Tub to Shower Conversions with Linear Drains

Thinking of renovating a bathroom? Switching out an old tub for a new, sparkling shower? Great, we are here to help! Often the vision and expectation of renovation(s) ignores the realistic parameters – primarily, space and money. Linear drains can help with both issues at hand by creating a beautiful, luxurious shower that does not require an exorbitant amount of money. We might even be able to save you money as well. How? Well… linear drains do not require that the plumbing be moved from where it currently sits below the existing tub. Moving and re-routing plumbing can add significant costs to any renovation. With a linear drain the flanged floor drain can stay right where it is. Great news for your budget. Also, great news for your contractor.

Photo Courtesy of RC Contractors

If you are still a little confused and thinking, well why can’t we just use a normal round strainer drain from our local hardware store and still not move the plumbing? The round drain requires a four-way pitch of the shower floor. If you think about how much space is between the drain in the tub and the back wall of the tub – it is minimal. How would it be possible to properly pitch the shower floor towards the drain without increasing the footprint of the shower area? Well, technically, it is possible, albeit difficult. This also significantly limits tile selections. There’s absolutely no way any larger format tiles will work if you want to keep the plumbing where it is and use a small round drain. So, toss those tile dreams out the window! Proper drainage might also be compromised, and no one wants icky standing shower water. Which, again, brings us back to the most practical solution – a linear drain! The mortar bed for the shower only requires a simple, slight pitch towards the linear drain. By using a linear drain, the plumbing can stay exactly where it was with the tub [cost savings!] and the footprint of shower area does not need to be expanded from the space the tub was formerly occupying [more cost savings!]. Tile selection is not limited AND linear drains elevate the overall design of the shower. Goodbye tub, hello new spa-like shower!

Before you start demoing your tub, be sure to check with local plumbing codes to ensure compliance. Most showers require a space of 30 inches x 30 inches and 80 inches in height. Removing a tub will typically leave a footprint of about 30-35 inches in width and 60 inches in length.

We would also like to note that converting a tub to a shower has more benefits than just aesthetics. Eliminating the tub can create a safer bathing area with a small curb or no curb at all. All LUXE Linear Drains are ADA compliant, so if bathing safety, aging-in-place or universal design are desired, it can be easily achieved during renovation. 

LUXE standard size linear drains are available in 26”, 30”, 36”, 40”, 48” & 60”. For tub-to-shower conversions, the LUXE 26” and 30” linear drains are popular options. For a complete list of LUXE specifications, follow the resources tab on our website. Or visit our CADdetails page. Happy renovating!