I’d like to remove my bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower, but my home is on a concrete slab, and I’m worried it will be too expensive to tear up the concrete to move the drain. What should I do? -Lee
You have a couple of options when using the existing bathtub drain for a new shower on a concrete slab.
Option #1: Custom Shower Pan
One way to go about it would be to have a cultured marble shower pan custom made to fit the location of the existing tub drain. Many contractors who do this type of work may already have templates for a shower pan with the drain on one end.
Chances are, however, that your drain may not perfectly line up, and a custom pan will have to be created. It’s more expensive, but it removes any worry of having to trench out the concrete slab.
Option #2: Move Existing Drain
The second option is to buy a standard 60” wide shower pan with a center drain, and cut a trench through the concrete slab from the tub drain to it. Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to cut a trench in concrete slab if you have the right tools. I did this very project in my own home several years ago, and it took less than 15 minutes to break up the concrete using a jack hammer from a tool rental store.
You don’t have to tear up the entire bathroom slab, just create a 12” wide trench from the existing drain to the center of the shower area. Once done, it’s a simple matter to replumb the drain, then mix up some cement and fill the trench. You now have a slab with the drain in the right location for a new shower pan!
Good luck with your project,
- Repairing a Bathtub Drain (article)
- How to Clean Out a Tub Drain (video)
- How to Unclog a Tub Drain (video)