Walk-in Shower?

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Project by snowdog posted 10-31-2008 04:50 PM 5466 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok so this is butcher job. Some days they call me Joe the plumber, today I am Joe the butcher (btw my name is really Joe).

My Mom and Dad wanted to come for Thanksgiving but were worried about being able to get in and out of the shower. They stayed at my home before and really had trouble getting in and out of the shower. He is 80 and she is 72. We have 3 bathrooms in my house and I am planning on changing two of them next year.. So I figured (being the deep tinker that I am :) I might as well make it as comfortable as I could for them. You see my solution, turn a bath tub into a walk in shower.

I used pine, I wish I could have found some redwood or cedar but that is hard to find here. I polyurethaned the wood and siliconed it in place. The tub is about 15 years old so the fiberglass is very thick and very stable even after it was cut. I am not expecting this to last more than a few months but I am betting it would last a very long time.

In the first pic you see my trying to be crafty but I had some trouble getting the inside and outside to line up. Too many curves, bad knees and I just didn’t care enough since this is really a temporary solution, hence the straight cuts in the next picture.

So what do you think? :) Feel free to tell me I am crazy

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

24 comments so far

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1142 posts in 5444 days

#1 posted 10-31-2008 05:17 PM

That’s awesome, and really nice of you.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5752 days

#2 posted 10-31-2008 05:27 PM

Great job of renovating.

That should last a long time. It looks like it would be simple to replace the wood, if needed.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 5322 days

#3 posted 10-31-2008 05:35 PM

I’ve done this to many tubs, (60) so I know this will work. Of course you can’t return it to a tub. But when is the last time you took a bath. Most homes have two baths and the other one will have a tub for the kids. It takes about 3-4 hours to complete and there are drop in molded parts that are easy to install. You can also step on them to assistant you when getting in and out of the shower. However I would not use this as a step because it will get slippery. On you’re installation I would put and anti slip material on the wood since I think it would get slippery when wet.
It took a lot of guts to cut into that tub without knowing what to do next, Nice job
By the way we started by cutting the sides at 5 degrees than started cutting the sides at 90 because it was very diffcult to have both sides at the proper angle.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

558 posts in 4969 days

#4 posted 10-31-2008 06:04 PM

Dominic, how do you cut them? I have an eldery customer who has a similar tub to the one in the post and this would work well for her. Do you advise them to buy longer shower curtains?

And Joe, that job looks fine to me.


-- jstegall

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5613 days

#5 posted 10-31-2008 06:24 PM

that is brilliant.
well done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View snowdog's profile


1184 posts in 5435 days

#6 posted 10-31-2008 07:09 PM

If I did it again I would work out the angles better. I like the look of the angle cuts much better but it really was difficult to get it all lined up when I wanted to cover with wood.

Covering the step with an anti skid sticker is a MUST! :) as soon as the silicon dries.

After thinking about it maybe I would use a long dripo bi and a level to mark the inside of the tub prior to cutting so that it was all level and clean.

BTW I started with a sawsall.. that didn’t work very well so I moved to a jigsaw and a metal blade. That worked much better.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

845 posts in 5361 days

#7 posted 10-31-2008 07:10 PM

What a great way to take care of your folks. Did you tell them what you did or are you going to surprise them when they get there?

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5037 days

#8 posted 10-31-2008 07:13 PM

Great Idea I have trouble too getting in and out of the bath but can just make it myself and I am just 57 lol well good luck to your lovely parents god bless are you making a door or did I miss that part??Alistair nice job too well done

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 5532 days

#9 posted 10-31-2008 07:47 PM

Snowdog, nice job. I think your Mom and Dad will be real happy with that set up.
I was up your way on Wednesday, see you got some snow. Bill was shoveling out when I got to his place.

-- Guy Kroll

View Canexican's profile


108 posts in 5130 days

#10 posted 10-31-2008 09:09 PM

Great Job, I just finished my bathroom remodle in a home that is 100 plus. I took out the old chipped metal tub and replaced it with a 60” walk in shower insert. We never take baths anyway.


View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 5336 days

#11 posted 10-31-2008 10:31 PM

That is just great. Being the occasional pessimist I just thought: “Now watch his parents won’t becoming… “


View Dean's profile


44 posts in 5028 days

#12 posted 11-01-2008 01:34 AM

Great modification, I love it!

-- "Skol, Vikings"

View mmh's profile


3701 posts in 5175 days

#13 posted 11-01-2008 02:05 AM

Hey, what a great idea. I think you did a very good job converting the tub to a walk in shower. You could also use mosaic tile to make it look more “designer”. How did you cut the fiber glass? I’m very impressed.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5274 days

#14 posted 11-01-2008 03:31 AM

That is innovative to say the least. I agree with Dominic’s assessment about the intestinal fortitude it took to start this. This is one of those instances where there is simply no recovery once you start the project. But this is a practical solution to solving your dilemma.

Well done.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View 's profile

593 posts in 5424 days

#15 posted 11-01-2008 04:12 AM

Nice job Joe!

Without knowing it you have half-reinvented something very common across the pond. The back pages of UK newspapers and some magazines are full of ads for this kind of tubs, only they do have a closing door of the same bathtub material that allows you to fill it once inside. Just don’t forget to empty it before opening the door on your way out! ;o)

Check this out: Walk In Bathtub Store

Maybe you might try v2.0 in the second bath that needs renovation.

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