Angie's List: Turning your bathtub into a shower

Remodeling your bathrooms and kitchens is one of the best ways to add value to your home.

The culture of cleaning is changing and it's starting with replacing tubs with showers.

"The bathing generation is kind of gone by the wayside. We are a pretty much shower generation anymore. So rather than have the bathtub that you lift your leg over, that's a confined space, if you put in a large shower, it's more of the spa-type shower," bathroom remodeling contractor Dan Updike said.

“The trend these days is to convert bathtubs into showers. There are so many choices when it comes to showers and they potentially take up less space than the large garden tubs that have been historically in homes. If you are a homeowner that wants to age in place, grow old in your home, a shower can be a safer alternative for you," Angie Hicks from Angie's List said.

The good thing is the options are almost endless when switching it up.

"As far as options for the shower with the older generation, the grab bars, maybe some corner seats, some hand held showers, things like that. Inside shampoo holders or corner shelves, we always have some type of shelving go into the unit. Frame-less shower doors so it's more glass, less metal. And then it's a matter of what to put on the shower walls, whether it's tile with accent trim tile or go to the solid surface wall system,” Updike said.

Updike said turning a five-foot tub into a shower starts at about $4,500 and it can get higher quickly.

He said converting is simple because pipes need have to be moved a little.

But the big change comes in the base.

“We normally use solid surface bases instead of plastic or fiberglass. They are very heavy duty and come in a variety of colors to coordinate whether it's tile on the walls or solid surface wall panels," Updike said.

But turning a tub into a shower isn't always the best idea for families.

"Replacing a tub for a shower is not for everyone. If you only have one bathroom in your house, you want to be sure you keep a tub because what will end up happening is you'll hurt your resale value. Families with kids, they like tubs, and without one, it can hurt you,” Hicks said.

This job is best left to professionals, so make sure to get a good contractor.

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