Do it Right – Remodeling Your Bathroom – Tub Conversion

If you are ready to give your bathroom a facelift there are many small caveats involved with the process that an experienced contractors know which many homeowners skip if doing on their own. This article is created for the homeowner; SJB Construction Inc. always recommends hiring a professional. In this specific example Steve is going to turn a tub into a shower. Keep in mind not all steps are included as the piece is meant for a more experienced homeowner or to offer “tricks of the trade” that most people would skip.

Step 1 – Preparation for Tub Conversion

Prep the room with masking off. You can use painter’s plastic – Home Depot sells Husky Brand 12×400 ft for about $25. Use 3M blue tape around doors and region to create a barrier that will trap 90% of dusk/debris inside demo area.

Step 2 – Best Demolition for Remodeling

This step is straightforward. Eye protection and dust masks are must. Keep any eye out for being too aggressive with plumb lines as they can be a big headache and costly if broken.

  • Remove Wall (Drywall, Tile, ect.) as complete as possible
  •  Use Jackhammer to make remove concrete for new drain (see )


• Typical Dimensions standard tubs are all 60” wide ( 5′ ) they vary slightly in depth, from 30” to typically 32’’; hence the shower will be typical of the existing footprint of the existing tub. Of course this can be modified if space is available

Step 3 – Extension of Drain – Once concrete is removed

2” Pipe 2” Drain 2” P-Trap – The new 2” drain pipe needs to have 1/4” per foot fall (from the center drain to the newly located santee fitting).

  • Santee aimed at drain – Center Drain to Center New Shower Value – More custom and aesthetic
  • Foam around ABS pipe in concrete prior to backfilling
  • Backfill with 3” of sand then 3” of concrete

Backing Needed – 2x12s “vertical” around perimeter – Roll up the wall to seal bottom of the shower pan. Now you are ready to create Dam for leading edge of the shower.

Drainage and all Plumbing for Shower should be installed and tested prior to moving on.

Step 4 – Create Dam to contain water flow

Backing Needed – 2x12s “vertical” around perimeter – Roll up the wall to seal bottom of the shower pan.
Now you are ready to create Dam for leading edge of the shower

  • 3 – 2x4s Douglas fir – 6” inches from edge to fasten. These will serve as the dam.

Step 5 – Hot mop for weather protection

  • Should have about 10″ Buildup around the edge.
  • Drywall will overlap 3/4″ the new hot mop this serves as weatherproofing.
  • After Hot mop is completed Plastic Cement will be floated on top.

Step 6 – Tile and Completion

Denshield is a tile backer

  • Do not use standard drywall as bathroom has high volume of moisture and you will not get this remodel passed through inspection.

What if I do not have a Level Surface?

  • Use plastic cement, typically sold in premixed bags at most of the tile supply centers. This will help float tile aesthetically. Set this and let dry 24 hours to start for best foundation.

Finally, Set the Tile and Grout!

Overall, make this a fun project and do not be afraid to hire an experienced general contractor. Such phases as the demolition, plumbing, hot mop ectera should definitely be contracted out if not comfortable. Keep in mind many steps of the process were neglected due to magnitude of project but this is just to give some secrets how to start or what to think about