Have you ever thought about adding a shower to your jacuzzi tub? This can be a great way to upgrade your bathroom and make it more functional and enjoyable. In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about adding a shower to your existing jacuzzi tub.
Table of Contents
Why Add a Shower?
There are several reasons you may want to add a shower to your jacuzzi tub:
More Bathing Options
Adding a shower gives you more flexibility in how you bathe. Sometimes a quick shower is all you need, while other times a long soak in the tub is what you’re after. With both options, you can choose based on your mood and needs each day.
Taking a shower generally uses less water than filling up a jacuzzi tub. Having both options allows you to conserve water when a full tub isn’t necessary.
For families or those who prefer showers, adding this option can make the bathroom more functional and meet different needs. Kids may prefer showers, while adults enjoy a relaxing jacuzzi soak.
Increased Home Value
Upgrading to add a shower can increase your home’s value. Homebuyers may prefer the additional flexibility this provides.
Smaller Bathroom Solution
If you have a smaller bathroom, adding a shower can allow you to make the most of the existing space. The shower can utilize area above the tub.
How to Add a Shower to Your Jacuzzi Tub
If you’ve decided to add showering capabilities to your jacuzzi tub, here is an overview of how to tackle this project:
Choose the Shower Type
The first step is deciding what type of shower you want. Here are some of the most popular options:
- Handheld showerhead – This flexible option attaches to the tub faucet. You can easily detach it for standing showers.
- Shower rod and rain showerhead – Add a shower curtain rod and large rainfall showerhead above the tub. Pull the curtain closed for shower privacy.
- Corner shower kit – Kits allow you to add a standing shower in the corner of the tub area. Glass doors or curtains close it off.
- Full tub surround – Fully surround the tub with waterproof shower walls and tile. Add showerheads as desired.
Consider Plumbing Needs
Depending on your current tub plumbing, you may need to make some updates for the shower addition. Convertible tub filler faucets that allow switching between tub and shower modes are very helpful. Make sure your drain and water supply lines can handle shower use.
Waterproof the Surrounding Areas
Since the shower will introduce more water to the bathroom, waterproofing is a must. Surround shower areas with water resistant drywall and cement board. Use water barriers like RedGard or Kerdi on joints and seams.
Update the Fixtures
Swapping out your tub faucet for a convertible tub/shower fixture allows you to switch between modes. Install the showerheads and mixing valves. Make sure to get models rated for shower pressure.
Adjust or Install Plumbing
Depending on your setup, you may need to install new supply lines, adjust drain and vent locations, or add diverter valves to switch between the tub and shower.
Install Shower Walls
Surround the showering area with waterproof shower walls. Fiberglass surrounds work for alcoves, while tile, glass blocks, or cement boards are options for freestanding showers.
The floors need to withstand shower water exposure. Use sloped mortar beds topped with tile or waterproof vinyl flooring. Slope the floor towards the drain.
Things to Consider
There are a few things to keep in mind as you plan this project:
Consider the existing layout and available space. Measure to make sure there’s enough room for the shower option you choose. Corner units or small handheld showers work well in tight spaces.
Factor in costs for the shower unit, new plumbing, shower walls, waterproofing, and upgraded fixtures. Create a budget to guide your choices.
With more water exposure, keep up with caulking and grout to prevent mold. Clean shower walls and floors regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and soap.
Good ventilation is a must for moisture control. Add an exterior vent fan if there isn’t one. Also crack windows during shower use.
Hiring a Contractor
While a skilled DIYer can handle this project, many choose to hire a contractor experienced in shower installation and waterproofing. Get estimates.
Ready to Upgrade?
Adding shower capabilities to your jacuzzi tub can be a big project, but the benefits are certainly worthwhile. With the right prep work, planning, and installation, you can soon enjoy the best of both bathing worlds! Hopefully this overview gave you a good sense of what’s involved so you can decide if it’s the right upgrade for your home.
Tub to Shower Conversion vs. Adding a Shower
If you’re looking to add showering capabilities to your jacuzzi tub, you may be debating between a full tub to shower conversion or simply adding shower fixtures to your existing tub. Here’s an overview of the differences:
Tub to Shower Conversion
This involves fully removing the tub and converting the space into a dedicated shower area. Some key points:
- Removes the tub completely
- Requires moving plumbing and ventilation
- Shower base is installed where tub was
- Tiled shower walls are constructed
- More complex project
- Higher cost
- Baths no longer an option
Adding a Shower to Tub
This retains the tub but adds showering features like a showerhead and curtain rod. For example:
- Original tub remains in place
- Easier project
- Lower cost
- Handheld showerhead added to tub faucet
- Freestanding tub shower enclosure installed
- Tub bathing still possible
- Less reconstruction required
- A full tub to shower conversion gives you a dedicated shower, while adding a shower allows both tub and shower use.
- Converting is a larger project requiring tub removal and new shower base. Adding a shower is simpler.
- Tub to shower conversions provide more shower space, while add-on showers maximize existing footprint.
- Conversions cost significantly more due to labor and materials. Add-on showers use existing tub.
Freestanding Tub Shower Enclosure Options
If you want to add shower capabilities but keep your freestanding jacuzzi tub, a shower enclosure is a great option. Here are some top models to consider:
Frameless Glass Enclosures
These elegant enclosures use glass panels secured with minimal metal trim. They maintain visibility and feel spacious. Better for curbless showers. High-end look.
Framed Shower Doors
Framed glass doors utilize metal rails along the edges. Less expensive than frameless. Good for alcove showers. Can use hinges or sliding mechanisms. Classic style.
Shower curtains can be used for freestanding tubs. Look for heavy weight water-repellent fabrics. Install a curved shower rod to fully surround the tub. Very affordable option.
Multi-panel enclosures attach to walls around the tub. Hinged doors provide access. Panels are waterproof composite materials. Quick DIY install.
When choosing, consider glass thickness, hardware finish, handle style, and size. Measure carefully to get the right fit.
DIY Installation Tips
If you’re doing a DIY shower add-on, here are some tips for success:
- Use a heavy plastic painter’s drop cloth during demo and construction to protect floors and surfaces.
- Turn off water supply and drain pipes before beginning work.
- Carefully remove tub trim and faucets to access supply lines.
- Use pipe wrenches and Teflon tape to install diverter tub spout.
- Seal seams between surround and tub with silicone caulk.
- Check local codes for any requirements on enclosure installation.
- Install backerboard behind any new shower surround areas.
- Slope shower floor slightly towards drain to prevent water buildup.
- Take your time cutting holes for shower valves and heads.
- Apply waterproof RedGard sealant on all seams and joints.
- Have a helper hold glass panels steady while attaching.
Following guides and building codes will ensure your DIY shower add-on functions safely and looks great. Consider consulting a contractor if you lack experience.
Maintaining Your Jacuzzi Tub Shower
Once your new shower addition is installed, be sure to stay on top of maintenance:
- Test water pressure and drainage to ensure proper function
- Inspect caulk and grout sealants around enclosure and replace if needed
- Squeegee shower walls after use to prevent soap scum and mold buildup
- Use shower sprays or scrubs to remove any buildup or film
- Check for leaks and immediately address any issues
- Use bath caulks and sealants formulated to resist mold and mildew
- Open shower door and curtain after use to allow ventilation and drying
- Describe maintenance in detail
- Clean and disinfect entire tub and shower regularly
Stay vigilant and don’t neglect maintenance. Catching issues early prevents big problems down the road. With proper care, your shower upgrade can stay looking great.
Choosing Your Shower Fixtures
One of the most exciting parts of adding shower capabilities to your jacuzzi tub is selecting the fixtures. Here are some considerations as you choose:
- Rainfall, waterfall, or regular showerhead styles
- Consider height, angle, and adjustability
- Multiple showerheads can provide complete coverage
- Handheld showerheads add versatility
- Opt for water efficiency – 1.5 – 2 GPM flow rate
- Materials like metal, plastic, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze
- Allow positioning the water stream all over
- Great for washing or rinsing hair
- Often combined with rain showerhead
- Look for adjustable mount, flexible hose
- Metal, plastic, or combination materials
- All-in-one unit with showerhead, body sprays
- Controls allow adjusting flow and temperature
- Useful for open shower designs without walls
- Brushed nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze finishes
- Ensure compatibility with your water supply system
- Thermostatic valves control temperature precisely
- Pressure balance valves prevent hot/cold surges
- Choose durable brass or stainless steel construction
- Upgrade to digital controls or smart valves
- Install flush on shower walls to target the body
- Useful addition to rain showerheads
- Consider adjustable and pivot features
- Place 60-72 inches above tub floor for best spray angle
Take time to try different styles in person and read reviews. Quality fixtures can really take your shower experience to the next level.
Can I add a shower to any jacuzzi tub?
Most jacuzzi tubs can be retrofitted with shower capabilities, but very large or unusual shaped tubs may present challenges. Consult a contractor to assess your specific tub.
Do I need a special pump or motor for a tub shower combo?
If your jacuzzi has jets, the existing pump should be adequate for both jet and shower use. Just don’t run both at the same time.
How difficult is it to maintain a shower/tub combo?
You’ll need to stay vigilant with cleaning and sealing grout and caulk to prevent mildew in the humid environment. Expect to spend more time on bathroom cleaning.
Will my bathroom floor need to be sloped for drainage?
Yes, it’s important to slope the floor toward the existing tub drain to ensure proper shower drainage and prevent water buildup.
Is it better to do a tub-to-shower conversion?
If you only want showering capabilities, a full conversion may be best. But if you want the soaking option, adding to the tub preserves functionality.
Upgrading your relaxing jacuzzi tub with the convenience of a shower is a great way to enhance your bathing options and bathroom functionality. With strategic planning and careful installation, you can successfully integrate showering into your existing tub space. Factor in layout, budget, features, and maintenance requirements. With the right approach, you’ll be able to enjoy both a soothing dip in your tub and an invigorating shower depending on your mood. Adding this type of flexibility provides the best of both worlds!