Your shower can start to look pretty gross after a few years of use, even if you are diligent about cleaning it. The accumulation of soap scum, lime and other deposits can start to create a film around the shower pan and walls, dulling the surface and making it appear dingy and dirty. Mold and mildew may also start to take over, which poses a health risk as well. You don't have to replace your whole shower and start over. There are many things you can do to make your shower pan and tiles look like new again.
Give Them a Good Cleaning
If your shower pan and tiles have reached the stage that you are thinking of replacing them, then your typical household cleaners probably aren't going to be strong enough to get them clean. Look into professional-grade cleaners that you can purchase at a home improvement or specialty store. Discuss your needs with a customer service specialist to find the best products to remove deposits such as calcium, lime, rust, mold and soap scum. Each of these may require a different solution to get results. Once you have the right products in hand, give your shower pan and tiles a good scrub and reveal the new-looking surface lying underneath all that scum.
Redo the Grout
The grout between your tiles is like a trap for dirt and grime, leaving it stained and unsightly. Simply redoing the grout can make your whole shower look newer and cleaner. The job won't be easy. You will need to drill through the old grout with a mortar bit to remove it, and then you will have to place new grout just like you would if you were laying new tile. It may be a time-consuming process, depending on how large your shower is or how small your tile is, but it will be well worth the effort considering the new look it will give your shower.
A simple paint job can make it look like you got an all-new shower and tiles installed in your bathroom. Specialty paint is sold for this purpose, which will adhere to the tile and provide a strong enamel finish. You'll need a steady hand and a lot of patience to get a smooth, even application. However, if you do the job right, you'll never be able to tell that the tile was painted; it will look like you spent a fortune on a bathroom makeover instead.
Replace the Hardware
Shower heads, faucets and drain coverings can get equally dull and dingy. By simply replacing this hardware with newer, shinier fixtures, you can make it look like you upgraded your shower. Just the contrast is enough to make your shower pan and tiles look newer. However, if you combine replacing the hardware with cleaning or repainting your shower, you'll enhance the results and make it look like you got a whole new bathroom.