How To Convert Tub To Walk In Shower [Read This First]

best walk in tub with shower

Stigma of tubs converted into walk-in showers is mainly centered on the idea that only older people need such designs. However, recent information about who uses the tub in American households, as well as the relatively low cost for upgrading your bathtub into a walk-in shower. It can help homeowners to put value and comfort in their home without breaking the bank.

An interesting fact is, most homeowners are looking for the greatest number of amenities in a home when they purchase. There is a lot of information about how to convert a tub into a walk-in shower and also the average cost to convert a tub into a walk in shower.

Bottom line, is that people want both a tub and shower. With a recent study by a research firm called Vital Findings finding “ that 38 percent of U.S. residents bathe weekly and half of them are men.”

That means that if you are looking to upgrade a home for possible resale in the future. Having both a tub and walk-in shower will appeal to more home buyers and increase the value of your home.

The indicated guide will detail the process of how to convert a tub into a walk-in shower and also compare the average cost to convert tubs into walk-in showers.

 Convert Tub To Walk In Shower CostConvert tub to walk in shower

Converting a tub to a walk-in shower is one way to begin the project. Buying a kit and doing it yourself is the most cost-effective way to install the walk-in shower. But, there are also companies to aid in making this remodel go smoothly.

The cost will also vary based on a few features that can change the appearance and function of the converted tub to walk in shower. For instance, a walk-in shower conversion kit available through the company AmeriGlide costs $797.

However, other add-ons for functionality and comfort can add up. These include things like the lever, a standard drain, and faucet that can amount to nearly $400 more for your conversion from a tub to a walk-in shower.

Another thing to consider is that, if the shower will also be used as a tub, a shower door framed in chrome can add another $450 to the overall price tag. Atlanta-based designer Eric Rothman of Rothman & Rothman Design claims that this can add up quickly and make the conversion of a tub into a walk-in shower top nearly $2000.

Lastly, there are even some models, made of volcanic stone or other expensive materials, that may look and feel very pleasing but can carry a price tag over $10,000!

Considerations before installing your walk in tub with shower

Customizing the shower and tub of your home is something that homeowners really only think about doing on average about every 10-15 years. So, the decisions you make now are going to be around for a very long time.

It is important to take into consideration some key points of function and appearance when you convert a tub into a walk-in shower.

  • Can this fit my family now and in the future? A walk-in shower is great if you have mobility issues or are looking to add value to a home for resale value because of added elbow room and increased efficiency for water usage compared to bathtubs. However, many parents of small children claim that a majority of bathing is done in the tub where they can allow children to have playtime and wash them more carefully. Think about if this upgrade fits your family’s lifestyle.
  • Does the bathroom have the right layout for a walk-in shower conversion? If you make the walk-in shower in your bedroom and take away the only bathtub that the house had, you may be decreasing the appeal of an amenity in your home. Consider the overall value of the layout of your home.
  • What’s the budget to complete the project? The different fixtures that you may want to match your current home design may cost a lot more than the base price of the conversion kit sold online. Make sure to research the different fixtures and costs for your taste to get a fuller picture of the final cost.

Elements you’ll need

The cost to convert a tub into a walk in shower can be substantial. Although, knowing the elements and materials needed before construction begins can help you to get a handle on cast and be more efficient with your funds.

Before starting any deconstruction project, you should consider renting a 10-yard dumpster. It won’t endear you to your neighbors for unsightly refuse and waste from your construction project is laying around on the front lawn. Therefore, a 10-yard dumpster is a great way to confine the mess.

You will also need these elements to convert a tub into a walk in shower:

  • screwdriver(phillips and flathead)
  • Plywood for protection of the bathroom floor
  • Wrench(Allen and other)
  • Drywall saw or reciprocating saw
  • Prybar
  • Jigsaw

A big part of converting a tub into a walk in shower is the cost of materials. If you don’t want to buy these expensive saws outright, consider renting them from places like Home Depot, All-Star, or Cresco. Also, as you start to plan out your installation of a walk in shower, consider how much the design will affect the current layout of the tub.

Are you comfortable with cutting drywall and ceramic tub walls, or do you think that a professional should handle the saws? Safety first and know your limits when it comes to construction. Never be afraid to ask the professionals for advice or help!

Determine the LayoutConvert tub to walk in shower

To convert a tub into a walk in shower, there are several layouts that you need to consider before construction begins. Think about what you want as far as functionality, comfort, and upkeep, but also which layout will uniquely fit your home bathroom space.

Walk-in shower kits are widely available online and allow for many different styles of walk in shower designs. Including rounded corners, square corners, and alcove designs, while some even offer the option of adding matching tile to the already existing layout of the bathroom.

DIY is completely possible with these easy to use kits, but you have to make some considerations first:

  1. Space and Position

When you convert a tub in to a walk in shower; the easiest and most efficient use of time and materials is to put the walk in shower in the place left behind by the old tub. You can then use the old drain lines, water supply, and even parts of tub for the new walk-in shower. Moving the plumbing is costly and not recommended without the consultation of a plumber.

Guidelines for Spacing:

Better Homes & Gardens describes the layout guidelines for all bathroom remodels with detailed images and measurements. The construction code highlights that a person converting a tub into a walk in shower needs to consider are:

  • A space of 24 inches must be planned in front of a shower entry.
  • The interior shower size is 30×30 inches or 900 square inches, in which a disc 30 inches in diameter must fit.
  • A distance of 15 inches is required from the centerline of a toilet and/or bidet to any bath fixture, wall, or other obstacle.
  • All light fixtures installed within tub and shower spaces should be marked “suitable for damp/wet locations.”
  • Hanging fixtures cannot be located within a zone of 3 feet horizontally and 8 feet vertically from the top of the bathtub rim.
  • 30 inches by 30 inches of floor space.
  • 80 inches in height.
  • 15 inches between the side of the toilet and the shower wall.
  • Or at least 21 inches between the front of the toilet and the shower wall.
  • Door-width space in the radius around the shower, if you plan to install a swinging door.

One of the Best Walk In Shower Kits

The Sterling Accord Walk-In Shower Kit is one of the best shower kits for many reasons and sets the standard for easy to use and install walk in showers on the market. Pivot snap together technology makes assembly very easy and the design of the solid Vikrell material which is lightweight and stain resistant when compared to acrylic.

No messy caulk is needed for this walk-in shower design and installation is as easy as measuring, snapping together and fitting into the space where your tub used to be.

Also, this walk-in  shower offers the benefit of a seated area for comfort and many shelves for a versatile design that is easy to use. Limited warranty lasts for up to 10 years and this walk-in shower comes in at a reasonable price of just under $1,200 compared to other models which can cost several thousand.

Walk In Shower KitBenefits Check Price
Sterling AccordCaulkless. Snaps together for easy installation. Stain-resistant Vikrell material
Clean Cut Step BathtubLess expensive. Use existing tub material and layout. Easy to follow instructions for installation
Dreamline Showerbase and BackwallClean and modern design. High impact resistant; made of strong acrylic. Low profile threshold; made for alcove design. Textured slip-resistant floor built-in. Back panels can be glued to existing surfaces, make deconstruction easier

Eliminate Tiles & Wall Areas

Before deconstruction, make sure to read this list of materials needed and safety precautions to ensure you are not inured and to keep damage to your bathroom minimal.

  1. Place plywood on the floor to protect your flooring(especially with tiles!)
  2. Use the water shut-off valve to turn water off.
  3. Allen Wrench: Loosen screws on drain, overflow and faucet head and remove them all.
  4. Wrench-Counterclockwise: disconnect main and overflow drain. This may be located behind your tub, in the wall, or in the basement.
  5. Utility knife/putty knife: Scour the grout of the tiles surrounding the tub up to 8 inches and remove these tiles with a putty knife.
  6. Drywall Saw/Reciprocating Saw: Cut through the drywall. Do not cut wooden wall studs. If plaster, use a reciprocating saw.

Remove Current TubConvert tub to walk in shower

The old tub is about to be tossed in that 10 yard dumpster and you can finally start the installation of your new shower. Follow these steps for an easy removal of the old tub.

  1. Claw hammer/saw: pry or cut any nails or screws holding the tub to the wall studs.
  2. Utility Knife: Scour caulk between tub and floor or wall.
  3. Prybar: Pry the tub away from the wall a few inches.
  4. Place pry bar between tub and floor and pry up one end. Have your helper hold this side.
  5. Remove the old tub and repair the drywall that you cut away with new pieces.

Install Walk in tub with shower

Following the directions in your walk-in shower kit will help you to get the rest of the way to an upgraded beautiful walk-in shower. Keep in mind that you will need to lower the floor for a curbless walk-in shower so that the basin of the shower is below the current floor boards.

You will need to obtain a permit from your city’s building department and engineer. So that you are approved to cut the tops of the floor joists to ensure that the base of the shower sits level with the remaining floor.

In the case that the flooring is slab concrete, you will need to hire a contractor or stone mason professional for deconstruction. Always install the base first to ensure waterproofing and then add the walls.

Ready To Built Your Dream Walk In Tub With Shower? convert tub to walk in bathtub with shower

Leaving a tub in a house can hurt resale value. Also, many people want the versatility of a walk-in shower. Along with, the safety of easy access to a walk in shower versus the tall wall of a traditional tub. There are many easy to use and snap together walk-in shower kits online for DIYer’s with price ranges all over the place.

Take the time to look over these lists of steps, do your research on style and price point, and then have fun updating your home in a way that will last for your family for decades to come.

Do the project correctly the first time by reading lists and articles like this one can help you to save money and time in the long run. Also, consider the reason you would like a walk-in shower and whether or not certain styles and layouts are to code and fit your unique bathroom space.

All in all, converting a tub into a walk in shower is both doable and can be personalized to fit your unique style if you give yourself the time to research correctly and time to finish the job properly.

One Response

  • Avatar
    rachel frampton April 28, 2020 at 5:14 am

    I have been planning to convert my tub into a walk-in shower, that’s why I’m currently looking for a remodeling contractor. I agree with you that a walk-in shower can add a resale value into my house which is beneficial just in case I plan to sell it someday. I’m glad you shared this; I’ll also keep in mind to rent a 10-yard dumpster.

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