Learning Center

Learning Center » Baths

Convert Your Clawfoot Tub to a Shower: A Complete Guide

Converting your clawfoot tub to a shower

Why convert your clawfoot tub to a shower?

Clawfoot tubs are often vintage treasures worth thousands of dollars, so replacing a cherished piece with a shower is like removing a Bentley to make room for a Fiat Uno. That doesn’t mean you can’t accommodate your showering preference, though. A shower/tub combo will let you keep drawing joy and returns from your investment.

The benefits of converting a clawfoot tub to a shower

A clawfoot conversion is one of the most affordable bathroom renovations you can execute. You needn’t haul out your tools and replumb your bathroom. You can simply attach your shower fittings to your tub faucets will an affordable conversion kit. Other benefits include:

  • Enhanced functionality and convenience: You’ll retain your vintage character while still enjoying a morning shower.
  • Increased accessibility for all family members: Disabled residents and those with chronic conditions that carry a drowning risk can bathe with a hand shower instead of a tub.
  • Extra space: A tub/shower combo will save you a minimum of 30 square feet of floor space.

Considerations before a conversion

To perform a clawfoot tub/shower conversion, your tub, plumbing, and flooring need to accommodate your goals. Don’t worry. We’ll get you there in three easy steps:

1. Assess the condition of your clawfoot tub

Clawfoot tubs are the geriatrics of the bathroom world, so your tub might be looking worn. Before you perform your conversion, check the feet to see if you need a new retrofit. Look for yellow stains to ascertain whether the surface needs to be refinished. Many older tubs were made of porcelain-coated cast iron, so check for metal exposure, especially under the tub.

2. Determine if your plumbing system can support a shower

Open the wet wall and make sure your plumbing is up to code. Showers require a two-inch drain line, but you can use a reducer bushing or gasket to connect mismatched pipes. Trap adaptors are an alternative that allows for a threaded connection.

3. Budget for the conversion project

A simple tub spout with a converter could set you back anywhere between $600 for a basic kit and $5,000 for a spa-style conversion. It’s never that simple of course, so don’t forget to add resurfacing, putty, and a drain pipe to your budget. Not all kits provide them.

Step-by-Step Conversion Process

  • Remove the existing tub fixtures: Break the connections at the back of your tub and loosen the lock nuts with a crescent wrench to prevent damage.
  • Prepare the tub surface for shower installation: A thorough clean and air dry will remove oil and dirt. Rubbing alcohol will address silicon or oil-based residues, allowing you to achieve an airtight fit.
  • Install the showerhead, faucet, and drain: Your diverter connection will fit directly into your faucet assembly. Use putty to form an airtight seal. Now connect the pipes via your lock nuts and clear away excess putty before tightening your compression nuts.
  • Assemble and connect your riser: This equipment will connect to both the tub and wall for extra stability. Use a level to make sure your threaded pipe is plumb with the ground. Now put your two or three-inch drain pipe in position and cut it to fit. Then place it with thread tape or paste.

No shower will ever achieve the luxurious antique aesthetic of a clawfoot tub. If you’ve carefully protected your home’s vintage character, a tub/shower combo will retain your charming ambiance. A long, bubbly bath is the perfect way to melt away the anxieties of the day, so don’t be too quick to remove vintage fixtures.

Need help with a bathtub or shower replacement? Contact 1-800-HANSONS for a free estimate.

Related Articles:
Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Shower
Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Bathtub

Get a Free Estimate Today

50% off installation. Special financing available. See details.

Get My Free Estimate

Enter today for a chance to win a $50,000 home exterior makeover!

Enter Now

50% off installation. Special financing available.

Labor Only. Roofing and siding priced by the square. Not combinable with other offers/promotions. Offer may be withdrawn without notice. Prior sales excluded. Must purchase by 7/7/24 to qualify for special offer. Lifetime Guarantee is for roofing, siding, windows and gutters. Bathtubs and showers offer a no-leak guarantee. Other restrictions may apply.

Interest is billed during promo period but will be waived if the amount financed is paid in full before promo period expires. *Plan 2521. Subject to credit approval. Rates range from 15.85% – 21.19% APR (interest rates range from 17.99% – 24.99%). Loan amount and rate will vary based on your income and creditworthiness. 12 month promotional period (“Promo Period”) during which interest is billed but will be waived if the amount financed is paid in full before Promo Period expires. Monthly payments are not required during the Promo Period. Any unpaid balance and amounts owed after Promo Period will be paid over 84 monthly payments. For example, assuming the full credit limit is used on loan approval date and no payments are made during Promo Period, for every $1,000 financed at a fixed interest rate of 24.99%, 12 monthly payments of $0 followed by 84 monthly payments of $28.29. This example is an estimate only. Actual payment amounts based on amount and timing of purchases. Call 866-936-0602 for financing costs and terms. Loans for the GreenSky® consumer loan program are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC, NMLS #408043, without regard to age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or familial status. GreenSky Servicing, LLC services the loans on behalf of your lender, NMLS #1416362. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. GreenSky® is a registered trademark of GreenSky, LLC and is licensed to banks and other financial institutions for their use in connection with that consumer loan program. GreenSky Servicing, LLC is a financial technology company that manages the GreenSky® consumer loan program by providing origination and servicing support to banks and other financial institutions that make or hold program loans. GreenSky, LLC and GreenSky Servicing, LLC are not lenders. All credit decisions and loan terms are determined by program lenders.