Part VI

Refitting showers and tubs

Whether your tired from work – or working outside – a nice cool shower can make you feel a whole lot better, especially in this heat. Those are the times when a bath just won’t do.

But, as Mike Frentz points out, many older homes in the Royal Oak area only have bathtubs. Well, there is an easy enough solution, he says.

“One of the best products we have for this sort of project is the Deluxe Add-On Shower Kit for a tub on legs,” he says. “They are made for tubs where the faucet is down in the tub rather than on the wall, which is common to a lot of homes around here.”

The kit comes with a new faucet with a conventional style spout that has a water diverter attached to it. From there there's a pipe that leads to the shower head. Included is a shower curtain ring that attaches to the ceiling at one end and the wall at the other. All you need to do is install the new faucet in the tub and the hardware to hold the shower head above. Mount the shower curtain ring and your all set for a nice refreshing shower.

“Under most circumstances, this project should only take you about two hours unless you have to change the plumbing behind the tub,” Mike says.

There is also a smaller version which comes with a smaller curtain frame and a showerhead that attaches to the faucet with a rubber hose. In this case, you don’t need to change the faucet on your tub and the whole project should only take you about a half an hour.

“This kit is ideal for a vacation homes, a basement, by the pool or on the back of the garage to clean off after working in the yard.”

If your tub spout is up high, coming out of the wall rather than the tub, Alsons offer’s a good converter kit for. Simply remove the original spout and put in the diverter spout from the kit. Thread the hose into the shower head and then mount the shower head to the wall.

Spout with diverter

Specialty shower fixtures
Along with add-on shower kits, Frentz & Sons Hardware carries a number of specialty shower fixtures.

One such fixture that offers a sense of luxury is the Elephant Hi-Lo Pan Head Shower. The extra wide head provides a full body spray and makes less water feel like more if you’re trying to conserve water. It also has a 10” adjustable arm for great flexibility in your shower. “You don’t have any control over the intensity of the spray,” Mike notes,” but it’s a pretty thorough soaking.”

Elephant Hi-Lo Pan Head Shower

If you like the shower head you have, but want the convenience of targeting the spray on your aching lower back, for instance, you might want to try installing the Plumb Shop Adjustable Arm Extender.

The Plumb Shop Massage Spray Shower offers a finger-touch adjustment and tangle-free hose to compliment the four shower massage settings – full, massage, full massage and pause.

Then, of course, there is always the tried-and-true Waterpik Original Shower Massage shower head with five settings – center, pulse, turbo pulse, spray pulse and outside spray.

If you like hand-held showers, there are also a number of accessories:

Alsons makes metal Ultra Flex hoses in convenient lengths ranging from 60” to 84”.

They also make a Volume Control Valve to give you more control over your shower. “It’ll turn the water off on the shower head,” Mike says. “This is a nice water-saving feature.” Just turn off the water, soap up and then turn the water back on and rinse off.