How Much Does a Tub to Shower Conversion Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

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A tub to shower conversion is often done by homeowners who simply want to convert their tub into a shower only.

Going this route can create more room in the bathroom or work well for people have a harder time stepping over the tub.

Hardiboard is up... covered with plastic by jessicafm, on Flickr
Hardiboard is up… covered with plastic” (CC BY 2.0) by  jessicafm

How much does a tub to shower conversion cost?

When converting a bathtub to a walk-in shower, there are so many variables that can affect the costs.  The costs can depend on your geographical location, the underlying framework, how fancy you want your new shower to be and the demolition involved.  The costs to hire a professional can range from as little as $2,000 if you were to do it yourself to more than $15,000 if you were to hire a contractor.  The materials, even if you were to hire a professional, can easily cost $1,500 to $2,500 for the new insert, tile, door, drywall and/or fixtures.

Those who want to do the job on their own can often find a shower stall kit from a local home improvement store for about $1,500.

Because each job is going to be different, consider using HomeAdvisor.com to receive free quotes from licensed contractors in your area.  All you have to do is explain your job and contractors will contact you with free ballpark quotes, allowing you to decide who you want to work with.

According to the BrickUnderground.com, they say homeowners should be prepared to spend $8000 to $12,000, depending on the amount of demo required, the condition of the walls and the shower you want to install.

Factors affecting the costs

Your geographical location

As with anything you buy, your local cost of living can greatly affect the costs.

The demolition necessary

What kind of tub does the contractor have to remove?  Is it a freestanding ball-and-claw tub or a built-in tub?

The weight of the tub

Heavier tubs will need to be broken down into smaller pieces to make it easier to transport out of your home.

The condition of the walls and floors around the tub

If the walls are in poor shape, then a contractor will want to replace the drywall, and sometimes, depending on the age of the plumbing, the pipes as well while the walls are exposed.

The materials you want

A higher-end frosted glass door will be much more than installing a simple shower curtain or in-stock door at a local home improvement store.  The same can be said if you were to want a tiled shower instead of a simple acrylic insert.  On the lower end, materials can cost close to $1,500 for a kit, whereas higher-end materials can cost well into the thousands.

Tub to shower conversion overview

Replacing your bathtub and replacing it with a shower only will first start with cutting off the water supply and removing the entire shower and bathtub enclosure, including the walls.  Depending on your new setup, the drain and/or plumbing may need to be reconfigured if you want your showerhead or shower in a different location or you simply want a different setup.

The conversion, when everything has been demolished, will start with the drain and the flooring, followed by either inserting the new insert or tiling the surrounding shower.  Lastly, new fixtures and a door will be installed.

Most jobs, depending on the complexity and experience of a contractor can take two to four weeks to finish.

What are the extra costs?

Again, there are so many variables that can affect the costs and add to the estimates mentioned above.  For example, if you were to relocate the plumbing lines for a new showerhead or to change the location, this could add to the cost. The same could be said if you were to want a concrete shower floor instead of a typical shower pan made from an acrylic material.

Adding a customized glass door or higher-end glass door can increase the costs by $1,500 to $3,000.  Upgrading to a tiled shower instead of an insert can increase the costs as well.

If any mildew or rot is noticed near the subfloor, then this will have to be repaired as needed.

The shower valve, which is designed to control the temperature and volume, is often replaced for about $150.

How can I save money?

If you’re planning to convert your tub to a shower only, consult with a few contractors in your area before deciding on one.  Always be sure to look at their past work, ask for references and always make sure they are insured.

Materials will make up a large portion of your estimate, and if you’re on a budget, talk with your contractor to see which materials you can use to lower your costs.  For example, a cast iron shower pan can easily cost $1,000 for the pan alone, while a fiberglass pan can cost less than $250.  A simple glass door can cost much more than a higher-end frosted glass door.  Basically, the fewer changes you make to your existing setup, the lower the costs will be.

A kit, which is often the lowest-cost option, commonly made from fiberglass or acrylic, and is made to fit into your existing location.  They will come with pre-made sides, a floor pan, a hinged glass door and hole for the drain.  These kits, if it’s able to fit into your existing setup without any modifications, will be your cheapest option.


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