Replace a tub with a shower

Do It Yourself or Not?

Do you have a bathroom with a tub that’s rarely used? With more people preferring a shower to a tub soak, consider replacing the tub with a standalone shower. It’s a retrofit that makes it easier and safer to use than having to step over a tub wall. A popular retrofit for a bathroom makeover is replacing a bathtub with a standalone shower.

The new unit has a shower receptor as a base that fits into the space of a standard 5-foot bath alcove, and it’s available in both left and right drain configurations. The receptor measures 60 inches by 30 inches, and installs directly into a wall stud pocket at the subfloor. To prevent pooling water, it is molded with a slight draft toward the drain. To complete the project, install tile or a solid surface on the three surrounding walls to create a comfortable walk-in shower and a new fixture. You’ll find the receptor and wall systems sold at bath and home centers.

To remove the old tub and fixtures and install a new receptor and surrounding walls you’ll pay a plumber $2,800, which includes labor and material. If you have experience with carpentry and plumbing projects, you can do the job of dismantling and removing the old bathtub, buying the receptor and wall surround kit for $1,300, and installing it. You will save 54 percent by doing the job yourself.


Hassle Alert: Removing the old tub may be the most challenging part of the job, especially if it’s an old iron tub you have to demolish and remove from the second floor.

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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$2,800 -- $1,300 -- 24.3 -- 40.0 -- $1,500 -- 54 Percent