How does one remodel a bathroom tub?


We live in a 55 years & up community. We know it's possible to get plans to convert a bathroom tub into a shower. Stepping over the tub wall is not so bad now, but we can see it being a problem. It's a lot less expensive than actually having a professional come in & install it. Even though it is less it's still expensive for us. Has anyone done this procedure & if so could you share your knowledge? Thanks for any help we can get.

  7 answers
  • Gk Gk on Mar 01, 2019

    If you are a good DIYer with the right tools you can remove your tub and install a walk in shower yourself. There are many walk in showers available at places like Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot that will fit the space of your present tub area. You can purchase a new walk in shower with a shower pan and interlocking side walls so there is no tiling involved. You may have to have a plumber come in for any changes to your plumbing but if you can remove the old tub and set the walk in shower yourself that will save you some money.

  • Unless you have lots of DIY experience, this is not a project for a novice. Far too many things that can go amiss. Only attempt if you have backup cash to hire a contractor when the going gets rough. Now, I don't want to discourage you, but if a problem occurs after installation, it could cost thousands to repair - and there goes more $$$ that you could have paid up front for professional installation. See if these help.

    How to hire a contractor.

    If you don't have cash up front, maybe consider a small home improvement loan to cover the cost.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Mar 01, 2019

    You can't convert a tub to a shower. The tub needs to be removed and a shower installed. It's a little bit more involved that it sounds. The drain needs to be moved and you might need more plumbing moved. The shower pan needs to be properly installed or it could leak or the shower might not drain from all areas. This is really something a professional should be doing unless you have specific knowledge in these areas.

  • Pat Pat on Mar 01, 2019

    We recently took out our tub and put in a shower. Got a shower surround and pan to fit our space. The drain for the pan can be purchased with middle drain, right drain or left drain. We got the left drain and it fit over our used-to-be tub drain. Like you, we were getting to an age where it was hard to get in and out of the tub to use the shower. Works much better now.....If you are handy, it can be done but there is a lot of lifting or cutting up the old tub and carrying it out. Then the surround is in pieces but still pretty heavy and awkward to get in place. Luckily we had a family member who is very handy and did this for us.

  • Oliva Oliva on Mar 01, 2019

    The tub will need to be removed. Your new shower should be low or no threshold, with floor sufficiently sloped for proper drainkng. You need to consider a seat at appropriate height for you, if needed in the future. Grab bars should be installed for your height(s) at the front, side and rear entry points of tub. Bars must be installed into wall studs, for safety. You can find round, angular, or more modern looking grab bars, but they need to be capable of supporting 250 pounds.

    Consider a single handle faucet for ease of use, or in the event of a disability.

    Install a recessed light (waterproof) on a dimmer switch, in tub area for safety. Install an exhaust fan on a timer. Make your tub door capable of swinging both ways, in case of emergency.

    You may qualify for a home equity loan. If your plumbing and insulation needs updated, this is the time to do it. Then call your insurance compzny. You may get a rate reduction for the upgrades ( insurers love to know you'll be less likely to file a claim for water leaks/damages).

    • Tekakwitha Tekakwitha on Mar 01, 2019

      Hi Everyone thanks to giving your ideas how to go about this. We know there are companies who can do the job in a day & there are also companies who give you the directions to do it yourself by remodeling your bath tubs without taking them out & having to replace them. The last way is much less, but still expensive. Its not a must right now, just thinking what can be done when its time.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Mar 03, 2019

    Keep in mind that there are disadvantages to walk-in tubs. The biggest being, you have to sit in the tub while it fills and you have to sit there soaking wet until the water drains. I've heard many complain how cold it is having to wait.