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Shower Remodel: Worth the Investment?

[Updated: Feb 09, 2021 ] Feb 08, 2021 by Barbara Zito
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A newly renovated bathroom is one of the top items on a homebuyer's wish list. But a full bathroom remodel isn't the only way to capture the hearts of would-be buyers. A shower remodel is one way to update the look of a bathroom's aesthetic as well as its function.

A clean start in a new home

It makes sense that homebuyers want the place they bathe to look and feel clean. While a full remodel would be ideal, other updates to a bathroom would also be welcomed. This could mean anything from a new vanity to updated fixtures to a tankless toilet.

But a beautiful new shower -- bonus points for multiple shower heads or a frameless shower door -- could sweeten the deal for potential buyers. And depending on which type of shower you choose, you could change the look of the entire space.

What does a shower remodel cost?

According to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), the average cost to install a new shower is $4,991, with a range between $1,951 and $8,044. For example, a 32-inch square acrylic stall can range from $750 to $3,000, while a custom-tiled walk-in shower of the same size can run you anywhere from $4,200 to $8,500. Keep in mind that these figures are just for the shower itself, not plumbing, which will cost extra.

Fixing existing plumbing is one thing, but adding plumbing is another. If you plan to upgrade a half bath to a three-quarter, you can expect to pay more to install pipes and drains. Adding a shower to a half bath can cost anywhere between $900 and $12,500, according to HomeAdvisor. A bathroom should be at least 5' x 7' to hold a sink, toilet, and shower. If walls need to be built or removed to make room for these fixtures, your costs will be on the higher side of the range.

As with all home improvement projects, it all depends on size, design, and materials. Suffice it to say, if you want your new shower to resemble something in a hotel spa, you'll be at the higher end of these price ranges.

What is the value of a shower remodel?

According to Remodeling's Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel has a 64% ROI. Even if you don't spring for an entire redo of the bath, it makes sense to update the shower to woo buyers.

While a soaking tub used to be the wow factor for a bathroom, now it's a walk-in shower. Spacious and spa-like, they are as beautiful to bathe in as they are accessible. This is particularly important for buyers with limited mobility, as well as homeowners who wish to age in place and will appreciate the accessibility a walk-in shower offers.

The bottom line

A bathroom renovation is not only a pricey proposition, but it can be a time-consuming one, too. Potential buyers will appreciate having it already done for them -- in fact, some will expect it. That's why a shower remodel, whether on its own or part of a larger bathroom makeover, could be the key to getting more and better offers for your property.

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