Replacing tub with shower "HELP"

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Jim01, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Jim01

    Jim01 New Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    I'm about to go postal with this project and before I kill everyone at home depot and Lowes please help me!!!

    I bought a shower unit to replace a tub in my parents house. The unit is 60" x 34" and fits right where the old tub was. The new unit is the length of the old tub but has a molded seat on each end and the drain is in the middle of the tub. There is no out side wall just a lip about 3" high. I call it a tub but every one else calls it a shower anyway, I caped off the old tub spout and extended the original drain to reach the drain hole in the new shower. The drain that I have to go in the hole of the new shower is 3" on top and 2 on the shaft. Do you see what i'm trying to do? I thought I could just go into the original drain plubing under the house but nothing works. Do I need to replace all the plumbing under the house with a shower only drain system? If so where do I get the material? and what do I need to do if you can possible explain? After two hours at Lowes last night where I bought the unit and trying to explain to them all I left with was a headache and a employee telling me I couldnt do what I was wanting to do because I had to install this unit where a shower only was before. I said then this unit can not be sold for a remodel project Right? he says no as long as the remodel was where a shower was before. "HELP ME PLEASE"

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A couple of things...a tub usually has a 1.5" drain, a shower requires a 2" drain line. So, you may have to tear out stuff up to where the drain is at least 2" to ensure it works (drains) properly. The actual piece in the tub/shower may be significantly bigger in diameter, but will generally be designed to fit on their respective sized drain lines. That part normally comes with the shower, but is usually separate on a tub. Sometimes, it is optional on the shower too, to give you the choice of chrome, bronze, brass, etc...and is packed separately and sometimes priced separately as well. While taking a little longer to drain a tub isn't a big deal, standing in water in a shower can be. You may have trouble with the slope, too, since you have another 2' or so (1/4"/foot or 1/2") to move the drain vertically.

    The lip on the side of the system is to allow you to either use the optional(?) wall assemblies or to add tile and still maintain a waterproof seal. If you want to tile the walls, you would need to (ideally) shim out the studs so that that lip is flush, or notch around the studs to allow the assembly to sit flush in the notch. If using their wall assemblies, they probably have the bottom flared to accomodate the lip, and thus you don't notch or shim. It's just that tile looks funky if you flare it out at the bottom. Then you put a water vapor barrier on the walls down over the lip, then cement backer unit (cbu) on the walls to about 1/4" from the bottom of the lip, then tile the walls.

    Now, this didn't address all of your concerns, but almost anything can be done, it sometimes just is harder than you thought. One of the pros will maybe give some guidance. If you can take a picture and post it here, it may make it clearer what you have and what needs to be done.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
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  4. Cal

    Cal New Member

    May 10, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Loved the "Postal" thing !! The home centers are really going down hill .

    O.K. First thing,,,the unit you bought should work fine . Of course it is hard to advise without seeing. You need to run the pipe over to the new drain center.Transition (somehow) to a 2" trap . There is a drain piece that you probably had to buy and tighten on to the new drain pan (tub) . Bring the 2" pipe up into that piece approx. 1.5" Slide the black sealing rubber piece around the pipe . At this point it is either done or you have to tighten a ring around the pipe,,,,I just don't know what all pieces you have picked up.

    TRY TO MAKE SURE YOUR PAN IS LEVEL !!! that is very important for future steps !
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    One point made that I'd stress is that since the drain size for a shower is 2" and the tub was 1-1/2", you will have to change the drain to 2" all the way to where you can join another 2" drain or a larger one. Do not reduce the new 2" to join an old 1-1/2" is what I'm trying to point out.
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