06 Mar 2022

Modern homes are increasingly being built without bathtubs as they become less popular with buyers. Showers are becoming the most popular option for those who are busy. Instead of having a shower over a bathtub, walk-in showers are becoming the norm. 

But, what if you buy a property that only has a bathtub or that has a shower over the bathtub? There is the option to convert your bathroom and remove the bath. This is a project that can be daunting for a lot of homeowners, so we have created a how-to guide for you. 

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Where to Start

When beginning to consider a bathroom conversion, first, you should ensure that a walk-in shower will suit your needs. If you have a member of your family who cannot stand for long periods, you can install a shower seat. However, if you have a young family, then a bath may be the best option currently. 

Next, you should plan for the bathroom conversion if you decide it is best for you. This includes picking out the shower, the fittings, and the flooring and tiles if these need to be also updated. You should also review and decide on your budget so you can have the bathroom you want at a price that will not break the bank. 


What You Will Need

A bathroom conversion is something that can be completed without hiring contractors if you feel confident enough to do so. If you are planning to convert the bathroom yourself, there are some tools you will need: 

  • Jigsaw
  • Drywall saw
  • Prybar
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife. 

You will also need the following materials: 

  • New wall tiles
  • Plywood for floor protection
  • Tiles or another flooring
  • Drywall (if this needs to be repaired where the bath has been)

We also recommend you rent a dumpster to remove the debris and help to keep the space clean while the conversion is ongoing. You can rent a dumpster at a good price from https://ewmdumpsterrental.com/. Renting a dumpster is quicker and easier than waiting for a city pickup, especially as some cities will not accept building waster. We advise you to ensure that the dumpster you rent is big enough to suit your needs to avoid additional charges.


Beginning the Conversion

Once you have completed all of the preparations for your bathtub to shower conversion, you are ready to begin. The first thing to do is to work out the placement of your new shower and to ensure that you have enough space for exactly what you are envisioning. We advise that you install the shower in the same place that your bathtub was in. This is because all of the plumbing you will need for the shower will already be in place. 

Using the already installed plumbing will make this big job a little easier and less expensive as otherwise, you will need to hire a plumber to move pipes. You will need to make sure you have enough space for:

  • The shower tray on the floor
  • The height of the shower 
  • Space to be far enough from the toilet
  • Enough space for the shower door to fully open


Which Shower is Best for You?

There are so many shower designs that you are forgiven if you find it overwhelming. You can purchase a range of shower sets that are easy to be installed as a DIY project. We recommend that if this is what you are planning to do that you focus on only these sets when shopping for showers. 

The type of shower sets will vary in price as they vary in design. You should again consider what will suit your home and family members’ needs. As an example, if you choose a shower set with a curbed tray, this may be difficult for someone with mobility issues or young children. 

This is the step where you should also decide how you are going to deal with the water draining. This will also inform your decision on the type of door you are going to get. 


Prepare Your Workspace

Unless you have a freestanding bathtub, there is going to be some work to do before you remove the bathtub. You are going to have to remove some of the tiles and drywall around the tub to detach it from the fittings. To do this, you should: 

  • Protect the flooring with plywood
  • Turn off all water using the shut-off valve for your water main 
  • Unscrew the drain cover, overflow cover, and faucets 
  • Remove the faucet from the tub, using the wrench on the screws
  • Disconnect the drains from underneath or behind the bathtub
  • Remove the tiles from around the bathtub up to 8 inches above
  • Cut through the drywall around the bathtub

Remove Your Bathtub

Remove your bathtub by removing all screws that attach the bathtub to the stud wall. Remove any caulk with the utility knife. Using the prybar, pry the tub away from the wall several inches. If the bathtub fits through the door upright, you should use the prybar on one side to pry the bathtub off the floor into an upright position. If the bathtub does not fit through the door upright, you should cut it in half with a jigsaw. 

Once the bathtub is in the dumpster, you can repair the drywall and any other damage to the flooring. 


Fitting Your New Shower

Your new shower set will include instructions for fitting the shower, and you should follow them exactly to ensure no problems. If you are fitting a curbless shower, this will involve cutting through your subfloor. You may need either a permit or a contractor for this. 

Once the shower is in place, you can fill in the gaps in the tiles and flooring, clean the space and enjoy your new shower.