Shower replacement cost

Expect to spend a few thousand

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    shower with water flowing

    An outdated shower isn't just an eyesore — it could also cause serious issues in your home. Small cracks in the structure let water seep into your floors, which can lead to expensive mold issues. Older showers have a life span of about ten years before they need to be replaced or reglazed.

    But how do you know when to repair an old shower or make the investment to replace it? First, look at the costs and potential benefits of repairs and replacements as well as the costs: Replacing a shower ranges from around $1,000 to $8,000 or more.

    Key insights

    • Prefabricated shower/tub combos are usually less expensive to replace than walk-in showers.
    • Labor and installation costs typically account for at least half of the expenses associated with replacing your shower.
    • Bathroom updates, like shower replacements, can offer homeowners a return on their investment when they go to sell.
    • As a general rule, newer shower models are lower maintenance than older showers.

    What affects the cost of a shower replacement?

    The cost of a new shower can depend on a number of factors, including size, materials used, plumbing requirements and installation costs. Your location can also impact project costs.

    Size and complexity of the project

    The size of the shower tends to be the most significant factor in determining replacement costs. A larger shower requires more materials and labor to install, so these prices can vary greatly from those of smaller shower sizes.

    Major changes to the footprint of your previous bathroom setup can also affect costs — for instance, if you’re replacing your shower with a larger unit or making your shower ADA-compliant. Also, during the tear-out process, you may discover hidden water damage that needs repair, which could easily double your anticipated expenses.


    If you opt for a tiled shower, you can choose from various tile options with differing costs. The most common are porcelain, ceramic, granite and marble. Certain materials, like granite and marble, tend to cost more per square foot — for comparison, marble tile can cost at least 10 times more than ceramic tile.

    Even the shape or the pattern of the tile can affect the price (e.g., square or rectangle shapes may be less expensive per square foot than hexagon-shaped tiles). Incorporating patterns, like chevron, will also cost you extra.

    Prefabricated shower inserts are typically made of more budget-friendly materials, like acrylic or fiberglass, so you can expect to pay less for these than for a tiled shower.

    » COMPARE: Porcelain vs. ceramic tile

    Plumbing and electrical requirements

    Installers must adhere to several plumbing and electrical codes when replacing showers. For instance, pipes must be the right size for proper water flow to your new shower.

    Since codes are constantly updated, older homes aren’t likely to meet the newest standards. This means you may need to spend more than you anticipated to get your bathroom up to code.

    Additional features

    Sprucing up your new shower with trendy fixtures and hardware also increases the project costs. For instance, features like a rainfall showerhead can cost $200 or more. Other shower add-ons may include shelves, seats and grip bars.

    » MORE: Best shower grab bars

    Even the type of shower door you choose can greatly impact your remodeling budget. A simple framed glass door may cost between $500 to $1,000; a custom door may range from $1,100 to $3,300.

    Labor and installation

    Most installers charge a rate per square foot, which varies based on the type of material used and the project's complexity. For reference, tile installers could charge anywhere between $4 to $54 per square foot in installation costs. You’ll often end up paying as much or more for labor than materials.

    Keep in mind that demolition and removal of the previous shower is also a factor in determining rates. Replacing a tile shower with another typically costs more.


    Where you live can have a substantial impact on remodeling costs. The cost of living tends to be higher in densely populated cities, like New York City and Los Angeles, so material and labor costs are typically more expensive in these places.

    » CALCULATE: Home remodeling ROI: costs vs. value

    Average cost to replace a shower

    On average, shower replacement costs range from $1,000 to $8,000, depending on the type of shower you choose.

    “If you have a prefab unit and are replacing it with another prefab, a shower replacement will usually cost you between $1,000 and $4,700, which includes tear-out costs and installation,” said Charlotte Granville, a home remodeling specialist at Fixr. “If you have a prefab unit and are looking to replace it with a tile shower, expect to pay around $8,000.”

    The size of the shower and the design elements used (materials, fixtures, finishes, etc.) are the biggest cost factors. Choosing less expensive materials, like ceramic or fiberglass, greatly affects your overall costs.

    If you have a prefab unit and are replacing it with another prefab, a shower replacement will usually cost you between $1,000 and $4,700.”
    Charlotte Granville, home remodeling specialist, Fixr

    Overall, bathroom remodeling projects are typically more expensive in Pacific states (like California) and Mid-Atlantic states (like New York). Cost averages tend to be lower in Southern states, like Alabama and Tennessee.

    » COMPARE: Best bathroom remodeling contractors

    Shower replacement cost by type

    Ultimately, your final shower replacement costs depend in large part on the type of shower you opt for: a walk-in shower, a shower/tub combo, a custom shower, a steam shower or an ADA-compliant shower.

    Walk-in shower

    Walk-in showers are a popular choice for homeowners today, with many options available to choose from (in terms of price, features and size). Typical walk-in shower costs range from $4,000 to $16,000 or more, including materials and labor.

    Most walk-in showers are 60 inches by 30 inches, but they range from as small as 36 inches by 36 inches to as large as 60 inches by 42 inches. A 36-inch-by-36-inch walk-in shower kit can run you $800 or more, while a 60-by-42 unit may cost $1,400 or more.

    » MORE: Walk-in showers vs. walk-in tubs

    Shower/tub combo

    Shower/tub combos are generally less expensive to replace than walk-in showers. They’re typically sold in kits (one or three pieces) made of fiberglass or acrylic you can install yourself.

    On average, you could spend between $550 and $4,000 on a shower/tub combo if you buy it from a home improvement store. Add on another $500 to $1,000 or more in labor costs to have a professional install it for you.

    Custom shower

    Rather than purchasing a prefabricated shower kit, you may be interested in designing your dream shower. You can choose each element and feature with a custom shower, like tile design or number of shower heads. Some high-end touches may even give you a return on your investment if you sell your home in the future.

    Keep in mind that custom showers do cost considerably more than prefabricated showers. In many cases, costs are double because of the labor required and the higher-quality materials used to install a custom shower. You can expect to pay $8,000 or more for a custom shower versus $4,000 for a prefabricated shower.

    Steam shower

    You may be looking into a steam shower for its potential health benefits. While steam showers may not be as pricey as custom showers, you’ll still spend more than you would on a simple shower/tub combo. Steam shower kits usually cost between $2,500 and $7,000.

    Custom showers can get pretty expensive; expect to pay around $8,000 if you go this route.

    In addition to materials costs, you’ll need to pay a plumber and an electrician to hook up the unit properly. You may pay $1,000 or more in labor costs for a steam shower.

    Barrier-free or ADA-compliant shower

    A shower that’s accessible for those with mobility issues should be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. ADA-compliant specifications include secured grab bars and fixed shower seats. Prices for these barrier-free shower kits range from $2,000 to $4,600 or more.

    Replacing vs. repairing your shower

    You’ll want to weigh the costs and potential benefits between shower repair and replacement before making your decision. Factors to consider include the extent of repairs needed and how much you can comfortably afford for the project.

    Minor repairs, like fixing a crack in the fiberglass, may only cost $100 or so — and you may be able to complete the task yourself. This may fit your budget better than spending thousands to replace the shower altogether.

    However, multiple repairs can add up; you may be better off replacing the shower if that’s the case. Granville offers this advice: “Get a few quotes from some plumbers in your area. If their estimates reach around $3,000 for a repair, it might be worth opting for a replacement.”

    Most showers have a life span of 10 to 15 years. The older a shower is, the more likely it is to have issues like cracks that can cause leaks into your walls and floors. Refinishing the surface could buy you some time before replacing it, but it may only delay replacement for three or four years.

    If their estimates reach around $3,000 for a repair, it might be worth opting for a replacement.”
    Charlotte Granville, home remodeling specialist

    It may be time to replace your shower if you notice clogged pipes and water backing up. Newer showers tend to be equipped with better plumbing systems, which keep water and dirt from being trapped inside the shower.

    Benefits of a new shower installation

    A major benefit to replacing your shower is the return on your investment if you sell your home one day. Sharon Villegas, the chief revenue officer for Re-Bath, said, “A midrange bathroom remodel offers a 60% return on a homeowner’s investment.” Potential homebuyers like to see updated bathrooms, especially in competitive real estate markets.

    A new shower may also be easier to clean and maintain than older shower models. “The good news is that modern materials are much lower maintenance and will make cleaning your bathroom easier and faster — think natural stone, seamless shower surrounds, etc,” Villegas said.

    What if I have a home warranty?

    A home warranty typically covers repairs or replacements for systems (like plumbing) and appliances (like refrigerators), which means a new shower is likely not covered under the policy.

    However, certain aspects of the shower may be covered as part of the plumbing system (e.g., replacing a leaky showerhead). You’ll need to check with your home warranty company for your coverage details.

    » COMPARE: Best home warranty companies

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      How long does a shower replacement typically take?

      A prefabricated shower insert could be installed in as little as one day as long as the project has no complications. A tile shower is likely to take longer — about three days, on average.

      Can I save money by doing a shower replacement myself?

      You could save money in labor costs by opting to replace your shower yourself. However, remember that you’ll need to purchase or borrow the proper tools to do the job.

      Depending on the type of shower you install, you’ll need a reciprocating saw, tape measure, drill and level. You’ll also need materials to patch up drywall, and you’ll still need to hire a plumber and possibly an electrician to help with certain parts of the job.

      Are there any financing options available for shower replacements?

      There are a few ways you could finance your shower replacement. Many home remodeling companies offer customers financing options, which may include perks like 0% interest for a year or more. You could also apply for a personal loan, a home equity loan or a HELOC from your bank to pay for the project.

      Can I change the layout or size of my shower during a replacement?

      You may be able to change the layout of your shower, but this depends on how much you’re willing to spend. For instance, if you want to move the existing shower head to the opposite side, a plumber will need to reroute a waterline, which can cost $600 or more.

      Other changes may not be feasible without a full bathroom remodeling project. Make sure to consult with your plumber before you purchase materials to ensure your plans are within budget.

      What should I look for when hiring a professional for a shower replacement?

      You may want to start by asking friends and family for their recommendations on companies or individuals they’ve worked with in the past. Real estate professionals and insurance agents can also offer suggestions.

      Keep in mind that whether you decide to work with a plumber, an electrician or a general contractor for the project, you still need to verify they’re licensed, insured and bonded in your state. You can check those credentials online through your state government’s website.

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, “READ IAPMO CODES ONLINE.” Accessed July 14, 2023.
      2. Architectural Digest, “How Much Does Shower Door Replacement Cost?.” Accessed July 16, 2023.
      3. Synchrony Bank, “How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Shower?” Accessed July 17, 2023.
      4. National Council on Aging, “How Much Do Walk-In Tubs Cost in 2023?” Accessed July 18, 2023. 
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