The Ultimate Bathroom Remodel Project: Everything You Need to Know About Tub to Shower Conversions

Black and white modern shower room in the evening. Tub to shower conversions are a great option for many homes.
Are you thinking of replacing your old tub with a shower? Before you attempt to DIY it, here’s everything you need to know about tub to shower conversions.

Of the homeowners who were planning a home renovation in 2019, 37% were remodeling a bathroom. They are saying goodbye to dated whirlpool tubs, bathroom carpeting, and pink tile.

Today, many homeowners want to pamper themselves with a spa-quality shower with high-end fixtures. Tub to shower conversion is the current trend in home design.

Any time you invest money in a home renovation project, you need to know all the facts. To learn what you should know before converting your tub to a shower, read on.

Tub to Shower Conversions: 3 Remodeling Options

When you’re converting a bathtub into a shower, there are three types of renovation. Below are options that range from expensive to budget-friendly.

1. Custom Tile Shower

The most expensive option is to rip out the bathtub and start over from scratch. You can completely customize the design to get a luxurious, high-end shower.

You’ll need to hire a contractor to build the frame, hook up the plumbing, and do the tile work. Between the supplies and labor, a custom tiled shower can cost thousands of dollars. It can take several weeks to finish.

2. High-quality Shower System

These systems have the look of a tiled shower but are quicker to install and more affordable. Each shower wall is one solid panel, so the only seams are between the wall panels.

Wall panels like Kohler LuxStone can be made from marble or other composites. The shower will look high-end without the high price tag. Plus, this type of shower is easier to clean.

3. Shower Stall Kit

For the most budget-friendly option, you can choose a shower stall kit. These kits are available at home supply stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can hire a contractor to install it or DIY if you have some experience.

These shower stalls are acrylic or fiberglass. They don’t look high-end, but you will get a shower that’s clean and easy to maintain.

Shower Conversions Must Be Sealed Properly

An incorrectly sealed shower can lead to water damage, leaks, and mold.

Mold breeds in warm, damp places, making your shower the perfect environment for mold to grow. Mold isn’t only unsightly — it’s also a health risk. It can cause a stuffy nose, a scratchy throat, and even serious lung infections.

You can prevent water leaks and mold by correctly sealing the shower with caulk. Remember to seal every gap and give the caulk enough time to dry.

It’s best to hire a professional to install your shower and seal it correctly.

Avoid Installing a Shower in Front of a Window

In many older homes (and in some newer builds), you might find a window over the bathtub. This is a great way to bring in natural light, but it poses a problem when you want to convert to a shower.

If you choose a high-quality shower system or a shower kit, the panels will interfere with the window. You can either board up the window or cut the panels to fit around the window. These options can be expensive and even lead to water leaks.

If there’s a window above the tub, your best bet might be to move the location of the shower. It will be a more costly conversion because you have to move the plumbing, but you won’t have to worry about water leaks or losing the natural light.

Converting to a Shower Can Impact Your Home’s Value

If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, you might want to rethink your shower conversion. If you convert your home’s only bathtub into a shower, your home might be more difficult to sell.

Young families with small children look for homes with at least one bathtub. Bathing children is much easier with a bathtub.

Many adults also want a home with a bathtub. 38% of people in the U.S. take a bath every week.

However, converting your bath into a shower could make your home more attractive to older buyers. A buyer that’s looking for a house in retirement might look for a tub-free bathroom. They won’t have to pay for a remodel later on if it’s already done for them.

A tub-free bathroom can make your home more or less attractive to buyers. It depends on your area’s real estate market.

Choose a Floor Pan Type: Curb vs. Curbless

In shower conversions, the bottom of the shower is the floor pan. You can choose either a curbed shower (which has a short lip to step over) or a curbless shower (which is level with the bathroom floor).

The floor pan you choose will affect the price and the accessibility of your shower.

Curbed showers are easy to install. The curbs keep the water inside the shower and send the water to the drain. Curbless showers don’t have a barrier so they are more difficult to install. The floor has to have the right slope for the water to drain.

For older adults, curbed and curbless showers are both easier to use than bathtubs, but those in wheelchairs will need a curbless floor pan.

Start Your Bathroom Remodel Today

Tub to shower conversions can be tricky if you attempt to do it yourself. If you don’t have the experience, it can lead to mold and plumbing problems. It can be downright disastrous.

With a Kohler LuxStone shower system, installation can be completed in as little as one day. You’ll get a shower that is accessible, easy to maintain, and that looks like a work of art.

To get high-quality shower finishes and expert installation, contact us for a free quote. Our installers are Kohler-certified professionals who will make your dream shower a reality.