Updating a Bathroom and Installing a Custom Shower

Updating a Bathroom and Installing a Custom Shower

Marcia Prentice
Mar 8, 2010

What do you do when your master bathroom has carpet and no shower, bathtub, or toilet? It also serves as the closet space for the master bedroom. The challenge was to renovate the bathroom to make it functional and aesthetically pleasing.

A master bathroom should be an area for serenity and relaxation. Serenity was acheived by adding a 4' custom tiled shower and maximizing on the light from the adjacent window. We love the look of mosaic tiles, but they can be pricey. Plain white subway tiles are rather inexpensive; therefore, they were used for the majority of the shower. To conserve money, mosaic tiles were used only as an accent border.

Because the bathroom was used as a closet area for the bedroom, a seperate closet was created in the master bedroom. The door was removed between the master bathroom and second bathroom to create two separate enclosed bathrooms. The master bathroom was extended 1' and the second bathroom was decreased by 1' to create additional master bathroom square footage. A linen cabinet and commode were installed. The carpeted floor was replaced by 12" x 24" tile from a local tile showroom.

Notes for Building a Custom Shower:
When building a custom shower, there are some very important practical concerns. Most importantly, make sure that the plumber pitches the shower floor. Test the pitch by turning on the shower and see if the water puddles on the shower floor or if runs into the drain. Use cement board instead of the typical drywall to build the shower walls to prevent future problems if the water seeps through the tiles. Think of where you will store your shower necessities. In the shower pictured, two built-in nooks were built to hold the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.

Another financial and practical consideration for a custom shower is that the shower door has to also be custom from a glass showroom. Price the shower door, tile, shower fixture, and plumbing labor, before deciding on building a custom shower. It can be a costly endeavor, but a custom shower is an investment and will last many many years.


  • Facet Fixture: Home Depot (Pegasus Series K)
  • Shower Head: Home Depot
  • Cabinetry: Lowe's (Kraftmaid's Venicia line)
  • Countertops: Meganite.com (Color: Bright White)
  • Lighting: Home Depot
  • Cabinetry Hardware: Myknobs.com (European Bar Pulls)

The bathroom is a part of the overall renovation of a dated condo. The kitchen before/after photos can be found in a previous post.

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(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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