Creating a Tub Shower Combo | Ep. 156

Tub with showerhead
Creating a tub-shower combo requires some plumbing skills but is possible to do yourself.

Converting your regular bathtub into a tub shower combo is easier than you may think.

You’ll need to make the waterline vertical so it can supply water to a showerhead. You’ll also need to install a diverter valve on the waterspout in the tub.

But first, shut off your water so you don’t flood your bathroom.

For a simple installation, some people choose to leave the pipe exposed outside the wall. If you want to keep your pipe hidden, you’ll need to open the wall up and run the pipe inside.

The difficulty of resurfacing the wall after you’ve installed the pipe depends on the material. Tiled walls are easier to retile after you open up the wall. Stone surfaces require more work to put back into place.

If your tub has a toilet alcove or a linen closet behind the piping, open the wall up on that side instead of on the tub side.

After you’ve diverted your pipe and patched up your wall, install the showerhead in your new shower tub combo.

If you’re not comfortable with your DIY plumbing skills, call a plumber. Any professional plumber can do this easily in a day.

Skip to [17:36] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also in this episode:


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Simple Solutions

Nylon String Pipe Cutter — As improbable as it sounds, you can cut PVC pipe with nothing more than a length of nylon mason’s line.

Here’s how:

  • First, tie a wooden stick to each end of the line to create two handles.
  • Loop the line under the pipe and pull up on the handles so the line is tight against the underside of the pipe.
  • Now, pull up on the handles with alternating hands to “saw” through the pipe.

This works because friction caused by the nylon line against the pipe actually melts the plastic. It’s important to keep the line moving at all times, otherwise, the melted plastic will harden, trapping the line.  

Wall Protector — Installing casings around a window or door often requires drilling pilot holes into the miter joints prior to driving in the finishing nails. However, because of the close proximity to the wall, the spinning drill chuck can easily mar the wall. Prevent this by holding a thin sheet of cardboard against the wall. And leave the cardboard in place when nailing to protect the wall from the hammerhead.


Question of the Week

Q: My wife would like to change two standard doorway openings into curved archways. I’m pretty handy, but I don’t have any idea how to even start. Must I cut out the existing wall frame, and how can I create the curve along the top of the doorway opening?

A: Cutting an arch above a doorway requires some sophisticated carpentry skills plus drywall patching. If you want to do this yourself, prefabricated kits are available through CurveMakers.com. There are plenty of designs and styles to choose from, and kits come with all the pieces you need to create your archway.


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