Tub to Shower Conversion: Cost, Before & After Pictures, How to

There are a few reasons why a lot of homeowners are looking for information on tub to shower conversion. But mainly, it’s because of their need and desire for improvement. They want to improve the look and feel of their bathroom. They’re right to assume that converting a tub into a shower will help do just that.

This article will teach you everything that you need to know about this project. First of all, it will answer the question – why convert a tub into a shower? This should push you towards doing it just in case you’re 50-50.

A promising project such as this one can still end in a disaster. This is why we’ll also provide tub to shower conversion tips. Following these tips can help improve the chances of a successful project.

Did you know that there are several options when converting a tub into a shower? Yes, there are several of them, and it’s important that you know them. This way, you can find the best option for you.

A lot of our readers are also looking for a step by step guide on how to convert a tub into a shower. Now, it’s important to note that this is a project that should be done by a professional. It requires a specialized set of skills and equipment. If you want the project to be successful, hire the best person for the job. But still, it’s a good idea to know about these steps for you to appreciate the tasks to be performed by the professional even more.

Of course, the most important information that you’re looking for – the cost. How much does it cost to convert a tub to a shower? How much does it cost to get a walk in shower? We will provide you with estimates. More importantly, we’ll provide you with a free service that can help you find the best and more specific quotes.

Why Convert a Tub into a Shower?

Why invest in a conversion? Here are some compelling reasons:

  • Change is good.

This is especially true if you’re already bored with how your bathroom looks like. You don’t have to change everything. In most cases, changing one aspect will do a lot of wonders.

It’s not just for aesthetics purposes. Imagine the improved experience. Most homeowners looking to do this project don’t have a shower. Having a new shower will really improve your experience.

  • It’s convenient.

Why do you think most people take a shower instead of a bath every morning? It’s because it’s more convenient. Most people don’t have the time and effort to prepare a bath every morning. Sure, a bath is very relaxing, but what good will it do if you only have a few minutes to spare every morning?

Besides, taking a shower is also a relaxing experience. This is especially true with a brand new shower.

  • It’s safer.

A lot of homeowners have fallen into an accident stepping in and out of the tub. Generally speaking, stepping over the tub’s wall is more dangerous than stepping into the shower.

  • It will save you a lot of space.

In a perfect world, you have a lot of space in your bathroom. You can add a shower without worrying about how cramped it’s going to be. But in most people’s reality, doing so will make it feel like you’re in a closet.

If space has always been a problem, converting a tub into a shower can save you a lot of space. While beautiful, a tub takes up a lot of space. Convert it into a shower and watch as you turn the cramped space into a spacious one.

Besides with how they’re both set up, even if a shower will take up the exact same space left behind by the tub, the shower will feel way roomier than the tub.

Tub to Shower Conversion Tips

Here are some tips to ensure a more successful project:

  • Keep one tub.

As mentioned, don’t convert all of the tubs in your home. If you only have one, don’t do this project. As mentioned, having one can help you maintain or even increase your home’s value. If you have several, keep one. Besides, a long hot bath is a luxury that you’d want to experience every now and then.

  • Make sure that you have enough space.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a 36 inch by 36 inch space for the stall. However, a 30 inch by 30 inch one should suffice.

The height should be considered as well. There should be at least 80 inches of vertical space.

You should also make sure that there’s enough room between the stall and the toilet. Measured from the center of the toilet, there should be at least 15 inches from the toilet’s side to the wall of the shower. The clearance from the front of the toilet should be longer at 21 inches at the very least.

You have to consider the door. Make sure that it doesn’t hit anything when you swing it out. Make sure it wouldn’t hit the toilet, vanity, cabinets and more. If it will, a sliding door or a curtain are the more logical options.

  • Know your options.

It’s quite the shame if you’re going to spend money only to find out in the end that there are better (and more affordable) options are there. This is why it’s important that you do your research. Don’t worry, because we’ll be providing you with the options later on in this article.

This is also important because the right option will be on a case to case basis. For starters, the type of tub that you have right now will play a huge determining factor in choosing the right option for you.

  • Don’t forget about the fixtures.

There’s no point in having a shower if it has poor fixtures. Feel free to mix and match different fixtures from different brands. You’re not an endorser of a specific brand. Consider function and aesthetics when choosing the fixtures.

Take time to also select the right flooring. Complement that with the right lighting choice and that will lead to a beautiful shower.

  • Hire a professional.

You might be tempted to do it DIY. After all, who wouldn’t want to save money, right? You’re under the impression that you’ll save a lot of money by not paying for a contractor. While that’s initially true, in most cases, you’ll end up spending more money in the end.

This is because you’re not a professional. You’ll make expensive mistakes. In the end, you might end up hiring a professional to correct your mistakes. That will be more expensive than hiring a professional from the get-go.

Besides, the only way for you to experience the benefits of this conversion is if it’s successful. Hiring a professional can ensure this.

You don’t have to worry because there are affordable options. More on these later.

  • Minimize the need for additional plumbing work.

This can help you save a lot of money. Make sure that you install the shower near the water supply and drain. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re installing it in the space where the tub currently is.

Speaking of minimizing, you should also minimize the risk of future problems. For example, don’t install a shower where a window is. Mold is going to be a real problem.

  • Check the plumbing.

Do this before installing the shower. Since you’re taking out the tub, take the chance to inspect the current plumbing. Repair things when needed. It will save you a lot of potential headaches and expenses later on if you’re going to take that chance to conduct the repairs.

Options when Converting a Tub into a Shower

Here are the options that you can choose from:

  • Shower stall kit.

This is the option for you if you’re on a budget. This is pre-built using fiberglass or acrylic. It does have pre-made sides even if it’s a low-cost option. But the floor pan is light and feels cheap. It also comes with a drain hole and curbs. Surprisingly, it also comes with a quarter inch hinged door.

  • Solid Surface Mosaic Tile

This is another pre-built kit that you can consider. It looks amazing since it’s made to look like natural stone with a mosaic design. Even if it should be installed on site, it’s almost as easy to install as a shower stall kit.

It’s actually the safest choice especially if you don’t want to splurge. It’s not that expensive. It’s easy to install especially if you hire a professional. Installed right, it can look and feel like the most expensive option. As a bonus, it’s easier to clean!

  • Tiles/Stone

This is the option for you if budget is not a concern. Expect to spend around $15,000 to have it installed by a competent contractor. This is because of the materials It’s worth it, though. You get beautiful travertine or marble. The shower pan is hot mopped. Its glass is customized.

It’s a complicated task that’s best reserved for a professional. Even with the help of a professional, it may take several weeks.

How to Convert a Tub into a Shower

The best way to do so is to hire a professional. That is if you want to save time and effort and if you want the best results. In most cases, you’ll even save money.

Here’s how a professional will do it:

  • They will remove the faucet.
  • They will remove the tub.
  • They will install the base of the shower.
  • They will repair the wall, if needed.
  • They will install the wall.
  • They will install the shower door.

It’s done! Sure, each of these steps have more complicated steps, but they’re very basic to a professional since he’s been doing it for years.

There are DIY kits if you fancy yourself as a DIYer and you understand and welcome the risks involved in doing this DIY project. However, this won’t make the project significantly easier. Sure, it’s going to be a bit easier, but it’s still going to be a lot of work.

This project is considered to be for expert DIYers and professionals only. It may take up to 10 days. If you insist, here’s how to convert a tub into a shower:

  • Get a permit.

Yes, you need to get a permit. This is because you’ll be working on the plumbing. You can consult with the permits office for the requirements and process. This alone requires a lot of work.

  • Turn off the water supply at the main.

The last thing you’d want is to have water bursting. Check to see if your tub has a shut-off valve. If there’s none, turn of the main valve for your home.

  • Remove the surround of your tub.

You’ll need a prybar, hammer, and oscillating multi-tool. The process would depend on whether the material is ceramic or plastic. If it’s the former, you need a lot of patience to chip away using a prybar and hammer. If it’s the latter, you need to strip it off first since glue was probably used.

  • Take out the tub.

This is not a one-man job, obviously. Remove any nails or anything that secures it to the wall. Depending on how tight it is, you may need to remove part of the drywall.

Clean the area once the tub has been removed. Make sure to remove the screws and nails. If some of the studs have been damaged, you need to fix them first before moving to the next step.

  • Plan how you’ll position the shower head and the controls.

This will vary greatly on whether it’s a single or double valve. You can check the manufacturer’s directions for this.

  • Check the drain.

Fortunately, there are cases wherein you don’t need to move it. Although in most cases, you need to adjust its height.

  • Install the pan and then the shower surround panels

Check the manufacturer if you still need to construct a mortar bed. Next up are the shower surround panels. You need to drill. The back panel is installed first before moving onto the side panel that doesn’t have the controls in it. Last to be installed is the panel with the controls.

  • Install the door.

You will be installing it by following the manufacturer’s directions.

  • Finish with the shower head and controls.

You need to align them with the holes you’ve drilled.

  • Test it.

Turn on the main water valve to test the shower.

Things to Consider when Converting

Generally speaking, losing a tub will lower your home’s resale value. For a lot of potential home buyers, a tub is a deal-breaker. It’s the first one that they’re going to look for. If you’re going to sell your home in the future and you converted your only tub into a shower, then expect potential home buyers to ask for a lower price.

If you plan on selling your home in the future, make sure that you keep at least one tub. If you have it, keep the Master’s bathroom tub and you can convert the rest.

Do you have a toddler? You also have to consider that it’s easier to give them a bath in the tub rather than in the shower. This is something that other parents know and this is why it will turn off a lot of potential home buyers.

How Much does it Cost to Convert a Tub to a Shower?

There are a lot of factors to consider. It can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000. Anywhere around $5,000 is a safe bet especially if you’re going for the mid-range options.

How Much does it Cost to Get a Walk in Shower

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