Can You Replace a Tub with a Walk-In Shower?

April 29, 2022

The short answer is yes; you can replace your tub with a walk-in shower. Doing so has become a popular home remodeling project, and for good reason. A walk-in shower offers more convenience for younger adults and easier use for aging individuals. However, the task is complex and is generally best left to the professional. Here’s what a tub to walk in shower conversion entails:


Before anything is cut, drilled, or removed, you need to plan your walk-in shower. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a shower stall that has the same footprint size as your existing bathtub. Doing so will prevent the need for excessive repairs on the walls and flooring where the tub once was. 



Since plumbing lines are involved, tub-to-walk-in shower conversions require permits in many municipalities. You or your contractor will need to check with your local permitting agency for information. If you have a professional remodeling contractor converting your tub, they will already have an idea of the permitting requirements in your area.


Shutting Off Water Supply 

Before taking out the existing bathtub, the water supply to the bathroom will need to be shut off. Sometimes the hot and cold water supply pipes leading to the bathroom will have branch shut-off valves or fixture shut-off valves. If there are no visible shut-off valves of either kind, then the home’s main water supply will need to be shut off. 


Removing the Wall Surfaces

Next, the walls surrounding your tub will need to be removed. The amount of demolition needed will depend on the shower kit you have selected. However, you will almost always need to remove the entire surface of the “wet wall” and the other wall surfaces where the shower stall will fit.


Disconnecting the Plumbing

In addition to disconnecting the water supply, you will also need to disconnect the plumbing to the bathroom. In particular, you will need to disconnect the bathtub’s drain and remove the bathtub faucet where it is mounted inside the wall.


Remove the Bathtub 

Next, the bathtub will need to be removed. Start by removing any screws, nails, or brackets that hold the bathtub’s edge flange to the walls. Then, use a moving dolly, saw, or crowbar to break it free from the ground. 


Inspect and Repair 

Once the bathtub is removed, then it’s time to inspect and repair the subfloor and studs. Look for any signs of water damage. If you’re having your tub replaced by a professional, they’ll do some light carpentry to fix the studs or subfloor where it is exposed by the removed tub.


Install New Shower

The last step is installing your new walk-in shower. Based on your design plan and shower kit, you or your professional home remodeling contractor will install your new walk-in shower. They’ll rough in the faucet, showerhead, and shower drain before installing the shower pan. Afterward, they’ll install the shower surround panels, connect the shower drain, attach the faucet handle and showerhead, and install the door. 


Replace Your Tub Today!

Now is the perfect time to convert your outdated tub into a walk-in shower. The Bath Doctor is here to help you do it. With over 40 years of experience, we know how to properly and efficiently remove your old tub and install your new walk-in shower. Get started today by requesting your FREE estimate

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