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Question DetailsAsked on 11/8/2016

I change a bathtub to a shower in a condo. It is concrete flooring over underground parking garage.

Can I move the drain to the center of shower? Is moving the drain to the center a good idea or bad? I don't want the linear drain. Please answer as quickly and as professionally as you can. Ecstatic is also important.

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2 Answers


Yes, almost anything "can" be done - but is it worth it ? 5 options below, starting from most expensive to cheapest. To many people a center drain is "standard" - but actually in high-end installs many like an end drain so they are not stepping on a cold drain or standing in a bit of a pool as they shower. You could talk to your favorite realtor about it, but I doubt it makes any difference come resale time as long as it is done well - the aesthetics factor you mentioned.

1) For the "relocate the drain" solution - assuming you do not have a wood subfloor over the concrete (which would make it simple if enough clearance for drain line and trap), would require locating reinforcing with a metal tracer and having a structural engineer determine where it can run through the floor without damaging the floor (though would be easier if the drain line is suspended under the floor, in the garage ceiling - but would still need detection of rebar to avoid cutting rebar), possible shoring up if run is long, then expensive sawing of the slab where it is going to run, installing drain, then remedial concrete repair. I would be surprised if this can be done for less than about $1500-2500 - JUST for the drain move, not the shower change. And if you would be crossing post- or pre-tensioned reinforcing cables, out of the question from an economics standpoint.

2) If the building owner will allow and there is adequate headroom, run the line to where you want it UNDER the floor (in the ceiling of the garage) then up right under the drain point - but still requires reinforcing location and structural engineer. Could be probably $500 bare minimum to probably more like $1000 for the plumbing alone.

3) Another solution is raising the shower floor a bit more to give clearance ABOVE the slab, and running the drain under it to where you want it - commonly done, but does make for a step-up to the shower floor. You build a wood subfloor under the shower, run the drain line in there (hopefully with consideration for future access if needed through decorative trim on the front edge, like on jacuzzi or whirlpool tubs), put the normal pan and shower base on top of that just like on a wood floor. Probably about $250-500 more than shower install alone.

4) Final option - for maybe $50-100 more than shower alone - leave drain at the end like it is, slope the new shower floor to it - can be linear like a gutter, or dished so all points slope to the drain so there is no sharp change of slope under the feet.

5) Leave tub where it is (existing or a replacement) and install a shower to make it a shower-tub combo. Install doors if does not already have them.

Talk to your remodeling or tile guy or whoever is doing this job about options - and if on good terms or friends with a realtor (maybe the one you bought from who hopes to handle any sale in the future ?) about resale value differences between shower, tub, and tub-shower combos. Can make a substantial (sometimes $5000-10,000 to some buyers) difference if it is the only full bath in the condo - not as much if there is already another tub or tub/shower in the unit.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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