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  • Writer's pictureBill Gagne

Podcast: How much does a shower cost in 2021?

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Podcast Transcript

Bill Gagne: (00:01)

Welcome to the SRC toolbox podcast. In this episode, we're going to be talking to Charlotte verge, our project manager, about how much a shower costs. Hi Charlotte.

Charlotte Verge: (00:11)

Hi Bill. How's it going today? I'm good. How are you? Good.

Bill Gagne: (00:15)

So showers let's imagine I'm calling you and saying, Hey, my bathroom is awful. I need a new shower. Can you give me an idea how much that costs?

Charlotte Verge: (00:25)

I can give you an idea of how much that costs. Yes. Ultimately each shower is different. If you're dealing with one on a main floor, second floor, that's obviously different from a share that you might have in your basement. So it costs vacillate based on sort of its existing location. That one thing to consider when you're dealing with the existing location of a basement is the potential for the needs to break up concrete more often than not. When we're looking at projects or the projects that I have been looking at recently building or build Ruffins exist, and they just want to read layout their space, which means breaking up concrete, which is an extra cost.

Bill Gagne: (01:05)

What are my three options? I should preface that I know the three options and I'm asking you what the three options are for a shower. I know there's more than one option. Can you explain potentially what those three options are and which one is at the top of the cost chain? And which one is it?

Charlotte Verge: (01:26)

So the three options that I'm sure you're speaking of are an acrylic base that has acrylic walls. So it comes as a kit that is generally the most basic option. And as a result sort of lives on the bottom of the cost food chain. So to speak, that's followed by a tiled shower with an acrylic base. And at the top of that particular food chain you'll find a completely tiled shower. So that would involve, involves, excuse me, a waterproof system. That's tiled on the floor as well as the walls

Bill Gagne: (02:01)

And which one is the fastest, which one is the most intricate, which one in many cases is the sexiest.

Charlotte Verge: (02:10)

Well, I'm believing that that's a, a personal preference I'm of the opinion that the acrylic base with the tile, the walls looks the best, but it does take more time than say the acrylic base with wall kit that is usually the fastest for installation, but given the recent supply chain issues due to the pandemic, you can wait significant amounts of time even after placing the order for that particular unit to arrive. So the benefit with the tile showers is if you can purchase the tile, generally your headache, the game with the, uh, your, your own timeline. So to me, still pile chairs is a nicer look. And then obviously the highest cost you would find in the tile shower with the tile base, not personally my preference, but there's a lot more available to you. If you choose to go that route in terms of custom sizing.

Bill Gagne: (03:11)

Yeah. I find the often spaces that are not custom because the acrylic shower base option, you need to fit a certain space. Sometimes clients want, Hey, I want to make this whole area a shower that is not a custom size of say 42 or 48 inches or 54 inches in typically six inch increments. Then we are not forced, but the main selection is a custom, fully tiled shower. I know in the moments that I'm sitting on the couch drunk on Pinterest images, those are the ones that I see the most and at any given time are the ones that I would get the most interest for. But I also know they are the most time consuming and the most costly. Can you break down a little bit why they are the most, uh, the most costly and why they are the most time consuming?

Charlotte Verge: (04:08)

So if we go with that particular option of tiled everything floor and walls, more often than not, because it is a custom project that the client may have other requests such as putting in a shower niche, or adding a tile bench. Every time you add something to your space, you're adding time, material, labor, trade costs, et cetera. Uh, and it will always be the most expensive because of the fact that you must purchase the tile and you also have to have it installed, but to reiterate more often than not, it becomes a very custom thing. And as a result, that always requires more funds.

Bill Gagne: (04:51)

Yeah. And additionally, the waterproofing system itself is an additional cost plus the install of the waterproofing system. Absolutely given the system that we're using the weedy system is top of the line. It is also top of the line in cost and putting it in is not inexpensive. However, it is the best

Charlotte Verge: (05:11)

Method. And just to give you an example of the waterproofing costs for say a basement Alco shower, sort of 36 by 36, you're still looking at about a thousand dollars for the waterproofing of that particular shower. So three walls and no base

Bill Gagne: (05:32)

If you're using an acrylic base. Right?

Charlotte Verge: (05:34)

Correct. Yeah. So when I met no base, no water, no, no weedy waterproof base. Yeah. You're looking at a thousand dollars. So you'll only see that price increase.

Bill Gagne: (05:43)

So let's cut to the chase. I want the sticker shock. Now, can you tell me if I won a standard shower tiled with the niche, the waterproofing, we talked about no bench because I find bench is one of those things that isn't necessarily all that useful. It just ends up storing all your shampoo and soap as opposed to what you wanted for what is the cost for that? Please ruin my dreams.

Charlotte Verge: (06:09)

These are nutrients slightly over $10,000. Plus the cost of tile would be a 36 by 36 Alco shower. So that's including taxes on that end minus the cost of tile.

Bill Gagne: (06:26)

Will that include the plumbing work as well in the fixture? Or are we just talking straight demo backing tile sign or does that include shower doors?

Charlotte Verge: (06:37)

So at this point, the breakdown is for every component and labor associated to installing and finishing with glass doors, it does not however include any demolition that might be required to remove your old ones. You might be looking at anywhere between 500 and a thousand dollars for demo and disposal, depending on the project you have in mind. But as it stands now, that would be breaking up concrete, doing your underground above ground Ruffins for plumbing includes finishing in that cost is a sort of typical if not standard rough-in valve and a trim kit in Chrome, specifically, that's been costed. And I can explain why along with the waterproofing, the tile installation, a warrantied supply and install of a glass shower door from a local company, as well as the acrylic shower base. But it doesn't include, include initial or final, final touches that are outside of the plumbing and tiling such as demolition or drywall, patching and painting and such.

Bill Gagne: (07:50)

So that price you're giving me is that for a fully tied shower, tiled shower, wall, and base,

Charlotte Verge: (07:56)

That's with the acrylic base.

Bill Gagne: (07:58)

That's with the acrylic base. Now, what if I want the whole magical thing with the tile base, the tiled walls and all of that,

Charlotte Verge: (08:06)

I would be looking at at least $2,000 more. So you're looking at sort of the $12,000 range and that's for again, something relatively similar in size.

Bill Gagne: (08:18)

So here we are, we're at 12,000 for the Pinterest fantasy land thing. I'm in love with shower, which I, I like those you're drunk envisions. Yes, yes. My, no, my drunken Pinterest divisions. I'm drunk on the Pinterest images. Not I haven't been drinking the tiled walls with the acrylic base. That's going to run me about 10 grand. Yep. So we're talking acrylic base, tiled walls, tile, shower, all that fun stuff, the shower doors. Now, if we take a step down to the shower kit unit, which is quicker to install and you can use faster, however is not quite as attractive mind you, the newer kits are much better.

Charlotte Verge: (09:04)

Some that are decent and they're certainly decent looking. Yeah.

Bill Gagne: (09:07)

Right. They aren't the vinyl glue on walls that were at your grandma's house

Charlotte Verge: (09:11)

Angle showers of the seventies. Yeah.

Bill Gagne: (09:13)

Oh, those are off. Those are awful. I never want to think about that. I have so many bad memories trying to take those out now. Where, what is the cost difference there and what are the pluses and minuses of getting one of the acrylic shower kits walls?

Charlotte Verge: (09:28)

Sure. So you're looking in and around the 7,500 to $8,000 Mark, that includes HSD, uh, for a 36 by 36 Alco units. The advantages of those is the maintenance is one they're easier to clean. The advantage is obviously the, the sticker price is lower. A disadvantage, as I previously mentioned, might be the supply chain, having it come four months after you order it versus potentially having something done within a month. So that's sort of a disadvantage as well as the fact that more often than not. And I will probably say a hundred percent across the board. You will not be able to install custom glass, shower doors on an acrylic kit because they're molded and more often than not angular and don't have proper backing. You can't install it. So you have to go with a shower unit or share a kit unit, excuse me, that is made specifically for the kit you might be purchasing. And with that comes an extra installation fee. And sometimes companies that install them may not warranty the installation of the sharer kit because a doors, excuse me, because they tend to be, I wouldn't say, across the board, but there is the reputation of it being less than an ideal product. It comes with its shares of a share of, of warranty issues.

Bill Gagne: (11:01)

Prefab shower doors are an atrocity. I'd like to avoid talking about it at all costs. In my opinion,

Charlotte Verge: (11:07)

It's good of you to be open and transparent about your feelings.

Bill Gagne: (11:12)

I've hit a point Charlotte in life where I don't see the point of pulling punches. I didn't mean to hurt the shower doors feelings, but I'd rather people know that they aren't the greatest outcome.

Charlotte Verge: (11:23)

You know what? The shower door is shattered, shattered by your comment, but wow,

Bill Gagne: (11:30)

Full on dad joke. So if we're going to talk about the options here were, the three options are most expensive and most time consuming is going to be the fully tiled shower walls base shower doors. Our next lower option is going to be the acrylic base with the tiled walls. And then our most budget friendly option will be the acrylic and acrylic base kit.

Charlotte Verge: (11:55)

That is correct.

Bill Gagne: (11:58)

What is the difference in time to put them in? So it's from start to completion for each one. What is the time that it takes?

Charlotte Verge: (12:07)

So from the acrylic base with walls kit, it's dependent on the plumbers. In our case, the plumbers that we use is dependent on their timeline and whether or not this is a we're taking an old unit out and putting a new unit in, or if it's part of a larger project that might have certain inspections that are due at certain points that can certainly increase your timeline when it comes to anything that has tile you are, of course, then increasing again, even further, uh, simply due to setting time for the tile drawing time for the grout, silicone ING, the tile after the fact that can run you. I mean, depending on people's timelines, I can run sort of three to four days to get your tile completed. So at most, maybe an extra week for tile work versus snapping the kit walls in place properly, fascinating them is absolute time savings and comparison.

Bill Gagne: (13:08)

Yeah. The great thing about the kits while they aren't the most attractive or the most customizable is the minutes in, you can kind of start using it. And from a swap perspective, from the moment you have no shower to the time you have shower can be as little as one day,

Charlotte Verge: (13:26)

They tend to be. If everything just goes according to plan, absolutely.

Bill Gagne: (13:30)

If the shower's out and the new one goes in that day, your ideal install is one day. Now you can shower. Now, it won't be fully finished, but it's waterproof enough for you to use it. The acrylic base one, we're kind of the in-between timeline because your basic tile work is going to be a, you're going to have waterproofing. Then you're going to have tile install, grout silicone. So you're looking at anywhere from three to four days for that process, right? The plumber is going to put in the acrylic base. So in the interest of just general timeline, we'll say your five working days from no shower to usable sheet,

Charlotte Verge: (14:10)

Add a cup of couple of extra days. If you're going into a custom size with waterproofing basis in bench, et cetera,

Bill Gagne: (14:19)

This is assuming you have everything. Everything is showed up onsite, ready to go? Yep. Thumbs up. Let's do this. The fully tiled shower is definitely one that will take a little bit longer because you cannot set the shower base and the shower walls in the same day. So typically you're going to do the waterproofing is going to go in and then the shower base will go in and the sill, you know, pro cause you're probably gonna have a seal on top of the curb. If you're doing a tiled shower base, then the next day will be the walls. So now you're already at three days now you're going to have grout silicone plumbing finish. So versus an acrylic based shower, you're a one or two day difference potentially.

Charlotte Verge: (15:01)

Yeah. So to summarize, you'd be looking at one to two days for option. Number one about five days for option number two and potentially seven days ish for option number three. And as you pointed out, everything has to be there and ready to go. Yep. That's not accounting for any particular hiccups in between.

Bill Gagne: (15:20)

And if you have a basement bathroom, you may have to account for the additional time and cost of potentially breaking concrete. Either whether you have a rough Inn in place or not. Ideally if you have a rough and in place, hopefully it doesn't need to be moved at all. If you do not have an existing shower or drainage for a shower or tub, there's a lot more work involved to break concrete. Because as I was once told in the saying that I love to hear from plumbers is it's easy to get the water to go there. It's hard to get the water to go away. Well, that was great. Charlotte, what do you want to talk about next week?

Charlotte Verge: (15:53)

We should throw that out to the universe. What do you think people want to hear

Bill Gagne: (15:57)

Only like 12 or 13 people listening to this? So hopefully,

Charlotte Verge: (16:02)

So of those 12 or 13 people, how about you send a message back and tell us where you want to talk about,

Bill Gagne: (16:07)

Well, there's that, but I also think there's so much we deal with in a week. Then it might be easy for us to just say, what are we running into this week? And let's talk about that. You know, doing main floors or basements or doors or egress windows or all those things. I think there's just a ton for us to get into

Charlotte Verge: (16:24)

Well, if, if we're looking at that right now, I'm running across a lot of people who want to finish their basements to the point of it almost being a basement apartment, but actually for personal use. And with that comes interesting complications of navigating city, bylaws and zoning. And

Bill Gagne: (16:41)

Well then maybe we should talk about basement apartments next week. Okay. Thanks Charlotte. I'll see you later

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