What You Need to Know About Choosing a New Tub or Shower

Read Before You Reno!

White modern bathroom Renovating your bathroom? Congratulations! This is one of the top home renovations for making your home more enjoyable and also adding curb appeal. But before you get started, make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to end up with a finished product that will work like it’s supposed to and last as long as it should.

Here, we tell you what you need to know about installing a new tub or shower.

Mistakes to Avoid

First, don’t focus on aesthetics to the detriment of longevity. Meaning, don’t spend a fortune on nice-looking tile that will just need to be torn out when the cheap shower valve fails in five years.

Second, because transport costs are high on tubs and showers, there are actually plenty of made-in-Alberta options. You can buy a good quality unit from right within the province — there’s no need to buy something cheap from overseas!

What to Look For

There are three main buying criteria for your tub/shower:

Tub finish

Quality counts when it comes to bathtubs and shower enclosures, as there are big differences in the durability. With a lower quality bath/shower, the finish on the tub will wear out, making it harder to clean. As time goes by you’ll have to use more abrasive products to clean it, and it will feel dirty after each use so you’ll have to clean it every time.

Thickness & quality of fibreglass


If you’ve got thin, flimsy fibreglass you could be doing something as simple as cleaning the shower head, drop it, and have the shower head go right through the bottom of the tub. It happens. If you’re going to install a cheap tub, you need to install it really well to compensate for the sub-standard quality of the fixture. This equals more labour, which in turn equals more cost. So generally it’s more cost effective to buy a good tub in the first place.

For the record, we set our tubs in concrete, and consequently they are incredibly solid. You could have a barn dance on there and the tub would be fine.

Quality of shower valve

If you’re going to put the money into a bathroom renovation, spend the extra dollars to install a good shower valve or high quality roman tub filler. Use recognizable, quality brands (think Moen, Del Air).

The only moving part in a shower valve is the cartridge — most brands that we install have a lifetime warranty on the cartridge. This is a good thing as you won’t need to rip out expensive tiles in order to repair the unit.

Don’t get to the end of your renovation and forego this cost because you’ve already spent a lot. Budget it in from the start — trust us, you’ll be glad you did.

Feel free to read our previous pieces on bathroom vanities and toilets. And of course, give us a call for any of your bathroom renovation needs!

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George Pinel
George Pinel

These blog posts are brought to you from George Pinel & the Instant Plumbing team.

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