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How to Add a Shower to a Half Bathroom: Costs & Tips

The main problem with a half bathroom is they don’t have a shower or tub. But what if you could add a shower to your half bath, essentially turning it into a full bathroom?

There are many questions to be asked, things to consider, and decisions to make if you want to add a shower to your half bath. But, first, you should know how much it costs and how long a job of this magnitude takes to complete.

We will answer these pertinent questions and cover installation tips, discuss the difficulty of installing a shower in a half bath and give you alternatives to suit your needs if adding a shower to your half bath is not for you.

half bath with shower

Can You Add a Shower to a Half Bathroom?

In the realm of home improvement, you are only limited by your budget, imagination, and what building codes allow.

You can add a shower to a half bath, although you may be limited by the small space available through a half bath.

Adding a shower to a tiny bathroom may not be feasible as you may lack the space required, forcing you to expand the bathroom, increasing your budget, and creating other possible issues.

Does Adding a Shower to a Half Bath Increase Home Value?

Having a full bath is always preferable to a half bath. And adding a bathroom to your home always increases a home’s property value.

Your property value will increase since full bathrooms are prized more highly than half bathrooms.

Markets fluctuate, but you should see a 9 to 19 percent increase in your home’s value by turning a half bath into a full bathroom.

Is It Easy to Add a Shower to a Half Bath?

While installing a shower from scratch is not a simple task, it is easier than doing a complete bathroom remodel.

But I would not say installing a shower is an easy thing to do. You have to install the shower pan, additional plumbing, your shower and plumbing fixtures, plus tile or whatever material you use for your shower’s walls.

Unless you have a decent amount of construction experience you’ll probably be best off hiring a professional contractor.

How Long Does It Take to Add a Shower to a Half Bath?

The timeframe to add a shower to a half bath can vary depending on different variables associated with each project.

But to give a general estimate, it should take around one week or longer to complete. There are always exceptions to the rule, and if you’re working around the clock, you can probably get the job done in around five days.

How Much Does It Cost to Add a Shower to a Half Bath?

United States

The cost to add a shower to a half bath varies wildly and can cost you between $1000 to $10,000.

The cost fluctuation is based on the type of shower and materials you wish to use.


In Canada, the cost of adding a shower to a half bath is very similar to the United States, costing between CA$800 and CA$11,000.

United Kingdom

While it may seem like you will pay less for a shower in the UK, the price is quite comparable to other nations after currency conversion at between £600 to £9000.


In Australia, you could be charged anywhere between AU$1000 and AU$17,000 to have a shower installed in your half bath.

How to Add a Shower to a Half Bathroom


  • 4 Foot Level
  • Electric Drill
  • Hole Saw
  • Caulking
  • Trowel
  • Screwdriver
  • Hex Key Set
  • Plumbers Wrench
  • Pipe Cutter



A good thinset mortar or cement mix will serve as the foundation of a shower install and supports the shower pan, and the drain found within.

Using mortar with a latex additive is a great choice as it strengthens the mortar helping your shower pan hold a person’s weight on a daily basis.


Tile is the most popular material for shower walls and bathtub backsplashes, so odds are you will use tile when installing your new shower.

Tile offers you many stylish options while creating a waterproof surface in your bathroom. But be mindful there are tile alternatives.


If you’re going to use tile, then grout will be a necessary material to add to your list.

Grout holds your tile together and helps it remain waterproof. However, be mindful that if the grout is not mixed or applied correctly, it can become chalky or crack prematurely.

You will also have to re-grout your tiles every so often to keep your tiled surface in peak condition.


If you choose not to use tile, fiberglass is one effective alternative available.

You can purchase pre-built fiberglass shower wall panels or install fiberglass yourself. Fiberglass is less expensive than tile and is also a popular choice for shower pans.


A good silicone or latex caulk will be a vital material to help you finish the job.

You will use caulking to seal seams and also to seal off fixtures like the cover to your faucet and shower handle.


Measure twice, cut once. This age-old adage will save you from numerous frustrations and wasted time.

Your measurements are vital, especially considering installing a shower in a half bath that is already a small limited space.

There will be no room for error. From the first measurement of your shower stall to the last measured cut-out, precise measurements will save you both time and money.


Your plumbing makes it all possible, and you will have some options available to you as a half bath already has water lines connected to it.

With a pipe cutter and some plumbing experience, you can connect the water lines from your sink to your new shower.

You can also create new water lines dedicated to your shower. If you are creating new water lines, you can choose the material for your plumbing, such as PVC, copper, or PEX.

Water Heater Capacity

When you add a new shower to your home, you should be wary of whether your water heater can handle the extra work.

It shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t have multiple appliances or showers running at once. But often with multiple showers, when one is in use, someone in your home will go to use the other shower and get left with cold water.

So you should evaluate your water heater’s tank capacity and decide if an upgrade is in order.

Code Enforcement

Once all your hard work is done, and your new shower is installed, you will need to get the job approved by the dreaded code enforcers.

The best advice is to research the building codes in your area and follow them from day one of your project. This way, when inspection time arrives, you will have no worries or surprises.

Building codes exist for a reason, and not following them can cause you to tear out and re-do your work along with possible fines. Depending on where you live, it’s also possible that an inspection may not even be required.

Alternative Options to Adding a Shower to a Half Bathroom

Temporary/Portable Shower for a Half Bath

With a temporary or portable shower, you will pay an upfront cost of between $500 to $900 for the shower itself. But once you’ve purchased and set up your portable shower you’re done—no weeklong construction project to worry about.

Using a portable shower will save you money and time. Plus if you ever want to install a permanent shower, you can take down the portable one and move it elsewhere.

A Freestanding Tub

Like a portable shower, a freestanding tub functions as a portable bathtub requiring a faucet for convenience.

A freestanding tub is worth looking into if you enjoy a relaxing soak. The upfront cost is higher than a portable shower as these bathtubs start around $1000 and can reach up to $4000.

But even at that price, you will still likely be saving money over installing a permanent shower system.


Do I need a permit to add a shower to a half bath?

Local building requirements are different depending on where you live. But in most areas, you do not need a permit to add a shower to a pre-existing bathroom. This is not the case everywhere, so it’s best to check the building codes where you live to be certain.

Can I add a tub to a half bath?

Yes, you can. For versatility, you can add a bathtub shower combination that can increase your home’s property value and give you more bathing options.

James B. Parker

At a young age, James' father taught him carpentry, and he was pretty much destined for a career in the construction industry. He worked as a professional remodeling contractor for some of the most prominent construction companies for several years, before deciding to pursue his passion for writing.

A vast amount of construction experience allows James to provide practical advice for those considering a bathroom remodel.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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