Custom Tile Shower & Tub Surround

By Todd Fratzel on Bathrooms, Interior Decorating

One of my favorite features of our new home is the master bathroom suite. Anyone that knows me might find this odd and even think I’d say the utility room, garage or basement, but the master bathroom is definitely my favorite room.

The best feature hands down is the custom shower that I designed. The shower is approximately 4′ deep by 5′ wide with a custom tile design. As you can see in the photos we have multiple shower heads and water sources. On one wall there is a standard shower head along with four body sprayers. These are Moen products which I’ve been very happy with. On this side of the shower the supply lines are 3/4″ PEX to provide plenty of pressure.

On the opposing wall we have one standard shower head along with a triangular granite seat. The corner shelves are by Newport Brass and the quality is top notch. The shower door is a glass door by Sterling.

I would say the most challenging part of a custom shower is making sure you have a complete design worked out before anything begins. You really need to know what shower valves, controls and trims you’ll be using. You need to think about the actual tile layout and door type you might want to use. The more you plan ahead of time the more satisfied you’ll be with the final product.

As you can see the tile pattern I designed has one row of tile set square to the walls along the perimeter followed by a diamond pattern in the center. If you plan the dimensions of your custom shower based on your tile design you can get a perfect pattern as you see. If you’re interested in more specific details about this shower feel free to email me.

Resources and Tools:
I recommend the following resources and tools for tiling.

I would say my wife’s favorite part of the bath room is the whirlpool tub. We purchased a Jacuzzi brand tub and it works beautifully. The tub has an optional in-line water heater which I highly recommend if you live in a cold climate. I put an access panel to the tubs motor unit through an adjoining walk-in closet. Planning the layout of the tub is also very important so that you can have proper access to the working parts for maintenance and repair.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Your master bathroom is absolutely gorgeous! You definately knew what you were doing when you designed it. Mixing the tile pattern is a great idea and I did that myself in my showers. I make tile murals and of course, I had to have murals in my bathrooms. I set the murals on the square and framed them out then I set all the surrounding tiles on the diagonal. To give the showers even more contrast, I then installed a trim border at the half way point of the wall and set the bottom tiles on the square. You can see pictures of my bathrooms on this web page – I also used very modern shower heads and even installed heads in the ceilings!! Those were from Kohler. I love my new bathrooms as you love yours. Good Job!!! Toni from the Tile Mural Store.

  2. Mary Ann says:

    good morning…. we are installing a whirlpool corner tub wondering if anyone could help me plan out the custom tub surround?

  3. carrie mccullin says:

    Love the tile work around the tub and shower……..can i ask what materail did you use for your vanities in the master bath?
    also, what are the dimensions of the bath, and did you put his/her closets in the actual bath area?

    • Todd says:

      Carrie – The cabinetry is Birch with a dark mahogany finish. The master bath is comprised of three rooms; toilet/shower/whirlpool tub in one room, his and her sinks in the center room and a walk-in closet off of the sink room.

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