Photo: Ariel Platinum

Photo: Ariel Platinum

So, you’re looking for a new shower. Congratulations, you’re embarking on a very exciting journey! Ok, maybe the mess of a renovation isn’t all that exciting. And the time during the reno when you won’t be able to use your bathroom. Yeah, those things aren’t so great.

But, at the end of it all, you’re going to have a bathroom that will be the envy of … well … everyone.

Are you opting for a pre-fabricated shower cabin or a custom-designed one? Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Pre-Fab Showers

  • mass-produced in a factory
  • the cabin is typically made of acrylic, fiberglass, or some other kind of plastic
  • choice of color is limited to white or off-white
  • sometimes come already equipped with benches and other accessories
  • sometimes shipped whole; sometimes shipped in pieces as a kit
  • completely watertight
  • easy and quick to install with the help of a plumber
  • available in a wide range of price (from about $500)

Custom Showers

  • requires a team of professionals – to lay tiles, connect plumbing, and wiring.
  • depending on finishes and the number of professionals involved in installations, the cost is more than pre-fabricated shower cabins
  • can be completely personalized
  • more attractive to future home buyers

Which should you buy – pre-fabricated or custom? Both can be the right choice depending on your budget and style preference.





Let me be clear right from the get-go. There actually is no way to upgrade the bathroom without at least some mess. Even hanging pictures is going to create some dust when you nail the hangers into the walls.

I’m really talking about big messes here. You know, the kind of mess that makes you want to swear off renovations forever … drywall dust, toilet stored in the hallway, exposed wiring.

So, here are 3 ways to upgrade the hardest working room in your home without the clean-up headaches.




Yes, paint can be messy. I always start out so neatly, then somewhere along the line, I end up getting the paint all over my hands and clothes. One of the best ways, if not the best way, of upgrading fairly painlessly is to lay down a coat of paint. Choose a fresh, neutral color (which doesn’t have to be beige, by the way). Talk to an expert at your local paint store for color advice. Paint the walls, the trim, and yes, even the tiles. Re-tiling is messy (and expensive!). Paint over old, stained tiles instead.

Install new fixtures


Without knocking out walls or ripping out floors, you can change a look dramatically just by installing a few fixtures. You might need a plumber for this one. (Hopefully you can find one who cleans up after himself! It might be a good question to ask before you hire one, eh?) Choose matching taps for the bathtub, shower, and sink. That will help unify the look of the bathroom.

Cover it up


The bathroom is the smallest room in the house. Why not go crazy with personality? Use wallpaper to bring your bathroom into modern times. Even if half the wall is covered in pink tile from the 1970s, you can modernize the look with the right wallpaper. Talk to an expert at your local wallpaper dealer. Make sure you bring in a photo of your bathroom, so that the advice you get is as accurate as possible.

Tell us about your no mess upgrades. Check out some of our low-cost upgrade ideas here.




Are you sweating yet? Chewing your nails in anticipation of the big day? Yup. It’s tomorrow. Valentine’s Day. Probably one of (if not the) most stressful days of the year. Restaurants are already all booked up, so I hope you made your reservation.

But, who wants to sit in a crowded restaurant (probably over paying for those chocolate covered strawberries!) when you could be snuggling at home with your sweetie?

This year, I’m going to help you create the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever.

Get steamy. Obviously, the first thing I’m going to recommend is a steam shower experience. C’mon, what better way is there to show your favorite person how much you love them than with a spa experience right in your very own home? Switch on those chromatherapy lights and pull out your arsenal of aromatherapy scents. Not sure how to steam up a room? Find out here. You’re welcome.

Get away. Ok, not everyone has a steam shower in their very own home (why not?!). So, here’s another idea. Book a weekend away (or even one night away) in a local tourist hotspot. Reserve a spa treatment, a special room, and room service at a really nice hotel.

Get cultural. No, really. Spend some time doing something you both absolutely love doing. Maybe that’s touring a local museum. Maybe taking part in a fun, participatory activity, like axe-throwing. A common activity is guaranteed to bring you closer together. What’s better than that, eh?

Dine out. Ok, I know. I just finished saying that maybe a crowded restaurant isn’t the most romantic place to be. Well, we’re all different. You and your honey might be totally put off by the thought of cooking your own meal. And being put off on Valentine’s Day is totally not what you’re after! Two words of advice: make your reservations well ahead of time (and try to choose the perfect table, too), and try not to spend an arm and and a leg. Look for restaurants that are offering special discounts while not compromising on quality.