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How to Convert a Tub to a Shower

Homeowners with some plumbing and remodeling experience under their belts might be able to tackle a tub-to-shower conversion. Before you begin the steps for how to convert a tub to a shower, you should recruit a helper. You’ll appreciate the extra set of hands when removing the old tub. In this article, the bath experts at PJ Fitzpatrick will walk you through the entire process.

Steps for How to Convert a Tub to a Shower

  1. Cover your bathroom floor with plywood pieces to protect flooring from damage.
  2. Shut off the water supply.
  3. Take off faucet knobs, drain and overflow drain covers.
  4. Use a wrench to disconnect drain pipes beneath the tub by turning the locking nuts counterclockwise.
  5. To remove tile around the existing tub, scrape the grout with a utility knife. Pry off the tiles until you reach about 8 inches above the tub.
  6. To remove drywall by the tub, use the drywall saw, but avoid cutting into the studs. If the wall is plaster instead of drywall, a reciprocating saw will work more effectively.
  7. Pull out the nails or screws holding the tub to the studs.
  8. Score through the caulk around the tub edges.
  9. Pry the tub a few inches away from the wall.
  10. If the tub cannot fit through the door as a whole unit, cut it into manageable pieces with a jigsaw.
  11. After removing the tub, thoroughly clean up dirt and debris in the installation area.
  12. If necessary, adjust plumbing for the faucet, shower head, and drain to match positions on the new shower enclosure.
  13. Refer to the manufacturer’s directions for the shower enclosure for specific guidance about installing the shower pan and panels.
  14. After the pan is in place, begin attaching the shower wall panels. Begin with the back panel and proceed to the wall panel opposite the faucet.
  15. On the final panel, drill holes to fit over plumbing connections.
  16. Nail or screw all panels to wall studs and caulk the seams.
  17. Attach the shower door.
  18. Connect the faucet controls and shower head.
  19. Connect the drains.
  20. Turn the water on and test the new shower.

Tools & Materials

  • Drywall or reciprocating saw
  • Pry bar
  • Jigsaw
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Plumbing wrenches
  • Allen wrenches
  • Plywood for floor protection
  • Power drill

PJ Fitzpatrick Professionals Can Help

If the directions for how to convert a tub to a shower appear too time consuming for your schedule, talk to the team at PJ Fitzpatrick. We’re an award-winning home improvement company that can help you convert your exiting bathtub to a barrier free, low threshold, or seated shower. Request an estimate for your project today.

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