A Buyers’ Guide to Choosing Shower Surrounds, Enclosures, and Walls

Nov 07, 2019

When you buy a house, you often “inherit” the tastes of those that came before you. Maybe your bathroom is from a different decade and looks like it. Do you have tile in shade similar to something you would never ever choose for yourself, or your worst enemy?

Some showers show their age. You can work and work at cleaning it, only to have it look the same as when you started.

If this is your shower, it might be time to consider a bathroom renovation. If that thought sounds messy or expensive, hold your thought.

Maybe you want to redo your shower to get the ball rolling on a new look for your bathroom. Whatever your goals for your bathroom, there are countless ways to execute those goals.

Consider a new shower surround for your shower area for a whole new look and feel. Read on to learn all about your options for shower surrounds, enclosures and walls.

What is a Shower Surround?

A shower surround can be loosely defined as the area above the tub line or the walls surrounding your shower. A shower surround can be made from a variety of materials depending on your preference and your budget.

Materials for a shower surround vary and each has advantages and disadvantages.


Tile is a popular choice for many shower surrounds. There are countless options for tile that would work for the shower. Using tiles allows you to mix and match different tiles for optimal customization in the shower.

For example, you might want the walls of the shower to be one tile. Then use a different tile for the borders. You could also a different or unique tile for built-in shelves in the shower.

You could choose a very simple, low-cost tile up to expensive marble, or ornate specialty tiles.

The advantage of tile is its durability and waterproof qualities. The disadvantage can be the grout that comes with the tile. It can offer challenges for cleaning.


Stone can offer some interesting choices for color and texture. It is often less costly than tile. While it may be durable, it is also porous. That means that the soaps and products you use in the shower might be absorbed by the stone.

Because of its porous properties, the stone would need to be sealed and resealed regularly.

It can also be more challenging to clean than tile.

Fiberglass and Acrylic

The fiberglass or acrylic options are often less expensive than tile or stone. They have come a long way to look more upscale than even a decade ago. They can be retrofitted to your current shower. You can also buy a shower enclosure to size for your bathroom.


Glass is a hot option in bathroom design right now. Whether its floating glass shower doors or shower walls made from glass. The newest and coolest in bathroom design often includes glass.

Update Your Bathroom With a New Shower Surround

Are you ready to give your old, outdated bathroom new life? Starting with a new shower surround can not only improve the looks of your bathroom, but it can also improve the function too.

We’d love to help you get started designing your new bathroom. Contact us today to share your ideas for your dream bath. We want to make that idea a reality.