There are several ways to change a shower to a tub depending on the amount of time you would like to invest in the project and how much remodeling you would like to do. Read on to learn how to change a shower into a tub.
Measure the shower area. There are two routes that can be taken. Either doing a complete demo of the existing shower area and install a new tub area or adding to the existing shower area to build it up to operate as a tub. Depending on the budget allowed, time allotted, and the area that you are working with will determine which route you choose to take.
The standard size for a tub is 60 length x 30 width x 14 height. If the current shower area is not big enough for the standard size, the next decision would be whether a full demolition would be appropriate and change the walls surrounding the area to accommodate the correct size, or if you would like to do a smaller than standard size tub. A standard shower only is normally 48 length x 34 width.
If you decide to stay with the shower already in place at the size it is currently at and add to it to make it become a shower, then the next step is to build a wall to close in the shower for the tub wall. If the current shower is tiled, then try to find the same tile to match. If the current shower is a panel system wall surround, then the tile added for the tub wall can be selected as desired to go with the current bath decor.
To build the wall for the tub, use the 2 x 4 wood pieces and cut a frame rectangle out with inside support boards positioned every 8 to 10 inches apart. Nail or screw the frame together and place in front of the existing shower. Next anchor frame onto the existing floor and walls using long screws, drill through the wood frame and into the wall and floor.
Next attach the concrete backer board using the concrete appropriate screws into the wood frame.
Next will begin tiling the new tub wall. Apply the tile adhesive with the trowel at a 45 degree angle and about 1/16 inch thick. work in small areas at a time so it does not dry too quickly. Place the first tile onto the adhesive. Then use the spacers between it and the next tile. Continue applying the adhesive, then the tiles until you get to the end of the row. If it does not fit exactly, use the tile cutter to cut the tile to the correct size and then place the last tile of the row into place.
For the top of the wall, bullnose tile pieces are needed to have a smooth edge. These are applied the same as the other tiles, with the adhesive first and then the tile, and continue down the row.
Next, grout the tile. You can either get dry mix grout and mix it according to the instructions, or buy premixed grout. Grout can irritate your skin and eyes, so you can choose to wear gloves and goggles. Once the grout is mixed, use a rubber float at a 45 degree angle and spread across the tiles into the grooves. Once has set, use a sponge to wipe away excess from the tile.
Once the grout has set and the tile has been cleaned, apply a line of flexible water-soluble caulking along the edge where the tile meets the shower edge and the walls.
After a couple days to a week, use the grout sealer on the grout lines.
The other option was to do a complete demolition and put in new fixtures. If the shower area was already big enough, just not the tub style, then the old tile or shower walls can be removed using a jack hammer to break up the tile or a crowbar for the wall surround systems. Clean up the area, and then prepare for setting up new tub and shower.
If the shower area was not big enough, then a new wall may need to be built after demolition. The framing would be done just like the tub wall, just on a bigger scale, and then would have drywall applied, before moving onto the shower install and set up.
Once the demolition and new area is ready for the tub install, then the next decision would be whether you want to buy a new tub and then tile the walls or do a shower wall install, or you want to tile the entire project. For the bought tub and shower wall installs, the instructions will need to be consulted for which adhesive will be needed to install them. Once installed, still use the caulking to seal where all areas meet on the wall and where the shower meets the tub.
If you decide to tile the entire project, the same instructions can still be used from above, just keep in mind, more cut outs will be needed in the tile for the fixtures.