Large walk-in showers are a popular trend when remodeling a bathroom. If your home was built without one of these features, you may be considering a bathroom shower remodel. Maybe you have a large bathroom that features a luxury tub, but it lacks a shower, a style that was popular for houses built around the year 2000. You may be wondering whether you should consider doing a tub to shower conversion.
There are a lot of reasons you may consider converting a tub to shower. For one, showers are currently very popular for today’s fast-paced lifestyle. Many younger home buyers often look for a large luxury shower, as opposed to a tub. On the other hand, older home buyers and those with physical disabilities also look for a walk-in shower, since many times these are easier for these folks to access rather than trying to climb in and out of a tub. Showers can also be customized to meet different personal preferences or needs with handshowers, body sprays, message jets and benches. New smart showers allow users to control every detail from water temperature, spray experience, music and more from the convenience of smartphone or digital assistant.
According to a 2019 survey conducted by Houzz.com, 83% of homeowners who remodel their master bathrooms choose to renovate the shower. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers when considering whether converting a tub to a walk-in shower is right for your home.
For a successful tub to shower conversion, first you need to make sure your bathroom meets the space requirements. Most standard bathtubs installed by builders are 30” wide by 60” long. The minimum interior width of a shower needs to be 30”, but keep in mind that may feel a little cramped for some users. If space allows, a 32 to 36” wide shower would be preferable.
In addition to the floor space required, keep in mind that the edge of the shower needs to be at least 15" to 18" from the center to of the toilet. The placement of toilets, sinks, and counters in your bathroom, as well as raw square footage, will affect how easily your tub can be converted to a walk-in shower.
Ceiling height, too, will affect how easy it will be to convert your tub. The finished height of the shower should be at least 80" from the finished floor. If you plan on removing a soffit to achieve an 80" ceiling height, you (or your contractor) will have to find out whether any plumbing or ventilation ducts that may be running through the soffit will need to be rerouted.
Looking again at the Houzz.com survey, we can see that more people choose to enlarge the size of their shower than enlarge the size of the bathroom itself. In general, most homeowners are already happy with the size of their bathroom; it’s shower size that they would most like to increase. If you have the space to enlarge your tub/shower area, it may make sense to you to convert an existing tub to a luxury walk-in shower area.
If you decide to convert a tub to walk in shower, most real estate agents will recommend to you that it not be in your only bathroom, if you have a one - or one-and-a-half bath house. Realtors generally find it easier to sell a home that has at least one bathtub. When considering bathroom remodels to include a walk-in shower, think about adding a walk-in shower to a bedroom on the first floor and perhaps leaving the bathtub in an upstairs suite, where practical. This appeals to elders and people who may have mobility issues and want a walk-in tub for the ease of entry and exit.
A lot of the cost of tub to shower conversion depends on the materials you choose to remodel the floors and walls of your walk-in shower. Less-expensive shower wall and flooring materials include fiberglass and acrylic. Pre-molded fiberglass or acrylic shower kits may take as little as a day to install and save you money on both material and labor costs, but lack the high-end look of some of the more expensive materials.
Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile on the shower walls, for example, gives a highly customized and professional look to a walk-in shower, but costs much more and takes longer to install.
In terms of popularity, ceramic and porcelain are the top surface material options for both shower floors and shower walls as of 2019. Marble comes in second. Travertine is the third most common material for shower walls, while on shower floors travertine, granite, and slate are all tied for third place. An important consideration when choosing a shower floor surface material is safety; make sure to choose a material that has enough traction to keep shower users from slipping.
When it comes to color, Houzz.com reports that in 2019, most homeowners were looking for a white shower (40%). The second-most popular colors were gray (20%) and beige (14%). If neutral colors aren’t your style,keep in mind that about a third of homeowners will set off a monotone bathroom with an accent wall. Color isn’t the only feature that can distinguish an accent wall; it can also be set apart from the rest of the bathroom by pattern,surface material, or texture.
Another factor is the plumbing fixtures used for the shower. Most of the time it is a good idea to change the shower valve or relocate the shower valve to a more convenient location. This is a good idea since it is located behind the shower wall and is easily accessible during a remodel. According to Houzz.com, 88% of homeowners surveyed said they upgraded their fixtures when remodeling their bathrooms. Bathroom fixtures range in quality and price, ranging from sets you can find at your local big-box hardware store for a couple hundred dollars to high-end fixtures that cost several thousand dollars from premium manufacturers.
Bathtub to shower conversion is a good idea in a variety of situations. If your bathroom has the floor space to support a walk-in shower and you’re thinking about putting your home on the market in the next five years, consider these bathroom remodeling ideas for your home. You’ll also need to consider the placement of your toilet and other bathroom fixtures as well as the height of the ceiling. Next, when weighing the estimated cost of your project, consider that the materials you choose could vary in cost significantly.
Keeping these factors in mind, remember that most buyers in the home market, whether they belong to the younger generation or are aging, expect a walk-in shower in at least one bathroom in the house. While realtors rarely advise getting rid of your only bathtub, walk-in showers are increasing in popularity.
When asked about what most turns them off about a bathroom, 59% of survey respondents to Houzz.com mentioned an outdated bathroom as being their biggest pet peeve. Another 38% said they were bothered by small showers. If your home features an outdated-looking tub and you’re thinking about selling, consider whether freshening up your bathroom with a new, modern-looking walk-in shower will answer both of these bathroom concerns at once. Respondents also want plenty of light and adequate ventilation, so be sure to add these features into your new walk-in shower design as well.
We’ve done many tub to shower conversions in the past and have the experience and resources to make sure your Houston TX bathroom remodeling is done right. If you’d like to learn more about curbless showers or you’re ready to convert a tub to a shower, please contact us to discuss your ideas. Our designers will help you make the right selections so you’ll be pleased with the finished product. We’ll share shower design ideas so that your new shower is both beautiful and functional.
If so, you are not alone. Tub to shower conversions is a popular bathroom remodeling project with many homeowners.