How great would it be to have a roomy, beautifully designed shower stall instead of that old, hard-to-clean bathtub!
If this thought has crossed your mind, you’re not alone. According to the American Institute of Architects, the tubless bathroom has never been more popular. However, before you take the plunge, realtors ask you to keep in mind that your home should have at least one bathtub to preserve the resale value.
Ready to convert? Here’s what you need to know.
Your best-case scenario is the old-tub-in-an-alcove that most of us grew up with. Once the tub is removed, you have a roomy space for your shower with drain lines and water supply in place with only minor modifications needed. Do consider increasing the depth of the alcove to the recommended 36” as the standard tub alcove depth of 30” is a bit of a tight squeeze.
Your new shower location may prove more problematic if you have a free-standing tub, mainly if it’s under or near a window. You’ll want to install your shower as close as possible to existing plumbing and drainage to keep your costs down, but you’ll need to avoid the windows. This may be the right time to consult a professional plumber.
Although some die-hard DIYers may tackle a tear-out on their own, it’s best to have a professional handle it. While many bathtubs are relatively easy to remove, cast iron tubs require a lot of muscle. Aside from the tub removal, though, your plumber will take this opportunity to check the existing pipes and upgrade if necessary, examine the area for water rot and mold, and evaluate the shower valve.
Let your plumber advise you on the cost and benefits of a curbless shower (pricey) instead of one with a shower pan (more economical).
You have a lot of fun options here! If you’re thinking high-end, tile and stone showers are stunning but costly. These surfaces are inherently expensive, installation requires lengthy preparation, and the glass doors must be custom-made. This option can easily run you nearly $15,000.00.
If you still want the tile or stone look, consider solid surface mosaic tile shower kits at a more affordable price. You’ll get the look you want at a fraction of the cost, and best of all, one-day installation!
Your most cost-effective option is premade fiberglass or acrylic shower kits. They’re sized to fit old bathtub alcoves and come with a curbed floor pan and glass door.
Dive into your conversion today!