How To Replace A Tub With A Shower
There are plenty of reasons as to why somebody would want to replace a tub with a shower. Perhaps the biggest of these reasons is for disabled people who are no longer able to climb into a bath tub and properly bathe themselves. Others do it as a space saving measure, or simply because they prefer to shower (much quicker) over a bath. Of course, it can also save money as generally speaking you use a lot less water during a shower. In this article we are going to take a look at how to replace tub with a shower. Most of this work can be done by somebody who is fairly handy with DIY, however if you feel that it is slightly too complex for you then there are plenty of companies out there in the local area who are able to help.
The first thing you are going to need to do is measure the amount of space that you have available to you. It is worth remembering when you are looking to replace tub with shower that a standard bath tub is around 30 inches wide, whereas a shower will be at least 36 inches in diameter. Depending on how you plan the bathroom this could involve either a lot of extra space being taken up or a lot less.
Once you have measured the bath it is time to remove it. This will be a two person job. First you will need to turn off the water supply. The next step is to disconnect everything from the bath so it is a standalone unit. A fibreglass tub should be light enough to remove whole. If you have a cast iron bath tub then it will need to be broken down into pieces.
You may need to adjust the drain, this will involve adding new plumbing. The reason for this is that a shower will of course drain near the centre as that is where the water will run, whereas a bathtub drains near the end. This will involve extension pipes. The same will happen when it comes to installing your new faucet which extends from the water supply unit. At this point it is worth installing completely new fittings as this will increase the lifespan of the shower and you won’t need to open it up later on. If you unsure of how to do this then it is probably worth getting in touch with plumber who should be able to help, they don’t need to install the whole shower for you.
The next step is frame up the shower that you have purchased. There should be instructions included with the shower you have purchased telling you how to do this. You may end up with excess space. You can make the frame using lumber purchased from your local DIY store which has been designed especially for framing things out.
Once the shower has been framed out, the next step of replacing tub with shower is to put the shower base into position. You will want to ensure that the drain is in the centre and connected up properly. Make sure you seal around the edges with silicone in order to prevent any leakages going underneath the shower. At this point you can also clean the shower base if it looks very dirty. Rubbing Alcohol is going to be your best bet for this after you have vacuumed it down.
The next step is to install the actual shower panels, how you do this will depend on the make of shower that you have purchased. Some people like to install solid units, but you may find that it is difficult to get into the standard home and thus are not worth it, and it is an even bigger hassle when you need to remodel your household as you will not be able to get it out of the bathroom easily.
Finally it is time to connect everything up. This means your showerhead and faucets which may have come with the shower otherwise you may need to purchase some new ones. This should be fairly easy to do as long as you follow the instructions properly. When that is done you should ensure that everything works and that there are no leakages which could eventually damage the floor behind the shower. If you are unsure then it is suggested that you call in a plumber, however check that it is not down to faulty parts first.
Finally, install your drywall (which needs to be water resistant of course) around the outside of the shower. This shouldn’t take long and is a fairly easy job. If you want, you can either install a door or a curtain to your shower at this point. Once that is done, finish the shower up however you like. Perhaps you could paint around it. Then give the shower a good clean down to make it all pristine and then it is ready to use. You can probably be using your shower within the day of starting the job as long as you remain focused and get a good grasp of your instruction manual to start with.
This is just a guide on how to replace tub with a readymade shower. You can also replace it with your own shower, you just need to purchase the shower pan and tile around the outside of the shower instead of installing shower panels, although this may take slightly longer.
As you can see, if you want to replace tub with a shower then it doesn’t take too long. The only problems you may face is having to change the plumbing of the bathroom in order to install the shower, although if you are carrying a straight swap over this shouldn’t be a problem in most cases. If you really are struggling then it is probably worth getting in touch with a plumber who should be able to hook everything up for you so it works perfectly. If not, then this is certainly a job that you can do yourself within a day, and you will of course end up with a beautiful shower as a result.