Tub and Stall Shower Installation

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 20, 2016

Tub & shower stall

In a culture that’s on the move, filling a bathtub is often too time consuming and impractical to fit into a daily routine. While showers are a must have in newer construction, some older properties are sadly lacking in this department. Whether you’re looking for a separate stall, or just an addition to the existing tub, shower installation is a fantastic (and sometimes, quite necessary) improvement for many homes.

Shower Installation over an Existing Tub

Some older homes still have a bathroom equipped not with a shower and bathtub combination, but with an antique claw foot tub. These tubs are solidly built and nice to look at, but in many scenarios, simply take too long to fill and use.

Homeowners lucky enough to possess one of these vintage beauties should certainly take a look at claw foot tub shower kits. The kit will come complete with everything you need to add a fully functional shower to your tub, but won’t require a great deal of carpentry or plumbing knowledge. Basically, the work won’t be much more difficult than replacing a faucet and screwing a few supports into a ceiling. When it comes to shower installation, it doesn’t get much easier than that!

These kits are fairly affordable and not difficult to put up, plus you get to keep the antique tub and have the convenience of a shower at the same time. When the kit is completely installed, there will still be a lot of exposed pipe that, to some, might be undesirable. Hiding the pipes behind a wall, however, is a pretty involved process that will most likely need to be handled by a professional plumber.

Stall Shower Installation

In a place where space is limited, like in a half bathroom, a shower stall makes the most sense. Having an extra area in which to wash is not just convenient, but also adds value to the home. Many new constructions are placing both a bathtub and a stall shower in the master bathroom for added convenience and a modern look and feel.

Depending on the layout of the space you’re working with, however, putting in a shower stall could require some serious skills. Remodeling an existing shower stall is not that difficult of a process, but installing a new unit will require quite a bit of plumbing and carpentry. Even putting in a shower stall kit (available at many home improvement stores) will be a rather involved operation. Any DIY attempting this job should have at least some knowledge of laying pipe.

The Importance of a Shower Base

A good shower stall begins with a good shower base. In the case of the claw foot tub, the shower base is the tub itself. In a stall, the shower base is either built by hand (if making a traditional tile shower), or prefabricated stalls may come with a ready-made base. When water goes where it’s not supposed to, a number of bad things can happen. Mold growth, bug infestation, and even structural damage can all be caused by excess moisture. Homeowners attempting shower installation on their own need to take special care to make walls, and especially the base, water tight.

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