Building Custom Shower

What you need to know before you can start to build your custom shower by type, size, shape and how that will affect your total budget.


Building Custom Shower


When it comes to building a custom shower, there are a few things you will have to figure out.

Photograph of building custom shower

  • Do you need to know your budget limit?
  • The shape and space where the shower will be located?
  • What walls are or would be required?
  • What type of shower do you want?
  • What type of door system will you use?


Do you need to know your budget limit?


Whenever you plan on doing any renovation, you always need to know what your total budget is. As much as we may like to have the best that’s out there, most people simply do not have the budget to back it. Instead what one needs to do, is get the best shower that fits your budget.


So once you have a maximum dollar amount to what you can or are willing to spend, you are now ready to proceed. By knowing your total budget costs, you will be able to look at the actual costs for the shower and what it takes to have it installed. You see the total cost needs to cover any and all demolition and preparations required in conjunction with the new shower install for the final billing.

photograph of building custom shower walls

The shape and space where the shower will be located?


With that said, here is a fundamental breakdown of how your pricing would look like:


  • A shower insert or panel system is the cheapest but will not be used as we are dealing with a custom shower.
  • The next cheapest shower is when using a store bought panel system where you omit the panel walls and install tiled walls. You keep the tray bottom and door system for the ones you can convert this way.
  • You do a custom tile job from floor to ceiling where you only use the stocked glass door system that can be used on a tiled curb.
  • Like the previous shower, you build out partition walls to increase the shower interior before mounting the stock shower doors on the tiled curb.
  • The last type the has the highest cost is entire custom tile work floor to ceiling with custom glass doors, not stock.


Now things I did not list that will also raise the price for overall cost are the additions of shelves, soap dishes, niches, benches, etc. I left those out from the list as you could have a shelf in each shower type so your price would be raised the same amount for each shower. Example if it cost $25.00 to put in one shelve, this option would cost $25.00 in the cheaper or most expensive shower. Any types of options are extras that are only a final concern to the total budget.


  • What walls are or would be required?


The walls will come into play with your budget in a couple of different ways.


  • Any repair work and size of the area will determine a cost value to what is required for the new shower walls.
  • If you are installing a neo-angle shower, stall you have two walls to be prepped.
  • Now if you are replacing a tub and installing a shower in its place, you have three walls to prep.
  • How about you decide on neo-angle but do not want the high price of custom shower doors, now you need to build out one or two partition walls to get the size without the higher price.


What type of shower do you want?

 photograph of building custom shower bench

We know how to make decisions on the cost of materials and technique versus the kind of style. So now it comes down to what you want to create. When you look at your space, there may be no opportunity to change the size and style, or you may have a blank canvas to what you can do.


So here are your practical options:


  • By knowing what your budget is.
  • The type of door system, custom or stock.
  • The kind of door will reflect on whether you require partial walls or not.
  • The type of materials you decide to tile with will also reflect in the budget.
  • The overall size and shape will calculate material costs you will acquire.


Knowing all these factors, you can have a quality custom shower built to your budget or at least know you need to save up some more money before you begin the renovation.


Creating a custom shower can be a very rewarding improvement after a long day knowing when you step into your custom shower with bench, body jets, overhead rain shower you feel like you just stepped into a 5-star resort getaway.


So to learn and get more ideas by all means take a tour around my site TD Remodeling.


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  1. Wow, great site, lots of great ideas and very inviting to look around. With all of the reno shows on TV, people will be very interested in what you have here.

  2. Thanks for this post. My husband is very fussy about showers and one day we will want to build our own home, so this was very relevant to me. It never occurred to me to think of a custom shower, just whatever the builder might put in.
    Hopefully soon we will be building our own custom shower.

    • Custom showers are great and the basic shower is built the exact same way as the high end shower with all the bells and whistles. In other words, other than extras like benches, steam controls, multiple controls and shower heads etc. your custom shower base model is built to the same quality and materials for water proofing regardless of price. The extra cost is for the extra finishes and larger size for instance.

  3. what’s good is just to see how you walk through the process of deciding. a lot of times, i notice that people just don’t know what questions to ask. it helps when an experienced person lays out those questions so we can take it step by step. id like to see a DIY on installation or something to accompany this.

    • Where I have so many people asking me how to do different things with renovations I decided to include this into my site. As for your question there are actual courses you can click on to get the full scope on how to do renovations on the bottom of each post and in the right side columns for anybody wanting to get serious about learning all about doing renovations.

  4. Custom tile jobs are getting more and more popular. I’ve got one in my basement. I also thought about building a custom shower upstairs. Anyone looking to build my advice is to look into in electric in floor heat for the tile floor, o so cozy. Do you know anything about electric in floor heat?

    • I have installed quite a few electrical in floor heating systems and later on I will probably do a post on what the best practice for installing one is and what to avoid when doing an install with in floor heating systems.

  5. I know what my dream bathroom and shower will look like, but I am afraid it will only look like that in my dreams, lol.
    Seriously I am in the very beginning stages of building it.
    I love your site and all your tips.
    Have you build a custom bathroom yourself?


    • Hi Shawn and to answer your question I take it you mean have I built a custom bathroom for myself? I have done over a hundred for others and I have just recently done another one for my wife and I in my new house I built 90% by myself.

      You can actually see a picture of the latest house I just built on my home page. It’s a prototype that I’m thinking on maybe creating an e-book on all its special features on what and how I did the total build.

  6. Hello Travis, I just accidentally discovered your blog and I can say that I really love it! It’s obvious that you are very passionate about writing and helping people!

    I wanted a custom shower for a long time now. This post just makes me want it even more. I’m sure that I can afford a pretty decent shower. Thanks for useful info!

    • No problem and I find the more you know about renovations, in this case, a shower, the better decision you’ll be able to make on what you want. Knowing how they are done and what can be done will inspire you to design the perfect custom shower for your needs.

      There are other posts on tips for showers as well to give you more ideas and a gallery that will show you some different concepts on what can be done.

  7. I certainly agree there is a need to price out a reno on your bathroom before you proceed, like you say especially if it is all to be custom done with out prefabbed panels the budget can soon blowout. Love the picture with the roof tiled, but a bit extreme for me, cheers Jamie

    • Travis Smithers

      True, tiling the ceiling is not something most people will do. For the most part, tiles will run from floor to ceiling or from the tub to ceiling.

      Once in a while, somebody will request the ceiling to be tiled in their shower, but mostly tiled ceilings are in steam rooms.

  8. I have a neo angled shower bench, how do i cut/fold pvc liner around it? It is in the back corner of a neo angled curbed shower. Thanks in advance!

    • I would have to see pictures of what it is you have to know what it is you want to do. It sounds like your using a two or three piece kit, or are you just talking about using the base, and it has partial walls to house a bench instead of just a 4-6 inch shower base with a curb. You can contact me from my contact page under the about link in the upper menu with an email.

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