Remodeling a bathroom can be an exciting yet daunting task, especially when it involves removing the bathtub. Bathtubs have been a bathroom staple for decades, but more homeowners are now opting to ditch the tub in favor of larger, more luxurious showers.
Removing a bathtub opens up space and allows you to design a bathroom that truly suits your needs. Showers are easier to get in and out of, simpler to clean, and provide a more spa-like experience. Walk-in showers also provide universal accessibility.
In this article, we’ll look at four inspiring before-and-after bathroom remodels where the homeowners bravely decided to ditch the tub. We’ll explore the reasons behind their decisions and the stunning transformations that resulted.
Whether you’re looking for contemporary, traditional, or vintage style, there’s a tub-to-shower conversion here to spark ideas for your own bathroom overhaul. Let’s take a look at these beautiful bathroom makeovers!
Small, Dated Bathroom Gets a Modern Makeover
This first bathroom was dark, cramped, and badly in need of updating. The old tub took up valuable space and made the room feel closed in.
The original bathroom featured a pedestal sink, a dated almond tub and shower combo, and vinyl flooring that had seen better days. Mint green walls gave the room a vintage look, but the small window provided minimal natural light.
Why They Ditched the Tub
The homeowners felt the bathtub was an inefficient use of space in their already petite bathroom. They also wanted to brighten and modernize the room with contemporary finishes.
Removing the tub allowed room for a larger vanity and brightened the space by opening it up. A new picture window also let in more natural light.
Gone is the old tub, replaced by a roomy walk-in shower with crisp white subway tile and a frameless glass door. The new double vanity provides ample storage, while the marble countertop and hexagonal floor tiles add sleek, modern style.
Vibrant blue-green walls give the room an invigorating pop of color. Contemporary light fixtures and accessories finish the vibrant, stylish new look.
Ditching the tub opened up the bathroom and enabled a complete modern makeover. The homeowners gained a fresh, luxurious spa-like space in their small bathroom.
Classic Black and White Bathroom Makeover
The next bathroom was dated and awkwardly laid out, with the tub jammed beside the toilet. The homeowners wanted to open up the space and give it a timeless black and white update.
The original bathroom had a cramped feeling, due to poor use of space. The tub was wedged next to the toilet, with a narrow walkway in between. A sliding shower screen gave the tub a dual shower function.
Salmon pink walls and floral wallpaper screamed 1980s. The vanity cabinetry was falling apart, and a window above the toilet violated privacy.
Why They Ditched the Tub
The homeowners found the layout uncomfortable, and disliked having to squeeze past the toilet to access the tub. Removing the tub enabled reconfiguring the layout to enlarge the footprint and improve flow.
They planned for an elegant black and white color palette that required replacing all finishes. The outdated tub and shower combo didn’t fit their new vision.
By removing the tub and reworking the layout, the homeowners gained a open, hotel-style bathroom with spacious zones for showering, vanity, and toilet.
Crisp white subway tiles with contrasting black grout line the walls and shower, paired with black mosaic floor tiles. The freestanding tub soaks up elegance under a window with a privacy film.
His-and-hers floating vanities provide contemporary flair, while modern chrome finishes and accessories complete the luxurious new look.
Eliminating the tub opened possibilities for a clean, timeless design with sophisticated style. Smart spatial planning turned a cramped, awkward bathroom into a functional oasis.
Vintage Pink Bathroom Transformed into Spa Retreat
This pink Victorian bathroom was playful but impractical. The homeowners desired a retreat-like space while preserving the vintage charm. Let’s see how ditching the tub helped achieve their vision.
With its pink tile, clawfoot tub, and lace curtains, this bathroom was unabashedly feminine and cottage-like. The tub claimed ample space despite cracked porcelain and peeling chrome.
A small corner sink and miscmatched accessories gave the room an endearing but haphazard look. The floral wallpaper added to the grandmotherly vibe.
Why They Ditched the Tub
While reluctant to part with the vintage clawfoot tub, the homeowners found it past its prime. Amenities like the tiny sink and old medicine cabinet needed replacement as well.
Removing the tub created space for a double vanity and roomy walk-in shower. This improved function while allowing a fresh update that preserved the cottage spirit.
Trading the damaged tub for a marble-clad shower retains the vintage aesthetic. A mosaic penny tile floor and ornate chandelier add old-world charm, as do the arched mirrors above the double vanity.
Pale pink walls, updated beadboard wainscoting, and an abundance of plants give the space a light, airy spa vibe. Vintage-style fixtures and accessories maintain the cottage look.
Letting go of the past-its-prime clawfoot tub enabled a bathroom remodel that honors vintage appeal while prioritizing comfort. The updated space pairs charming cottage features with modern spa-like amenities.
Bright, Accessible Bathroom Remodel
The final bathroom we’ll look at was outdated and difficult for the elderly homeowners to use safely. By ditching the tub, they gained an accessible, contemporary space.
This bathroom was outdated but usable, with amenities like a corner tub, enclosed shower, and single vanity sink. However, the high tub wall posed falling risks. Lack of grab bars and adequate lighting also posed challenges.
Salmon pink tiles, worn linoleum floors, and mismatched metals conveyed an unfashionable, piecemeal look. Insufficient lighting gave the room a cavelike feeling.
Why They Ditched the Tub
The elderly homeowners required a bathroom that prioritized accessibility, safety, and ease of use. The cumbersome tub was hazardous and seldom used. Removing it enabled a layout tailored to their abilities and needs.
They desired a bright, welcoming space with contemporary styling and easy-access amenities. A tub-free design enabled all this.
This remodeled bathroom boasts an open, accessible layout with modern safety features. A curbless, wall-less shower eliminates barriers and falling risks. Grab bars, slip-resistant tile floors, comfort height toilet, and adequate lighting also boost safety.
Crisp white subway tiles make the space feel fresh and bright. Vessel sinks, pendant lighting, and chrome details give the room an updated look. The homeowners gained a bathroom tailored to their needs as aging adults.
Ditching the impractical tub paved the way for a revamped bathroom perfect for comfortable, safe, accessible living. The redesign prioritized their unique requirements as older homeowners.
Key Reasons Homeowners Ditch the Bathtub
Looking at these inspiring remodels, key motivations emerge for ditching the tub:
- Gain More Space: Removing a bulky tub frees up room for larger showers, double vanities, and improved layouts.
- Enhance Functionality: Walk-in showers are easier to access than high-walled tubs. Universal designs provide safety and accessibility.
- Increase Brightness: Eliminating walled-off tubs makes bathrooms feel more open and brighter.
- Enable Contemporary Style: Most current design trends emphasize clean lines, open spaces, and streamlined styling.
- Upgrade to Luxury: Spa-like showers with features like bench seating, rainfall showerheads, and floor-to-ceiling tile feel indulgent.
- Simplify Maintenance: Showers are generally easier to clean and maintain than tubs.
- Boost Resale Value: Bathrooms with spacious showers appeal to a broader range of homebuyers.
- Improve Accessibility: Curbless, no-threshold showers are accessible for all ages and mobility levels.
For many homeowners, the benefits of increased space, better function, easier upkeep, and on-trend style outweigh holding onto a dated tub.
Plan Your Own Tub-to-Shower Conversion
Does ditching your bathtub appeal to you? If so, here are key steps for planning this project:
- Consider your needs: Do you require a soaking tub for health reasons? Would you enjoy a spa-like shower?
- Involve a designer: Consult a bathroom designer or architect to explore layout options.
- Check codes: Do local codes require maintaining a tub in your home? Know regulations before planning.
- Create a vision: Gather inspiration photos and create a vision board to define your dream bathroom style.
- Make a layout: Map where the shower, vanity, toilet and other elements will go.
- Choose finishes: Select tiles, lighting, sinks, hardware, and other finishes that bring your vision to life.
- Hire a contractor: Find an experienced bathroom renovation contractor to handle the conversion safely.
- Budget: Develop a renovation budget and contingency fund to cover unexpected costs.
With thoughtful planning, you can create your perfect tub-free bathroom oasis!
FAQs About Ditching the Tub
Still have questions about taking the tub-free plunge? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Is it OK to remove the only tub in your home?
- In most cases, yes. As long as you don’t have small children who require baths, ditching the tub is a matter of personal preference. For resale, some homebuyers may prefer having one tub.
Can you put a shower where there used to be a tub?
- Yes, the footprint left by removing a tub can accommodate most shower configurations. Curbless showers work especially well.
Do you need a permit to remove a bathtub?
- In most cases, yes. Since the project involves plumbing modifications, permitting and inspections are required. Always check local regulations.
How much does it cost to replace a tub with a walk-in shower?
- Costs vary, but expect to spend $3,000-$8,000 depending on the shower size, layout, and finishes selected. Luxury showers cost more.
How long does it take to replace a tub with a shower?
- With proper planning, an experienced contractor can make this change in as little as 1-3 days. Total project time depends on the scope of accompanying updates.
What flooring works best with a walk-in shower?
- Tile, luxury vinyl plank, and natural stone like marble or slate are excellent waterproof options for shower floors. Use slip-resistant materials.
Should I get a glass shower door or curtain?
- Frameless glass doors maintain an open look. Shower curtains offer a lower cost option, but are less luxurious. Cleaning ease is a factor too.
How do you waterproof a walk-in shower?
- Waterproof shower membranes like Schluter under tile and waterproof building materials are essential. Hire experienced pros.
We hope these tips empower you to create your dream tub-free oasis! Ditching an outdated or impractical bathtub can lead to a bathroom refreshed and revitalized.
As we’ve seen, removing an existing bathtub opens up exciting possibilities for bathroom remodeling. By ditching the tub, homeowners can gain space for indulgent showers, double vanities, and better layouts.
Key motivations to forgo the tub include enhancing accessibility, easing maintenance, allowing contemporary design, and adding luxurious spa-like amenities.
Tub-to-shower conversions require planning and permits, but with an experienced contractor the change can happen quickly. Gorgeous results like the makeovers we’ve looked at make the effort worthwhile.
Will you brave ditching your bathtub? We hope these transformations offer inspiring ideas for your own bathroom remodel. With strategic planning and expert help, you can gain the bathroom oasis of your dreams by saying farewell to the tub!