Replacing baths with walk-in showers is one of the most common bathroom procedures. But why are tub-transformations so popular? In truth, there are many reasons why you might want to consider it.
Generally speaking, shower enclosures are better suited to the modern lifestyle. Compared to baths, they’re quicker, easier, and more convenient, and they’re easier to access for people with limited mobility.
Below, we’ll highlight the key things to consider when converting a bathtub to a walk-in shower, along with the pros and cons. Want to modernise your space? Keen to save water? Looking to ease mobility issues? Whatever your reason, this guide will explain everything you need to know.
Key things to consider
Before replacing your bath with a walk-in shower, you’ll want to consider your lifestyle and bathroom-related needs. In other words, which type of installation will suit you best? Below are the main factors to consider.
Walk-in shower shape and size
An average walk-in shower measures approximately 1200 to 1800mm x 700 to 820mm, with most square-shaped walk-in showers measuring 800 to 1200mm x 800 to 1200mm. You can save floor space by installing a walk-in shower or have a shower that sits in the same footprint as your bath. But first, you need to think about which size and shape would suit your bathroom.
For example, will you have space for an extra cabinet after the installation? Which bathroom corner – if any – is most suitable? Will your chosen position get natural light? These are the type of questions you should ask yourself before starting the conversion.
To replace a bath with a shower enclosure, you’ll need to consider the type and design of the partition, too.
You can have completely open entry with just a screen, fully closing doors or even half height doors which allow for carer access if required. Many options allow you to create both a practical and stylish walk-in shower.
The enclosure serves the practical purpose of keeping the water in and the rest of your bathroom dry but choosing the right shower screen is important for practicality and the look of your bathroom.
Walls and flooring
You’ll also need to think about the tiles or wall boarding. Waterproof wall boards offer a practical easy to keep clean alternative to tiles which can often need re-grouting from time to time.
Concerned about slippery floors? Finish your bathroom with slip-resistant flooring which can come in many different styles and materials with a range to suit most budgets.
Are you ready to give up your bath?
If you enjoy having a bath from time to time but are starting to find it difficult to get in or out, you may wish to consider replacing your traditional bath with an easy-access walk-in bath. If you prefer showers but still need the practicality, then changing your bath to a walk-in shower could be ideal.
Costs to consider
Replacing your bath with a walk-in shower will require more than just the product cost. You will need to consider plumbing, electrics, remedial work such as plastering as wall and floor coverings. You will need to budget for all these things as well as potentially manage different tradesmen. Bathing Solutions looks after all of this, managing the work from start to finish.
Benefits of replacing a bath with a walk-in shower
There are many advantages to making this transformation. For example, once you’ve replaced a bath with a shower enclosure, you’ll likely enjoy a range of different benefits, which we’ll discuss below.
Easier access and improved safety
Walk-in showers couldn’t be easier to access, designed with shallow shower trays and doorless entries. You simply walk in and out, perfect if you have been struggling to bathe.
If you have limited mobility, or you’re worried about slipping while getting in and out your bathtub, then replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower is the ideal solution.
Create floor space
Tired of your tub taking up space? You can reclaim the floor with a walk-in shower. Now, this depends on the size, shape, and style of your shower enclosure.
This doesn’t apply if you decide on a larger shower, which simply sits in the same place as you bath offering maximum space and access.
If you need to maximise space in your bathroom, you can opt for a compact, rectangular-shaped or corner walk-in shower. These can also fit snugly into any corner, giving you greater flexibility when it comes to designing the layout of your new bathroom.
The average bath uses 35 to 50 gallons of water. Meanwhile, a ten-minute shower with a low-flow shower head uses about 25 gallons. Unless you like a very long shower, replacing a bath with a walk-in shower should help you save water in the long run.
That’s good news for your household bills. It’s even better news for the environment. Of course, the amount of water you save depends on the length and frequency of your showers.
Quicker and more convenient
Showers take less time and effort than baths. It’s that simple. With a walk-in shower, you don’t need to wait around for the tub to fill or lie down for lengthy periods of time.
While baths can be luxurious, they aren’t time-friendly. If you just want a quick in and out, a bath just isn’t suitable.
Modernise up your bathroom
Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the future, or wishing to stay at home longer, walk-in showers can help modernise your bathroom. Even if you prefer traditional decor, you can create a bathroom to suit your individual tastes and needs.
This makes walk-in showers ideal for any home – they can suit most decor themes. So, whatever your taste, you should easily find a stylish walk-in shower to replace your bathtub.
Can add value to your home
Walk-in showers are extremely popular and suitable for all age groups and typically very stylish. Replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower could potentially add value to your property.
Many house hunters will be on the lookout for walk-in showers. Or, chances are, they’d be planning to install one once they’ve bought a property. You can make your home more desirable by improving your bathroom.
Limited mobility, poor balance, or painful joints? Whatever your situation, you can make walk-in showers even more comfortable by adding foldable seating – or integrated bench. These can be complimented with grab rails to improve safety.
If you think you’ll miss the relaxed nature of a bath, with the right seating, you can go some way to replicating that level of comfort inside your new walk-in shower.
Create a stylish bathroom
A walk-in shower will be your bathroom’s focal point. There is a huge choice of stylish walk-in shower designs to suit your bathroom’s decor, whether you’re a fan of modern or traditional fittings.
Considerations when replacing a bath with a walk-in shower
Are there potential downsides to replacing baths with walk-in showers? Of course. Just like any renovation project, there are some things to consider.
Requires professional installation
It sounds obvious but replacing your bath with a walk-in shower needs to be done by a professional installer.
If not installed correctly your shower can leak potentially causing damage to your home.
It may require electrical work
If you choose to have an electric shower installed, you will need additional electric work carried out by a certified electrician.
Replacing your bath with a walk-in shower may need several areas of expertise. Bathing Solutions look after the whole process from start to finish, which can save you having to arrange several different tradesmen.
Will it suit all users in your home?
You may have two or more people in your home that use your bathroom. Whilst a bath may not be suitable for everyone, a walk-in shower can be more practical for daily use. If there is a wheelchair user in the house, then we may recommend a level-access wet room instead.
Will it be hard to maintain and keep clean?
Most elements of a walk-in shower are easy to keep clean. Bathing Solutions recommend fitting low maintenance wallboards instead of tiling in the shower areas. This reduces the risk of mould and bacteria, can be easily wiped down and doesn’t have any grout which can discolour over time.
The bathroom might need extra remodelling
Whilst many walk-in showers will fit inside the footprint of our old bath, you may wish to remodel your bathroom to make the most of the space available. This may mean moving sanitary ware or furniture. Bathing Solutions use experience bathroom designers to get the most from your bathroom.
How much does it cost to replace a bath with a walk-in shower?
The overall cost of replacing a bath with a walk-in shower depends on many different factors. In other words, there’s no one price fits all when it comes to this type of conversion.
Which products do you choose? Do you require electrical work? Do you need plastering or remedial work? They will all affect the overall cost. You may also want to update the sanitary ware or bathroom furniture at the same time. Depending on your age, health and mobility issues your bathroom renovations may be VAT exempt. Speak to a member of the Bathing Solutions team who would be happy to look at this for you.
When deciding whether to replace your bath with a shower enclosure, the most important things to consider are your specific wants and needs.
Moreover, if you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, do what suits your lifestyle, bathroom routine and health requirements.
If you are considering replacing your bath with a walk-in shower, Bathing Solutions can design the ideal bathroom to help you bathe safely for many years to come.