Prefabricated vs. Custom Tile Showers

One of the most popular rooms to renovate, a bathroom remodel often centers around the shower and tub. 

This presents homeowners with a crucial choice: prefabricated shower stall or custom tile? 

There are pros and cons to each; I dive into the details below to help you make an informed decision!

Prefabricated Shower

Prefabricated shower units are made of acrylic or fiberglass and shipped to your home in one or multiple pieces. The choice between one-piece or multi-piece is typically determined by practical factors, like whether a one-piece unit can fit through the doorway of a home. For this reason, one-piece units are more popular when building a home or adding on to one when they can be installed before the doorframe. Prefabricated showers can be installed by professionals or DIYers fairly quickly. Once considered a subpar option, they have risen in popularity in recent years as they have become available in a huge variety of textures, colors, and designs.


There are many pros to a prefabricated shower. First, they tend to be more cost-effective than custom tiled showers. They are also much easier and quicker to install; you can even do it yourself. They are very easy to clean and maintain as they have few or no seams for water and dirt to accumulate in. They are usually very lightweight, which can be important if you have doubts about the structural integrity of your floors, such as in an older home.


One of the main cons to a prefabricated shower is size limitations. Most units only come in standard sizes and ordering a custom size can get very pricey. There’s also the issue of repairs. While it’s fairly easy to replace a cracked tile, prefabricated showers are more tricky. If your shower cracks, your only options are to make a visible repair with a fiberglass repair kit or replace the entire thing. If you’re the environmentally conscious type, it’s important to note that these showers are less environmentally friendly, as they are made of materials that will not decompose. Finally, there is simply less creative freedom when ordering something premade than when designing it yourself.

Custom Built Tile Shower

Unlike prefabricated showers, tile showers are built onsite. A carpenter constructs a frame and walls it in with cement, then a tiler finishes the job. Custom tile showers sometimes use factory made shower pans, other times the whole shower is tiled. This method tends to be more expensive than pre-fabrication but also allows for a greater range of customization.


As previously mentioned, one notable pro of going custom is that there are literally thousands of design options to choose from so that you can get the exact look you’re after. You can also be more precise with sizing, filling any space perfectly. Tile is made of natural materials and is therefore more environmentally friendly. Finally, tile is usually considered a more high-end material and can add value to your home.


If cost is a concern, a tiled shower may not be the thing for you, as they can easily become very expensive. They are also much more labor intensive and may take days even for the pros to complete. They require more maintenance than prefabricated showers, as all those tiny grout lines will need to be cleaned and sealed on a regular basis to prevent mildew and cracking. 

Ultimately, there are many factors that go into choosing the right kind of shower remodel, such as cost, style, and resale value. With careful consideration and research, you can choose the right type of shower for your home and make the most of your bathroom remodel.

2021 tile trends

2021 Tile Trends

National Tile Day was February 23, and you know I tuned in to my favorite design topic!

One of the reasons I love tile is because design possibilities are endless. Different colors, textures, and materials enable you to incorporate tile into any style of home. I always love learning about new tile trends!

To celebrate National Tile Day, Coverings announced the 2021 Tile Design Trends, forecasted by three leading international tile associations: Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain, and the Tile Council of North America. 

Keep reading to learn what they are!

Flecked Effect

The flecked effect features floating fragments, or flecks, creating a unique look whether you opt for neutrals or bolder colors. Many options have flecked effects, including chunky to subtle flecks, making it an excellent design for interior or exterior living spaces. 

Gorgeous Greens

We’re all craving a connection to nature – we’re seeing that in all elements of home design, and tile is no exception. Shades of green, from sage to mint to emerald, help bring a bit of the outdoors in.

Soft Textures

To tone down the look of 3D tile, soft textures and light colors create a serene canvas for any room. This creates a more natural look, while still bringing in textures that have grown popular over the past few years. 

High Gloss

This trend is a comeback! Glossy tiles offer an eye-catching shine, making any surface pop. Neutral tones and saturated colors keep a more natural look while adding in shine. 


Large-scale veining in tile is expected to be a big trend in 2021. Tile that mimics the look of marble, with some offering wide, flowing veins, and others with more angular veining. 


Tile sizes seem to be growing every year, and 2021 is no exception. Extra-large ceramic tiles, some up to 10.5 feet in size, are great for flooring and countertops. Bonus: larger tiles mean less grout to clean!


Biophilic design supports cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. With advancements in high definition printing, biophilic tile design incorporates natural and untreated wood looks. 

Large Hexes

Hexagon tiles have been popular over the past couple of years, and now they are getting super-sized. In 2021, hexagon tile, as big as two feet in diameter, creates an eye-catching look. 

Patterned Tile Concrete Lookalikes

Tiles that look like concrete will continue to show up this year, with playful patterns creating a dramatic impact in any space. 

Muted Tones

A muted palette is the final 2021 Tile Trend from Coverings. Soft blues and greens create a soothing environment. People are looking to create more relaxing spaces at home, and muted colors are one way to achieve this. 

Do you have any tile questions? Let me know!

flooring options

Top Flooring Options

There are countless options when it comes to flooring. Thanks to improved manufacturing, even the most affordable options have improved in terms of durability and design. Whether you want to replace flooring throughout your entire home or just want to refresh a room, keep reading for more on today’s most popular flooring options!

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood’s appearance continues to make it a top choice for homeowners. While hardwood is one of the more expensive flooring types, it is easy to clean and lasts for years. Hardwood floors can also be refinished every 3 to 5 years for optimal upkeep.

Best For: 

  • Resale Value
  • Whole house flooring
  • Beautiful aesthetic

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring comes with a long list of advantages: affordable, durable, and easy to install. In addition, laminate looks and feels like authentic wood flooring. However, it is prone to moisture damage and can be difficult to repair. 

Best For:

  • High-traffic areas
  • Affordability
  • Radiant Heat

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Porcelain or ceramic tile comes in countless design options, allowing you to fully customize a space. This durable and non-porous flooring options make it waterproof and easy to maintain. On the downside, porcelain or ceramic tile can chip or scratch under heavy use, but you have the option of replacing individual tiles rather than the entire floor. 

Best For: 

  • Pets
  • Kitchens and bathrooms 
  • Fire resistance


Carpet creates a soft, cozy feel that helps to cut down on noise. Carpet is one of the most affordable flooring options, but does require regular upkeep and can stain. 

Best For:

  • Affordability
  • Bedrooms and family rooms
  • Children and the elderly 

Natural Stone

Granite, marble, travertine, and sandstone are all classic natural stone flooring options. Natural stone flooring ranges in durability, affordability, and maintenance, depending on the type of stone you choose. 

Best For: 

  • Beautiful aesthetic
  • Resale value
  • Radiant heat

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years. No longer just a cheap alternative, vinyl flooring can mimic just about anything: wood, ceramic, natural stone, and more. This highly versatile and durable flooring can be used almost anywhere in the home.

Best For:

  • High traffic areas
  • Affordability
  • DIY installation

Which flooring type is your favorite? Head to The Social Redesign Facebook or Instagram page to vote on flooring for the new unit at 66 High Street!

kitchen features

Nicole’s Favorite Kitchen Features

Who doesn’t love a stunning kitchen? From morning coffee to after-dinner cleanup, we often catch up on the day’s happenings while in the kitchen. Not to mention it’s where we cook, clean, and enjoy meals.

There’s so much that goes into designing a kitchen because beyond aesthetics, it needs to be fully functional. Keep reading for some of my favorite features in the kitchen!

Open Flow

open floor plan

Open floor plans continue to be the most sought-after setup for the main living areas. Being able to see and hear what is going on in the living and dining rooms from the kitchen makes the space feel intimate, without being crammed into one room.  An open floor plan is ideal for gatherings with family and friends. 

An open workflow in the kitchen is also crucial to the functionality of the space. When designing a kitchen, consider the kitchen triangle, or the uninterrupted flow between the sink, refrigerator, and stove. Keeping these paths clear makes for a kitchen you enjoy cooking in!

Multifunctional Island

kitchen island

Kitchen islands come in all shapes and sizes, and they appear in just about every kitchen where space allows. Depending on the layout of the kitchen, the island can be utilized for prepping food, cooking, or cleaning. 

Seating options at the island make it fully multifunctional. Stools, high-back chairs, or a bench attached to the back of the island allow for places to sit or stand, creating a perfect gathering spot. Use these seats to enjoy a quick meal or catch up with loved ones over a beverage.



A walk-in pantry in the kitchen is equivalent to a walk-in closet in the bedroom. It just makes everything better! 

We all know how many items you need to store in the kitchen. Food and small appliances, along with dinnerware and cutlery, take up a lot of space. A walk-in kitchen with shelves, drawers, and counter space keeps your must-haves organized and eliminates clutter from the kitchen. 

This week, you get to help with the pantry design at the Residences at 66 High Street. Head to Facebook or Instagram to vote on the pantry door!

Wet Bar with Wine Fridge

wet bar with wine fridge

Need I say more?

Even if you don’t use it every day, a wet bar with wine fridge is another way to keep the rest of the kitchen clear of clutter. It makes enjoying a cocktail extra convenient, whether you are hosting a gathering or saying cheers on a weekday. 

Tile, Lighting, and Hardware

tile, lighting, and hardware in the kitchen

You don’t think I’d leave tile off the list, do you? 

While these are seemingly small items, remember it’s the details that truly transform a space. A tile backsplash can add a new dimension to the kitchen, whether you opt for a pop of color or stick to a single color scheme. Fill the kitchen with different types of lighting, including natural light from windows, ambient light overhead, task lighting for cooking, and accent lighting to draw attention to a focal point. Finally, switch up the hardware on cabinets, faucets, and fixtures to achieve the look you love!

I’d love to know – what are YOUR favorite features in the kitchen?