News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

Is a tub to shower conversion a good idea? 13 reasons it is, 5 reasons it isn’t.

Is a tub to shower conversion a good idea 13 reasons it is, 5 reasons it isn’t. | innovate Building Solutions | bathroom remodel | tub to shower conversion | Shower remodel | Walk in shower design

Are you debating whether to convert your bathtub into a shower?

And whether you’re looking to ‘age in place’ (yes this is a term I HATE – it sounds more like ‘decay in place’ to me, but that’s another story), or simply never use your tub and want an easier to use shower, there’s A LOT of debate whether a bath to shower conversion is a good idea.

So, if you’re trying to figure out if a tub to shower conversion is a good idea, I’m going to give you 13 reasons it is, and 5 reasons it isn’t below. And at the end – I’ll give you one vote (and I’m guaranteeing ZERO election interference!) in the comments below to let me know if you’re planning to stick with your tub – or replace it with a shower.

Reason #1 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea– It’s safer. You can stay in your home longer.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimate 20 million people 18 or older get hurt in a bathroom each year. And it makes sense. Your bathroom is the riskiest room in your home. It combines water and slippery surfaces! And when you must ‘climb into’ your tub (and over the tub rail), it’s an accident waiting to happen.

And if one of these accidents causes you an extended hospital stay and/or a ‘one way ticket’ into an expensive (and yes, they’re all expensive) assisted living facility (which costs on average $5,000/month) you can see (and ‘feel’ in your pocketbook) the value of a tub to shower conversion. This project makes it simpler to shower vs. climbing into a tub/shower combo unit to do it.

Reason 1 good idea - senior man in a bathtub showers are safer | Innovate building solutions | Shower Tub | walk in shower | grab bar shower design | Age in place bathroom

And while there are social benefits of assisted living facilities, there’s no place like home!


Reason #2 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Get rid of an ugly, chipped, rusted, or yellowed porcelain, steel, or fiberglass tub

Your tub has been your nemesis for years. It downright ugly and a P.I.A. to clean.

Reason 2 good idea - rusted ugly bathtub | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel | Bathtub shower remodel | Tub to shower bathtub

Now’s the opportunity to end this challenge.

Go with a stylish grout free shower pan. You’ll make cleaning a breeze and won’t have to look at the disgusting tub you’ve been ‘battling’ for years ever again.

Shower Base Guide Download

Reason #3 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Gain space

Inside a tub there’s an area bath professionals call the ‘bathing well.’ A tub’s design defines the space inside the angled/curved sides of the unit left for water – or for you to stand while showering.

And the reality is a ‘bathing well’ (and/or area left for you to stand in a tub) in a 60” x 30” or 60” x 32” space is far smaller than the room you’ll have with a shower pan occupying the same area. And besides – when you convert from a tub to a shower – you could ‘borrow’ some of the 60” width for other purposes (like a storage closet or more room for a vanity etc.) if you select a 36” or 48” wide shower.

Reason 3 good idea - bathing well of tub too little space | Innovate building solutions | Bathroom design ides | Bathtub to shower conversion | Shower design ideas

So, if you need more space, ditching the tub is a good idea.


Reason #4 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Cut your water bill

Though some people in your home may call you Mom – you know this in NO WAY is a shorthand term for Made Of Money! And no matter what way you lean politically, I don’t know anyone (from any country in the world) not complaining about inflation these days and looking to reduce household expenses.

So, you need to cut costs in the household budget.

And when you think of your bathroom one smart way to save money is to use less water. And since it’s estimated filling a tub takes 4x the water as a shower, you can cut your water bill by converting it to a shower.

Reason 4 good idea - shower lowers water usage vs. tub | Innovate building solutions | save water | Shower design | Cleveland Bathroom remodel

Reason #5 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Get squeaky clean

Ok – I don’t know if my body can truly be ‘squeaky,’ but I DO KNOW it can be creaky, says the ‘older-than-I’d-like-to-be’ dude!. However, if you’re like me and don’t like getting cleaned in a tub – where you’re washing in dirty water – then a shower’s the way to go.

Reason #6 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Your bathroom will feel bigger if you have a shower with a glass door

Since alcove tubs are 12” to 21” high – they visually separate your alcove as a separate area. And if you use a shower curtain with your tub this visually blocks the space further.

With a shower – especially a shower with a clear glass door – your bathroom feels larger. And, as an added bonus, you won’t need to replace disgusting moldy shower curtains ever again.

Reason 6 good idea - complete shower kit with vertical accent trim | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Design Ideas | Bathroom shower kit diy

Reason #7 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – A tub to shower conversion will allow you to create a one level bathroom or install a ramped shower pan.

If you know a loved one will require a wheelchair or walker– and know a tub or a traditional shower pan with a 3” or 4” high curb won’t ‘cut the mustard,’ now’s the time to research (then install) a shower floor (or pan) system which will work now and in the future.

Depending on your budget – and future time-frame to sell the property – this will be the time to consider either a one level shower/bathroom, a ramped roll in shower pan, or a low profile pan for your remodel and eliminate your tub.

Reason 7 good idea - ramped barrier free shower pan | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodel | Shower Design Ideas | Barrier Free Shower Pan | roll in shower

Reason #8 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – A tub to shower conversion can be completed in 2 days or less.

If you worry about a bathroom remodel taking longer than it took Eldon the Painter to finish painting Murphy Brown’s home (sorry for the reference if this late 1980’s, early 1990’s sitcom was ‘before your time’), I get it.

I’ll admit – my wife Rose and I DO NOT love contractors in our home. And this is coming from a guy who has been employing contractors since the mid 1980’s – oh boy, that makes me sound old – ouch!. And while Rose and I enjoy the benefit of home improvements, we wish we DID NOT have to push through the pain of the process!

And I’ll bet there’s a few people reading who think like we do.

However, when you choose the right shower system (and no, I don’t mean those plasticky ‘bath in a day’ products which are done quickly but look cheap) you can still get a high-quality project done in 2 days. This includes removing the old walls, adding new plumbing fixtures, a shower pan, shower wall surrounds, shower shelving, and a glass shower door). Then you’ll enjoy cool products which ARE NOT a pain to maintain AND will make your shower simpler to use (read about more of these products in reasons #9 and #10).

Reason 8 - good idea quick tub to shower installation laminate shower | Innovate Building Solutions | Quick installation | Shower Remodel in 2 days | Cleveland quick bathroom install

Reason #9 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Stop putting up with ugly (and hard to maintain) wall surrounds, framed glass shower doors (or shower curtains), or a woeful lack of storage.

Sometimes owning a home can feel like a battle. You’re battling with all the bad decisions made by the original home builder, or a kooky homeowner or contractor who remodeled your home in the past.

When you do a tub to shower conversion this is the opportunity to ‘right the wrongs’ of past installations which used inferior products.

Now’s the time to install thicker grout free shower wall panels which beat the pants off your yellowed fiberglass surround or moldy tile bathtub wall panels you endure today.

Now’s the time to stop making countless trips to Target or Walmart to buy yet another tub curtain when you select a sturdy frameless glass shower door.

Now’s the time to quit picking up shampoo bottles of the floor of your combined fiberglass tub/shower unit which currently sits on way-too-narrow ledges in the one piece mold and replace it with a long – and deep – recessed shower niche.

Reason 9 good idea matte black horizontal recessed niche |Innovate Building solutions | Cleveland bathroom remodel | Recessed Niche | matte black shower accessories

Reason #10 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Add seating

There’s no place to sit in a tub to shave your legs or help a loved one shower if they’re not steady on their feet.

With a shower you can add a fold down seat, a corner seat, or a bench seat (although I think a bench seat takes too much room in a 60” wide tub alcove). This will make your shower easier to use, safer, and more relaxing.


Reaso 10 good idea - fold down faux teak shower seat |Innoate building solutions | cleveland Bathroom remodel

Reason #11 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – It’s easier to clean a shower than a tub

Bending over the tub to clean it is literally a pain in the neck (and back).

Cleaning a shower – especially if you have a handheld shower – is a breeze. And if you’re not lucky enough to own a big home with a separate pet shower for your stinky dog, a shower can provide another cleaning ‘station’ for your furry friends as well!

Reason 11 - good idea -cleaning a dog in a shower | Innovate Building solutions | cleaning dog | shower bathroom cleveland remodel

Reason #12 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Tubs are boring. A shower pan doesn’t have to be.

When you see an alcove bathtub they’re NOT the most exciting feature in your bathroom. And I’ll venture to say they’re likely one of the most boring features (unless they’re really dirty, chipped or ugly – then you’d certainly ‘welcome’ a boring tub).

On the other hand, a shower pan can be cool.

If you want to go grout free how about a textured – and slip-resistant stone shower pan in a marble pattern?

Shower Base Guide Download

Reason 12 - good idea white marble stone low profile shower pan | Innovate building solutions | White Marble shower base | Shower design ideas | Shower pan | Bathroom Remodeling in Cleveland ohio

Or if you love the artistry of tile – how about a waterproof tile shower floor which appears to ‘spill out’ into the bathroom? It’ll make your shower one with your bathroom. You’ll get continuity AND style!

Reason #13 a tub to shower conversion IS a good idea – Because you want to ‘get ‘er done’ and be ‘on trend.’

When you’re pressed for time, who wants to ‘draw’ a bath (and no, I’m not referring to your artistic talents here!)? ‘Er that’d be no one.

You’re time-constrained. Your goal … get in, and out ASAP.

Reason 13 - good idea tub to shower one level wet room | Innovate Building Solutions | tub to shower conversion | bathroom remodeling cleveland | shower design ideas

And showers not only are time-savers vs. baths, they’re also more ‘on-trend’ with the lifestyles (and style preferences) of homeowners today.

So now that we’ve looked at 13 reasons a bathtub to shower conversion IS a good idea, let’s look at 5 reasons a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea.

Reason #1 a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea – Because a tub gives you a place to bath little ones.

The #1 reason alcove tubs are popular is because young couples (with small kids) use the tub to bath little ones.

And if this is a reason you want to keep the tub, make sure it isn’t such a tall soaking tub which makes it difficult to bend over and do the job (especially if you’re vertically challenged).

And if you appreciate the need for a tub for your toddlers, but still don’t want one, another option (which only costs $30 to $60) is to buy a small removable tub or wash basin which can be set onto the shower floor).

Reason 1 - NOT good - small tub for child credit | Innovate Building Solutions | Cleveland Bathroom Remodeling |shower design | Small tub to shower | bathtub for babies
Image Source:

Reason #2 a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea – The status quo (keeping the existing tub) is cheaper.

Leaving the tub in (even if you replace outdated wall surrounds and curtains/doors) will be cheaper than removing the tub and converting from 1 ½” to 2” plumbing to meet code to install a shower.

So, if money is tight, and you want to keep the existing tub which is yellowed or chipped, one option is to resurface it. However, if you go this way watch the warranty you get with resurfacing. I’ve seen A LOT of resurfaced tubs NOT hold up in my days!

Reason 2 NOT good - tub resurfacing - credit | innovate building solutions | cleveland bathroom remodeling | shower and tub conversion | bathtub design
Image Source:

Reason #3 a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea – You won’t appeal to the largest number of buyers.

Even though NO HOME is perfect for ALL prospects, when you don’t have at least one tub in the house, there will be some potential buyers who don’t visit your home – because they believe (because a realtor or family member told them) they must have a tub.

Reason #4 a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea – Tubs are a place to relax, and who doesn’t need more relaxation?

While most people can’t draw a tub every day, it’s nice to know you have the option of a relaxing bubble bath to treat yourself, on occasion. If you replace your tub with a shower, this relaxing soaking tub experience will be gone. You won’t be able to enjoy a ‘take me away Calgon’ moment you’ll see in the old commercial below.

Reason 4 NOT a good idea - woman enjoying soaking tub | innovate Building Solutions | cleveland bathroom design | soaking tub | relaxing spa like tub

Reason #5 a tub to shower conversion IS NOT a good idea – With a tub/shower combo, you’ll have a ‘BOGO’ special.  

One of the nice things about an alcove tub/shower combo is you’re getting the function of a tub AND the function of a shower (even though you’ll need to make sure it’s safe for everyone in your family to step over the 12” to 21” high tub to shower). This is your BOGO special (Buy One Function, Get One Function free).

So, what’s it going to be … are you keeping the tub or replacing it with a shower? What help do you need with this project?

After reading this article do you think it’s best to keep the tub, or is a bathtub to shower conversion best? Please comment (and vote) below. And once again, I’ll promise ZERO election interference (and NO tampering with voting machines!).

For assistance, call the team at Innovate Building Solutions (877-668-5888) or click for a Free Design Consultation. You’ll find a wide range of products (including laminate shower wall panels, stone shower pans, glass shower doors, alcove tubs, and shower replacement kits) for this job.

For a tub to shower installation in Cleveland call Innovate Building Solutions at 216-531-6085.

And if you’re looking to replace your existing nasty tub with a new (and improved) acrylic alcove tub or an acrylic freestanding tub and want to determine which is best for you, read The Pros and Cons of a Freestanding Soaking Tub vs. an Alcove Bathtub.

Finally – if you’re a bath remodeling contractor looking to be a dealer of unique bath and shower products, contact me at 888-467-7488 and I’ll tell you about our bath and shower products dealership program.

Thanks for reading….and enduring through my wacky humor!




Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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