Shower installation can be an expensive home improvement project. The cost will vary depending on many factors. This guide will examine the factors that affect the cost of shower installations, such as the type of shower, the materials used, the labor involved, the location and any additional features. Understanding these factors will help homeowners budget and plan effectively for shower installation projects.

Showers Come In Many Different Types

Prefabricated Shower Units

    • Cost : $200 to $1,000
    • Description : These units are pre-assembled and easy to install. They come in standard sizes and designs. These units are usually made from acrylic or fiberglass.
    • Installation : is relatively simple, quick and easy to install. It requires professional installation in most cases but it’s less labor intensive than custom showers.

Customized Tile Showers

    • Cost : $1000 to $5,000+
    • Description : These showers were built using tiles and include many custom features, such as niches and built-in benches.
    • Install: This installation requires skilled labor to waterproof, tile, and finish the project, which makes it expensive and takes more time.

Combination Shower/Tub

    • Cost : $300 to $2,000
    • Description : This unit combines a bath and a shower into one. These units are commonly found in homes. They can be prefabricated or customized.
    • Installation : Similar to prefabricated unit if purchased as a single piece, but custom built units will require more work.

Walk in Showers

    • Cost : $800 – $5,000+
    • Description : Walk-in showers are designed for accessibility and have no or very low thresholds. These are perfect for those with mobility problems.
    • Installation : Can be prefabricated, or customized. Custom installations require more specialized labor.

Materials and Finishes

Shower Pan

    • Cost : $150 – $600
    • Description : The base can be custom-made or prefabricated. Prefabricated pans tend to be acrylic or fiberglass. Custom pans can also be tiled.

Wall Materials

    • Fiberglass or Acrylic Panels : $150 to $500
    • Porcelain or Ceramic Tile: $3 – $20 per square foot
    • Natural Stone tile: $5 – $50 per square foot

Glass Enclosures

    • Framed glass doors: 200 to 800 dollars
    • Frameless glass doors: From $600 to $1500
    • Glass Panels : From $500 to $2,000.


    • Showerheads: from $20 to $300
    • Valves: $50 – $400
    • Body Sprays and Jets: $50 to $1,000 per item

Labour Costs


    • Cost : $45 – $200 per hour
    • Role : Installing and moving plumbing lines. Assuring proper drainage. Connecting fixtures.

Tile Installer

    • Cost : $4 to $22 per square foot
    • Role : Installing and grouting tile, waterproofing and finishing.


    • Cost : $50 to $100 an hour
    • Role : Installing electrical fixtures such as fans, lighting or other electrical fixtures.

General Contractor

    • Cost : 10 to 20 percent of total project costs
    • Role : Manage the project and coordinate between the different trades. Ensure that the work is code compliant.

Location Factors

Geographic Location

    • The cost of labor and materials can vary greatly by region. Installation costs are typically higher in urban areas where the cost of living is higher.

Home Type

    • Single Family Homes: Installations are usually easier with more space and plumbing flexibility.
    • Condos and Apartments : Planning may be more difficult due to the shared walls and plumbing restrictions.

Bathroom Layout

    • Costs can be affected by the layout and condition. The cost of remodeling a bathroom in order to install a new shower can be affected by the existing layout and condition.

Upgrades and Additional Features

Underlayment and Waterproofing

    • Cost : $200 to $1,000
    • Description : An essential tool for preventing water leaks and damage. Materials like waterproof membranes, cement backing boards and other materials are included.

Features Built-In

    • Benches : 200 to 500 dollars
    • Niches : 100 to 300 dollars each
    • Grab bars : 20 to 100 dollars each

Advanced Shower Systems

    • Digital Controllers: From $200 to $1,000
    • Steam showers : from $1,500 up to $5,000
    • Rainfall showerheads : from $100 to $500

Permits and Inspections

Building Permits

    • Cost : $50 to $300
    • Description : Requires most major renovations in order to meet local building codes.


    • Cost : is often included in permits
    • Description : This ensures that the installation is performed correctly and safely.

Cost Breakdown Example

Consider a midrange custom tile installation in a single family home in an urban setting:


    • Shower pans: $500
    • Wall tiles (200 sq. Wall tiles (200 sq. ft.): $2,000
    • Glass door (frameless): $1,000
    • Fixtures (showerhead, valve, controls): $500


    • Plumber (10 hours @ $100/hour: $1,000
    • Tile installer (200 sq. Tile Installer (200 sq. ft.): $2,000
    • General Contractor (15% of total project costs): $1350

Additional Costs

    • Waterproofing: $500
    • Building permits: $200
    • Total Estimated Cost: $9,050

Budgeting Tips

  1. Compare multiple quotes: Get at least three quotes to compare services and prices.
  2. Budget for contingencies: Budget 10-20% extra for unexpected issues during the project.
  3. DIY Options: Consider doing some work yourself such as painting or demolition to save labor costs.
  4. Select Economical Materials : Choose materials with a balance between cost and quality.
  5. Look for discounts: Check for sales or discounts for materials and fixtures.


Shower installation costs vary from a few hundreds to several thousand dollars, depending on factors such as the type of shower you choose, the materials used, your labor and any additional features. Understanding the factors that affect these costs will help homeowners make informed decisions, and plan their budget for shower installation. Planning, comparing quotes and looking at cost-saving alternatives can help you achieve your desired results without going broke.

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