Is It Worth It to Convert a Tub to a Shower?


Complete bathroom remodel

Are you tired of your outdated bathroom, struggling to step over the edge of your tub or simply want to improve the functionality of your bathroom

Converting your bathtub to a shower might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Imagine having a sleek and modern shower, with various tile, glass and hardware options to choose from to create a unique and beautiful bathroom. 

Not only that, but also the benefits of increased functionality, improved accessibility, increased storage space and improved home resale value.

But before you start ripping out your tub, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider the specific factors of your bathroom. In this article, we will guide you through the process, and help you decide if doing a tub to shower conversion is worth it for you.

Pros of Converting a Tub to a Shower

There are a lot of good reasons to transform a bathtub into a shower. We’ll get to the disadvantages in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at some of the benefits. 

Woman a bit older in shower

Improved accessibility for elderly or disabled individuals

The bathroom is generally the most dangerous area in a house for the elderly or disabled. 

One of the biggest benefits of a tub to shower conversion is improved accessibility for elderly or disabled individuals. Walk-in showers with low thresholds or a built-in seat can make it much easier for those with limited mobility to safely use the bathroom. This can be especially beneficial for those who are aging in place or for those who anticipate needing accessibility features in the future.

Increased space

Another benefit of a tub into a shower conversion is the increased bathroom storage space. A bathtub takes up a significant amount of space and can limit the potential for storage. Removing the tub can free up space in small bathrooms for a larger shower or for additional bathroom storage options.

Beyond freeing up space in the bathroom, it can also free up space in the walk-in shower area itself. You have more room to move around since there is more floor space in a walk in shower than when there is in the tub area. You can install a rain new showerhead such as a large rain showerhead, or even put in a bench or shelf for your toiletries that can all fit in the new shower stall. 

No tub only shower floor

Aesthetically pleasing

Doing a tub into a shower conversion can enhance design options and aesthetic appeal. A shower can be customized with various tile, glass and hardware options, allowing homeowners to create a unique and beautiful bathroom. 

Additionally, a shower can be designed to fit seamlessly into the bathroom, creating a cohesive and modern style. Shower doors look much better than curtains which can end up getting damaged by mold and mildew.

A shower stall adds a more modern style to your space so if you are looking to update the look of your house then start with a tub-to-shower conversion. When you are doing the conversion you also have the option of a future conversion to a steam shower for the full spa-experience at home by enclosing the shower stall. 

Saves water

Taking a bath can use up to 50 gallons of water. If you were to take a shower for 10 minutes then you can expect to use something like 25 gallons of water. You would need to take a 30 minute shower to use more water and even then it could still be less depending on the type of shower head you have. 

Adds value to your home

Improving the real estate value of your home is another benefit of converting a tub to shower. Many buyers prefer homes with updated bathrooms, and a shower stall can be more desirable than only a tub and lead to an increase in the home’s resale value. Additionally, a shower can be a more practical option for those with limited mobility, making it a desirable feature for many potential buyers.

Cons of Converting a Tub to a Shower

There are a few things to consider that can have long term effects as they can be considered drawbacks of a tub-to-shower conversion. Take a look at this list to understand if it will be worth it for you to do this transformation.

Walk in shower conversion generally cost a lot

Cost of conversion

This can be a significant expense, especially if the bathroom needs to be remodeled to accommodate the new shower. Additionally, the cost can vary depending on the materials and design options chosen.

How much it costs varies wildly according to the size, the materials you choose, and even where you live. However, expect to pay $1,500 for the basic conversion total cost of up to $8,000. The average is around $3,000. 

High end materials like a natural stone tiled shower are an additional cost that can put the overall cost of a shower conversion out of reach for many homeowners that are looking to do a project in the way they want.

Loss of home value

Although the conversion can add style value to your home, in certain cases it can affect a home’s resale value. For instance, if you only had one tub and then removed it, some prospective homebuyers will be disappointed. 

While many buyers prefer homes with bathroom renovations, in some areas, at least one bathtub is still considered a desirable feature. Therefore, it’s important to consider the specific market and neighborhood before making a decision and consider keeping the tub with a shower.

Limited functionality

Limited design options for those who prefer a bathtub is another downside of a tub to shower conversion. For those who enjoy taking baths, a shower may not be a suitable option. Additionally, at least one tub can be a great feature for young families with small kids.

FAQ

Q: How long does it take to convert an old tub to a shower?

The length of time it takes to convert an old tub to a shower can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the availability of materials. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the area may need to be completely gutted, which can be disruptive to daily life. Many factors influence the timeline so make sure to talk to a licensed plumber before getting started.

Q: Can I still have a bathtub if I have a shower?

Yes, it is possible to have a tub with a shower in the same bathroom. This is known as a “tub-shower combo” and it can be a great option for many people especially families with young kids who love to take baths.

Q: Is it necessary to hire a professional to convert a tub to a shower?

While some homeowners may be able to tackle a tub-to-shower conversion as a DIY project to save money on labor costs, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a complex and technical process that involves plumbing, electrical work and tiling. Hiring a professional can ensure that the job is done correctly and up to code. It can also help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that you’re satisfied with the final result.

Q: Can I still use the same plumbing work and drainage when installing a walk-in shower?

It depends on the existing plumbing and drainage in your bathroom. In some cases, it may be possible to use the existing plumbing and drainage for the new walk in shower. However, in other cases, it may be necessary to have new plumbing and drainage in order to accommodate the new shower. It’s important to consult with a professional to determine what changes will be necessary.

Bottom Line

Converting a bathtub to a shower is a popular bathroom renovation trend that can greatly improve the functionality and design of a bathroom.

This renovation can be a great option for homeowners who want to update the look of their bathroom, increase accessibility, or simply make better use of the space.

However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider the specific factors of your bathroom before making a decision. 

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Denise

Denise

Hi we're Denise and Tony! We are new homeowners and the bathroom is our favorite room. We made this blog to help others like ourselves get all the useful information needed to build a better bathroom all in one place!

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