Tiling a shower or installing prefab panels?

7 Replies

Originally posted by @Jesse Reynoso :

Will tiling a shower bring in higher rents compared to just installing a prefab shower enclosure?

 Not usually. Are you changing the footprint of the shower or is it  just the same size and shape that it was? You can add value if you make the shower bigger and custom and then tile it. Otherwise, no. 

One thing to consider. I have come across this a lot. If your tile guy doesnt know how to build and waterproof the pan you are screwed. Especially if it is upstairs. 

If you are using a handyman they may not know how to build a proper waterproof pan with tile. There are very specific steps that have to be done with the drain and the lining before any tile is installed. There needs to be a 24 hour "water test". Fill the pan with water and mark it with a Sharpie. In 24 hours if that water is below the Sharpie, something is leaking. 

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Kind of depends on the class of neighborhood and what everyone else offers.  Meaning if every rental home in the area is prefab and you do a tile....well, my answer would still be no in the short term.  But if this is part of a long term strategy then it could.

If this year you to a tile shower, then at the next turn you do upgraded counters in the kitchen and bath etc....then yes.  But year one with only a tile shower, probably not much and more than likely zero.  Butt this is a great way to slowly turn your unit from low/medium rent grade to a higher status.  

Depends on the area and market. Tile showers are much more cool and groovy, and can be a real 'art' statement in the right home, but they are pricey and as others said, you need to get them installed by a Pro. In a STR, where you are cleaning every week, a vinyl shower is much easier to clean, but if that's not an issue then I would go with tile....in answer to your question, I think YES you will get higher rents with tile showers. Not much, but higher....

I've had problems with both in rentals-with tile you have to watch the grout and if you are in an area with hard water, cleaning them can be more time consuming.  Also think of the size of the tile and the amount of grout lines.  With the surrounds, I've had one that was installed new and after a couple of years, it had to be reattached....the original one was replaced because it was coming off as well.

I think look at the total cost including install, buy a quality one that will last (not the cheapest and not the most expensive) and have it installed properly.  As long as it is a classic style, it should add value.

I agree there's great variation in the prefab surrounds. The cheap glue up PVC ones suck. The nice fiberglass ones can really hold up, I've installed 5 Sterling 4 pc surrounds in very small baths and they've been terrific, have kept pretty clean.

@Jesse Reynoso

Most likely will be selling this project when complete, so I see the pros and cons of each. I feel a good quality pre fab panel system will be less maintenance and or repair versus tile. But you can get a nice wow factor with tile but at double the cost. I appreciate are your input.