Should you swap your bathtub for a shower? Bathrooms provide the second best return on investment when remodeling, second only to kitchens.
Bathroom remodeling contractor, Dan Updike, says many of his customers are choosing to ditch bulky tubs in favor of more luxurious showers.
"The bathing generation is kind of gone by the wayside. We are a pretty much shower generation anymore. So rather than have the bathtub that you lift your leg over that's a confined space if you put in a large shower it's more of the spa-type shower," said Updike.
"The trend these days is to convert bathtubs into showers. There are so many choices when it comes to showers and they potentially take up less space than the large garden tubs that have been historically in homes. If you are a homeowner that wants to age in place, grow old in your home, a shower can be a safer alternative for you," said Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks.
Experts say the design options for walk-in showers are nearly endless. They can be customized to fit just about any size, shape, or lifestyle.
"As far as options for the shower with the older generation the grab bars, maybe some corner seats, some hand held showers, things like that. Inside shampoo holders or corner shelves, we always have some type of shelving go into the unit. Frame-less shower doors so it's more glass, less metal. And then it's a matter of what to put on the shower walls whether it's tile with accent trim tile or go to the solid surface wall system," said Updike.
Updike says converting a standard five-foot tub into a shower typically starts around $4,500, but prices can quickly increase depending on the materials and options you choose.
"If you want to go tub to a shower it's very simple to do, you just need to move plumbing a little bit for the new setup. Other than that they make shower bases the same size as bathtubs. We normally use solid surface bases instead of plastic or fiberglass. They are very heavy duty and come in a variety of colors to coordinate whether it's tile on the walls or solid surface wall panels," said Updike.
While nearly every bathtub can be converted into a shower, it's not always the best idea.
"Replacing a tub for a shower is not for everyone. If you only have one bathroom in your house you want to be sure you keep a tub because what will end up happening is you'll hurt your resale value. Families with kids, they like tubs and without one it can hurt you," said Hicks.
Angie's List says this is a job best left for the professionals. If the company has a showroom, go check it out. Being able to visualize your project before it gets underway can help define your expectations and illustrate how design and layout choices will work.