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  • Writer's pictureKyle Carney

5 Mistakes To Avoid With Tub To Shower Conversion

Renovating a bathroom can feel overwhelming, with a multitude of design options, material decisions, and budget considerations to juggle. One popular renovation trend is removing a bathtub in favor of a spacious, modern shower. Whether you’re looking to update for aesthetic reasons, convenience, or to cater to specific needs, the tub to shower conversion is a significant project. However, many homeowners make common mistakes that can lead to dissatisfaction with the final results.



1. Not Assessing the Space Thoroughly


The first and most foundational step in any bathroom renovation project is understanding the space you’re working with. When converting a tub to a shower, you must consider the dimensions, the arrangement of existing elements, and any structural elements that may require adjustment.


A typical bath-to-shower conversion requires at least a 3x3-foot area to comply with building codes. This size ensures that the shower is usable, comfortable, and safe.

Failing to comprehensively evaluate these dimensions and structural dependencies can lead to a tight, uncomfortable shower alcove or even significant damage to your home’s infrastructure.


2. Overlooking the Water-related Work


A hasty or incomplete understanding of the water element logistics is a second but equally critical mistake. Plumbing is the lifeblood of a shower and, without proper consideration, can lead to leaks and water damage. Proper waterproofing is essential and serves as a critical line of defense against mold and water damage. This involves covering all surfaces with a waterproof membrane, especially in the shower enclosure.


Drainage Design


Inadequate drainage can result in standing water, another opportunity for leaking or damage. The slope of the shower floor, size of the drain, and its placement are all factors that need to be meticulously planned and installed correctly.


Pressure and Temperature Balancing


If your tub and shower share a plumbing system and water heater, you must ensure that the pressure and temperature are balanced. An experienced plumber can help here, installing pressure-balancing valves and other adjustments to ensure a comfortable shower experience.


3. Ignoring Aesthetic and Functional Details


One of the most exciting elements of a bath-to-shower conversion is the opportunity to create a space that is both delightful to use and beautiful to behold.


The showerhead is the star of the show. Choose a type and style that suits your needs and aesthetic preferences.


Drain Covers and Fixtures


These may seem like small details, but they can make a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your shower. Coordinating these fixtures with your overall design scheme can elevate the space.


Lighting and Ventilation


Proper lighting is imperative, especially in the shower where safety is a concern. Also, ensuring adequate ventilation prevents mold and moisture problems. A skylight, window, or high-quality fan can accomplish both.


4. Disregarding Safety and Accessibility


An entry-level or walk-in shower may be more accessible and future-proof than a high-threshold design. Injuries from tripping over the edge of the tub are a leading cause of hospital visits among older adults.


The shower floor should be designed with safety in mind. Non-slip tiles or treatments can help prevent falls, especially important for young children and the elderly. Even if you don’t need them now, installing grab bars or a shower seat that can be easily removed or stowed can be valuable for guests and provide future peace of mind should your mobility needs change.


5. Rushing the Installation Process


Finally, underestimating the time required to complete a tub-to-shower conversion is a common oversight. This mistake can lead to a host of other problems, such as shoddy workmanship or the unnecessary use of short-term fixes.


Scheduling and Coordination


Good Ottawa bathroom remodeling contractors are often in high demand, and their schedules may not align with your ideal timeline. Rushing the scheduling of phases of the conversion can lead to misaligned subcontractors and rework situations.


In conclusion, converting a tub to a shower is a project that requires thoughtful planning, attention to detail, and a commitment to quality and safety. By avoiding the mistakes outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a new, functional, and stylish shower that will serve you well for years to come. Whether you're doing it for your own pleasure or as a strategic home improvement, taking the time to plan for a successful conversion is an investment in your home that is sure to pay off.


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