What’s the point of keeping your old bathtub if you hardly ever use it? Many homeowners like the idea of soaking in a warm bubble bath, surrounded by the glow of candlelight, tuning out the world around them, and finally getting some much-earned peace and quiet after a long day’s work. Unfortunately, taking the time to fill your bathtub is often a luxury most of us cannot afford. Not only are you losing time by drawing a bath, compared to a shower, but you’re also using significantly more water. On top of that, as we age, the high walls of your bathtub can pose a mobility challenge, potentially leading to slips and falls that can be avoided if you choose to take a shower instead.
If you’re looking for an effective way to open up your bathroom space, converting your tub to a shower might be your best option. Whether you’re thinking about renovating or remodeling your bathroom, switching out your bathtub for a brand-new shower enclosure is an excellent way to improve the functionality of your space.
Perhaps you’ve been tired of the look and feel of your bathroom, you need a change, but you’re still not sure what that change is, and as with any type of home remodeling, there are some things you should consider before moving forward with a bathtub to shower conversion. Carefully consider the pros and cons of converting your bathtub in favor of a shower to help you make the right decision when renovating your bathroom.
What Is A Bathtub-To-Shower Conversion?
Converting a tub into a shower is one of the best ways to reinvent your bathroom. The process is quite straightforward: Switch out your bathtub for a shower that better fits your space and lifestyle. What ends up happening is you open up more options to customize your bathroom’s floor plan, while at the same time reducing the risk of slipping and falling, considering you won’t need to worry about stepping over a slippery tub or deal with any irritating drainage issues.
The conversion of a shower area is one the most common bath remodeling upgrades for homeowners who rarely use their tub and who feel cramped inside a smaller bathroom. The traditional bathtub shower combo can feel outdated, as modern bathroom designs typically opt for not including a bathtub, especially in small bathrooms where floor space is limited. Some additional benefits of removing your bathtub include:
- Easier to access
- Improved safety
- Increased home value
- Lower maintenance
- Decreased energy costs
Showers Are Easier To Access Than Bathtubs
Ease of access is a nice bonus, especially if you plan to age in place inside your own home, as spending your money on an expensive retirement center isn’t your only option. If you’re beginning to find getting in and out of your bathtub is difficult or uncomfortable, then the improved access or a shower might be what you’re looking for. Generally safer than a bathtub, showers give you lots of extra room to move and maneuver, making showers much easier to make accessible for people with mobility issues.
Maybe there’s someone in your home who has trouble getting over your bathtub’s walls? Make it easier for them to access by converting your tub into a walk-in shower. Design options can include safety features such as non-slip shower floors and bath mats, to conveniently placed grab bars and handrails, helping you create a universal bathroom design accessible to all.
Showers Improve The Safety Of Your Bathroom
According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), more than a quarter million people suffer an injury in the bathroom every year, with the majority of them being fifty-five and older. If you replace your bathtub with a shower, you’re eliminating the 15-20 inch height of the tub’s walls with a much easier-to-manage shower threshold that may average 4 inches.
One of the most common bathroom accidents is slipping and falling. It’s much more common to slip in a bathtub than in a shower, as you have to step over the side of a tub to get inside, which causes problems for people with reduced mobility. Wheelchair-accessible walk-in showers have an open side that is level with the floor, eliminating the obstacle of rolling over a high shower curb.
During every tub-to-shower conversion installing grab bars ensures your loved ones can safely traverse your bathroom’s floor, providing them with an easier way to get clean. If you also install a shower seat and multiple detachable shower heads, you can enjoy your bathroom even more since you can sit and relax while getting clean. A bathtub-to-shower conversion helps create a bathroom, and a home, that prioritizes the safety and well-being of everyone who lives there.
Tub To Shower Conversions Increase The Value Of Your Home
If you’re a homeowner who thinks they want to sell at some point in the future, then a tub-to-shower conversion could be just what you’re looking for to boost the value of your home. This is a big factor that contributes to the popularity of removing an old bathtub and installing a shower instead. Certain remodeling projects can be really expensive and don’t give the same return on investment. Some projects don’t even earn you back the money you spent on your remodel when you decide to sell your home. Due to the modern design and increased popularity of this change, converting your bathtub to a shower should repay you more than the cost of the initial investment.
Showers Require Less Maintenance Than Bathtubs
Typically, bathtubs require more cleaning and maintenance than showers. Moisture can creep into your bathroom walls and floor if water is splashed around in the tub, resulting in expensive repairs and mold removal services. On weekends you’ll be setting aside time to spray down the mildew and mold on your walls and floors, rather than relaxing with a good book and a glass of your favorite wine.
Showers are less likely to cause water damage, but you still need to consider ways to combat high humidity levels in your bathroom. A good bathroom fan or dehumidifier can remove the remaining moisture after you take a shower. Also, modern shower stalls are manufactured and designed with the goal of making cleaning and maintenance easy for the DIY homeowner.
Whether a bathtub or a shower, no matter how often you clean the surface, mold will accumulate on the caulk lines, soap scum will gather on the niches, and mildew will gather on the walls and ceiling. The frequency of these cleaning problems significantly decreases if you convert your tub to a shower.
Showers Save You Money On Your Water Bill
Studies continuously show that taking a shower is more eco-friendly and energy efficient compared to baths. Converting a tub to a shower will result in everyone in your home taking showers instead of baths, so you’ll definitely see the savings when you receive your monthly water bill.
Drawing a bath takes tons of water to completely fill up your tub. Of course, you could fill it slightly less, but in order to effectively bathe, you do need a full tub, so there’s only so much you can save on your water bill. Obviously, this is not a requirement to take a shower.
Deciding to shower instead of taking a bath can save you considerable amounts of money each year, just on the cost of the water needed to bathe. If you have a large family that shares the same bathrooms, this water-saving solution will benefit you even more. Most homeowners don’t think about this benefit of tub-to-shower conversions, but saving money and having some extra for future remodeling projects is always a bonus.
What Are The Downsides Of A Tub To Shower Conversion?
While there are plenty of benefits to deciding on a tub-to-shower conversion for your bathroom renovation project, there are a few downsides that should be taken into account before committing to a decision.
Kids Enjoy Taking Baths
While not a huge issue to consider if you have a bathtub somewhere else in your home, but if you don’t you need to think about if you still need a bathtub for bathing your children. Kids really enjoy taking a bath, and for a parent washing a small child, a bath is much easier and more accessible than a shower. If your children are still young, your best bet is to keep your bathtub for at least a little while, until they get a bit older.
You Won’t Have The Option To Soak In A Bathtub
Do you enjoy a long soak in your bathtub after a stressful day in the office? If you do love this activity, remember you won’t have this option anymore if you decide to replace your bathtub with a shower. If there isn’t a bathtub elsewhere in your home, even if you want all the advantages of having only a shower, think over whether or not you’ll miss the option of relaxing in a warm tub. If you think you’ll miss your bathtub, a tub shower combo with a showerhead over the tub could be a great compromise for you to consider. That way you can mostly shower, but still have the choice to take a bath instead.
What’s The Process Of Converting A Tub To A Shower?
If you’ve thought about it and have decided a tub-to-shower conversion is the best option for you, here’s a step-by-step guide on the process involved.
Measure Your Tub And Check The Plumbing
Before doing anything, make sure you take down all the measurements of your bathroom so you can understand what’s going to fit. Most of the market’s rectangular and square shower enclosures are intended to fit into the blueprint of a standard straight bath, so normally a tub-to-shower conversion is easy to do. Accurately measure the space where your bathtub is so you can find the right dimensions for your new shower enclosure
Check and inspect your plumbing so you can make the conversion as simple and cost-effective as possible. In most homes, all of the pipework will be located at one end of the bathtub. If you install your shower at this end, it will be much simpler to re-plumb the area for your shower fixtures and tray. If you end up needing to move any piping, the renovation becomes a bigger, more expensive job, but of course it can still be done. If you’re unsure about what can be done with your current plumbing situation, find a professional plumber to take a look and explain to you the different options available.
Get Inspiration And Advice For Bathroom Remodeling Ideas
There are hundreds of shower options available, and it can be overwhelming to decide which is right for you. Start by searching online for inspiration. Check websites such as Pinterest or Instagram to see what other homeowners have done when converting their tub to a shower. Read home design magazines and blogs, and reach out to family and friends whose bathrooms you’ve always admired. Go to bathroom remodeling boutiques and look at all the different showers. Inspect the showers more closely so you can understand the different options, such as shower trays, doors, fixtures, and wall surrounds.
A plumber is another source of excellent advice, as they can use their knowledge and expertise to help you understand what all your best options would be depending on the size of your space and budget. They can design a shower that fits your unique style and needs, such as suggesting a wheelchair-accessible shower that provides the easiest access to get in and out.
Pick Your Shower Enclosure
Once you’ve received some helpful advice and you feel inspired, it’s time to pick your new shower enclosure. Rectangular shower enclosures are typically the most common and popular, but choosing a corner or curved shape is also a great option to consider. Check out plenty of options so you can decide which will fit best in the space you currently have, and think about how easy it will be to get in and out of the shower enclosure you pick.
Many shower enclosures are equipped with matching shower trays, but if yours doesn’t you’ll need to pick this out too. Figure out if you want a completely enclosed shower, if you’re installing a shower door, as well as how the door will open, or maybe you want more of a wet room-style shower with just a screen.
Choose The Shower Itself
When finally choosing the shower itself, there’s always an option to satisfy everyone’s needs. You could choose anything from an easy-to-use slider rail mix shower to a luxury smart home showering system. Think about what sort of showering experience you want and need. Do you desire a high-end waterfall shower, or do you need a detachable shower head you can lift off the wall to help wash yourself or your pet? When committing to a tub shower conversion consider all your needs and choose your shower system accordingly.
Pick Out Your Shower’s Wall Covering
You’ll want to protect the inside of your shower walls from potential water damage. Tiles are a popular choice for shower walls, but if you prefer a different style, there are plenty of other options. For example, shower wall panels are gaining more popularity as they allow you to get a smooth finish and have a much wider range of colors and patterns than your typical tiles. Shower wall panels are faster to install than tiles, and they offer a beautiful appearance in a wide range of colors and designs. These panels can even be fitted directly over your existing wall coverings. Depending on your budget, panels can be a much more attractive choice than tiles for your shower walls. Whatever you pick, make sure your shower walls are protected from water damage.
Add The Finishing Touches To Your Shower
After converting your bathtub and installing the new shower, you can enhance your bathroom’s design without much effort by adding the finishing touches to the room. Contemplate the finishing details for your showering system, such as choosing the right handle for your shower door and anything extra you could want, like an in-wall niche to store your shampoos and soaps. High-quality bathroom accessories will really compliment your beautiful new shower.
Think about details like the right storage for your toiletries, where the towel racks are going to go, will you be installing heated flooring, and how many non-slip bath mats do you need? Most people don’t put a lot of energy into choosing the decor for their bathroom, but if you choose nice pieces, you can create your own personal oasis. A side table for your candles and plants, extra lighting, a sturdy shower curtain, and all these bathroom accessories can make a huge difference. Think about how any decor you add will react to the warm, damp environment of a bathroom. For example, certain plants like Boston Ferns thrive in these conditions and are an affordable way to add luxury to a bathroom.
How Much Does A Tub-To-Shower Conversion Cost?
When replacing a bathtub, generally, labor and materials are the biggest expenses when considering the total price. Typically costing between $1,200 to $8,000, with an average cost of $3,000, the price can vary depending on your budget, as well as whether this is a DIY project or professional renovation.
Allow Perry Brothers Construction To Handle Your Tub To Shower Conversion
With fifty years of experience renovating and remodeling bathrooms, Perry Brothers Construction has been North Shore Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire’s go-to contractor for tub-to-shower conversions since 1975. When handled by professionals, converting your tub to a shower is a hassle-free experience, so hiring them to do the work is highly recommended rather than doing it DIY.