- Cost of Tub to Shower Remodel
- Tips Before Remodeling
- Types of Showers
Does your family prefer showers to baths? Maybe you have an older family member who’s having trouble climbing over the tub ledge to shower. Or possibly your bathtub is looking dingy or dated and you’re exploring options to make your bathroom look fresh and modern. No matter what your reason, removing an existing bathtub to install a walk-in shower can be a remodeling project that really pays off in enjoyment, comfort, and ease of use.
It’s not just your family who wants a full shower in the home. Walk-in showers and showers without tubs are growing in popularity. According to the American Institute of Architects’ 2015 Home Trends Survey, 65 percent of homeowners like and want to have stall showers with no tub, up from 56 percent in 2014. Large walk-in showers, doorless showers and upscale showers are also trending.
By doing a bathtub remodel & making it a shower, your home is more desirable and potentially increases your ability to sell, should you need to. But you want to carefully weigh your decision if that means your home will be without a tub entirely — some real estate agents recommend that you leave at least one tub in your home, even if it’s not in the master bath. You should factor in the use and enjoyment you’ll get from the walk-in shower in the years you plan to spend in your home when making the final decision.
How Much Does a Tub to Shower Remodel Cost?
The first step to starting any bathroom remodel project is to decide whether you want to tackle the project yourself or hire a contractor to do the work. That can depend on your familiarity with plumbing updates and your budget. Paying for labor can get expensive, but taking the wrong steps and damaging your plumbing can be an expensive — and stressful — mistake.
The cost for your remodeling project also depends on the quality of materials you want to use. For example, a simple drop-in shower stall can be installed as a do-it-yourself project if you’re confident in your skills; it could cost around $400. If you decide to have a professional do the installation, add $300 to $400 for labor.
But many people who undertake a bathtub-to-shower remodel want a little more luxury than a drop-in shower stall provides, or may need repairs or plumbing updates. Here are some of the areas that can add cost.
- Changing out the pipes. If your home is older, the pipes may be outdated. The cost to replace them with copper or PEX can vary depending on how much needs to be changed out. Your plumber will likely cost anywhere from $45 to $150 per hour; get an estimate to know for sure how long the updates will take.
- Dry rot or other issues around the tub space. The good news is that bathtubs are heavier than showers, so your shower likely won’t need any floor reinforcement. The bad news? A tub that’s been there for years with a water leak of any kind can cause damage to the floor and may need to be replaced before your shower can go in.
- Tiles. Tiling a shower with ceramic tiles can cost $1.30 per square foot, but specialty tiles can run as much as $20 per square foot.
- Door. A standard sliding glass door costs between $100 to $300 plus installation. You may choose options that are more expensive such as glass that is textured or tinted, or a door that opens rather than slides.
- Fixtures. Your luxury shower experience might be enhanced with special fixtures, such as showerheads that mimic rainfall or that are height adjustable. The higher-end fixtures can run a few hundred dollars.
What Type of Shower Works Best For Your Space?
Now that you have some ideas about what you want your shower to look like, you’ll want to consider the best type of shower to install in your bathroom.
All-in-one shower stalls that can be added to an existing tub-sized space can make your job easier. Many options exist with built-in ledges and shelving; some even have seating areas. The stalls typically include a curb to contain water and the option of installing any type of door you wish — or even just using a curtain.
Tiled shower curbs
A tiled shower created in the existing wall space usually necessitates a curb or ledge that will hold the door and keep the water inside the shower. The curb should be tall enough to contain moisture and short enough to step over easily. Curbs should also be polished and have smooth edges to reduce injury.
Showers with no lip to contain the water make it much easier to access the shower, especially for the elderly or disabled. But beyond that, curbless showers offer a particular open look that is appealing and modern. The curbless style can also save you a little space if you’re making the most of a small area.
The issue with a curbless shower, of course, is the difficulty of containing the water. This problem can be minimized by choosing a shower screen — essentially, a pivoting glass door — and a directed showerhead that keeps the flow of water moving away from the rest of the bathroom.
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