How Much To Convert Tub To Shower?

Typical Cost To Remodel a Bathroom Average: $4,508 - $25,749
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If you’re getting a little tired of seeing your old bathtub, you may want to think about converting it into a shower unit that fits seamlessly in with the rest of your bathroom. The conversion typically costs several thousand dollars, but there are benefits to having a shower instead of a tub.

How Much Does a Tub to Shower Conversion Typically Cost?

The conversion costs depend on several factors, which we’ll dig into a little later.
Generally, converting a tub into a manufactured shower stall costs between $1,150 and $3,500. This rise to between $2,000 and $7,600 for a tiled shower, with a fully customized curb-less shower likely to set you back between $2,500 and $8,200.
These prices assume a standard shower size of 48 x 36 x 96 inches. Per square foot costs range from $9.50 to $65, depending on the type of show you install.
Note that these costs include installation fees. If you decide to do it yourself, you may be able to save as much as $1,000 when converting a tub into a shower.

Conversion Type Cost Per Square Foot Cost Per Average Shower
Manufactured Shower $9 to $26 $1,150 to $3,500
Tiled Shower $15 to $58 $2,000 to $7,600
Curb-Less Shower $19 to $64 $2,500 to $8,200

The Factors That Affect The Price
Numerous factors can affect the total price of your tub to shower conversion. These include the following.
Factor No. 1 – Your Location
Assuming you have your shower professionally installed, your location can play a big role in how much you pay for the work. Those in Oregon and Florida can expect to pay between $1,800 and $7,500 for the work. Unfortunately, people in states like Texas and North Carolina face higher prices, with conversions in those areas typically ranging between $4,000 and $11,500.
Did You Know? Those living in Raleigh, North Carolina have some of the worst luck when it comes to converting bathtubs into showers. The average price for the region sits at about $8,500, which is considered a high-end price in many other states. You may spend as much as $11,500 for a curb-less shower installation in Raleigh.
Factor No. 2 – The Shower’s Size
It stands to reason that a larger shower will cost more than an average-sized one. Smaller showers use fewer materials, meaning they cost less to install. You’ll see the price difference in effect if you choose a tiled shower, though you’ll also see price differences in pre-manufactured shower stalls.
Factor No. 3 – The Materials Used
If you want to use extra materials to create a shower door or built-in seating, expect your costs to rise towards the higher end of the averages mentioned. Specialty colors and molded designs will also set you back more than if you opt for a manufacturer’s more standard materials.
Your choice of tiles also impacts your price. If you go with basic white ceramic tiles, you’ll typically spend about $0.40 to $0.60 per square foot. However, luxury tiles, such as porcelain or marble, cost much more. Expect to pay in the region of $12 to $15 per square foot for these types of tiles.
Factor No. 4 – The Level of Customization
The more changes you want to make to a standard shower, the more you can expect to spend on your conversion. The devil is in the details here. Shelves, complex tile designs, and unique features all require more design work to ensure they fit into the shower. Your costs will reflect the extra work the designer has to put into the job.
Factor No. 5 – Style
Using a simple pre-made shower is the least costly way to convert your tub into a shower. Tiles showers cost more than these pre-fab models, with curb-less showers costing even more due to the need to alter your bathroom’s design to account for water flow.
What Does The Money Cover?
Now that you know the general costs, you need to understand where the money goes. As you’re completing a conversion, you’re not just spending money on materials. You also have to consider the costs of any repairs and bathroom modifications you have to make, in addition to the cost of bathtub removal.
Cost No. 1 – Removing The Old Bathtub
It typically costs between $500 and $650 to remove an old bathtub from your home. This assumes you have a free-standing tub that you can transport easily. Those costs increase for heavier tubs, which may require you to rent a truck to haul them. You can also expect to pay more if the tub is built into the bathroom because removal requires some minor demolition work.
Add another $80 to $180 to this for the cost of hauling away the debris generated by the removal. Note that you may be able to avoid much of this cost if you can remove the debris yourself.
Cost No. 2 – Repairs And Plumbing Modifications
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use a bathtub’s plumbing for a shower. That means you have to spend money on a plumber to change your pipework and handle any repairs required as a result of removing your bathtub.
Expect to spend somewhere in the region of $80 to $100 per hour on a good plumber. The total cost of this work can vary depending on the extent of the plumbing needed for your new shower. More complex showers require more extensive plumbing, with simple showers generally requiring less pipework. This means total costs can vary from $250 to $2,200.
Pro Tip. Always gather quotes from several plumbing companies before committing to one. This will give you a rounded view of the amount you can expect to pay for the work that you need. Furthermore, ask each plumber to explain the work, and why it needs to be done, so you understand why you’re paying as much as you are.
Cost No. 3 – The Shower
As mentioned, the cost for your shower varies depending on the type of shower you have installed. Manufactured showers fall into the lower end of the scale, with customized showers that have a lot of features costing much more.
Cost No. 4 – The Shower Door
Most shower stalls do not come with a door as standard, meaning you must budget to include one as part of your costs. Expect to spend between $500 and $1,200 on the door. At the lower end of the scale, you can expect to get a glass door with an aluminum frame and tracks. Doors made using premium materials cost more, though you also achieve a more attractive aesthetic.
Of course, you can reduce these costs by opting for a shower curtain instead of a door. However, you must account for water potentially spilling out of the shower when you use a curtain. It’s also easier for steam to escape when you have a curtain, which creates more cleaning in the rest of the bathroom.
Cost No. 5 – Accessories
Your accessories can cost very little or add nearly $1,000 to the conversion, depending on what you want to install. If you’re happy with a basic showerhead, with nothing else, your accessories will likely cost less than $100. But if you opt for a more complicated showerhead, with features like water softening and spray jets, you’ll pay a lot more.
Shower shelves and customized drains may also fall into this category.
The Pros of a Tub To Shower Conversion
There are several reasons to consider completing a tub to shower conversion:
Showers consume less water than bathtubs. While this is great for those who want a more environmentally solution, it’s most noticeable when it comes to your water bill. Over time, you’ll recoup a large chunk of the cost of the conversion.
You’ll take up less room with a shower than you will with a tub. This makes your bathroom feel more spacious and may open up the opportunity for further customizations, such as the installation of a new faucet.
There’s less risk of you slipping in the shower than there is of you slipping in a bathtub. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 20 million people aged 18 or over hurt themselves in the bathroom each year. You can reduce your risk of becoming one of those 20 million people with a shower.
Showers offer improved accessibility for people who find it difficult to climb into a bathtub. This fact is especially important for disabled people who have mobility issues.
It’s much easier to clean a shower than it is to clean a bathtub. In many cases, a quick wipe down of the tiles and glass, coupled with some attention paid to the showerhead, is all you need to properly clean a shower.
Did You Know? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filling a bathtub requires you to use about 70 gallons of water. By contrast, a 10-minute shower consumes between 25 and 30 gallons. You can even have a 20-minute shower and still use less water than you’d use for a bathtub.

The Cons of Converting Your Tub to a Shower

Increased accessibility and space, combined with a lower risk of accidents and less water consumption, are all attractive benefits. Still, there are some drawbacks to consider before you complete a tub to shower conversion.
There’s no escaping the fact that converting a bathtub into a shower comes with a high cost, especially if you want to customize the shower. Though the savings you make on water consumption eat a little into this cost, you still have to find several thousand dollars upfront.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, 74% of people prefer to have both a tub and shower in the bathroom. If you get rid of your bathtub as part of the conversion, you may make your home less attractive to future buyers.
Some states consider bathrooms that don’t have a tub as three-quarter bathrooms. Again, this designation may affect the resale value of your home.
Showers are not always ideal for homes with younger children. Some children are wary of having water falling on them. What’s more, having a shower makes it more difficult to properly clean infants and toddlers.
There are few things more relaxing than a long soak in the tub after a difficult day. If you only have a shower, your bathroom may be a less relaxing place.
Which Costs Less – A Shower or a Bathtub?
We can approach this question in two directions.
In terms of water usage, showers cost less than bathtubs. The average cost of water in the United States sits at about $0.015 per gallon. Using the EPA’s figures, that means a bath costs $1.05, with a 10-minute shower using 25 gallons costing $0.375.
Assuming you take one bath or shower per day, this works out to $383.25 per year on baths and $136.88 per year on showers. So, you achieve a per person saving of $246.38. Assuming you have four people living in your house, a shower saves you nearly $1,000 per year.
Did You Know? If having a shower installed can save your home nearly $1,000 per year, assuming a house with four people who each shower once per day, your shower can pay for itself in 8 or 9 years.
Alternatively, we could look at the upfront costs involved. As mentioned, a tub to shower conversion costs between $1,150 and $8,200. Installing a bathtub costs between $800 and $4,600, making it the cheaper upfront option.

How Long Does a Conversion Take?
The length of the conversion depends on the work you’re having. A simple conversion using a pre-manufactured shower unit can take as little as a day, assuming you don’t need extensive plumbing work. Customized installations, especially those that require extensive plumbing and tiling, may take up to two weeks. This is because your installer needs to measure and cut your tiles to ensure a perfect fit.

Is a Tub to Shower Conversion Worth It?

Whether a tub to shower conversion is right for you depends on your priorities. If you’re looking to save money over time while reducing your water usage, conversion is a good option.

You may be able to save as much as you spent on the conversion in just a few years, after which the money you saved goes into your pocket.

Furthermore, tub-to-shower conversions are a good choice for those with mobility or accessibility issues. Plus, the conversion can give you more space in your bathroom while lending it a more modern aesthetic.

Still, a tub to shower conversion isn’t for everyone. Those with small children may want to reconsider due to the increased difficulty of bathing children in the shower. You may also find that you have less interest from buyers if you sell a home that doesn’t have a bathtub.

About Ilan

Ilan G. has been working in the remodeling and construction industry for over 15 years. His focus is on construction planning and design as well as project cost estimating. Ilan also has a personal interest in interior design, as well as in unique DIY remodeling projects. Read more about Ilan

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