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Know the Difference Between Custom Tiled Showers & Acrylic Pan Showers

Posted by Gavi Halpern on Monday, February 26, 2018 5:20 PM

It’s no surprise that we all desire a big and beautiful, super functional shower with sprayer jets, multiple shower heads, shower seats, etc., but we often don’t know the difference between having a large shower that’s customized to your taste and the functionality/options of a standard acrylic shower base. What’s the cost difference? What’s the functionality difference? What’s appropriate for the space? Why should I care about any of this I just want a good shower? Great questions that all can be answered, my friend.


What is a Custom Tiled Shower?

The most basic way to describe a custom tiled shower is that there is mosaic tile on the shower floor instead of a typical white, square shower pan. But there’s obviously more to it or this article would be kind of (but not totally) pointless. There are SO MANY crazy, cool, and beautiful designs you can accomplish with a custom tiled shower. It breaks the barrier on your standard 32x60 acrylic shower pan by giving you a completely customized space to work with. As I’m sure those familiar with any kind of remodeling project, or really anything, the more customization you have available, the more expensive starting prices will be. Typically at Southern Maryland Kitchens our starting prices for custom tiled showers are roughly $13k, obviously depending on size and material cost. BUT, the things you can do! Your options are LITERALLY endless!

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Typically custom tiled showers use a special waterproofing system that ensures no matter the shape and style of the shower, it will hold tight. Here we use the Schluter Shower System, basically the most waterproofed you can get when it comes to shower waterproofing if installed correctly. Luckily for our customers our installers get certified every 2 years through Schluter to ensure we are putting our best work out there.


What is an Acrylic Pan Shower?

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Acrylic pans come in various shapes and sizes (and sometimes colors; i.e. bone, white, avocado) that are more easily installed and one major benefit is definitely less grout cleaning to worry about on the shower floor. Now when we talk about acrylic pans, don’t automatically assume shower or bath surround as that is basically a two-piece fitting that are typically builder grade standard bathroom fixtures. Of course there is never anything wrong with standard, but if the main goal of your remodel is to enjoy the space to your specifications, we would not recommend going this route. If you are simply replacing an old or damaged fixture with no intent to upgrade, then a shower or bath surround would suit your needs perfectly. To each their own! Acrylic pans and tubs allow you to have a more simple base while still the capability of a tile wall that can be accented in limitless ways. It allows a beautiful upgrade without having to design a shower to the nines. Basically a win-win if you are more limited on space and budget. Now, our starting prices for acrylic pan showers/tubs with tiled walls are roughly $8K (same with custom tiled showers, the price is dependent on materials chosen and the intricacy of such). 

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At Southern Maryland Kitchen, Bath, Floors & Design we offer completely free design consultations that can help you choose what type of shower is right for your space, and then jump off from there!

If you live in Southern Maryland and liked this article or would like professional advice on your bathroom or any other remodeling project, please contact Southern Maryland Kitchen, Bath, Floors and Design at 301-866-0337. You can also schedule a FREE consultation, measurement, and estimate with one of our experienced design consultants online at Feel free to visit our showroom in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California at any time, and see what we can do for YOU! We have experienced designers that will listen and experienced installers on staff to handle every step of the process.

On the other hand, if you are considering a kitchen remodel or updating over a bathroom project, check out our previous blog posts on kitchen remodeling preparedness: CPR for the Heart of Your Home


Topics: remodeling blog, bathroom renovations, design solutions, bathroom contractor, bathroom remodel

Written by Gavi Halpern