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Old 11-30-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


One of our bathrooms will be used by a very senior citizen who cannot step into a bathtub. As such, we need to convert the bathtub into a stand only shower. First, is it possible to cut the bathtub and put a door in it so that one can step in? If that is a very expensive option compared to removing the tub, then how easy it is to put a shower in place of a tub. The tub currently is a standard size, surrounded by 3 walls. It does have a shower head and 3 knobs at the bottom (hot, tub/shower option, and cold water knobs).
We really would like to do it as quickly as possible and are not keen at tearing up the bathroom if we don't have to. The senior citizen needs to move in quickly and time and money are equally important, if that helps.
Appreciate any advice you can give us.
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Kash

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


That is a tough challenge. I can see no way of cutting in a door that would be guaranteed to be leakproof. There is a new company that is making this type shower/tub but they are expensive. If you change the current tub to a shower, the drain piping needs to be changed from 1-1/2 to 2" to meet code.

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


http://www.henryfordhealthproducts.c...sfer-bench.cfm
I googled this as an option, I would do some internet research to see what is available to you. I understand your need for time constraints but the concern for safety is important.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


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Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
That is a tough challenge. I can see no way of cutting in a door that would be guaranteed to be leakproof. There is a new company that is making this type shower/tub but they are expensive. If you change the current tub to a shower, the drain piping needs to be changed from 1-1/2 to 2" to meet code.
Thanks for the quick response. It appears to me that the realistic option is to remove the old tub, and convert it into a shower by putting a door on it. What are the ramifications of not changing the drain from 1.5 to 2 " (assuming we do it not according to code)? In other words, what happens if we don't do according to code? Does the water drain 25 % slower? Is that all or is there some other effect? I am trying to determine the fastest course of action that I can take. And please don't take offense at these questions as I am trying to make life easy for everyone involved.
Many thanks for your insights.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:48 AM   #5
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


if the person can go up and down small stairs, they make tub steps that could help. like the dragon said, not really a way to waterproof a cut.
if you're real handy, you CAN swap a tub for a shower enclosure and fill the end with closet and shelves. go to your local habitat for humanity ReStore if in your area for good prices on shower enclosures. money is always a concern for us and i go there a LOT!
http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

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Old 11-30-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


The reason for the size change is to prevent overflowing. since the entrance to a shower is only about 4" high, the water could build up and cause damage to the floors. If you would sell later and a decent Home Inspector came in, he would probably note this and it would need to be changed. It is your home, and you can take the chances you need to. If you replace the tub with a shower, it may be easy to change the drain at the same time. I understand your plight, but you also need to know what the ramifications of doing it incorrectly are.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


It could be a little expensive to replace the existing tub with a shower unit, and especially if it was one of those new kind with the door.
I think the key question is about the person that will be using it.
Are they strong enough to sit on the edge of the tub, turn around on their seat, and pull themselves up with new grab bars screwed into wall studs? If they are, all that you would need is one or two new grab bars that they can reach and a $5 plastic chair without arms for them to sit on in the tub/shower, if they choose. That would be the fastest and cheapest.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:29 PM   #8
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


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Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
It could be a little expensive to replace the existing tub with a shower unit, and especially if it was one of those new kind with the door.
I think the key question is about the person that will be using it.
Are they strong enough to sit on the edge of the tub, turn around on their seat, and pull themselves up with new grab bars screwed into wall studs? If they are, all that you would need is one or two new grab bars that they can reach and a $5 plastic chair without arms for them to sit on in the tub/shower, if they choose. That would be the fastest and cheapest.
Good Luck!
Mike
Mike
Your suggestion is worth considering. THe person who will have the most trouble is 87 years old, and needs someone to help her bathe. She is short, walks very slowly and can't lift her feet and place them in the tub. I don't know if she will be able to do that sitting on the edge of the tub.
I will have to think about the grab bars and maybe, she can do that and that way, we can avoid the problem of converting it at all.
Thanks everyone.

Someone mentioned that a good home inspector will detect the size of the drain (that it is not 2" but 1.5"). May I ask how that can be determined if the drain is covered with a plastic hair-stopper? Will the drain be relocated to the middle of the shower, as opposed to the current location which is almost under the faucet of the tub?
Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions.

Kash
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:28 PM   #9
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need to convert a bathtub into a shower


I am the one that mentioned the Home Inspector. This would be assuming you had a basement or crawlspace the inspector would be able to see the piping from. Most showers have a center located drain. They usually have a cut-out for a 2" drain and drain flange.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
I am the one that mentioned the Home Inspector. This would be assuming you had a basement or crawlspace the inspector would be able to see the piping from. Most showers have a center located drain. They usually have a cut-out for a 2" drain and drain flange.
Actually we don't have a basement or a crawl space. We are on a concrete slab.
Thanks for your suggestions.

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