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Tub Cut Outs 101: How to Convert Your Tub to a Walk-in Shower

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Bathtub cut outs are a simple and affordable way to convert your tub to a shower in just a few hours. Find out how much tub cut outs cost, installation and more!

A woman using a tub converted with a bathtub cut out
Bathtub cut outs are a simple and affordable way to convert your tub to a shower in just a few hours.


Want a safer bathroom but not the hassle or cost of a renovation? Bathtub cut outs are an affordable solution to convert your tub into a walk-in shower. In just over an hour of installation, you get the benefits of both—while preventing nasty slips and falls!

As accessible remodelling experts, we’re here to break down the benefits, cost and installation process of tub cuts to see if they’re right for you.

A bathtub converted to a walk-in shower with tub cut out
Bathtub cut outs are an affordable solution to convert your tub into a walk-in shower.

What is a Tub Cut Out?

Stepping in and out over a slippery tub wall can not only cause painful strain on your knee or hip joints but are also responsible for a significant amount of serious falls among Canadian seniors. Tub cut outs make showering much safer by removing a section from the wall of your tub and replacing it with a lowered step. They’re designed for anyone with changing mobility needs and can be placed in both personal homes or retirement residences.

Tub cuts typically range from $800 to $1200 depending on the product type and include professional installation. Standard cut outs land on the lower end of the price range, whereas models with doors cost more due to their design, installation and water-seal testing requirements. Once you’re ready to purchase a cut out, there are three main types to choose from.


Two Types Of Tub Cut Outs

Tub cuts come in a few styles to suit different needs and bathtubs. Once you've picked the tub cut that will work for you, you can always call us for more information or book your install online!

1. The Standard Tub Cut Out

It’s the most popular choice among our retirement home clients and homeowners choosing to age in place, due to its simplicity, cost point and a built-in anti-skid surface on the step itself. The Standard Tub Cut Out provides a 24” length opening and is available in three widths based on the thickness of your tub wall. Check out our Standard Tub Cut pricing & book with BuildAble today!

A standard tub cut out project completed by BuildAble
A standard tub cut out project completed by BuildAble

2. Ultra-Low Cut Out

This option is similar to the standard version, just with longer side panels. The ultra-low model is designed to fit the higher walls of deeper, modern tubs and must be custom-fitted when installed. Due to the special fit, installation usually takes slightly longer but is well worth it, as it removes close to 14” of your high tub wall.

An ultra-low cut out project completed by BuildAble
An ultra-low cut out project with longer side panels completed by BuildAble


Installing Your Bathtub Cut Out

The good news is, installation doesn’t take long. Compared to a full bathroom renovation that may take weeks, this tub to step-through shower conversion takes just over an hour to complete.

We recommend hiring an experienced contractor who knows the installation process inside and out. Precise measuring and cutting are needed to get the perfect fit, and using power tools could cause serious injury if you’re not a pro. Most contractors are also equipped to cut through different bathtub materials, including acrylic, cast iron, and fibreglass.

Our team uses a reciprocating saw or grinder to smoothly cut through the wall, then we measure the interior and cut the step insert to match (if adjustments are needed). Finally, we place the insert on top of the wall and seal it with special industrial-grade caulking to prevent any leaks. To allow proper drying of the adhesive, you’ll be able to use your new step-through shower 48hrs after installation.

Other Things to Consider:

  • Anti-slip Treatment: Although the step itself comes with a built-in anti-skid surface, a great safety addition is anti-slip treatment to the tub base. The transparent coating is applied to the bottom of your tub, creating a grip-like surface to reduce falls, making it a must-have.

  • Safety Accessories: Save time by installing other accessibility products along with your tub cut out. We recommend safety accessories like grab bars, tub benches or the SuperPole that help you transfer to and from the bathtub with ease.

Think you might need something more? BuildAble specializes in gorgeous, accessible renovations. Our next "step" up is our quick Shower Conversions. With prefabricated walls that look like real tile, we can change your existing tub or surround into a refreshed new step-in shower in just a few days! And of course, we also specialize in beautiful, custom renovations. Call us to today to get the dream bathroom you’ve been wanting!


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