Thirty to forty years ago, homeowners wanted bigger bathtubs. These days, the tide has turned; homeowners want luxury, custom showers in their master bathrooms. They realize the bathtub often represents wasted space and want modern amenities in the shower. Below, the Houston bathroom remodeling experts at TriFection describe the benefits of a tub to shower conversion, as well as give a few helpful tips to homeowners.
Why Should I Convert A Tub To A Shower?
In many cases, people enjoy the large shower experience while on vacation or business trip in a luxury hotel or resort. When they return home, they realize how outdated and inadequate their current shower is…
Many homeowners want larger showers, with amenities such as dual shower heads, bench seats, a handheld showering fixture, body sprays, digital shower valve, large recessed shampoo niches, frameless glass, etc.
What Are The Benefits of a Tub-To-Shower Conversion?
TriFection encourages all our clients to build the bathroom they want. If you take baths frequently and enjoy that option, then you should keep a bathtub when remodeling.
But if you don’t, eliminating the tub opens up a world of possibilities for your master bath. One of these possibilities is obviously a larger shower with custom features. But, you can also use that space for a seating area or extra storage.
Spacious custom showers can replicate the bathtub experience. A comfortable bench seat and a handheld showering unit provide the same enjoyable feeling of a bathtub without the need to sit your own dirty water.
Also, showers are much safer for elderly folks to step into and out of than bathtubs. With features like grab bars, showers are often the safest option for our aging parents and grandparents.
In fact, if the size of your bathroom allows for it, TriFection can install a curbless shower, making it even easier to enter and exit.
Will A Tub-To-Shower Conversion Affect Resale Value?
To achieve a bigger shower, we commonly eliminate the bathtub. However, some people are concerned that the loss of the bathtub with adversely affect resale value. They shouldn’t be. Well-designed, well-built custom showers can make your home stand out among other comparable homes and actually enhance resale value. As a society, we just don’t take baths like people did 30-40+ years ago. Homeowners (and many prospective home buyers) want big custom showers in the master bath and will pay up for it.
Actually, eliminating the bathtub in favor of a bigger shower in the master bath, or even in some guest baths, is one of the most common remodeling requests we receive. We encourage clients to design the bathroom so they get the most daily enjoyment from it. If you like taking baths, keep a bathtub. If you don’t, eliminate it and use that space for a bigger shower, sitting area or more storage instead of allowing it to remain wasted space. However, keeping a bathtub in your guest baths may appeal to future home buyers with small children.
How Much Does A Tub-To-Shower Conversion Cost?
The budget for converting a tub to a shower will vary depending on the size of the shower, the type of shower surround and floor (porcelain tile, natural stone tile or slabs, cultured marble, etc). The “bells and whistles” the homeowner chooses also will affect the cost of the remodel. Generally, TriFection’s custom showers typically begin in the $10,000 price range.
Be sure to ask your contractor and/or designer many questions and request drawings ahead of time to confirm a shared vision for the concept and appropriate budget.
Tips for a Tub-To-Shower Conversion
Though converting a tub to a shower has plenty of benefits, we all know these projects can go very wrong. Any deficiency in installation can cause problems down the line. Hiring an established contractor with a good reputation minimizes your chances of this happening.
Here are a few valuable tips from our experts at TriFection to homeowners considering a tub-to-shower conversion.
Get the Shower Pan Right The First Time
A shower pan is a waterproof barrier beneath the floor of your shower. Your shower pan catches any water that leaks through tile and grout and directs it to the drain.
Don’t install a cheap pre-fab fiberglass shower pan. Your shower pan is not the place to try to save money. With a prefabricated shower pan, it’s not a question of if it will leak; it’s a question of when.
At TriFection, we install a custom shower pan beneath your shower. We install only custom shower pans with a PVC liner, a Hardie backboard, and Redgard protection. This gives the entire shower best-in-class waterproofing.
During construction, be sure your contractor conducts a thorough pan test. The craftsmen and project manager should fill your shower pan with water and mark the water level. After 24 hours, the water should be at the same level to ensure no leaks.
Check Your Plumbing
A licensed plumber should inspect your water supply lines before you purchase your plumbing fixtures. Some modern fixtures require ¾” or 1” water supply lines to provide the requisite water volume for the fixture to function properly.
This is especially true if you have multiple shower components to operate at one time. If you only have ½” lines and install these fixtures, the water pressure will almost certainly disappoint you.
If this is necessary, a plumber can install larger water supply lines for an additional expense. But, you should know the situation and be prepared for the expense in advance.
Tub-to-Shower Conversion is Not A DIY Project
Despite what you may see online about shower installation kits, eliminating your own bathtub and installing a shower yourself is not advisable.
While it may seem to operate fine at first, even the smallest problem lurking behind the shower walls or beneath the shower floor will potentially grow much worse over time and cause major damage.
Second, when executed properly, a shower conversion involves multiple trade skills, including those of a demo crew, plumber, carpenter, and tile installer. At TriFection, we use only master-level craftsmen for each required trade, not handymen who dabble in a little of each but master none. Plus, we employ highly experienced project managers to oversee all of the work for quality control and safety.
Contact TriFection For a Contractor You Can Trust
TriFection has proudly remodeled bathrooms for thousands of Greater Houston homeowners for over 30 years. During that time, we’ve designed and built nearly every type of custom shower imaginable. Let us help you create the perfect shower for your family. You’ll sleep very well at night knowing you didn’t cut any corners and constructed your shower the right way, so it will last forever without problems. Plus, the look will be stunning, and the feel will be incredibly luxurious.