Make a Splash with These Shower Ideas

Tile in style with these impressive shower upgrades.

When remodeling the master bathroom, many homeowners get a great return on their investment. But there are some major differences between a DIY attempt and a professional tile shower installation. Waterproofing is the most important part of a shower that you can’t see, but these impressive upgrades can make your shower stand out.

Tiled Shower Niches

Shower niches have become very popular recently, and are incredibly functional design elements. Niches add a lot of pizzazz to your design and also get rid of traditional, plain-looking corner shelves.

People use all kinds of unattractive contraptions meant to hold shampoos, conditioners and other bottles. A shower niche has a bold and belonging look that can also act as an accent to set off your liners or decorate the area with a little extra spark. Glass, stone or other kinds of mosaics can be incorporated in the back of the niche, and a bullnose on the inside edge gives a nice clean look.

A good tile setter can incorporate the niche right into the tile layout. Because of the wall studs, you can’t always choose where it ends up from left to right, but a skilled installer can usually adjust the height of the niche in order to avoid awkward and chippy cuts that can turn a wonderful design into an eyesore. Be sure to use a preformed niche for guaranteed waterproofing. Try larger or dual placement for your shampoo nooks in order to optimize space.

Shower Benches

shower bench

Besides providing functionality for sitting or shaving, shower benches can also be a place to add some flair. (Photo by Nicole Serradimigni/Develop Photography)

Benches and shaving shelves have always been a nice upgrade for a tile shower. There are various sizes and shapes for benches, but the most popular ones are rectangular in larger areas and triangular corner benches, which are perfect for economy-sized showers, especially one where a fiberglass shower unit has been removed and is being replaced with tile. An accent can be added along the front and side, or sometimes it looks nice to add the floor tile or a mosaic to the top surface area to distinguish it from the surrounding tile.

Shower Drains

master bathroom with oversized shower

Newer shower drains can blend in a lot better with a shower’s overall design. (Photo by Alan Ness)

The newest developments have come in the way of drains. Traditionally, we have seen square tiles cut around round chrome drains.

Now, many manufacturers offer square drains with a variety of finishes, from brushed nickel to oil rubbed bronze. This makes it easy to match your shower hardware for a comprehensive design.

The newest upgrade option is the tileable grate. Available in standard square and linear formats, the tileable drain allows you to camouflage your grate by inserting pieces of the floor tile right onto the drain top, making it blend very nicely into the design. The water drains around the outside, thereby eliminating the numerous holes where the water usually flows into. Linear drains also allow you to use larger tiles on your shower floor because the pitch drains directionally from two sides instead of four.

This article was originally published at Angie’s List.