Angie's List: Converting bathtubs into showers is the growing trend

LEWISTON, ID - If your bathroom could use a little update, it's actually a smart place to spend money.

Behind kitchens, bathrooms provide the second best return on investment when remodeling. In Angie's List report, we take a closer look at a growing trend in bathroom design.

"A tub to shower conversion is a relatively simple thing that can be done to any bathtub," said Dan Updike, Bathroom Remodeling Contractor.

"The trend these days is to convert bathtubs into showers, said Angie Hicks, of Angie's List. "There are so many choices when it comes to showers and they potentially take up less space than the large garden tubs that have been historically in homes. If you are a homeowner that plans to age in place, grow old in your home, a shower can be a safer alternative for you."

"The bathing generation is kind of gone by the wayside," said Updike. "We are a pretty much shower generation anymore. So rather than have the bathtub that you lift your leg over that's a confined space if you put in a large shower it's more of the spa-type shower.

"Replacing a tub for a shower is not for everyone," said Hicks. "If you only have one bathroom in your house you want to be sure you keep a tub because what will end up happening is you'll hurt your resale value. Families with kids, they like tubs and without one it can hurt you.

"As far as options for the shower with the older generation the grab bars, maybe some corner seats, some hand held showers, things like that. Inside shampoo holders or corner shelves, we always have some type of shelving go into the unit," said Updike. "Frame-less shower doors so it's more glass, less metal. And then it's a matter of what to put on the shower walls whether it's tile with accent trim tile or go to the solid surface wall system."

Angie's List saids this is a job best left for the professionals, so make sure you hire a reputable contractor. If the company has a showroom, go check it out.

Being able to visualize your project before it gets underway can help define your expectations and illustrate how design and layout choices will work.