What is a Fiberglass Shower?

Lori Kilchermann

A fiberglass shower consists of a fiberglass shell that fits into the shower location in place of tiles or plastic sheeting. The fiberglass shower is good at preventing leaks due in part to its one-piece design. Unlike a typical tiled shower, the fiberglass shower installs as a single piece and is typically glued into place. It can come in many colors and styles and are competitively priced with tiled units.

A bathroom cleaner for a fiberglass shower.
A bathroom cleaner for a fiberglass shower.

Many new construction homes are often built with fiberglass shower units due to ease of installation as well as durability. They can be purchased in several standard sizes or custom ordered to fit a unique application. The shower unit is simply slid into place once the framing is completed and glued in to complete the installation. They are light-weight and typically require only one person to install the unit.

Unlike most tiled showers, a fiberglass shower is installed as a single piece.
Unlike most tiled showers, a fiberglass shower is installed as a single piece.

The fiberglass shower can come pre-drilled for control and shower head mounting or they can come blank. A blank unit allows the installer to place the controls and shower head in any desired location. In many installations, the installer will create a bed of cement for the shower to rest on. This prevents any movement of the floor. Another trick is to place expanding foam underneath the shower and allow it to expand into any crevasses, thereby creating a solid floor.

Textured finishes, such as faux brick or stone, can be added in a fiberglass shower. Smooth finishes are offered in myriad colors and even marble-like finishes can be purchased. In any finish, the fiberglass shower is easily cleaned and maintained with ordinary bathroom cleaners. The absence of grout and tile make it a low-maintenance fixture.

Another added benefit of the fiberglass shower is that they can be purchased with shelves and towel racks molded right in. This creates a shower that is self-contained and ready to use when installed. There is no need to purchase soap dishes, towel racks and shampoo holders for this type of shower. The manufacturer took care of all of those details for consumers.

When replacing a tile and grout shower, many homeowners consider the convenience of a fiberglass model. In most cases, the initial cost is much lower. The labor to install the fiberglass is typically less than that of a skilled tile installer. Also, the fiberglass shower will usually outlast the tile shower in most cases. With proper care and cleaning, the fiberglass unit will provide many years of dependable use.

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