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Thread: Converting tile shower to bathtub

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    Default Converting tile shower to bathtub

    We have an approx 30x60" tile shower with the pan recessed into the slab foundation a couple of inches and no liner. I have learned this is a pretty common installation here in Florida. Anyway, would it be possible to demolish the shower curb, move the drain from center to right or left, fill the recess in the slab, then install a regular bathtub in the space? If it is possible, what would something like this cost? I mean not exact, but $500?, $5000?, I have no idea! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It's doable.
    I would guess $3000 to $5000
    I would go with someone that does tub/showers

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Materials to prep this are fairly inexpensive. Tearing up concrete is labor intensive, time is expensive. If you can do this yourself, you could save a bunch.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your replies. I guess I am now considering attempting this myself - a few thousand $$ is way over budget! The drain pipe is PVC, which I have worked with before replacing a water heater. So would the process be to break the shower pan where needed, cut the metal shower drain off the existing PVC, then glue some 90-degree elbows and a short lengths of pipe to get the drain stubbed out under the future tub drain location, then bury the whole assembly in concrete? Is the current trap for the shower okay for the tub too?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    So would the process be to break the shower pan where needed, cut the metal shower drain off the existing PVC, then glue some 90-degree elbows and a short lengths of pipe to get the drain stubbed out under the future tub drain location, then bury the whole assembly in concrete? Is the current trap for the shower okay for the tub too?

    NO, NO, No. Doing that would give you the WORST drain possible. Save money and do the tiling yourself, but get a plumber to install the tub. You have absoluately no idea how to do the piping, and when it comes to setting the drain assembly on the tub and then getting it connected to the underfloor piping it takes previous experience to do it.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You won't know what is needed specifically in layout until you can open up things and see which way the pipes run and where the vent is (if there is one, if not, it must be added). But, breaking enough of the concrete out to expose the pipes would save a lot of the cash outlay. It can be tricky getting things hooked up and experience is worth paying for.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    This may be a big job. A tub normally sits right up against the studs, which meand you have to do some demo on the tile. Might just need to take down the walls completely and start over.

    All this work does not involve a lot of material expense...under $1000 including the tub and tile. But there is a lot of labor expense, unless you do it yourself. That's where we come in!

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    DIY Junior Member the-ex-plumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cable_w View Post
    Thanks for your replies. I guess I am now considering attempting this myself - a few thousand $$ is way over budget! The drain pipe is PVC, which I have worked with before replacing a water heater. So would the process be to break the shower pan where needed, cut the metal shower drain off the existing PVC, then glue some 90-degree elbows and a short lengths of pipe to get the drain stubbed out under the future tub drain location, then bury the whole assembly in concrete? Is the current trap for the shower okay for the tub too?
    How did you do your water heater with PVC pipes I don't know ... Being in South Florida where code enforcement does not exist, I have seen plumbing absurdity all over the place .. This is an old thread, but it got my attention from Google.
    For those who would like to know: It is a lot of time and labor saving if instead of breaking the concrete all along the floor, just cut a whole into the drywall on either side of your shower pan/bath room. If you look at your roof, you might be able to locate on which side is your vent. This side has your drain as well and there is the place you should "dig" . Dig a whole into the concrete ~1'x1', find the existing S-trap and then re-plumb it for Bath tub application. Bat tub drain gets worked from behind after you position the tub and secure it to the wall studs. Putting or replacing a bath tub involves braking the existing tiles at least the first row above the tub. This job is considered advanced level even for experienced plumbers, so I strongly recommend do not DIY it ..

    Regards.

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