If you are in the market to build a new custom home, as you review different builders you will learn how each builder has defined their own standard list of features that are included within their proposed plans.  Some of these features may include granite or marble countertops in the bathrooms. Vinyl, tile or hardwood in the dining room and kitchen. And in the bathroom, possibly a fiberglass tub and shower unit or a steel tub with tile surrounds and fiberglass shower inserts. Among all of the options and upgraded items homeowners can choose for their homes, kitchens and bathrooms are typically the areas where most thought goes into the details of designing and planning the perfect retreat.

It is common for master bathrooms to house a separate walk in shower unit and tub.  Most master showers are planned standard with a fiberglass unit or a minimally designed tile surround, typically built with a fiberglass shower pan and a standard 12” tile surround. This is a good place to start because there are so many options to consider when it comes to designing the perfect custom tile shower.

Things you want to consider:

  • Size of Shower – A standard shower within most house plans is 3ft x 5ft.  The area you have to work with when planning a custom shower is going to depend on your actual floor plan.  Most builders will allow you to move walls, increase square footage and make all of the changes you may want within your home, so discuss these options to increase your shower size with your building consultant to assure there is ample space for your desired size of shower.
  • Door Styles – Once you have selected the size of your shower, the next step would be to consider door styles.  Most fiberglass units have a framed and hinged door with clear or obscure glass.  There are other options available and these include a frameless style door, which offers a contemporary and clean look.  Another popular option within custom homes is the walk-thru shower which has no door at all but instead has a framed and tiled or glass wall entrance into the shower.  This option has its own set of expanded options to include arched entryway, niches at entrances into the shower to place towels or robes and multiple styles of glass.  If you go with a door option the glass type is another selection you will have to make.  Clear and obscure glass are the most common styles selected, however there are many more options which include etched glass, rigid glass or glass with scenes imprinted, such as bamboo, etc.  In addition to a glass selection, if you have selected a door with a frame you will need to also select the color of the frame.  Typical colors include silver, bronze, brass and black.  For more information on selections you may be interested in, discuss this with your building consultant.
  • Faucets – Faucets are another area where the options can seem overwhelming.  Among many styles from a classic to contemporary look you also will have to select the finish, which typically matches the color you have selected for the frame of your door, or the light fixtures within the bathroom.  When it comes to shower heads, do you prefer a standard shower head, a ceiling mounted rain shower head or a pullout shower head with multiple settings?  In addition to this, do you have the desire to include body sprayers within your shower or multiple shower heads?  These are a few things you want to consider and when it comes to shower head and body spraying systems, they are not all the same – so do your research and find the one you are sure to enjoy.  There are other options available regarding faucets, which include automatic temperature settings – if you enjoy your shower at an exact temperature this may be an option you wish to consider.
  • Flooring – Before you decide which type of flooring you will choose for your shower first determine if you are using a fiberglass shower pan, if so – your option may only involve a color selection.  If you have chosen a full tile shower, then you will first need to decide on the type of flooring you will use.  Ceramic tile and porcelain tile are popular choices and a more trendy option may include a river rock or gravel installation.  Once you have decided on the style of tile, the pattern will be the next decision you must consider.  Staggering the tile, installing it on a 45 degree angle or using multiple size tiles to create your design are a few suggestions.  Another product you may consider using is an epoxy type grout. Check with your builder, but in many cases when a customer requests to install a custom tile shower it is common to have the shower floor recessed, where the planned shower will go.  This typically happens when the slab is poured and will allow the tile, when installed in the shower floor, to be flush with the remaining bathroom floor, which is a desired and practical application.
  • Seating & Niches – Have you thought about adding a seat to your shower?  If so, do you prefer a straight or corner seat?  Do you need a particular height or size seat? What about multiple seats if you have a larger shower.  Niches are another feature to consider.  If you have a custom tile shower planned, make sure to include recess niches within the shower to house your shampoo, body wash and other shower items.
  • Lighting – Lighting within a house plan is typically based on a standard for what is needed within a particular area.  When it comes to the lighting within your shower area you may want to add recess lighting, a dimmer switch or consider a heat lamp, which is designed to heat up a given area and sometimes has an auto-shut off when it reaches a certain temperature.
  • Tile – The tile itself can be a huge decision. There is a plethora of colors and styles when it comes to tiles, and depending on your preferences you may incorporate a mosaic glass design, listello borders or a simple bull nose trim.  There are different sizes of tiles and many patterns, including staggered, stacked, or installing the tile on a 45 degree angle.  In addition to the tile layout, grout colors can change the overall look of the project.  I recommend visiting a design showroom or review different patterns and styles online and then sharing your likes and dislikes with your building consultant to design the perfect custom tile shower for your home.

Other things to consider with custom tile showers may include grab bars or ADA compliant features, sealing the grout, or installation of towel hooks or other accessories.  Discussing your custom tile shower with your building consultant may keep your options within your budget and assure you are creating a unique custom feature within your new home.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com