Should You Convert Your Tub to a Walk-In Shower?

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Converting a tub to a walk-in shower in your Cincinnati area home can provide a fresh look to a stale bathroom. You can save room and add more functionality to your bathroom with the added space. Changing your tub into a shower can be a big project, and you should consider whether it’s a good idea for your home, whether to hire a handyman to do the project, what it will cost, and how to plan a new design.

space saving walk in shower

Converting your tub to a shower really depends on your needs and situation. Walk-in showers are ideal as a second bathroom for a home that already has a bathroom with a tub. There are several reasons for having at least one tub in the house. Removing your home’s only bathtub can hinder your home’s resell value, according to the National Association of Realtors.

National Association of Realtors research shows that 38 percent of Americans regularly take baths at least once a week. Bathtubs are also preferred by families with children, as well as by pet owners who need a place to bathe their pets. Bathtubs are sometimes the safest place in a house during a tornado, and they can be used to store water in an emergency.

Walk-in showers have become a necessity for modern homes. They provide a modern look, and there are many luxurious additions you can add to a walk-in shower, such as a steam shower.

Here are some of the benefits of turning your bathtub into a walk-in shower:

  • Walk-in showers are generally safer than bathtubs. You don’t have to step over a tub ledge, and showers aren’t as slippery as tubs. Walk-in showers are preferred for seniors for their safety.
  • Walk-in showers take up less space, which makes bathrooms feel roomier or allows for a larger vanity.
  • Even if you actively use the space you get from converting your tub to a shower, frameless glass doors can help make a small bathroom appear larger and more open.
  • Walk-in showers are more accessible for those in wheelchairs.
  • Luxury options can be added to make a mini-spa with steam generators and aroma therapy.

Should You Hire a Handyman for Your Walk-In Shower Conversion?

It is possible to DIY your walk-in shower conversion, but it will stretch your DIY skills to the limit. You’d need to do your own demolition and remove tiling, a very heavy bathtub, drywall, and more. You’ll need to check for water damage in your subfloor, which is very common in bathrooms. You’ll also need tiling, drywalling, plumbing, carpentry, and other DIY skills.

Hiring a handyman makes a lot of sense. They can finish your bathroom in a much faster timeframe than a DIYer can, saving time and avoiding the lengthy inconvenience of a non-functioning bathroom. A professional service will have the necessary tools, like a wet saw for tile cutting, which is just one more tool a DIYer would have to rent.

What Does It Cost to Convert a Bathtub to a Walk-In Shower?

old bathtub

The cost of changing your tub to a shower will depend on what needs to be changed, the size of the shower, and what features you want in your shower. Ideally, you should design your shower to have the plumbing in the same location as your current tub.

The normal cost range for converting a bathtub to a walk-in shower is $1,200 to $8,000, according to $1,200 is used for a pre-made shower stall installation without tiles. If you want tiles, a fancy showerhead, or other premium appliances, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000.

On average, a shower conversion costs around $3,000. Handling the labor yourself can save you $1,000 or more. Plumbers will cost anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour if you need to change the layout of your plumbing.

Planning Your Walk-In Shower Conversion

Take time to plan out removing your tub for a shower carefully. Improper planning can lead to serious project failures and cost a lot of money to fix.

Most bathrooms are only around 100 square feet, so a 14-square-foot tub takes a big bite of your square footage. A walk-in shower should be at least 30 by 30 inches, which is a tad more than six square feet. You can free up nearly eight square feet by converting a tub to a walk-in shower, though your walk-in shower will be on the smaller side.

To make the most of the rearranged space, plan for such things as a shower enclosure door. Most walk-in shower doors swing out, and it will need enough room to get in and out of the shower. You may also consider no door at all and instead use glass block or plate glass to divide the space.

Tub Removal and Shower Installation

walk in shower

Your handyman service will remove the old tub, clean out the tile and old drywall, and prepare the space for the new shower enclosure.

Once the tub is out, get into the newly opened space. Use cardboard or a scrap of drywall to stand in for the shower enclosure. Sit on the toilet (or substitute a five-gallon pail if you are awaiting a new toilet) to verify your personal comfort. Practice opening a measured-out cardboard door, which will help you better visualize how the shower will feel and function. You may decide that you need another couple of inches of space here or there.

Here’s a brainstorming list of options to consider during the conversion:

  • Rainhead shower fixture
  • Recessed and accent lighting
  • New tile designs for walls and floor
  • Grab bars for safety
  • Glass block or plate glass dividers
  • Built-in speakers and sound system
  • Steam shower
  • Aromatherapy shower steamer
  • Heated towel rack

For electrical and plumbing work in bathroom remodels in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing.

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