>U Mom Knows Best: The Cost of Converting A Bathtub To A Walk In Shower

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Cost of Converting A Bathtub To A Walk In Shower

 A leaky faucet inspired me to convert my bathtub to a shower 

I received a Moen showerhead to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

 Over a month ago, I just could not live with the leaky bathtub faucet anymore and I asked my husband to fix the leak. While my husband was fixing the faucet in the bathtub in the boy's bathroom, we encounter a pipe issue that required the removal of the bathtub panel. It was then we discovered that the pipes were never fixed with the last bathroom renovation in 2011. So we had to call a plumber to fix the bathroom pipes.

 While I was not happy to have to pay for a plumber, I am glad we discovered the faulty pipe before it burst, which would have cost even more money. It was a frozen pipe in 2011 that resulted in a bathroom remodel. The pipe froze in our bathroom due to the insulation being on the wrong side. We were thankful that our homeowner's insurance paid for the bathroom repairs and the cost of hiring a contractor.

 The homeowner's insurance did not pay out that much for our bathroom remake so we had the contractor install an inexpensive bathtub surround system thinking it would be easier to maintain than tile. We also thought that a hardware store bathtub surround panel would be more durable than tile. We later found out that was not the case when we were trying to fix the leaky faucet.  


 When my husband was trying to fix the leak in the bathtub spout, he heard a snap. My husband thought that the bathtub pipe broke. So my husband had to remove the bathtub surround panel. While he was careful with removing the bathtub panel, it cracked. It was then that we discovered a pipe that was in bad shape. We assumed that the contractor changed out the plumbing when he renovated our bathroom but we found out we were wrong. All the contractor did was put the insulation in the correct place and left the old broken pipe in place. Now we had to repair the pipe and fix the bathtub wall. We had bathroom renovation problems.

We decided to convert the bathtub into a walk-in shower

 It was a recent hotel stay that convinced my husband to do a bathtub shower conversion. Since this was the only bathtub in the house, I was not sure if we should transform the bathtub into a walk-in shower. Four years ago we took out the bathtub in the master bathroom and transformed it into a huge walk-in shower. While I love my new master bathroom, I did not think the boy's bathroom needed something fancy like a walk-in shower. So I told him that I would think about his bathroom renovation idea.

 Later that weekend, while we were watching tv, I saw a commercial for a one-day bathroom conversion from a bathtub to a shower. I liked the idea of getting the bathroom fixed quickly as the boys have been using my shower for over a month. So I searched online for Bathroom Remodelers so I could get some quotes for the bathroom project.

We visited bathroom showrooms for ideas

 My husband and I went to the showrooms of the bathroom remodeling places. We like how the bathtub to shower conversions looked and I like that they were low maintenance. That would mean never having to recaulk the bathtub again. I was hooked on the idea of getting rid of the bathtub that never stayed clean for a shower that was easier to clean. So we set up an appointment for a quote to see how much it costs to convert a bathtub to a shower.

 The salesman said it would be cheaper than a full bathroom remodel. So we thought that this bathroom remodels idea was cost-efficient. Boy, we were so wrong! 

 The salesperson who came to our house measured the bathroom space and then started the sales pitch. I felt like I was buying a car. The salesperson talked fast and gave us lots of discounts but the price to do the bathroom remodel was over $10,000 just for the bathtub. I was shocked as we did our whole master bathroom 4 years ago for $8,000. So my husband and I decided to get a second quote from a plumber.

 I found the plumbing company while searching online for bathtub conversions. The plumbing company offered a different type of bathtub to shower change. When I spoke with the plumbing and heating company on the phone, the person reassured me that were cheaper than the other bathroom conversions and could also do a tile shower conversion. So I made an appointment to get quotes for both the wall surround shower conversion and the tile shower conversion.

Was I shocked when the quotes from the plumbing company were $12,000 for either option and they required us to do the demo work. So I made one last phone call. I called the tile store that did our master bathroom renovation to see what their price was to install tile for the shower. The quote that I received from them to change the bathtub to a shower was about $5-8000. 

Different ways to convert a bathtub to a shower

 While the one-day shower conversion looked like a nice option, we also had the plumber give us a quote for using tile instead of the one-piece wall pieces from the one-day bathroom place. So we could see which one would be the best option for our bathroom project. I like saving money on repairs but I also wanted my bathroom to be done right with quality work. So it made sense to get several bathroom quotes. Another option to do the shower conversion is buying tile from a tile store and having them install it.

Ways to save money on a bathtub conversion

+ Shop around at different places that offer bathtub conversions. While you may think that only places like Bath Planet and Rebath offer bathtub changes, there are other places to consider like plumbing companies and tile stores. Then make sure to get several quotes for the bathtub converted to shower job. You might be surprised at the different prices.

+ Ask questions before you select the company for your bathtub renovations. Make sure that you know what you are paying for and what is included in the job. That way you are not charged for things that you don't need to be done.

+ Purchase the materials yourself if the company allows it. If you are choosing to use tile for the shower walls, you may get a better deal on supplies by buying them yourself. 

+ Do the demo yourself to save money on the job. When we converted the bathtub to a walk-in shower in our master bathroom, we saved tons of money by removing the old tile and the bathtub. The contractor told us what we needed to get done before they could start the work. My boys had fun demolishing the bathtub with a hammer.

+ Purchase the bathroom fixtures yourself at a hardware store or online. While the bathtub places have package deals on the shower fixtures and showerheads, they may be more expensive or have a limited selection. I like purchasing my shower fixtures from Moen for many reasons.


 When we did a different bathroom remodel several years ago for our master bathroom, our friend, who is a plumber, recommended Moen bathroom fixtures for their cartridges. Our friend said that Moen Cartridges are easy to remove. I am glad that we took his advice. When the shower tile job was finished and I went to take a shower, I discovered that the builder of our house switched the water lines so the water was cold when I turned the shower faucet to hot. Thankfully, my plumber friend was able to switch the shower faucet cartridge to fix the water temperature problem. If we had bought a different brand of shower fixture, we would have had to remove tiles from the shower wall.

 I like the selection of Moen showerheads and decided to purchase the Moen Magnetix™ handheld showerhead. I really liked the magnetic docking and that it included a hand shower. The separate handheld shower will make it easy to clean my shower. It will also come in handy for my son, who has a cast on his foot for three months, to take a shower sitting down. The Magnetix shower hand shower will be easy for my son to release and snap back into place. So he can stay seated in the shower. I loved the six different settings on the showerhead and the way it looks. It will be perfect for my new shower.

Photo from the Moen website

Benefits Moen Magnetix™ handheld showerhead

+ Spot Resist™ brushed nickel finish resists fingerprints and water spots for a cleaner looking bath

+ showerhead with hand shower

+ magnetix™ technology features an innovative magnetic docking system

+ meets EPA WaterSense® criteria to conserve water without sacrificing performance

+ limited lifetime warranty

+ snap to use; easy release and return, even with your eyes closed

+ hand shower always docks facing forward to avoid exterior splash outside your shower

+ hand shower features a kink-free metal hose that extends your reach and flexibility

+ hand shower features 3.75 in. spray face and 6 settings to allow you to customize your shower and desired spray performance

+ full coverage rainshower features a 6.75 in. spray face

+ ability to flow each shower head separately or combined for more coverage

+ pause/trickle button allows to momentarily pause the hand shower flow at a push of a button

Weighing all our options for our bathroom project

 Now that my husband and I have quotes for three different options for our shower renovation, we need to decide whether to do a tile install or the wall surround system on our new shower. Each option has pros and cons to them. I like the look and easy maintenance on the wall surround system. I also like that the work can be done in a day. The tile shower will be more affordable but will have grout to keep clean. 

  Right now both companies are not scheduling for the install work until 8- 10 weeks so it will be a while until we get our new bathroom shower. So stay tuned and I will update this post with which option we choose for our bathroom bathtub to shower conversion remodel job. I will also later include a link to a post once the bathroom job is complete. The only thing that I have decided on is that we will be installing the Moen Magnetix™ handheld showerhead fixture.

Photo from the Moen website



13 comments:

  1. I am convinced you do not need a bathtub and we have a jacuzzi bath in one of our bathrooms we never used. Adding and fixing our bathroom was the best thing we ever did and we were lucky to have the right workers do it.

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  2. I would love to remake our bath tub to a walk in shower! We've been putting it off because we weren't sure about the cost. This is great!

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  3. Oh nice, what a great idea! I do want to redo the bathrooms at some point.

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  4. Moen is one of the BEST brands for bathroom pieces. I think converting a bathtub into a walk-in shower does help with time. Honestly, the kids are the only ones who use the tub these days.

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  5. I love a walk in shower. This is a great option for people that don't need a tub.

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  6. I would love to have a walk in shower. I do love having a tub though too. I wouldn't mind both of them honestly.

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  7. I can't decide if I want to do this or not. I love baths but I also rarely take them anymore. I love the look of the walk in shower.

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  8. How exciting! A new bathroom shower will be so great. I can't wait to see the renos when they are done.

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  9. I love the idea of making walk in showers. Our current in-room bathroom could use a bit of a sprucing up.

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  10. My hubby loves our huge walk in shower. My hubby don't care for a bath, but her will find any excuse to take a shower.

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  11. Glad you knew about the faulty pipe before things gets worst.

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  12. We have a bathtub and we are thinking to convert it in near future. Thanks for these awesome advice!

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  13. What a nice way to redo your bathtub, and good thing you discovered about the pipe.

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Thanks for the comment.

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