7 FAQs to Convert Your Bathtub to a Glass Block Walk-in Shower

A prospective customer from Columbus, Ohio recently asked, “Can you help us eliminate the need to step over this old tub so we can safely walk to a new shower?” His wife quickly chimed in, “And just because we’re older, I don’t want something ugly that looks institutional either! Is there a way to make a glass block shower in this small space?”

Until recently, it would have been difficult to fit a block shower into a standard-size bathroom in an older home with a walk-in closet design. Now there are 100% waterproof bases available to make this project a reality. Below are the top 7 questions people ask when planning to convert their bathtub to a glass block shower.

o Question 1: Is there enough space for a walk-in shower in this small space? Yes. Before the shower walls can be installed, a new base will be required. Two elegant options, which are also 100% waterproof, are a preformed acrylic base and a Wedi fundo closed-cell polystyrene base (Wedi is the manufacturer of this product). As long as the existing tub area (once the tub is removed) is 60″ wide by 34″ deep, you will have room to make this project a reality. The 60″ width is the most common for bathtubs in the United States.

o Question 2 – What type of base is better? Can I tile the shower floor? Acrylic bases can be a bit less expensive and are available in white and bisque. With the Wedi closed cell polystyrene base, the shower floor can be adapted to any type of tiled floor you want, giving you a wide range of finishes.

o Question 3: Will I need to add additional floor support for the glass block shower walls? – Usually not. Unless there is already a problem with the framing subfloor, the block walls will be adequately supported by the existing floor joists.

o Question 4 – How high should I make the shower walls? What backing and finishing materials should I put on the plumbing wall and back walls? Most block shower walls are built 80″ high. The reason for this is that the most common height for a shower head is 84″ from the finished bathroom floor and when you add the rim height of the shower (which is 4″ to 5″) the final height of the walls will match the shower head. An excellent base material to use for pipes and backwalls (which can be applied directly to studs) is Wedi’s Closed Cell Polystyrene Board. This board can be cut with a utility knife, attached with the system fasteners, joint sealant applied, and joints taped to make the walls ready for your finishing material. For a more cost effective finish consider using acrylic walls over Wedi board and for a more luxurious look the walls can be finished with the tile of your choice.

o Question 5 – What pattern and color options do I have on glass blocks? What will the wall be like? – The walk-in shower design with the acrylic base is a rounded (or radial) block wall with a finished rounded end block at the end. It is available in a wide variety of colors using the Decora and Icescapes patterns manufactured by Pittsburgh Corning. For the Wedi polystyrene base, the wall designs can be designed for a straight or rounded finish.

o Question 6 – How are these walls built? Where are these walls built? Block walls can be built block by block on the job site or prefabricated and shipped to your home or business. Precast block sections are made small enough (typically 2 rows 16″ tall) to be comfortably positioned and anchored by one person.

o Question 7 – Can I do the project myself? – Completing the project as a do-it-yourselfer is possible if you have plumbing, framing, masonry, and finished tile or acrylic wall installation skills. If not, it’s usually best to find a glass block panel manufacturer to make the wall sections and ship them to you, or better yet, find a specialty contractor who can coordinate all phases of wall construction. this project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *