If transforming tubs into showers was one of the most popular bathroom renovations of the 20th century, it’s starting to seem that transforming a bath into a walk-in shower is growing in popularity in the 21st century. According to the Home Design Trends Survey conducted by the American Association of Architects, 60% of those surveyed stated that they preferred a stall shower without a tub, up from 49% in 2012. Furthermore, if your house has two bathrooms, having one bathroom with a walk-in shower can add to your home’s resale value.
So how exactly does one replace bathtub with walk in shower? Firstly, if your bathtub is an alcove, then you can simply remove it and be left with a space that is about 5 feet wide and 30-34 inches deep, which is a solid foundation for a shower area. However, if you have a freestanding tub, then you’ll have to contend with the issue of carving out a wholly new shower location, which can result in a very costly plumbing bill.
Once you have your area designated for the walk-in shower, you next need to decide whether or not you want your shower to have curbs, meaning a complete enclosure that can still hold a few inches of water if needed and will not spill over easily. However, style-wise, many tend to find curbless walk-in showers far sleeker, but are also much trickier as the drainage needs to be built below the level of the surrounding flooring, which means you’ll have to either raise the level of the surrounding floor of lower the level of shower pan.
After you’ve decided on the type of walk-in shower you desire, you have several options as to installation. If you wish to complete the project yourself, one low-cost option is a shower stall kit that come in a wide variety of types and showers and allow you to choose between curbed and curbless kits.
However, if you wish to go with something that requires significantly more labor, then hiring a contractor might be your best bet, especially if you wish to add new tile to the shower pan and surrounding shower area.
Ultimately, deciding on how to replace bathtub with a walk in shower will come down to your budget and amount of time you have to dedicate to the project. Roughly speaking, shower kits tend to range between $200-$2000 for a curbed walk-in shower, and $2000-$4000 for a curbless shower.
To have a shower installed professionally can instead range in between $1000-$3500 in price with an additional $500-$1000 needed for tear-out, new plumbing pipes, fixture, and any custom carpentry.
Whatever you do decide, when making the transition from bathtub to walk-in shower, you can rest assured that it is an investment that will add to the resale cost of your home while giving your bathroom a very modern and sleek feeling.