How to Replace a Bathtub with a Shower
– Step 1: Remove the tub
– Step 2: Remove the tiles
– Step 3: Reassemble the water inlet that will feed your mixing valve
– Step 4: Install the shower tray
– Step 5: Tile the walls of your shower area
– Step 6: Install the mixer
– Step 7: Install the shower base
– Step 8: Add a shower guard
Replacing a bathtub with a shower not only saves space in the bathroom and gives it a more modern look, but it also very often guarantees water savings. Moreover, the shower is favored for its greater accessibility, a real argument, especially for seniors.
Although attractive on paper, replacing a bathtub with a shower requires a few precautions and a lot of application for an optimal result. This post will guide you on how to proceed.
1. Dismantle the bathtub
Before any intervention, turn off the water by closing the general water supply tap.
– Dismantle the bathtub surround (or apron). This is often a wooden plate to unscrew. This will allow access to the draining system.
– Unscrew the drain system from under the bathtub.
– Unscrew the siphon from the bathtub thanks to the screw located on the draining grid in the bathtub.
– Unscrew the rings of the mixing valve with a wrench (or a suitable open-end wrench) and remove it.
– Remove the silicone gasket around the tub with a cutter.
– Remove the tub from its location. Ask for help, as some older (non-acrylic) tubs are very heavy.
Tip: To reopen the house’s general water supply, place plugs on the water inlets to prevent flooding during the work. This will allow you to continue using water in other rooms.
2. Remove the tiles
You need to remove the existing tiles to renovate your shower area evenly.
– Tap the corner of the tiles with a hammer and chisel, and they will come off one by one. Proceed delicately so as not to damage your wall, especially if it is plasterboard.
– Scrape off any excess tile adhesive that remains on the wall with a coating knife. If this is not enough, lightly sand the wall.
3. Reassemble the water inlet that will supply your mixer tap
Before you can install your shower, your installation requires some adjustments, especially regarding the water inlet, which is not at the same height in a shower as in a bathtub.
– Clear the wall of water inlets by digging small grooves in the wall with a chisel and hammer.
– Clean the pipes from the wall and cut them with a pipe cutter to remove the connection rings from the old mixer.
– Mark the location of your new mixer with a tape measure and a pencil at 110 cm from the floor.
– Dig the wall up to 110 cm from the floor so that you can insert the shower water supply kit that will allow you to connect the water supply to your new mixer easily.
– Connect the water supply pipes to the shower water supply kit:
◦ Solder by brazing the two if you are comfortable with copper brazing (remember to protect the wall behind the pipes so you don’t burn it).
◦ Favor the solderless connection option with solderless fittings: screw-on fittings that are very easy to install.
Tip: Remember to lightly deburr your pipes with sandpaper before making the connection.
– Insert the pipes in the previously made groove.
– Fill it with filler.
4. Install the shower tray
– Put the shower tray in its place.
– Check its flatness with a spirit level.
– If necessary, adjust its level with the adjustable feet located under the tray. If the shower tray does not have a level, you must make cellular concrete support to raise it and allow drain system installation.
– Connect the waste system to the existing drain.
– If you need to add an extension to connect to the drain:
◦ Measure the missing length of pipe with a tape measure.
◦ Cut the pipe to the correct length with a saw.
◦ Use a straight PVC fitting and coat it with PVC glue on both sides before connecting it to the new section of pipe on one side and the drain pipe on the other.
◦ Be careful to maintain a minimum 1% slope.
5. Tile the wall of your shower area
Once this preparation is done, you can use it to decorate your shower space by tiling the wall, which will protect your wall from water splashes and also play a decorative role and personalize your shower space.
Don’t forget to protect your shower tray before you start tiling.
6. Install the mixer tap
– Wrap several turns (at least 6) of sealing tape around the threads of the off-center fittings in an anti-clockwise direction (to prevent the tape from coming loose when screwing).
– Attach the off-center fittings (supplied with the mixer) to the water inlets. These will allow the mixer to be properly adjusted to the water inlets. Indeed, the distances (center distance) can differ depending on the chosen mixer models.
– First, screw in manually before finishing with a suitable wrench, leaving a small margin to adjust the mixer.
– Place the decorative rosettes on the mixer.
– Screw the mixer onto the off-center fittings, adjusting it while checking its horizontality with a spirit level.
7. Install the shower bracket
Attach the shower bracket to the wall and center it with the mixer.
– Measure the location of the shower rod attachments with a tape measure.
– Mark the correct location with a pencil.
– Carefully drill the holes, taking care to match the drill bit used to the diameter of the dowel provided in the shower bracket kit.
– Insert the dowels into the previously drilled holes by lightly tapping them with a plastic mallet.
– Position the screws in the dowels and secure the shower bracket with a screwdriver.
– You can now connect the shower hose between the hand shower and the mixer without forgetting to position the supplied seals. Screw by hand before eventually tightening with a wrench on a turn to perfect the seal.
8. Add a shower protection
Case 1: Install a shower curtain
– Install the rod in the desired location by fixing it with suction cups or screws, depending on the chosen model.
– Place the curtain on the rod with the rings provided, giving preference to models of curtain fabric that are easier to maintain.
Case 2: Install a glass wall
More aesthetic than a shower curtain, the glass enclosure can protect your bathroom from splashes while maintaining the brightness in your bathroom.
The shower enclosure kits are supplied with instructions that must be followed carefully. In general, the installation of a glass enclosure is done as follows:
– Fix the profile against the wall and slightly recess from the alignment of the tray to ensure a seal with it.
◦ Take measurements with a tape measure to mark the points of attachment of the profile with a pencil. Don’t forget to check the verticality of the profile with a spirit level.
◦ Drill the holes at the marked locations, taking care to match the drill bit used to the diameter of the dowel provided in the kit.
Tip: To drill tile without slipping, position a piece of tape over the area to be drilled.
◦ Insert the dowels into the holes by lightly tapping with a rubber mallet.
◦ Screw the profile with a screwdriver, having previously put silicone sealant on the side of the rail that will touch the wall to ensure a perfect seal.
– Fix the glass in the profile using the screws provided, tightening gently. Usually, the screw is protected by a small rubber to avoid cracking the glass.
– Install the wall support bar, which will be fixed to the same wall as the profile with screws. The other end of the bar will pinch the glass to hold it in place with a screw equipped with plastic protection to prevent cracking the glass.
Equipment needed to replace a bathtub with a shower
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