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When it comes time to remodel your current bathroom, or you simply want an updated look, tub and shower replacement are a great way to modernize your bathroom's appeal and function. From basic white, one-piece fiberglass units to contemporary cast-iron claw foots, multi-piece arrangements or complete tile walls, tub and shower replacements are an easy way to change the look of your bathroom while opening up the door to many custom and unique options along the way.

Many options are available when replacing a tub assembly. If the tub is a tub/shower combo as in many homes, it has three walls and an entrance, and is normally made of fiberglass. Sometimes one piece, sometimes multi-piece, this assembly can be purchased in many colors with hundreds of wall designs and unique etched patterns. Replacement is basically straight-forward, with the demo/removal of the old tub combo the largest portion of the job. Installation of the new assembly involves hooking up the drainage and tub/shower valve, then sealing everything.

Stand-alone claw-foot tubs are an older design that has recently regained popularity. Elegant and contemporary in appearance, claw foot tubs sit on the floor away from any surrounding walls, with the drain stubbed up from the floor directly behind it. The tub/shower valve resembles a faucet, and is attached to the edge of the tub on a designated end. Claw-foot tubs range higher in price due to their design and construction, and are significantly heavier that standard fiberglass units. Installation is, once again, fairly simple, just setting the tub in place and connecting drainage and water supplies.

Replacing a shower involves a few more decisions. Showers are typically of the fiberglass type as well, while some are complete tile assemblies with a shower pan underneath (see "Shower Pans" section). Replacing a fiberglass assembly with another unit of the same style and size is relatively easy, and the most common type of replacement. The shower valve and drainage are disconnected, and the old shower assembly is pulled out. The new shower is then installed, connecting everything back up and sealing all the edges. Removal of sheetrock or wall material is usually necessary to accommodate the complete installations, as access to the shower valve is necessary. Replacing a tile shower is much more involved, and as such is more expensive. Removal of all the tile work is the first step. This alone is tedious work and can take some time. Disconnecting the drainage and shower valve is necessary. The shower pan is now accessible. If replacement of the shower pan is needed (older pans were made of lead, and often leaked), now is the time to perform that job. Once all prep work has been completed, including valve replacement, drain work, and if necessary, the shower pan, a tile man can now come and reinstall all of the tiling, with thousands of colors and design options. Plumbers DO NOT perform this task. Once all the tile has been replaced, a plumber can come back and "trim out" the shower, installing the shower arm, handle, and trim plate.