Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Bathroom Showers: Complete Kit or Custom Design?


Maybe you’re starting a bathroom from scratch, or you’ve decided that you want to replace your whole shower, but now what?

It’s the greatest of shower remodeling debates – do I want a unique, custom shower design or should I just go with something pre-made? While your final decision will depend on your own personal style, budget and the amount of space you have to play with, here are the basic pros and cons of both options to help take out some of the guesswork.

Ready-Made Shower Enclosures

The Upsides:

  • All of the design-work has been done, so all you have to do pick it up and install it – saves you a lot of time!
  • You’ll have your new shower ready to go a lot faster than a customized tile job
  • All kits are made to be fairly pliable, so if the floor underneath the base settles post-renovation, your shower still won't crack and look ugly. More importantly, it won’t start to leak! The trick here is to ensure that it is installed properly.

The Downsides:

  • They may not be as aesthetically pleasing to you as a custom tile job may be, no matter how much extra decorating you do.
  • There are limited design options available, so if you really want your shower to be uniquely “you”, pre-fabricated kits are probably not for you.
  • If not installed correctly, there is a risk it might bend or pop when you stand on the floor.
  • You might find the perfect shower design, but the measurements just might not be right (or it might not even fit through your door!).


Shower Wall Kit Swanstone
This shower wall kit by Swanstone (US) comes in a wide range of colours, showing you how your pre-made shower can still have an element of individual style.
Funky Shower Kit Bmode
Italian design company Bmode have created this innovative shower kit design for the more daring bathroom renovator. It's a part of its 130 degrees Shower Box collection where the entire enclosure swings open, delivering a unique showering experience every time!

Custom Fitted Shower Enclosures

The Upsides:

  • You get to make all the decisions, so the design options are limitless and you can be much more flexible with getting it to fit in with your space.
  • When you come to reselling your home, buyers are likely to be more impressed by custom tile than a pre-made stall

The Downsides:

  • Whichever way you look at it (time, effort or money), this option is much more expensive – but it might be worth it if you have the one specific look in mind!
  • If you go for tiles in a new house, there is a chance they could crack on the walls or floor as the house settles. Then, replacing that cracked tile can be a total pain and might create a leak that you might not be aware of. Be sure to get some professional consultation if this is a major concern for you.


Custom Shower Enclosure
This shower enclosure combines a clear glass folding door with colored block glass tiles, contrasted against white tiles and stylish chrome fixtures - a simple example of how all the elements of a shower enclosure can be combined to create a striking custom design.

Finally, keep in mind all the different parts of your shower - you will need a floor, walls, a door and fixtures. Most of these items will be sold in a kit, but some may have to be bought separately. Again, this will depend on your tastes, budget, and how much time you have to look around.

The number on thing to remember is that your shower needs to be leak free and easy to keep clean. If you take your time to shop around and get the best-made model for your available space and budget, it should provide you with many years of satisfaction and performance.

See the rest of our articles more information on all things in Bathroom Showers.

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