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It’s no surprise to say that time takes its toll on bathrooms. As the decades pass, your needs change, fixtures weather and design trends ebb and flow. That’s why it’s normal to remodel and refresh a restroom after years of use.
Maybe the style is outdated and stuck in another century. Perhaps the layout no longer makes sense for your household.
In any case, when you’re ready for a change, you may be thinking about replacing the tub with a shower—but should you? The truth is, there’s a lot of work involved when it comes to retrofitting your bathroom with a shower.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons you should consider in order to make the right choice for you.
The Benefits of Replacing the Bathtub With a Shower
Swapping out a dated bathtub with a new shower offers several advantages. For one thing, you can get rid of a dingy, damaged tub you don’t like or use. Plus, in most households, taking regular showers is far more convenient than baths.
Showers tend to be more energy efficient in that they use less water than tubs. Best of all, a shower can take up less space than a tub, freeing up square footage to make the room feel bigger, brighter and more enjoyable.
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Considerations to Keep in Mind
Despite all the advantages of replacing a tub with a shower, there are still several factors of which you want to be aware of. Here are some big ones:
If the bathroom you’re remodeling is the only household restroom with a tub, you may want to think twice about going shower-only. This is especially true if you’re in a neighborhood that appeals to families.
Anyone with small children will want a tub; if your home doesn’t have one, it could be a big turnoff when the time comes to sell. That said if there are other bathrooms in the home that do have tubs, switching one out could actually be a selling point.
In today’s fast-paced culture, most people prefer the convenience of a shower—and there are lots of ways to make them more attractive.
Another factor to consider is how much you’re willing to spend on your renovation. Generally speaking, replacing an old tub with another tub is going to be a cheaper option.
The rates of installing a shower, on the other hand, can vary dramatically. If the shower will be a different size or require plumbing adjustments, that increases the price tag.
Likewise, if you want to go with full tiling in a walk-in shower, that could potentially cost you ten times the amount of putting in a bathtub.
Generally speaking, a shower will be more energy-efficient than a tub. This is because an average shower of 10 minutes or less uses fewer gallons of water than is required to fill a bathtub. Factor in a water-saving showerhead and the benefits only increase.
The Risk of Mold
If you do decide to replace your tub, you might be surprised to find water trapped underneath when the time finally comes to remove it.
Trapped water is not only inconvenient, but it’s also potentially harmful. With water stuck behind the tub and/or walls, mold and mildew can easily grow. Dealing with these issues is no small task and will require professional help.
A final basic but important step to remember if you replace your tub is to measure the space. You’ll want to make sure you calculate the dimensions exactly; there’s not a lot of leeways to be off by an inch or two.
Make sure you’ve figured out precisely how many square feet you need and how big the new shower will be; this will prevent a lot of headaches down the line.
Replacing a tub with a shower isn’t the right decision for everyone. If it makes sense for you, you could end up loving the results. Make sure you think through all that’s involved so you can proceed with confidence, whatever you choose.
Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom and has 15-plus years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products you would need for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of vanities, faucets, sinks, toilets, and showers, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look.