Transform Your Bathroom: Bathtub to Shower Conversion


Transform Your Bathroom: Bathtub to Shower Conversion

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The bathroom is an essential part of the house and, usually, is the place where you start and end your day. Because of this, it is important to ensure it is tailored to suit your needs and preferences. Increasingly, homeowners are trending towards the bathroom remodeling project of bathtub to shower conversions. With a multitude of design options, safety enhancements, and potential for increased home value, these renovations are transforming many traditional bathrooms into modern, luxurious spaces.

Understanding Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Bathtub to shower conversion is a home transformation that involves converting an existing bathtub into a stand-alone shower or a shower-bath combo depending on your preferences. This might involve a total removal of the bathtub or a strategic retrofit that adapts your bathtub into a safe, accessible shower space.

Bathtub to Shower Conversion: A Step-by-Step Guide

A bathtub to shower conversion isn't just a switch; it involves a series of steps, all aimed at transplanting your preferred shower unit into your existing bathroom space. Below are the main steps often involved:

  • Dismantling the Existing Bathtub: This involves removing the tub, which may include cutting it for easy removal.
  • Plumbing Alterations: After removing the tub, there may be a need to modify the existing plumbing to accommodate the shower conversion.
  • Installing the Shower Base: The shower base is then installed and secured in place, ready to hold your new shower unit.
  • Installing the Shower Walls: The shower walls come in next, usually fixed securely to the walls of your bathroom.
  • Finishing Off: The last steps include installing the shower head, handles, door, or curtains, as well as any other accessories you like.

Keys to a Successful Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Converting a bathtub to a shower is a task best left to professionals. A standard bathtub to shower conversion can be carried out within a reasonable time by experienced professionals. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a successful transformation.

Quality Materials

Invest in the best quality materials for your new shower. This might include scratch and stain-resistant materials, durable shower doors, and high-quality showerheads, faucets, and fittings.

Consider Your Bathroom's Dimensions and Layout

The available space in your bathroom should be a key consideration when planning a bathtub to shower conversion. The current layout and dimensions of your bathroom will determine the size and style of shower unit that can be comfortably accommodated.

Advanced Drainage and Water Systems

Upgrade your drainage and water systems if necessary. A curbless shower, for example, often requires a specific type of drainage system to function correctly. A professional can advise you on what upgrades may be required.

Professional Installation

A professional installation is a must to ensure that your bathtub to shower conversion is installed correctly and securely, preventing any water leakage or installation problems down the line.

Personalizing Your Bathtub to Shower Conversion

The final step in your bathtub to shower conversion is adding your personal touch. This might include choosing a specific shower door design, installing a rainfall shower head, adding a built-in shower bench, or including safety grab bars. The choices for customization are almost limitless.

The Cost of Bathtub to Shower Conversion

cost of bathtub to shower conversion

The cost of bathtub to shower conversion can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project, the materials used, and the labor required. However, it's generally an affordable home improvement project that adds value to your home.

A bathtub to shower conversion can be a fantastic investment for those looking to modernize their bathroom. It can increase your home's resale value, improve its functionality, and even make bathing safer and more comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions: Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Why might I want to convert my bathtub to a shower?

Many people opt for a bathtub to shower conversion for a variety of reasons. These might include increasing the bathroom’s functional space, meeting the needs of seniors or those with mobility restrictions, or simply renovating an outdated bathroom design.

What are the first steps in a bathtub to shower conversion?

The first step is assessing the existing bathroom layout and plumbing, followed by determining the preferred design and layout for the new shower arrangement. Then, a homeowner should contact a professional to conduct proper measurements and discuss the various design and material options.

How long does a typical bathtub to shower conversion take?

The duration of a bathtub to shower conversion largely depends on the complexity of the project. A basic conversion using a pre-fabricated shower unit may take a couple of days, while a more customized conversion may require a week or more.

Do I need specific permits for a bathtub to shower conversion?

Regulations concerning permits vary widely, depending on your locality. However, most bathroom renovations, including bathtub to shower conversions, usually do require certain permits, especially where plumbing alterations are involved. Check with your local permit office for specifics.

Can I do a bathtub to shower conversion myself?

While it is possible to complete a basic bathtub to shower conversion as a DIY project, it's generally recommended to hire a professional. Tasks such as re-routing plumbing, installing new drain connections, and ensuring waterproof seals are often quite complex and may require specific expertise.

Is a shower more water-efficient than a bathtub?

In general, showers tend to be more water-efficient than bathtubs. The average bath uses approximately 35-50 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead only uses about 20 gallons.

What features should I consider when converting my bathtub to a shower?

Considerations might include safety features, such as handrails, seating or non-slip flooring. Additionally, you might want to examine water efficient showerhead options, built-in shelving, shower door styles and various material choices for aesthetic appeal.

Will converting my bathtub to a shower increase my home's value?

While it largely depends on your specific market, generally, adding a modern, functional shower in place of an outdated bathtub can enhance your home's appeal to potential buyers, particularly those with mobility concerns or a preference for showers over baths.

What are some challenges I might face in my bathtub to shower conversion?

You could potentially encounter issues such as outdated plumbing, uneven flooring, or discovering water damage during the conversion process. Depending on your bathroom’s initial design, fitting a large or uniquely-shaped shower might prove tricky. Enlisting a professional can help foresee and manage such challenges.

Pros and Cons of Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Considering a bathtub to shower conversion can be a significant decision due to numerous factors. Here, we break down the benefits and drawbacks of moving from a bathtub-centric bathroom layout to one that features a shower unit.

Advantages of a Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Enhanced Accessibility

An undeniable advantage of converting a bathtub into a shower is the enhanced accessibility it provides. This conversion factor can notably be appreciated by:

  • The elderly
  • People with mobility issues
  • Those recovering from surgery or injuries

For these individuals, stepping into a bathtub can be difficult and may also present a slipping hazard. A shower, particularly one with a walk-in design, is much easier to access.

Space Management

Another significant advantage relates to improved space management:

  • Shower units tend to take less floor space than bathtubs, giving you more room within the bathroom.
  • It may also provide the illusion of a bigger bathroom if you're dealing with limited space.


A shower unit tends to use less water compared to a bathtub:

  • It's a more sustainable choice, which can reduce your environmental footprint.
  • Likewise, the cut down on water usage can significantly lower your monthly bill.

Disadvantages of a Bathtub to Shower Conversion

Resale Value

One of the potential drawbacks of removing a bathtub in favour of a shower unit pertains to the resale value of your property:

  • Families with young children and people who enjoy relaxing bath times might prefer a bathtub, which could dissuade them from buying a house that only features showers.
  • Losing a bathtub might make the property less appealing to some buyers, potentially lowering its resale value.

Shower Conversion Costs

Converting a bathtub into a shower also comes with its own costs:

  • Demolition, removing the old bathtub, installing the shower, rewiring, plumbing, and possible re-tiling all add up.
  • High-quality shower units can be expensive.
  • Ensuring proper waterproofing is crucial to prevent costly damages in the future, adding to the initial costs.

Loss of Bathing Option

Additionally, a bathtub to shower conversion means losing the option to soak in a hot bath, which is a con for many:

  • A hot bath can offer therapeutic health benefits like improved circulation and muscle relaxation.
  • Bathing children or pets is often easier in a tub than a shower.

In conclusion, considering these pros and cons can significantly influence your decision about a bathtub to shower conversion. While the decision ultimately lies with the homeowner's preference, the detail points can serve as a valuable guide.


The popularity of a bathtub to shower conversion continues to grow due to its practical benefits. This process not only adds value to your home but also enhances safety and accessibility, especially for the elders and those with mobility issues. Moreover, it’s a great way to modernize your bathroom and make it more efficient, as showers tend to use less water than baths. So if you’re thinking about making changes in your bathroom, then a bathtub to shower conversion might be the right choice for you.

Another thing to consider is that a bathtub to shower conversion is a cost-effective remodeling solution. It's cheaper than a full bathroom renovation, yet it can completely transform your space. Showers also take up less space, which means you can utilize the extra room for storage or other bathroom amenities. Plus, with so many sleek and modern shower designs available today, you can create a spa-like experience right in your own home.

But before you dive into your bathtub to shower conversion, make sure you select a trusted and reliable installer. A successful conversion depends heavily on the quality of the installation. Remember, it's not just about improving aesthetics but also the functionality and safety of your bathroom. So always ensure you choose a professional who knows their stuff, can provide good advice, and deliver high-quality workmanship.

About West Coast Hydronics & Plumbing

Meet West Coast Hydronics & Plumbing, a leading and trusted provider of commercial and residential plumbing services based out of Sacramento, CA. For over a decade, we've been helping the good folks of Sacramento with everything from routine maintenance to the most complex plumbing projects. Our experienced team puts their extensive skill-set at your disposal, ensuring your plumbing not only works but lasts. Whether residential or business, if you need a reliable and efficient solution, we're your guys. Take a peek at our work today at our official website.