Help me kludge a shower
October 15, 2013 10:33 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are buying an old house in which the bathroom just has a tub, not a shower. We'd like to redo the bathroom and put in a proper shower before too long, but in the meantime we'd like to set up an all-around shower curtain and rig up a shower as inexpensively as possible.

Here's a (tiny, sorry) view of the whole tub area.
Here's a better picture of the faucet and handles.

At first we were looking at the various products that convert a claw-foot tub to add a shower, but it doesn't look like the faucet/handle configuration in our bathroom, with the two handles separate from the faucet and above it, would work with those kits.

Is the best way to make this happen to buy up a bunch of separate components? It seems like I could probably make this happen with:
- A faucet with a diverter thing where I can screw in a hose to a handheld shower
- A handheld shower head
- A rectangular wall/ceiling mounted shower curtain rod
- Some kind of bracket to connect the handheld shower head to the curtain rod or the wall, depending on the height/shape of various things

Is this the right path to take? If so, any recommendations for the various above pieces?
posted by Rallon to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Go to a good hardware store with the pictures. I've lived in several apartments that had been retro-fitted with the plumbing and an oval shower curtain rig. The initial water connection might benefit from a plumber.
posted by theora55 at 11:24 AM on October 15, 2013

Once you figure out the plumbing part- sorry, I'm no good at that- the cheapest temporary way to do shower curtains would be to tack them directly to the wall on the three walls and get a spring rod to across the front. Overlap as necessary.
posted by mareli at 11:41 AM on October 15, 2013

Your best bet is a combination of a spring loaded curtain rod, and a hand held shower head that can be adapted to the faucet.Like this:
posted by Gungho at 11:43 AM on October 15, 2013

Best answer: You should be able to replace your tub spout with one like this, then screw a handheld shower into it. Your local hardware store probably has a kit that includes the whole works.
posted by LowellLarson at 1:04 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

If that wall is waterproof, you might not need a shower curtain on all sides. Those big square or oval shower rods can be expensive. Looks like it needs some caulking where it joins the tub though, it will run about $5 in materials to do that yourself.

(I can't tell what's on the wall from the picture, so I don't know if that's doable.)

Another option is to get two spring tension shower rods for the long sides, and just overlap shower curtains so there are no gaps, with a double layer bridging the shower rods on the narrow end of the tub.
posted by yohko at 2:42 PM on October 15, 2013

What LowellLarson said for the faucet. And I'd suggest a DIY PVC rectangular shower rod suspended from the ceiling, but I'm kind of hack like that. I was just at the hardware store today pricing this stuff and investigating a workaround for something else. What I'd get for you:
-a 1/2"dia x 10' pole of what I guess is called C-PVC (don't know the difference, don't care). Cost: $5;
-four 1/2" elbows. Cost: $2;
-some sort of glue that works with PVC;
-whatever you like to hang from the ceiling (e.g., string? wire? chain? plus a half dozen screw-in hooks?).

Just hacksaw the pipe into four pieces that, when connected with the four elbows, form a rectangle to more or less fill the space you have there. Then suspend it from the ceiling with hooks and string or wire.

Keep in mind you'll probably need two shower curtains!
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 1:08 AM on October 16, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the input, all. We ended up buying one of these add-on showers and just using a pair of shower curtain rods with 3 overlapping curtains. It's not the most elegant, but it's surprisingly comfortable and functional for now, and cost barely more than $100 all told.
posted by Rallon at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2013

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