Convert a Tub into a Shower Stall
LESLIE: Ellen in Florida listens to The Money Pit on WCOA. What can we do for you today?
ELLEN: Hi. We purchased a home two years ago. It’s new. But before it was finished – and we didn’t get to make the choices that we would have liked, so in the master bathroom, we have a garden tub. We would have chosen a shower also; a stall shower. But now we’re thinking – we’re our mid-50s. We’re thinking about converting this garden tub into a walk-in shower.
ELLEN: Now, can we do that? Can we use the existing plumbing to do that? And down the line, would a buyer be turned off by not having a tub in the master bath?
TOM: That’s a good question. I think that a tub or a shower will both equally contribute towards the value of the home, but removing that tub – now, when you say garden tub, I’m thinking you mean a soaking tub. Is that right?
TOM: OK, I think that removing that is going to be a big project for you. It’s a big bathroom renovation project. Are you guys prepared for that?
ELLEN: I don’t know. (chuckling) That’s why I’m asking.
TOM: Well, I mean because you’ve got to – basically, you’ve got to disassemble that part of the bathroom.
LESLIE: Because there’s not going to be floor underneath it.
LESLIE: It’s not like you’re going to take it out and then it’s going to be ready to go. It’s going to be completely raw back there. So you’re dealing with extending tile; perhaps changing to some sort of greenboard or cement backer board behind where this tub was. You know, it really could be an upheaval.
Is there space to build a separate stall shower within the same master bath?
ELLEN: Well, there is a utility closet I suppose I could use, but there’s no plumbing in there.
LESLIE: Is it nearby to the tub?
ELLEN: Yes, right next to it.
LESLIE: Because I – I’m not very familiar with plumbing and Tom’s really good at this. Would you be able to extend off of that same pipe and just sort of add an extra fixture?
TOM: Well, if you have the drain in that area and you have the plumbing supply, that’s fine. I mean you’ve got the plumbing there, Mary Ellen. The problem is that you’ve got to take out what’s there and really construct and remodel like half of the bathroom to make this work for you. So that’s the job that you’re looking to do there.
ELLEN: It’s a bigger job than I’m thinking.
TOM: Yeah, I think it is. You know, adding a shower – adding a showerhead is not a big job, but taking out that soaking tub right now, that’s a pretty big project. And you know, it’s generally not the project that you want to do unless you really have to do it.
ELLEN: OK. Well, thank you for your thoughts.
TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.