Converting a bathtub into a walk-in shower can completely transform your bathroom. Removing the tub creates an open, accessible space that is ideal for aging in place or anyone with mobility issues. The project also allows you to update the look of your bathroom with modern shower accessories.
When embarking on a tub-to-shower conversion, one of the most exciting parts of the project is choosing new fixtures and accessories. With so many options to customize your new shower space, it can be overwhelming to decide what to select. Follow this guide on the must-have shower accessories to include in your new open shower design.
Choosing Your Shower Door
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make for your new walk-in shower is what type of door to install. Shower doors keep water contained in the stall while adding style to your bathroom. Here are some of the most popular shower door options to consider:
Frameless Glass Shower Doors
Frameless glass shower doors have a very sleek, modern look. These doors feature tempered glass panels without any metal framing. Silicone seals attach the glass to the walls. Frameless doors showcase the high-end aesthetics of your shower and make the space appear larger. They come in clear glass or frosted for more privacy.
Semi-Frameless Shower Doors
Semi-frameless glass doors have minimal metal sections on two sides rather than fully enclosing the glass. The metal profile frames attach at the wall and where two panels meet. This style still provides a contemporary look but is less expensive than fully frameless.
Framed Shower Doors
As the name implies, framed shower doors have full metal edging encircling the glass panels. The thicker metal frame gives a more traditional styling. Framed doors often use thinner glass than frameless, making them the most budget-friendly option.
When selecting a shower door, make sure it is the proper size for your converted shower space. Measure the opening carefully and account for the thickness of the walls where the door will attach. Also, choose between a sliding or swinging style depending on your space limitations.
An indulgent showerhead is a great way to enhance your new walk-in shower. With so many designs and features available, you can find the perfect rainfall showerhead to suit your needs.
Transform your shower into a luxurious spa with an overhead rainfall shower. These showerheads are large, usually 8 to 10 inches across, and mimic the experience of bathing in the rain. The wide spray coverage drenches your whole body at once. Opt for rainfall showerheads with adjustable pressure settings.
Handheld showerheads offer flexibility and convenience. The detachable wand makes it easy to direct the water flow and reach all areas. Look for a handheld showerhead with an adjustable slide bracket for mounting it at your preferred height.
The best of both worlds, a combo showerhead includes a fixed overhead rain shower and a handheld component. Enjoy the customizable spray options and full-body coverage. Select a matching rainfall and handheld set for a cohesive look.
When choosing showerheads, pay attention to the spray settings. Look for options with massage jets, pulsating patterns, and different spray widths to fully customize your shower experience.
Shower Niches and Shelving
Incorporating shower niches and shelving into your new walk-in shower creates handy storage nooks. Built-in shelves allow you to keep all your bath necessities within arm’s reach.
Recessed shampoo niches provide space to store your shower essentials. Look for niche designs with doors to keep bottles and accessories out of sight. Glass doors maintain the sleek aesthetics of your shower. Make sure to choose a watertight niche size that fits your favorite products.
Corner mounted shelves offer convenient access to shower items without taking up space on the walls. The triangular shelves tuck away neatly into a corner. Opt for corner shelves large enough to hold multiple bottles. Glass shelving blends seamlessly into tile surrounds.
Floating shelves make a modern statement in frameless showers. Mounted away from walls, the free-floating glass or metal shelves appear to defy gravity. They come in a range of stylish designs to coordinate with your contemporary shower.
Built-In Soap Dishes
Including built-in soap dishes during your remodel is a handy addition. Recessed dishes keep bars of soap tidy and out of the way. For a seamless look, choose a soap dish that matches the finish of your metal fixtures.
Stylish Shower Benches
A thoughtfully designed shower bench adds comfort and convenience to your new walk-in shower. Benches provide seating for shaving legs, foot hygiene, or just relaxing under the water spray. They are also beneficial for those with mobility limitations.
Built-In Tile Benches
Integrating a subtle tiled bench into your shower surround creates a seamless built-in look. Tile benches can be customized to any size and shape. Choose complementary tile and mosaics to continue your wall design. Add a grout line to distinguish the bench.
Teak Shower Benches
Teak wood is the premium choice for shower seating because it’s water-resistant and won’t mold. The natural beauty of solid teak makes a stylish statement. Teak benches often have slatted designs to allow water drainage. Choose teak with a wipe-clean finish.
Corner Shower Benches
Corner benches are space-saving options for smaller showers. The L-shape fits snugly into corners, leaving more open floor space. Look for corner benches with storage underneath for bathing essentials.
Fold-Down Shower Benches
For maximum versatility, select a fold-down teak bench. When needed, the slatted bench conveniently folds down from the wall. Fold it back up to keep the shower clear and open. Fold-down benches are great for tight spaces.
Modern Shower Flooring
The shower flooring you choose can make a huge impact on the overall look of your converted shower. Today’s latest designs go far beyond basic white tile. Here are some trendy shower flooring ideas:
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Luxury vinyl tile is an affordable alternative to expensive natural stone that withstands humidity. Made from durable PVC, luxury vinyl comes in stone, slate, and marble looks. The textured surface prevents slips. Choose large-format tiles for seamless patterns.
Porcelain is ideal for shower floors because it’s water-resistant and durable. Modern porcelain tiles mimic natural materials like hardwood and cement. Large-format porcelain planks create minimal grout lines. Add texture and interest with mosaic insets.
Poured Epoxy Floors
For a seamless look, opt for poured epoxy floors in bold colors and designs. The fluid flooring is poured directly onto the shower pan and cures smooth and glossy. Add colored quartz sand for grip and visual texture.
Natural stone like marble, travertine, or slate brings elegance and spa-like luxury to a new shower. Arrange mosaic stone pieces in decorative patterns. Make sure to properly seal and care for natural stone floors.
Relaxing Body Sprays
In addition to your stunning showerhead, adding rejuvenating body sprays to your walk-in shower creates a spa experience. The adjustable water jets let you customize your shower with massaging streams.
Rainfall Body Sprays
Install a series of overhead rainfall body sprays to mimic exotic waterfalls. The sprays are adjustable and angled to provide full-body coverage. Integrate 6-8 body sprays for lavish soaking.
Wall-Mount Body Sprays
Wall-mounted adjustable body sprays let you direct water streams where you want. Position the sprays vertically at various heights to target the back, hips, and legs. Use an anti-scald mixing valve for safety.
Foot Massage Sprays
Include horizontal foot sprays at the base of your new shower to massage your soles and re-energize. Adjustable jets provide stimulating hydrotherapy for sore feet. They’re also beneficial for washing pets in your shower.
Install a handheld sprayer with an adjustable slide bar to use as a flexible body spray. The movable spray wand lets you target pressure points and soothe tired muscles. Choose a durable metal hose and spray head.
LED Shower Lighting
LED lighting adds a gorgeous ambiance to newly converted showers and makes them safer and more functional. Waterproof LED lights are energy-efficient and long-lasting design elements.
Recessed Ceiling Lights
Recessed LED can lights create ambient background lighting across the entire shower. The round lights install into the ceiling with just the flush lens exposed. Choose adjustable gimbal trim for directing light.
Rainfall Showerheads with Lights
Combine lighting effects with your rainfall showerhead. Showerheads with color LED lights create fun disco-like streams or chromotherapy mood lighting. Some models sync the lights with temperature.
LED Strip Lights
Liven up plain tile walls and shower pan edging with flexible waterproof LED tape lights. Choose color-changing LED strips to suit your mood. Install the slim lights behind clear silicone seals for pops of color.
Niche and Shelf Lighting
Illuminate your new built-in shower niches and shelves with miniature LED spotlights. The focused lights make finding bottles and accessories easy. Small LEDs fit inconspicuously inside niches.
Motion Sensor Night Lights
Add motion sensor night lights to provide soft illumination when using your new spa shower at night. The lights conveniently switch on when detecting movement in the dark.
Final Thoughts on Accessorizing Your Shower
The proper accessories can really take your new walk-in shower design to the next level. When selecting shower fixtures and accents, don’t just default to basic white utilitarian options. This is your chance to create a beautiful, luxurious shower space you’ll enjoy using every day. Spend time looking at trendy finishes like bronze, champagne, and matte black to update the look. Incorporating a bench, niches, sprays, and lighting transforms your shower into a rejuvenating retreat right at home. With some thoughtful choices, your new open shower can provide a stunning centerpiece to your bathroom remodel.
Frequently Asked Questions About Converting a Bathtub to a Shower:
Here are some common questions people have when planning to remove their tub and install a new walk-in shower:
How much does it cost to convert a tub to a shower?
On average, expect to pay $3,000-$8,000 to convert a bathtub to a walk-in shower. The cost depends on the size of the space, the materials used, and any necessary plumbing work. Luxury fixtures, tile, and accents can increase the price.
Can I install my own shower if I remove the tub?
While it’s possible for skilled DIYers to remove a tub and install a new shower, it’s a difficult project best left to professionals. The process involves plumbing changes, waterproofing, tiling, and installation skills.
How long does it take to replace a bathtub with a shower?
Converting a tub to a walk-in shower takes 2-5 days from start to finish. The demolition and installation of the new shower pan and plumbing usually takes 1-2 days. Finishing the walls, installing fixtures, and adding accents takes another 2-3 days.
Should I just remodel my tub or replace it completely?
If your current tub is still in good shape, you may opt to save costs by keeping it and converting it into a walk-in shower. This involves removing the front apron panel and installing new shower walls and a glass door.
Can I install a shower in a small bathroom?
Yes, with some creative planning you can install an open shower even in a half bath or small powder room. Options like corner neo-angle showers, narrow stalls, and glass doors conserve space. Limit fixtures and accessories to the essentials.
How do I waterproof my new shower during construction?
Waterproofing is a crucial step when replacing a tub with tile shower walls. Install a water barrier like RedGard or Kerdi on all surfaces, then apply tile over it. Leave proper slopes for drainage.
Converting your outdated tub into a fresh new walk-in shower can give your bathroom an amazing makeover. With so many options for stylish doors, luxe showerheads, rejuvenating body sprays, and modern shower benches and seats, you can create a spa-like ambiance. Incorporating convenient niches, shelves, and recessed lighting transforms the everyday shower into a relaxing oasis. Take time to choose fixtures and accents that reflect your unique style. With proper planning and professional installation, your new open shower can become the crowning jewel of your bathroom remodel.