You could have a variety of reasons for needing to turn a shower into a tub. Perhaps, you need to have a more secure bathing location or you have a new little bundle of joy who needs a tub bath. This is a plumbing project that can take on a few forms depending on the size of the tub you prefer and what your budget is. This article will cover how to turn your existing shower space into a tub. If you want to do more than this, it would require demolition into the surrounding area before continuing with the plumbing steps prescribed here. You can expect this project to take about a week with the various steps. One person could accomplish this, but it would be easier with another person to help. This project requires a moderate knowledge of renovation and construction projects.
- A Tub
- Grout Sealer
- Rubber Float
- Tile Cutters
- Tape Measure
- Concrete Backerboard
- 2 x 4 Wood
- Tile Adhesive
Step 1. Measure the Existing Shower Space
You need to measure the height and width of the existing shower space. You will be building into this space to make it a tub.
Step 2. Locate the Appropriate Tub
A tub features a standard size of 60 inches long by 30 inches wide and 14 inches high. Your shower space is probably not going to be like that. If you want a longer tub, then you will need to expand your project and demolish existing walls and structures. This will significantly increase time and budget. However, you can also find a tub that will fit into your existing shower space.
Step 3. Build a Wall
The main difference between a tub and a shower is that the tub has a wall to hold in water. The next step is to build a wall. You can build it out of a panel or tile. Get enough 2 x 4 pieces of wood and frame a rectangle for the wall. Put boards every 10 inches apart and use nails to piece the frame together. The wall can then be anchored to the floor and walls using screws long enough to drill through the frame and create a sturdy hold
Step 4. Attach Concrete Backer Board
The concrete backer board is a preset piece of concrete that is used as a first surface for tiling. The cement backer board just needs to be screwed into the wood frame.
Step 5. Tile the New Wall
You are now ready to tile the wall. Apply tile adhesive with a trowel. Make sure it is applied at a 45-degree angle and 1/16 of an inch thick. You want to apply a small amount of adhesive and then tile before the adhesive dries. Move in rows of tile. If you have an extra width at the end, simply cut the tile. The top row of tiles needs to be bullnose tile in order to have a smooth surface.
Step 6. Grout the Tile
You can grout the tile however you feel comfortable, with premade grout or you can mix it yourself. Spread the grout across the tiles at a 45-degree angle using a rubber float. Make sure that it goes into the grooves of the tile. You will want to use gloves and goggles during this part because grout is an irritant.
Step 7. Apply Caulking
Wait for the grout to be cleaned off of the tile and then apply caulking anywhere the new tile meets the edge of the shower of the walls.
Step 8. Apply Grout Sealer
Wait for up to one week and then place grout sealer on the grout lines.
Step 9. Take a Bath!
After all of your hard work, the tub should now be ready to use.
Expanding your shower is a more involved process with additional demolition and remodeling. The same basic premise can be followed, but the time and budget will increase. If you are interested in doing that, it might be a good idea to contact your local plumber and see if it is more involved than you can handle. If you are looking to replace a bathtub, a different set of materials and procedures are needed.