How Much Does it Cost to Take out the Tub and Install a Shower?

How Much Does it Cost to Take out the Tub and Install a Shower?

That soaking bathtub in the master bathroom was once a luxurious amenity, but, now, maybe no one can even remember the last time it was used. Parents might be running to the kids’ bathroom to take a quick shower in the morning, and the writing for that soaking tub may be on the bathroom wall…the bathtub has to go!

Yet, the prospect of a costly project might not be enticing. How much does it cost to take out the tub and install a shower? Here’s what you need to know about budgeting for a tub to shower upgrade.

Space Constraints

Some bathrooms only have a bathtub or a small shower because of space issues. If the bathtub is nestled in a small nook of your bathroom, you might not have much room for a big shower (you may have to opt for something small). However, if that bathtub is massive or if the bathroom has space to spare, you might be able to design a more elaborate shower space.

The size of your shower may affect the final price of the project, especially if you opt for a high-end material like marble.

The Cost of the Project

Removing a bathtub and replacing it with a shower involves numerous costs. Homeowners will need to pay for the cost of the bathtub removal, and then the new shower will need to be constructed or installed. This could involve additional plumbing costs. A new shower also will include material costs—including a shower door (if applicable). Interested in a shower/sauna combo? That luxurious upgrade may bump the price, too.

Homeowners can expect the cost of this project to range from about $1,200 (low end) to more than $8,000. However, Home Advisor notes that the average price of this project is around $3,000, with walk-in showers being the more expensive design option. Home Advisor also explains that prefabricated showers will be less expensive than custom options.

How Much Does it Cost to Take out the Tub and Install a Shower

DIY Removal and Install?

While DIY might seem like an inexpensive alternative, this is one project that may be best left for the professionals. Contractors also will know which permits that may need to be procured for the project. Permit mandates may vary, so it’s best to hire someone who knows the guidelines of your municipality or city.

Plus, tackling a major project solo could leave you with a mess you’re not prepared to handle. If something goes wrong with the plumbing, this error could result in a huge mess. Homelight sheds light on what aspects of a bathroom renovation that homeowners can DIY and the areas that the pros should handle.

How Much Does it Cost to Take out the Tub and Install a Shower

Designs and Upgrades

Installing a new shower and removing the old bathtub could completely transform the look of your bathroom. This may be the perfect opportunity to embrace energy efficiency, upgrade other fixtures, repaint the walls or tackle other cosmetic changes (like decluttering!).

When you’ve decided on a design for the shower, look around your bathroom and take note of the current design. If the new shower will feature a custom design (with tile), will the sink, cabinets and fixtures match the color scheme? Keep in mind the style of your bathroom, too. If the new shower has a modern design, a colonial-style sink might not match well. 

If you don’t want to renovate the entire bathroom, you will need to design your new shower around the bathroom’s current style. However, some homeowners use a new project to tackle other renovations. If you want to change up the look of your bathroom but don’t have a huge budget, try these easy changes:

  • Repaint the walls
  • Restain cabinets
  • Add colorful towels
  • Change carpets or rugs to refresh the look

When the Project May Be More of an Investment

While the average price of removing a bathtub and installing a shower is around $3,000, there may be circumstances beyond material choices or other details that could make this project more of an investment.

If space is an issue, maybe a homeowner elects to expand the bathroom (which could add to the cost). Contractors for the project also could run into issues that need to be repaired during the project; if you’ve watched home shows, you know that it isn’t uncommon for renovation projects to sometimes have unexpected surprises.

To better understand the cost of your project—and to find the best price for the project—consider getting bids from a few different contractors. Be sure to read the contractor’s reviews, however. You want to hire someone who is reputable and who is known for quality work. The Better Business Bureau also is a good site to check when researching companies and contractors.

Homeowners always should review their own budget to see what they can allocate toward a project. You might want a custom shower, but your budget may leave you no choice but to select a prefabricated option. Figure out your financial bottom line and find the best contractor for the job!