Advantages of a trendy bathroom remodel.
Thinking of converting an old bathtub to a walk-in shower ? A walk-in shower can create the illusion of more space and give the bathroom a clean-lined look. And for folks that prefer a quick shower to long soak, this conversion is sure to suit your active lifestyle. But before you tear out that old tub, read up on the design, installation, and costs of such a project. These logistical considerations and design ideas for walk-in showers will set you up for success.
What Are the Advantages of Walk-in Showers?
Unlike standard stalls, walk-in showers don’t require a curtain or door to block the spray of water, resulting in a spacious, open look. While shower units normally have shallow curbs to keep excess water from running onto the bathroom floor, many custom walk-ins are designed with no curbs, just a gently sloping floor—which means greater accessibility, a big benefit for those with joint injuries or mobility issues.
Another asset is Massage Jets and multi-spray shower heads, a standard feature in many walk-in showers. Depending on your individual preference, you can have as many as 10 spray nozzles directing water to all sides of your body.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Keep in mind home resale value before converting all of your tubs to walk-in showers. Optimally, your home should have at least one bathroom with a full-size tub. Appraisers and estate agents classify bathrooms by fixtures, and, in order to qualify as a “full bath,” there must be a tub. A bathroom with a shower but no tub is deemed a “three-quarter bath.”
Other concepts to keep in mind prior to conversion:
- Bathing small children is usually easier in a tub than in a shower.
- An open shower offers less privacy than a standard shower stall with a door.
- The lack of a shower door can create a drafty feel during showering.
What Can I Expect During Installation?
Here’s a general idea of what a walk-in shower project entails:
- Demolition and disposal of your old tub and tiling.
- New wall framing, if necessary, to accommodate the shower configuration.
- Mechanical rough-in, which involves installing new water supply lines for a showerhead and faucets, and/or multiple nozzles, as well as the positioning of the drain. If you’re including an overhead shower light, an electrician will wire it during this phase.
- Installation of moisture-resistant wallboard (often concrete fiberboard) over the wall studs.
- A shower pan must be hand-formed from concrete to achieve the correct drain slope. Then a waterproof membrane will be installed to prevent leakage.
- Installation of tile on custom shower walls. If you’ve chosen a prefab unit, this is the time to position the wall surround.
- Installation of fixtures includes attaching nozzle spray heads, a showerhead, faucet handles, and the drain cover.
- If adding glass wall panels, they’ll go on last to reduce the risk of chips or breaks that are more likely to occur if they’re installed earlier.