Replacing your tub with a shower

Posted at 5:45 AM, Aug 12, 2014
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:07:15-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- If your bathroom could use a little love, it's a smart place to spend money. Behind kitchens, bathrooms provide the second best return on investment when remodeling.

In this Angie's List report, we take a closer look at a growing trend in bathroom design -- should you swap your tub for a shower?

Bathroom remodeling contractor Dan Updike says many of his customers are choosing to ditch bulky tubs in favor of more luxurious 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," he said.

Updike says converting a standard five-foot tub into a shower typically starts around $4,500, prices can quickly jump, depending on the materials and upgrades you want.

"If you want to go tub to a shower it's very simple to do, you just need to move plumbing a little bit for the new setup. Other than that they make shower bases the same size as bathtubs. 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," said Updike.

And while nearly every bathtub can be converted into a shower, it's not always the best idea.  

"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," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

Angie's List says this is a job best left for the professionals, so make sure you hire a reputable contractor. If the company has a showroom, go check it out.

Being able to visualize your project before it gets underway can help define your expectations and illustrate how design and layout choices will work.

You can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.