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How to Convert a Closet into a Shower

Perhaps you have bought an older home and have a two piece bathroom, that is a single sink & toilet in the primary bedroom.  You love your house, you don’t want to move, but you would love it even more if it had a three piece bathroom, sink, toilet AND a shower. It would make that morning rush so much easier!!

If you’ve ever watched one of the house hunting shows on HGTV, you will notice that when potential buyers are looking in the primary bedroom, there are two things that will either make them interested in the house or want to see more houses.  Can you guess what that is?  The first thing buyers look for is the size of the primary bedroom. The second thing they look for is the size of the primary en-suite.

Alot of older homes have a two piece bathroom off the master bedroom if you’re lucky, a toilet and small sink.  However, most of us don’t want to trot down the hall to the family bathroom and wait their turn while junior finishes getting ready in the morning like you see in the Ikea commercial where the dad walks into the bathroom with the mom and his daughter.  He’s brave and decides to stay, but couples want their own 3 piece bathroom in their primary bedroom.

Whatever the reason, you’re staying in your home or you’re looking at selling it, you have decided to look at making your bathroom a three piece bathroom. It definitely is possible to make your two piece bathroom a 3 piece with a shower but you need to take these 3 points into consideration.

Planning Your Design is Key to a Successful En-Suite Bathroom!

1. Carefully examine the wall you want to knock down

Wait!!! Before you take a sledge hammer and smash down the adjoining wall between the bathroom and closet, you need to make sure that it isn’t a support wall or plumbing or duct work in the wall. Any of these situations, would definitely increase the cost of the project or not make the project feasible. If you’re not handy to determine this on your own, now is the time to bring in a professional to assess the situation! It’s better to be safe now so you won’t be sorry in the long run to find out halfway through the tear down that it’s not feasible or over your budget.

You need to carefully look at it plan to make sure that there is enough space to accommodate at least a moderate size shower, potentially a two sink vanity, AND that you have room for clothes since you’re wanting to tear down their existing space. 

In some homes, the powder room (sink + toilet) on the main floor or in the basement, may be situated next to the laundry room or mudroom. If there isn’t enough room on the second floor to convert the two piece bathroom in the primary bedroom in a 3 piece bathroom, you may be able to steal some space from an adjoining mudroom or laundry room to convert the 2 piece powder room into a 3 piece bathroom on the main floor or in the basement. Granted, it wouldn’t be in the primary bedroom, but if its means you get a second bathroom with a shower, it would be worth taking a look at and considering it.

Add $20K+ to the Value Of Your Home by Converting a Closet in a Shower!

Converting an adjoining clothes closet or hall closet to the already existing 2 piece bathroom will not only give you the comfort of having a shower in your primary bedroom, it will add $20,000 + to the value of your home when you’re ready to sell.

2. How much room will you have for a shower?

Take the measurements of the width and length of your current closet and the adjoining bathroom.  Do you have adequate room for a shower including elbow room?  Showers should be a minimum 32″ x 32″ in a primary en-suite. If they’re smaller than that, they may suit your current needs, but down the road in the future when you’re ready to sell, it could potentially be a deterrent for buyers if its too small and not really adding value to your home. Its definitely something to consider and think through.

Plan out your shower well.  The closet may look big enough but you need a minimum of 32″ x 32″ for a shower. Do you have enough room for a double vanity? Double vanities are such a life saver in the morning. They make it so much easier when you’re both getting ready. There is also a large assortment of double vanities ranging from two identical vanities to space saving vanities like the one I purchased for our en-suite from Ikea.

It’s a really good idea to try to visualize the new space as much as you can. Place painters tape on the floor where you visualize the shower is going, tape out the placement for your vanity, and toilet. Measure everything out! Make sure you’re leaving enough room to walk around in your bathroom.

Do you have room for a double vanity?

Removing the closet may mean that you may now have space for a double sink vanity whereas before you only had room for a single one due to a wall.

Double sink vanities are sought after in en-suite bathrooms to help with the morning rush.  Potential buyers love double sink vanities.  Double sink vanities make life so much easier in the morning when you’re both getting ready.  What is the width of your bathroom?  Just because you now have the space for a double sink, you need to ensure that there is enough “walking” room so that a person can walk around the other person while one is putting on their make-up.

ensuite bathroom,after

3. Where do you put your clothes without a closet!


Can you successfully move your clothes somewhere else without compromising space?  Measure how much your former closet is, add more inches if you found your closet tight, and measure the new space to see if this works. Adding wardrobes or building in closets along an empty wall, can take the place of a former small closet.

In my house, see picture on the right, there was a whole wall with one dresser that could be utilized for clothes that were in the former closet. I opted for storage from Ikea, see picture below, but you could also opt for built-in cabinets which would look amazing and definitely add value to your home.


Plan Your Design Style!

Now that you have determined that you can add a shower to the bathroom, you can have fun with planning the look! The sparkle!

Built-in tiled showers always add more value than a store bought box store shower. Co-ordinate a variety of wall and floor tiles for a trendy look.

Pay close attention to the details like lights, mirrors, and vanities.  Heated tile floors are always a great idea to warm up those cold tiles on those cold winter mornings. It’s also great selling feature for when you’re ready to sell. Surprisingly, they don’t cost that much considering how much bang you will get for your buck.

Using a glass door for your shower will always add value to your home if your budget permits. Built in tiled showers also add more value than store bought vinyl shower kits. Your feet will also thank you if you get heated flooring. Surprisingly, heated flooring doesn’t cost as much as you think it does!

 This whole bathroom renovation cost under well under $10,000 but it sure made a change to our comfort of living and made the morning routine much less stressful. Not to mention, when we sold the house, we got the highest amount ever for a house for sale on that street at that time!


Do you hate a room or rooms in your house? Do you find picking a paint color frustrating?

Check out my online staging, design & color consult services here

I help busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home. I help homeowners, make money beyond their wildest expectations from the sale of their house by guiding them when they’re getting their house ready to sell.

What can I do with a small powder room?

How To Re-Design Your Family Bathroom


Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Color Consultant & Real Estate Investor. I grew up looking at blue prints, going on construction sites and helping my dad, an Engineer|General Contractor|Co-Owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm pick out paint colors for his buildings.

Since 2006, I have been styling & staging hundreds of homes to make them look like they belong in a magazine page.

In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently looking for my 10th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time! Read my full story including my design credentials here.

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  1. I measured my closet and it measures out to be 32/29, I would have to extend it out towards the entrance of the shower. It’s a trailer house and I have the small bedroom with a half bath in it, I wish I could send you a picture. I’ve done lots of Remodeling and carpentry work, all the way down to Pier and beam. I like the work, especially demos lol. Anyways. I welcome your advice or ideas to my shower. The reason I need one in my room is cause my start m sister in law has the bathroom with the shower and she’s in her bathroom most of the time lol so it’s kinda hard sometimes to get a shower early like I like to do so I would love to be able to have my own shower.

  2. Hi, Debi
    Yours is the first site to parse out exactly what it is I want to do. I have a bedroom with a two-piece bath. The adjacent closet for the guest room is behind my bathroom sink and vanity wall. I’d like to blow through that wall for the shower. I never thought about the load-bearing situation; something to be sure of. Since my guest room is losing its closet, a different wall in my guest room abuts two center hall closets; I would dry-wall them on the hallway side In order to make a picture wall, and put the opening (s) in the guest room and make one long closet. Thank you, thank you. Love the before and after.

  3. Oooooh…. to have another shower in our house! We only have one full bath, and with 3 growing girls, we are going to need another shower down the road. I’m filing this post as a future must-do DIY project. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Jennifer – adding another shower definitely helps with the traffic jam at the bathroom door and also eases tension in the house. It actually wasn’t that difficult to do. You just need to plan and think it through which I know you will. Good luck!

      1. I was wondering if you could do the same thing to a trailer house closet? Cause my room has a half bath and I have to use my roommates bathroom to shower, so I was looking at my closet, and it looks like the perfect size to turn into a shower. Length and width (including elbow room, lol) but I was also curious on the finances part of the process. Could you possibly give me a ball park figure on how much it costs to do that and considering I’d just be adding the shower cause it’s got the sink and commode. Thank you

        1. Hi Karen. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I haven’t worked with trailer homes before but I don’t see why this wouldn’t work in one. You may want to get a consult from a contractor that has experience with trailer homes. There’s two ways of adding a shower. You can purchase a shower kit from a big box store and have it installed so your cost would be the kit + shower fixtures + installation. I had shower tiles installed which is typically more than a kit. Plus the vanity was switched to a double sink which meant additional plumbing, plus a toilet and floor tiles. The bathroom renovation was approximately $5,000 in total. I would suspect it would cost you less than that. You could get a quote and see what the costs are and make a decision from there.

  4. Debi, this is something I have wanted to do for decades! We would have to steal the closet from an adjacent bedroom and I worried whether not having a closet in that room would decrease the value. As we talk about downsizing to a condo, I wonder if this is an investment we should seriously think about. What to do…what to do

    1. Hey Marie – GREAT question. We did remove our closet and put in wardrobes and dressers. If you remove your closet but can put in built-ins somewhere else in the room that you’re not decreasing the value. You will be increasing it. Of course, before you do any renovation, do your research, see you much the bathroom conversion and adding built-ins or something would cost to see if you will get your money back in your neigbhorhood. If you have a realtor that you know and trust in your area that knows the values of the homes there, it might be worthwhile to have him or her pop by and give their opinion. I hope that helps!

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