How to Convert a Free Standing Tub to a Shower

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A nice warm bath is relaxing after a long day at work, but you may not have the time for more than a shower. That's no problem if you've already installed a shower on your free-standing bathtub. Purchase everything you need to do this in one kit that is made for detached bathtubs. The shower kit can be installed in less than a day.

Things You'll Need

  • New spout with riser and shower head kit
  • Grip pliers
  • Putty
  • Teflon tape
  • Tubing cutter
  • Level
  • Black marker
  • Electric screw driver
  • Screw drivers
  • Shower curtains and rings
  • Reach behind your free-standing bathtub and turn off the hot and cold water. Open your faucet to make sure that the water is completely turned off.

  • Detach the water pipes that connect the bathtub to the hot and cold water valves using your grip pliers. Place the pliers on the bolt and remove it by turning the bolt towards you or to the left. Remove the two locknuts that hold the water pipes onto the tub with the pliers.

  • Remove the old faucet from the tub. The entire faucet should lift right out of the holes.

  • Dry-fit the parts for your new spout with the riser and shower head by following the directions included with the shower kit. This kit is for free-standing or claw-foot bathtubs.

  • Install the shower unit. Remove the structure that holds your hot and cold water knob from the assembled shower head. Add putty around the two nozzles on the back of the structure that holds the hot and cold water pipes. The putty creates an airtight seal between the bathtub and faucet. Insert the structure into the two holes for your hot and cold water connections. Screw on the two locknuts with your hands, then tighten them with your pliers. Using your pliers, tighten the final compression nut.

  • Assemble the riser for the shower head. Wrap Teflon tape around the bottom end of your riser that connects to the faucet unit (hot and cold water valves). Insert your riser into the faucet unit and twist it with your hands until it is secure.

  • Make the riser parallel to the wall. Use the wall support rod that comes with the kit to prevent the riser from moving around when you shower. Position the rod against both the wall and the riser, and push the riser away from the wall until it is straight. Use a level to make sure that the rise is straight. If the riser is straight and the wall support rod that extends beyond the riser, mark the spot where it is straight on the support rod with a black marker.

  • Cut the excess rod piece on the black mark with the tubing cutter to get the correct length.

  • Secure the wall support unit to the wall with an electric screwdriver and the screws that came with the kit. Place the hook end of the rod around the riser and tighten the set screw to hold the rod tightly against the riser.

  • Assemble the oval piece that hovers above the tub and holds your shower curtain. Make sure the oval piece fits in the space over the tub; if not, shorten the oval metal tube by cutting it with the tubing cutter. Push the two halves of the oval together until they form one complete oval. Attach one end of the oval to the proper connection on the riser. Use the instruction manual to guide you to the correct connection piece. Tighten the connection. Have a second person to hold the oval rod while you secure the other connector piece (comes with the kit) directly opposite to the piece on the riser. Once it is secured to the wall, place the other end of the oval onto the connector and tighten the screw with a manual screw driver. The oval should hover over the tub now without you holding it.

  • Add the second wall support (comes with the kit) that holds the oval rod in place. This support stops the oval from moving around as you shower. Attach the second wall support rod to the wall where the oval is level or parallel to the bathtub using screws and the electric screwdriver. Place the oval rod into the connector end of the wall support rod and tighten the screws to hold the oval in place.

  • Put your shower curtains on the rings and place them on the oval.

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References

  • Photo Credit Shower image by Semfamily from Fotolia.com
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