The Ultimate Guide to Bathtub Shower Remodel

bathtub shower remodel

A bathtub shower remodel involves transforming an existing bathtub setup into a shower configuration or updating the current bathtub and shower combination to enhance functionality, aesthetics, or both.

How to Convert a Tub Surround to a Walk In Shower | Bathroom Renovation

This type of remodel is popular in bathroom renovations for several reasons:

  1. Space Optimization: Converting a bathtub into a shower can save space in a small bathroom, making it appear larger and more open.
  2. Accessibility: Showers can be more accessible than bathtubs, especially for the elderly or those with mobility issues. Options like walk-in showers or curbless designs reduce tripping hazards.
  3. Modernization: Updating the look and functionality of the bathroom with new tiles, fixtures, and shower systems can modernize the space, making it more appealing and efficient.
  4. Resale Value: Remodeling a bathroom with a new shower can increase the home’s marketability and potential resale value.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Newer fixtures and shower systems can be more water and energy-efficient, helping to reduce utility bills.
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Steps-by-Step Guide on Bathtub Shower Remodel

  1. Assessment and Planning:

    • Measure your bathroom and the existing bathtub area to ensure a new shower will fit.
    • Decide on the type of shower you want (e.g., walk-in, curbless).
    • Select materials and fixtures (shower pan, tiles, shower head, doors).
  2. Demolition:

    • Turn off the water supply.
    • Remove the bathtub, faucets, and any surrounding tiles or drywall as necessary.
  3. Plumbing Adjustments:

    • Adjust the plumbing to fit your new shower design. This may involve moving drains and water supply lines.
    • Install new shower valve.
  4. Install Shower Pan or Base:

    • Ensure the floor is level before installation.
    • Install the shower pan or base, making sure it is securely fastened and watertight.
  5. Waterproofing:

    • Apply a waterproof membrane over the areas that will be tiled or exposed to water.
  6. Tile Installation:

    • Install tile on the shower walls and floor.
    • Use a tile adhesive suitable for wet areas and grout between tiles.
  7. Install Shower Fixtures:

    • Install the shower head, controls, and any other fixtures.
  8. Install Shower Doors or Shower Curtains:

    • If using glass doors, ensure they are properly aligned and sealed.
    • Alternatively, install a rod and shower curtain.
  9. Sealing and Caulking:

    • Seal all edges and joints to prevent water leakage.
  10. Final Inspection and Cleanup:

    • Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
    • Clean the newly installed shower and surrounding area.

Each step should be tailored to specific project needs and local building codes. If you’re not experienced with plumbing or tiling, consider hiring a professional to ensure quality and safety.

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Cost to Convert a Bathtub into a Shower

Converting a bathtub into a shower involves several elements, and the cost can vary widely depending on materials, size, labor, and any additional features or complications. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in terms of expenses:

1. Demolition and Removal

  • Cost: $300 – $500
  • Details: This includes the cost to remove the existing bathtub, tiles, and possibly some part of the wall or plumbing that needs updating.

2. Plumbing Adjustments

  • Cost: $500 – $1,500
  • Details: Plumbing costs can vary depending on whether new lines need to be installed or existing ones rerouted.

3. Shower Pan Installation

  • Cost: $300 – $900
  • Details: Includes either a prefabricated shower pan or a custom tiled base. Custom options are more expensive.

4. Waterproofing

  • Cost: $200 – $300
  • Details: Crucial for preventing leaks, involves applying a waterproof membrane around the base and lower walls.

5. Tiling

  • Cost: $500 – $3,000
  • Details: The cost depends on the choice of tiles and the area to be covered. Designer tiles and intricate patterns can increase costs.

6. Shower Doors

  • Cost: $600 – $1,300
  • Details: Price varies based on whether you choose a framed or frameless door, with frameless being more expensive.

7. Fixtures

  • Cost: $200 – $800
  • Details: Includes new shower heads, faucets, handles, and possibly features like built-in soap dishes or shelves.

8. Labor

  • Cost: $1,000 – $2,000
  • Details: Labor costs can vary widely based on location and the complexity of the job.

Total Estimated Cost

  • Range: $3,600 – $10,300
  • Average Cost: Most homeowners can expect to spend around $5,000 to $7,000 for a standard conversion.

These costs can increase with high-end materials, additional custom features like bench seating or multiple shower heads, or if unexpected issues arise such as needing to replace old plumbing or repair water damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should a bath-to-shower remodel cost?

The cost of converting a bathtub to a shower can vary widely depending on factors such as the quality of materials, the complexity of the project, and regional labor rates. On average, a basic remodel might cost between $1,200 to $3,500, while high-end remodels with custom features and luxury materials can cost upwards of $10,000 or more.

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How do you redo a bathtub shower?

Redoing a bathtub shower typically involves several steps:

  1. Demolition: Removing the old bathtub, tile, and any fixtures.
  2. Plumbing Adjustments: Modifying plumbing to accommodate new fixtures or shower configurations.
  3. Installation: Installing a new shower pan or base, wall surround, and the necessary fixtures.
  4. Waterproofing: Ensuring all joints and edges are properly sealed to prevent leaks.
  5. Tiling and Finishing: Applying tiles or other wall finishes, followed by the installation of doors and hardware.

How do you modernize a bathtub?

Modernizing a bathtub can be done in several ways:

  • Refinishing: Applying a new surface coat to the existing bathtub to refresh its look.
  • Replacing Fixtures: Updating faucets, showerheads, and handles with modern, stylish options.
  • Adding Features: Incorporating built-in shelves, seating, or whirlpool jets for enhanced functionality.
  • Changing the Surround: Installing new tiles or panels around the bathtub to update its appearance and improve durability.

Should I replace a bathtub with a shower?

Deciding to replace a bathtub with a shower depends on several factors:

  • Space and Layout: Showers can save space, making them ideal for smaller bathrooms.
  • Usage and Preferences: If baths are rarely taken and a quick, efficient shower is preferred, converting to a shower might be practical.
  • Accessibility: Showers are generally more accessible for people with mobility issues.
  • Resale Value: In homes with multiple bathrooms, converting at least one tub to a shower can enhance appeal; however, at least one bathtub is often recommended to maintain marketability.