Factors That Affect the Cost of Replacing Bath with Shower

Bathroom Remodel
Written by: Emily Simmons
September 19, 2023

When it comes to home renovation, one of the most common projects is updating the bathroom. Many homeowners are now considering the cost of replacing baths with a shower, thanks to the rising popularity of spacious and modern showers. Not only do they save space, but they also offer a contemporary look and feel. But how much does this kind of renovation cost?

Average Cost of Replacing a Bath with a Shower

The average cost of replacing a bath with a shower ranges from $2,000 to $7,500, depending on various factors. This can include the type of shower, materials chosen, labor costs, and any additional features you may desire.

Types of Showers

When considering the cost of replacing a bath with a shower, exploring the different types of showers is essential. Each type of shower has unique features and associated costs, which can impact your overall budget.

Walk-In Showers

Walk-in showers are renowned for their barrier-free design, which means there’s no need to step over a bathtub or threshold. They offer:

  • Easy Access: Perfect for people of all ages, especially for those with mobility challenges.

  • Customization: Can be tailored to any design preference, from size to fixtures.

  • Price: Generally, walk-in showers cost between $2,500 to $5,000, but the price can go up with high-end materials and additional features.

Steam Showers

Steam showers take your bathing experience to the next level, offering therapeutic steam at the push of a button. They come with:

  • Health Benefits: Steam improves circulation, alleviates respiratory issues, and relaxes sore muscles.

  • Luxury Feel: They often feature seating, adjustable settings, and multiple showerheads.

  • Price: Installing a steam shower can be quite an investment, typically ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the size and features.

Tiled Showers

A popular choice among homeowners, tiled showers allow for immense customization. They offer:

  • Design Flexibility: Tiles come in many styles and patterns, from ceramic to porcelain to natural stone.

  • Durability: When installed correctly, tiles can last for decades without significant wear.

  • Price: Depending on the type and quality of the tile selected, the cost of a tiled shower can range from $2,000 to $8,000. High-end materials like natural stone can push costs towards the higher end.

Other Types of Showers

The world of showers doesn’t end here. There are a few more options to consider:

  • Prefabricated Showers: These are pre-made shower units, often made of acrylic or fiberglass. They’re easier and faster to install than custom showers. Price: Typically, they range from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on size and features.

  • Rainfall Showers: These showers mimic the feeling of standing under a gentle rain, with water falling directly from above. Price: A standard rainfall shower system can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000, based on the brand and additional features.

  • Body Spray Showers: For a full-body experience, these showers incorporate multiple jets positioned at various heights. Price: The cost varies greatly based on the number of jets and the complexity of installation, but prices generally start at around $3,000 and can go up to $7,000 or more.

Factors Impacting Cost

Replacing a bath with a shower isn’t just about the upfront expenses of the shower unit; there are several variables that can significantly alter the final cost. Understanding these factors will help you budget appropriately and make informed decisions during your renovation.

Size of the Room and Type of Shower

The sheer size of your bathroom and the shower you choose is pivotal in determining cost.

  • Space Alterations: In larger bathrooms, you might want to reconfigure space, which can add to the cost. Conversely, smaller spaces might require creative solutions to make everything fit, which can also come at a premium.

  • Shower Design Complexity: A shower with multiple compartments, niches, or a unique layout will likely be pricier. Moreover, intricate designs might need specialized labor, adding to the cost.

Labor Costs for Installation and Conversion Projects

Labor costs can be a significant portion of your budget, especially if complications arise.

  • Specialized Labor: Some projects require specific skills, such as electrical work for lighted showers or plumbing rerouting. Specialists usually charge more than general laborers.

  • Duration of the Project: Longer projects mean more days of labor, driving up the cost. Complex conversions or unforeseen challenges can extend the timeline.

Additional Materials Costs (Tiles, Natural Stone, etc.)

The choice of material can drastically influence your shower’s look, feel, and cost.

  • Tile Diversity: Tiles come in various types—ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone. Each has its price range, with natural stone like marble and granite being on the higher end.

  • Underlayment and Backing: These are necessary for moisture prevention and structural support. They aren’t visually prominent but can add to the cost, especially if you choose a waterproofing membrane or cement backer board.

Any Additional Features (Shower Heads, Flooring, etc.)

Customization can elevate your shower experience, but it often comes with a higher price tag.

  • High-Tech Features: Digital controls, steam functions, or built-in speakers can modernize your shower but also increase costs.

  • Aesthetic Touches: Glass doors, chrome or gold fixtures, and specialized lighting can enhance the look but add to the expense.

  • Functional Add-ons: Features like non-slip flooring, grab bars, or built-in shelves enhance safety and convenience but come at an added cost.

Budgeting for Your Project

Undertaking a renovation project, such as replacing a bath with a shower, is not just about picking the right designs; it’s also about making informed financial decisions. Proper budgeting ensures you can achieve your dream bathroom without any financial strain.

Calculating Square Footage for the Room or Space Needed for the Conversion/Installation

Understanding the size of your project is fundamental to estimating costs:

  • Measuring the Space: To get a precise figure, measure the length and width of the area where the shower will be installed and multiply these two numbers. This will give you the total square footage.

  • Factor in Additional Spaces: Don’t forget about spaces like niches, benches, or extra wall height. These could add to the square footage, impacting material and labor costs.

  • Get Multiple Quotes: Obtain quotes from different contractors or stores once you have the measurements. This helps in comparison and ensures you get a market-related price.

Estimating the Price Range Depending on Type of Material Used for Tiles/Natural Stone/Etc.

Your choice of materials can either inflate or reduce your renovation costs:

  • Research Material Costs: Different materials come at different price points. For instance, ceramic tiles are usually less expensive than marble or granite. Educate yourself about these prices per square foot to make an informed decision.

  • Consider Alternatives: Today’s market is flooded with high-quality alternatives that mimic the look of more expensive materials. For instance, luxury vinyl tiles can offer the appearance of wood or stone without the associated cost and maintenance.

  • Factor in Maintenance: Some materials, though cheaper upfront, may require more frequent maintenance or replacement. Considering long-term costs can influence your material choice.

  • Utilize Sales and Discounts: Seasonal sales, clearance offers, or bulk-buy discounts can help you secure high-quality materials at a fraction of the original price. Plan your project timing strategically, or be on the lookout for these deals.


Is it cheaper to replace a bath with a shower?

Typically, the cost varies based on your choices. Sometimes, it can be cost-effective, especially if you opt for a basic setup.

How long does the conversion process take?

On average, replacing a bath with a shower can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the project’s complexity.

What maintenance is involved after installing a new shower?

Maintenance largely depends on the type of shower and materials used. Generally, showers require regular cleaning to prevent mold and mildew. Tiled showers might need resealing every couple of years, and moving parts like showerheads or valves might need occasional replacement or repair.

Can I do a DIY replacement of my bath with a shower to save on costs?

While DIY can save on labor costs, it’s essential to have a good understanding of plumbing, tiling, and potential issues that might arise. Mistakes can end up costing more in the long run. It’s always recommended to consult with a professional, even if you’re considering a DIY approach.

Does replacing a bath with a shower increase my home’s value?

In many cases, modern showers are seen as a valuable addition, especially in urban areas where space is at a premium. However, some potential buyers may still prefer a home with at least one bathtub, especially those with young children. It’s a good idea to gauge the preferences in your local real estate market.


Understanding the cost of replacing bath with a shower is vital for any homeowner considering a bathroom renovation. By being aware of the factors that impact the cost and the different types of showers available, you can make an informed decision that fits both your home and budget.

Ready to transform your bathroom into a serene oasis? Dive into our comprehensive guide on bathroom remodeling and take the first step toward your dream space today!

Bathroom Remodeling & Installation

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