If your daily schedule prevents you from luxuriating in long baths, you might want to replace your tub with a walk-in shower. If you have an eco-conscious or sustainable lifestyle, the latter is also the better option—a five-minute shower uses up approximately half the amount of water an adult uses in a full bath. Before you greenlight that installation, though, here are things you should consider.
Is Your Bathroom up to Code?
You need 30 inches of free space for moving between fixtures. Your bathroom remodel contractor should ensure that you have enough space between your shower, sink, and toilet. If you live with a person with disabilities, the shower area must also comply with the standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the ADA, walk-in showers need a minimum of 36 by 36 inches of space. Ideally, it should also have an attached bench to one side to keep the bathroom accessible.
How Much Have You Budgeted?
If your budget is a little tight, you can get a prefabricated shower kit—these cost approximately $800 to $2,500, depending on the specifications, measurements, and overall quality of the brand. Besides the shower itself, consider the costs of installing the doors and shower pan. This setup will cost an additional $750 to $2,500, depending on your home’s layout and plumbing requirements.
Customizing your shower is another option. When you go for a customized shower, your contractors will manually shape the shower pan from concrete, coat it with a waterproof membrane to protect it from water damage, and install the tiles. You will have to consider specialized plumbing, especially if you want to add nozzles that aim at different directions. The project specs and your chosen materials could add up to a total bill of at least $6,500 to $15,000.
Do You Know What to Expect?
Your bathroom remodel contractor is a professional, so he or she will try to keep the entire process as quick and convenient as possible. However, since you’re changing part of your home’s structure, expect to have to wait a while.
While each remodeling job is different, you can count on some constants. First, the contractors will demolish and throw away your old wallboard and bathtub. Then, they will add new wall framing, especially if you’re changing your bathroom’s configuration for the shower.
Installing water lines and other mechanical changes comes next. The contractors have to position these, so it aligns with the drain. If your design requires an overhead shower light, you will also need an electrician.
Afterward, they will install the wallboards and shower pan. The time it takes for them to do this will vary depending on whether you have a prefabricated or a customized pan. Prefab pans are quicker to install—customized ones need manual molding.
The workers will then add fixtures, showerheads, nozzles, faucet handles, and the drain cover. After these, they have to add the wall panels or other glass fixtures. This step goes last because glass is especially prone to chipping or cracking.
How to Care for a Walk-in Shower
After your walk-in shower installation, you need to know how you can properly care for it so you can enjoy your bathroom for a long time. Here are some tips for shower maintenance:
- Shower caddies with openings in the bottom can help keep your shower looking clean. If you keep your bath supplies on the floor, it will leave marks and residue on your tiles.
- Using an exhaust fan can help remove humidity and moisture in your shower area. It is vital to do this because excess water contributes to the growth of mold.
- You can also use a squeegee to remove the moisture from the walls.
- Every day, lightly spray on the walls after every shower. Doing this breaks down soap residue and prevents scum and hard water marks from forming on the walls.
- Once a week, spray the shower area with a multi-purpose cleaner. Also, use a nylon brush to clean the grout and spray the glass walls with glass cleaner.
- Grout needs bi-annual resealing for maximum protection against mold and mildew.
If you’re considering replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower, you need to keep several things in mind. A walk-in shower installation needs careful planning and budgeting. You also have to consider the maintenance you need to do afterward!
For bathroom remodels in Corte Madera, CA, get in touch with Miconi. Our remodeling specialists use the latest tools and technology to help you build your dream home, one tile at a time. Contact us today to get started!