Install A Prefabricated Unit Or A Tiled Shower

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It's not always easy to decide whether or not you should install a new shower unit in your home. There are many different types of showers available on the market, and there are several factors that come into play when determining which type is right for you.

In this article, we will take a look at the pros and cons of installing a prefabricated shower unit vs a tiled shower. We will also provide you with some tips on how to make the decision that's right for you.

Let's get right into it.

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Most important considerations

The most important thing to consider before installing any shower unit is what you will be using it for (for example, if it will primarily be used by individuals with mobility impairments, then your choice might be easier). 

A prefabricated unit would likely be best for this use case because they're typically easier to get in and out of than tiled units, but there are other considerations as well. These include cost, installation process, pros/cons of tiled showers vs prefabricated units, etc.

In addition to this, it's important to consider if you have the skills necessary to install a prefabricated unit. If not, then installing a tiled shower will likely be your best option.

Prefabricated vs Tiled

Here are the basic things you need to know about these two types of showers.


Installed in sections and brought into the home already assembled (typically more expensive than other options)


Easy installation, generally considered to be more leak-proof than other types of showers


More expensive than other types of showers, may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some tiled showers


Built by gluing tiles directly onto the surface of an existing shower; typically installed with mortar on floor and ceiling (more labor-intensive but less costly than prefab units)


Aesthetically pleasing, can be customised to fit any space


More difficult and time-consuming to install than prefabricated showers, may be more prone to leaks

Other types of showers you might want to consider

Shower kit

A pre-made shower unit that uses standard fiberglass or acrylic tub/shower unit with a built-in shower receptor. These units typically have a vinyl liner and come in a variety of colors.


Inexpensive, easy installation


May not be as aesthetically pleasing as other types of showers, may not last as long as other types of showers

Sliding tub door

Installed like a typical tub/shower combo except that it uses sliding glass doors instead of curtains; typically installed in bathtub area (preferred by many for its ease of use)


Easy installation, no curtains to deal with, typically more watertight than other types of showers


May not be as aesthetically pleasing as some tiled showers, can be expensive if the glass is used

Steam shower

A closed unit that uses steam to create a sauna-like environment; typically installed in a separate room


A relaxing, invigorating environment, can help with respiratory problems and skin conditions


Installation can be expensive and complex, may not be suitable for all homes

There are many different types of showers to choose from, so it's important to take into consideration what you will primarily be using the shower for. 

If you're looking for something easy to install and relatively leak-proof, then you're likely best off with a prefabricated shower unit. If on the other hand, you want something aesthetically pleasing but still easy to use, then installing a tiled shower will likely be your best option.

Cost Analysis

When considering the cost of installing a shower unit, it's important to remember that there is a wide range of options to choose from. A prefabricated unit will likely be more expensive than other types of showers, but it may be easier to install and less prone to leaks. 

Conversely, a tiled shower will likely be less expensive than a prefabricated unit, but it will require more labour and may be more difficult to install.

Installation process

The installation process for a shower unit can vary depending on the type of shower you choose. A prefabricated unit will likely require less labour than a tiled shower, but it may be more difficult to install if the existing plumbing is not compatible. Conversely, a tiled shower will require more labour, but it may be easier to install if you already have the necessary tools and materials.

If on the other hand, you choose to install a DIY walk-in shower, the process will be even more straightforward. Since these units are designed to be easy to install, you simply have to plan the space for the shower, cut the proper size holes in your floor and ceiling, and fit the pieces together.

The most difficult part of the installation process is usually cutting the holes in the floor and ceiling, so be sure to have a good saw on hand.


One of the biggest concerns with showers is whether or not they are leak-proof. This concern is especially important if you plan to install a tiled shower, as even a small leak can cause extensive damage over time.

There are a few things you can do to help ensure that your shower does not leak. First, be sure to use waterproof sealant around all of the joints to create a watertight seal. You should also consider using tile grout that is specifically designed for showers, as it will be more water-resistant than other types of grout. Finally, be sure to use a quality shower pan to help prevent water from seeping through the floor.

If you're still concerned about leaks, you may want to consider installing a shower unit that comes with a warranty for water tightness. This will give you peace of mind that your shower will not leak, even if it is used frequently.

Leaks cause all kinds of headaches, no matter if you're trying to fix a leaking shower, leaking ceiling, or even a leaky bathtub faucet. Be sure to take all the proper precautions to prevent any water damage in your bathroom.

Install A Prefabricated Unit Or A Tiled Shower – FAQ

What is the difference between a prefabricated unit and a tiled shower?

A prefabricated shower unit is a ready-made shower that is installed in your bathroom as a complete unit. A tiled shower, on the other hand, involves installing tiles over an existing bathtub or shower base.

Which is better – a prefabricated unit or a tiled shower?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some people prefer the look of a tiled shower, while others find that prefabricated units are more convenient and easy to install. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

How do I choose between a prefabricated unit and a tiled shower?

The best way to decide between these two options is to consider your budget, bathroom space, and installation skills. If you are on a tight budget, a prefabricated unit may be the better option. If you have a large bathroom and plenty of installation experience, then a tiled shower may be the better choice.

How do I install a prefabricated unit?

Most prefabricated units come with detailed installation instructions that you can easily follow. However, if you are unsure about how to install it, you can always hire a professional installer.

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How do I install a tiled shower?

Installing a tiled shower is a more involved process than installing a prefabricated unit. You will need to remove the existing bathtub or shower base and install the tiles over the new shower base. If you are not confident in your tiling skills, you may also want to hire a professional tiler to do the job for you.

What are the advantages of a prefabricated unit?

A prefabricated unit can be a good choice if you want a contemporary look in your bathroom and don't have much time for installation work. They are also cheaper than tiled showers, so they may be better value for money.

Final thoughts on installing a prefabricated unit or a tiled shower

In conclusion, there are several factors to consider when installing a prefabricated unit or a tiled shower. Cost, ease of installation, and durability are all important factors to consider when making this decision.

Prefabricated units are generally less expensive than tiled showers, but they may not be as durable. Tiled showers are more expensive to install, but they can last for many years if properly maintained.

In the end, the best option for your home will depend on your specific needs and budget. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a final decision.

Jim Spencer

Jim Spencer

Jim has been in the construction business for over 12 years with plenty of experience working on client projects, from start to finish. From kitchens to bathrooms and backyard spaces, he writes on a wide variety of topics surrounding home improvement.

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