August 1, 2023

Ensuring Proper Drainage in Your New Shower: A Key Aspect of Tub-to-Shower Conversions

Proper drainage is absolutely critical when converting a bathtub to a shower. Without it, water can accumulate, leading to a multitude of problems such as mold growth, water damage to the shower floor and shower walls, and even structural issues over time. Additionally, poor drainage can make your shower experience less comfortable and can cause slipping hazards. Therefore, when undertaking a tub to shower conversion, it’s essential to ensure that your shower drain is properly installed and functioning efficiently. This not only safeguards your home but also enhances your showering experience.

Converting tub drain to shower drain involves a series of steps:

Remove the Old Drain Pipe

The initial stage is to remove the existing drain pipe from your bathtub. This task can be accomplished by detaching the drain cover, the overflow drain cover, and the faucet knobs.

Once the existing tub has been taken out, the only elements left should be a trap and drain line. These elements will likely need to be either removed or adjusted to fit the new shower configuration.

Accessing the drain plumbing can usually be achieved by cutting through the plywood subfloor.

Modify the Concrete Around the Drain

After removing the old drain pipe, you will be left with a hole where the old drain used to be. The next step is to modify the concrete around the drain, which involves enlarging the hole if necessary to accommodate the new shower drain.

When undertaking conversions on a concrete slab foundation, it may be necessary to slice into the concrete in order to modify or substitute the current plumbing system. This facilitates the incorporation of a larger drain that is usually necessary for showers.

In some cases, the existing drain may be 1-1/2″ and needs to be converted to the code-required 2″ drain for a shower. This would require modifying the concrete slab to allow for the larger size.

Use Suitable Fittings

After modifying the concrete, new fittings must be suitable for the new shower drain. This step ensures that the new drain fits perfectly and doesn’t cause any leaks.

An important factor to take into account is the size of the drainpipe’s diameter. For a proper tub to shower conversion, a 2-inch or larger diameter pipe is typically needed. This is because showers tend to drain water faster than tubs, and a larger pipe will ensure that the water drains effectively.

Depending on your existing plumbing setup, you might need to make some adjustments. For instance, if you have two faucet handles (hot & cold) in your tub, you might need to convert them into one shower faucet handle.

You may also have to replace the existing mixing valve with a new one that includes a diverter to switch the water flow from the showerhead to a handheld shower or body sprays, if you choose to install them.

A shower pan may also need to be suitable for the new space. It serves as the floor of your shower area and is designed to funnel water towards the drain. The shower pan is sloped towards the drain, which assists in averting the accumulation of water on the shower floor. This is particularly important in a shower, where water flows freely compared to a tub setup.

Attach a Conversion Piece if Needed

Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to affix a converter to fit the new shower drain. Attaching a conversion piece in a tub to shower conversion involves connecting the new drain assembly to the existing plumbing. This procedure is frequently required when the existing drain pipe isn’t compatible with the new shower drain.

This typically involves applying plumber’s tape to the threads of the pipe and then screwing the conversion piece into place.

Choose Eight Hour Shower for your tub to shower conversion

If you’re not comfortable doing this kind of work yourself, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional plumber.

Eight Hour Shower is a company with proven expertise and efficiency in turning your old bathtub into a new shower. Our skilled team can handle all aspects of the conversion process, including any necessary modifications to the drainage system to ensure optimal functionality and meet local plumbing codes.

By entrusting your bathroom remodel to us, you can enjoy a seamless and efficient transformation of your space. Contact us today for a free consultation.