shower. There are some downsides to a frameless shower door though, like the possibility of leaks.

8. Add Some Plants

Plant parents, take it up a notch with your own personal rainforest. Look for plants that thrive in humid environments. Unless you have a sun-drenched bathroom, you’ll need a plant that doesn’t require direct sunlight. Finally, consider size. Unless you have a good-size ledge, you’ll need to keep your greenery small. Consider Earth stars, lucky bamboo, and ferns.

9. Play With Tile Patterns

Whether you’re fond of florals or looking to get creative with subway rectangles, you can express yourself through tile. 

These shower remodel ideas will help you express your personality through tile:

Modernize Subway

To make subway tiles all your own, lay them in a new way. Consider a crosshatch or herringbone pattern or lay them vertically. You can also update the classic tile with textured or colored tiles. If you stick with classic white, black grout can bring a fresh look.

Art Deco Designs

Rounded fan shape tile is stylish and eye-catching. The best part is they can make your space feel bigger. Scalloped tiles look great in an earthy green, sea-inspired blue, classic gray, or a combo.

Bring on the Drama

Dark colors, rich marbling, and large tiles bring decadence to a shower stall. Combine all three for a truly striking look. The large tile size minimizes grout lines for a seamless look that makes the shower feel bigger.

Inspired by Nature

Take a look at lush green lawns, bright autumn leaves, and deserts for color inspiration. A sea-inspired blue tile with a pebble floor can bring back memories of that relaxing beach vacation. Then layer on bamboo, sisal, and natural wood bathroom accessories for a natural look. 

You can also lay tiles with a flower or plant design if that’s more your style. Porcelain tiles are available with a wood-like look with none of the water damage that comes with a wood floor in a bathroom.

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