Our #1 Bathroom Remodeling Project Type: Tub to Shower Conversions

Have you considered converting your old tub to a spacious shower? If so, you’re not alone!

In the last 38 years of business, this has become our #1 project type for bathroom remodels. There are many reasons people ditch their tub for a shower including function, accessibility, safety, and style. Here we will explore these topics more in-depth and hopefully you can decide if this is the right project type for you.

Plus, check out Tom Poulin, owner of Poulin Design Center, talk about his favorite aspects of Tub to Shower Conversions.


When considering an update to your bathroom, think about the way you use your bathing area the most and what is important for lasting function.

Do you prefer baths? Or showers? Do you plan to stay in your home longer? Do you have any injuries? These are just a few questions to ask before customizing a design for your space.

If you are a shower person, then ditching the tub should be an option. Removing your tub gives you extra space in your shower to stand and allows you the option of adding other features such as seating and a slip-resistant shower base.

If you value your baths, check out walk-in tubs as an option. These are ADA accessible, incorporate grab bars for extra safety, and are very therapeutic. I like to think of walk-in tubs as a personal jacuzzi for everyday use. You may not know that walk-in tubs are actually a tub and shower combo by simply placing a curtain around the area and placing a handheld shower head with a hook on the wall surround to give you the shower experience.

If you plan to Age in Place, updating your home with your future needs in mind would be a wise investment and can make your home more marketable if you decide to sell it.

If you’re facing an injury that makes stepping over a tub difficult or nearly impossible, consider a tub to shower conversion. We have numerous clients that need an ADA accessible space for bathing, including many of our veterans.

When you’re facing any type of chronic physical injuries, it can be difficult to take a shower safely or without help when there’s a traditional tub in your space. Many times, ditching the tub (or installing a walk-in tub) gives people back their independence of showering without worrying about their safety. It allows your bathroom a place of rejuvenation again, instead of a hazard.

If you are a veteran or know one, check out the program by Veteran’s Affairs here.


As we have talked about in our past blog Safety Bathroom Guide over 80% of the falls in your home is from getting in and out of your bathtub! And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that your bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your entire home.

Creating a safe bathing environment is important for any age, but can be more of a concern for those that would like to Age in Place, or have their parents stay in the home instead of moving to assisted living.

Depending on your needs, converting your tub to a shower will let you control the height of your shower pan (threshold): curbless, low threshold, or standard threshold.

When you convert, be sure to go with a company that offers slip resistance technology for the shower base, to keep safety top of the mind.


Let’s face it, if you’re considering an update, most people will want their remodel to be in-style! And the standard tub and shower combo is traditional! Having a larger shower space with built-in seating is the new way— it’s MODERN. As the homeowner you have the freedom to make your bathroom reflect your style and give you the function you need! Why not make it safer and more functional in the long run as well?

Below are our Top Tips to “Deck Out” Your New Shower Area

  • Showerheads
    • Install Handheld shower head
    • Have multiple shower head installed
    • Install smart showerheads
  • Functional and stylish grab bars
  • Use easy-to-clean wall surrounds like our Durabath™ SSP or Natural Stone
    • It’s non-porous, mold & mildew resistant and easy-to-clean
  • Add niches to store bathing supplies, instead of using a hanging storage unit around your showerhead
  • Add seating to your shower: Fold down seats or built-in benches
  • Add a footrest to make shaving easier

Final Thoughts

In addition to making your bathroom more functional, safer, and stylish, tub to shower conversions are a cost-effective way to update your space. This is a trending style in the remodeling industry and will keep the look of your home fresh.

If you would like to learn more, check out a few of our resources below:

Safety Bathroom Guide

During our training as a Certified Aging in Place specialist, we learned that over 80% of the falls in your home are from getting in and out of your bathtub!

There is also research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that your bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your entire home.

Data like this is astounding when you consider that your bathroom is generally considered a place of rejuvenation—not a place to have that kind of accident that can send you to a hospital.

With thousands of bathroom remodels under our belts, we have a lot of experience in making our customer’s bathrooms SAFER.

Below are our TOP WAYS to improve the bathroom SAFETY or your home.

Convert Your Tub to a Shower

Are you a shower person? If so, converting your tub to a shower may be a great option for you, along with thousands of our customers who have “ditched” the tub.

The switch can help reduce falls and gives you the option of varying shower pan thresholds to step over:

  • Standard threshold—easy to step over, especially if you don’t suffer from any physical injuries that could make the step harmful.
  • Low Threshold—this height is the ADA standard for those with disabilities. This threshold is lower to the ground and is great for those stepping out of a wheelchair or walker.
  • Curbless—this even surface rids your shower of trip hazards and complies with ADA accessibility standards.

Don’t forget to opt for hygienically sound shower pan products such as Re-Bath Durabath SSP or custom Corian shower bases. These are non-porous, low maintenance and easy-to-clean.

For additional safety purposes, a slip guard can be added to reduce falls.

Walk-In Bathtubs

What if you love your time relaxing in a bathtub? Instead of “ditching” the tub, you can keep your tub and add grab bars, OR update to a walk-in bathtub. Besides bathing in this type of tub most models come complete with air jets, heated seats, aromatherapy, ozone therapy, chroma therapy, and more.

This option is a SAFE bathing experience for everyone and planning for future needs.

Consider Handheld Showerheads

The technology of showerheads has greatly improved and there’s no need for you not to have a showerhead that doesn’t suit your needs.

You can choose from handhelds from all varieties for your showering needs—stationary, detachable, and located in convenient locations. There are designs for people with special needs, including palm showerheads which are great if you’re facing grip issues such as arthritis.

And, wouldn’t a handheld showerhead make it easier to clean your area than a bucket of water and a sponge?

Consider the way that would make your showering needs better and if installing a handheld showerhead is applicable for your situation.

Grab Bars

Grab bars are useful in tubs, showers and around the home. They can be multi-functional and stylish when added to your showering space. Grab bars with function gives you the opportunity to store your bare necessities for your shower and provide safety. Check out the photos below for ideas for your shower or tub.

Shower Seating

If your space allows, a seat is a MUST for safety. It provides a relaxing experience and built-in safety for current and future needs.

Shower seats are especially useful for those with physical limitations from standing long periods of time and are an asset when recovering from surgery, providing a secure way to bathe.

Seats come in many shape and sizes depending on your needs: fold down, bench seat, corner seat, and removable seat.

And don’t forget your footrests for shaving!

Final Thoughts

As you consider any of these updates, think about WHO will be using the bathroom. Do you want it safer for your aging parents that have moved back into your home? For you and your spouse as you retire? OR just for an all-around functional space with added safety features for your own peace of mind.

As our Design Center Manager, Laurene Johnson, likes to say:

“Plan for the here and now with your future safety needs in mind.”

For more ideas for bathroom design and features, visit our bathroom page here.

Compare and Contrast (Bathroom) Showdown

Warm and Wooden vs Bright and Modern

A battle as old as time… or at least as old as modern design.

Should you go warm with wood tones, or cool, bright and modern

While the design choice really depends on the overall look and feel of your home and the design aesthetic you are going towards, there are several beautiful choices with either design.

There are tons of difficult design options to choose from in not only your bathroom, but when it comes to kitchens, flooring and so much more.

So we’ve decided to start the #PoulinDesignShowdown! We will feature two bathrooms, tile options, flooring remodels or something else that we have recently completed and have YOU vote on which one you would choose. Be sure to join us on social to see which one everyone else is voting for and cast your vote!

Which one of these would you choose

Want a bathroom of your own like this? Get it in no time with a Poulin Design consultation here.

Bath Image

Transitioning Your Bathroom with Age

Are you planning on staying in your home at the end of your life? If you have made plans to stay in your home as you age, there are several things you need to consider to make it as comfortable and accessible as possible.

Did you know that ​along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the spaces homeowners use the most?

They also happen to be the most dangerous area in the home, especially as you age because of increased dangers such as slips, poor lighting and difficulty accessing certain parts of your bathroom.

Want to create an age proof bathroom that will continue to be comfortable, stylish and easy to use for years to come?

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your bathroom enjoyable:

  1. Install a Shower Bench
    As you age, being able to sit and decrease the risks associated with showering (such as slipping and falling) is an important thing to incorporate when remodeling your bathroom. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a completely transitioned bathtub​​ or to simply add a shower bench and the proper accessibility tools.
  2. Install easy to use tools such as grab bars and detachable showerheads Accessibility is key when you are creating an “Age-Proof” bathroom that will meet your changing needs.
    These tools are extra important as they give you something for you to hold on to so you can safely navigate the space. ​Bonus tip: Grab bars are highly functional; they can also double as towel and robe racks.
    Grab Bar
  3. Trade your toilet out for one that is a bit taller
    If you’ve never considered the strain a toilet has on your back and knees, not to worry: it isn’t something we often consider in a standard bathroom layout. But if you are planning on transitioning your bathroom to an accessible bathroom, having a toilet that is easy to get up from will once again reduce risks of falls or injuries. Not to mention being easier on your body and joints.
  4. Choose features that will need LESS care and maintenance
    While your dream bathroom may have expansive slabs of marble or endless glass, considering what needs the smallest amount of care and maintenance will help prepare you for the years to come – especially when cleaning the glass you so carefully chose requires you to teeter on the side of the tub. Make sure everything going into this rehabbed bathroom is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to access. One example is to have fewer grout lines like Re-Bath Durabath
  5. Install an accessible tub
    There are plenty of great options when it comes to changing out your standard tub or walk-in shower for an accessible tub. For those with limited mobility, installing a walk-in tub or shower base with slip-resistant technology is a great safety solution. Want to learn more?
    PROTIP ​ : Make sure you hire someone with the right certifications and expertise to make this process an easy one. The easiest way? Hire a Certified Aging in Place Specialist like us! The average bathtub replacement is the same cost or less than a hip replacement – but a whole lot less painful
    Bath Image
    The best part about transitioning your old bathroom? Not only will it now be more accessible, but it will also have a refreshed, beautiful look that helps you to turn that space into an oasis.

What to Consider When Remodeling Your Bathroom

There’s a lot to consider when remodeling your bathroom, but our expert design team at the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque is here to guide you every step of the way! When it comes to bathroom remodeling, you can customize your bathroom with new tile and sinks or completely upgrade your design to look like a spa. We have all of the tools and answers you need in order to create a one-of-a-kind bathroom that you will love using every day.

Bathroom Flooring


One of the main considerations to think about when remodeling the bathroom is the flooring. Of course, the best flooring for a bathroom is waterproof tile. Tile floors are perfect for a bathroom because they are durable, waterproof, and will prevent molding. Tile floors are long-lasting and extremely easy to maintain.

Current Design Trends

Here are some current bathroom design trends for this year:

  • Eco-friendly designs: If you’re interested in going green, be sure to ask our designers about eco-friendly tile options for your bathroom design! We have plenty of options that are safe for both your family and the environment.
  • Bright colors: Create a bold and unique look with brightly-colored tile! A statement wall can be a great way to incorporate a bold color without it being too overwhelming for the room.
  • Gold and Brass Fixtures: It’s easy to add extra style and elegance with the trend of gold or brass fixtures. Paired with slate or marble tile, this trend can really elevate your bathroom’s design.

Get Started Today

If you’re looking for new floors for a bathroom, or if you want an entire bathroom remodel, you can trust our expert team at the Poulin Design Center to help your vision come true. Get started on the bathroom of your dreams with a free estimate! Remodeling the bathroom means that you are enhancing the resale value of your home, and adding a valuable addition to your home.

Photo © Image Flow and David Papazan

Tile Highlight: A Look at Porcelain Tile

Tile Highlight: A Look at Porcelain Tile

Whether you are building a new home in Albuquerque, or just remodeling your existing one, the decisions you make about your floors can have a lasting impact. You want the design to be aesthetically pleasing, and you want your floors to be durable for years to come. With factors like wear and tear from your family and pets, porcelain tile flooring comes through as a strong candidate. The Poulin Design Center is ready to transform your bathroom or kitchen from start to finish, so you can have the home of your dreams!

Benefits of Porcelain Tile in Albuquerque

  1. Durability: When installed by a trained professional, porcelain tile floors are among the most durable and often last 20 years or more.
  2. Easy Maintenance: Porcelain tile is easy to care for, and is resistant to stains, fading, dirt, allergens, and odors.
  3. Versatility: The exceptional variety of porcelain tile flooring allows you to let your creativity shine or you can choose a more traditional option.

New Mexico Trends in Tile Flooring

One of the great things about having a lot of leeway with your tile flooring is that you can let your personality shine when you are having your floor installed. You can choose to follow popular trends, or you can find a way to use those trends to help guide your own style. Our design team makes sure each redesign is customized to specific desires and needs of a client’s project, and we will guide you every step of the way.

Get Creative with Mosaics

One popular trend right now is to use tiny mosaic tiles. While the use of traditional southwest colors is always a popular option, mixing different patterns in a more subdued color scheme can successfully blend a classic look with a bit of Albuquerque flair.

Wood-Look Tile

Not only is it possible to be creative with the pattern of your tile, but you also have many options when it comes to texture and overall look. For example, hardwood is always a popular look, especially in living rooms or family rooms, but can be hard to care for. With wood-look tile, you get the look and feel of hardwood but with the benefits of porcelain tile!

Choosing Your Texture

Porcelain tile doesn’t always have to be smooth or glossy- you can choose a porcelain option that has texture incorporated into the design! There are pros and cons to either option. Smoother floors tend to be easier to clean, while those with a slightly rougher surface are less slippery, and are good for places such as bathroom showers. Our team will help you brainstorm ideas on what type to choose, and give you plenty of options to pick from so that you ultimately make the best choice for you and your family.

Start Your Redesign Today

Ready to start designing the home of your dreams? Our team at the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque is ready to help! Get started today with a free in-home consultation.

Photo © Todd Lipsky

Stunning Shower Tile Trends

Stunning Shower Tile Trends

When it comes to bathroom design, one of the easiest places to make a statement is with the shower design. Glass doors allow your shower to be on display; so don’t be afraid to show off with a beautiful design. Here are some top shower trends to consider from the experts at the Poulin Design Center.

Chevron Tile and Herringbone Pattern

Chevron tiles keep popping up in kitchen and bathroom designs alike.  This unique angled look is a great eye-catching way to install tile. The chevron shape comes in many sizes so that you’re not limited with the design possibilities.  You can also achieve a similar look by installing classic rectangular tiles in a herringbone pattern as pictured above.

Wood Look Tile

Natural wood looks beautiful and gives your home a rustic feel. However, in a moist environment like the bathroom it’s smarter to get your wood fix using a porcelain wood-look tile. This can be installed as flooring, but more and more it is used to create a truly unique shower design.  Consider classic browns or go with the stylish grey wood-look tile.

Lantern Shaped Tile

If you want your tile to exude elegance, you’ll want to make sure you consider lantern-shaped tile.  This shape of tile comes in various sizes and can create a beautiful shower and backsplash option for your bathroom design. Go with a classic white or feel free to add in glass varieties as well.

Small Porcelain Tile

Historic homes and buildings often feature small square ceramic tiles in the entryway and bathroom. Trends tend to come back and we’re seeing more and more homeowners going after this classic look. Smaller tiles can be used as the shower floor option and will provide great traction.  However, smaller tiles make the perfect accent for a shower wall. Consider a single vertical strip of smaller tile.

Have another idea?

Tile trends are constantly evolving.  If you have a design idea of what kind of tile you’d like in the shower, just let the experts at the Poulin Design Center know.  Our tile experts can make your dream bathroom a reality!

Photo: Jodie Johnson

Unique Backsplash Ideas

Unique Backsplash Ideas

The backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can be a great place to make your home’s design your own. Here are some ideas from the experts at the Poulin Design Center if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for your Albuquerque home.

Wood-Look Tile

Wood in the kitchen can be added in many areas: the countertops, the flooring choice, and of course cabinets. However, more and more homeowners are looking to update the trend and bring wood into the backsplash arena as well. Wood look tile is just the product up to the task. With water resistance of any ceramic tile and the beautiful natural tone and texture of wood, it makes a beautiful backsplash option.

Small Tile

Some homeowners are swaying back against the large tile trend and going to a more classic look with small tile backsplashes in the kitchen. This looks beautiful when accent tiles of another color are also added in to help define the backsplash design.

Bright Ceramic

If you’re not looking to add in natural stone or white subway tile, then consider adding in a pop of color. Bright blues can work wonderfully in kitchen design. As long as you let the backsplash be the center of attention in your kitchen design you can be bold and add that red kitchen tile you’ve always wanted!

Black Tile

White kitchens are still very popular, but we’re seeing a counterpart start to grow in popularity as well: black tile, countertops, or cabinets. Adding in black to your kitchen design gives it a very sleek, modern look that will look clean and sharp for decades. Just be sure you balance out the black accents; granite countertops often work perfectly since they often have black flecks as well.

Large Glass

Some homeowners are going for a large glass tile backslash. Glass tile works really well for showers, tubs, and more.  But it’s showing up as a kitchen backsplash trend to watch. Why? Glass is luminous, easy to clean, and naturally beautiful.  Pair the glass with a white granite or quartz countertop and you’ve got a stunning kitchen!

Ready to get your backsplash project underway? Give is a call today to schedule your free design consultation today!

Photo: ML Harris

8 Foolproof Ways To Upgrade Your Bathroom

Bathroom renovation is a fun and exciting proposition for homeowners who are eager to add value to their home. A typical Albuquerque shower remodel, for example, can add surprising value to a house.

This is especially true for those wishing to sell their property on the open market. From a standard rebath project to a comprehensive and total remodel, there is money to be made in Albuquerque and Santa Fe bathroom renovation. That said here are 8 useful and truly amazing ideas for remodeling a bathroom that are sure to add appeal and add value in general.

  1. New Fixtures
    Nothing really compares to the affordable option of changing out existing bathroom fixtures. This is an easy and cost effective way of changing the look a feel of a typical residential bathroom space.
  2. Refinish Cabinets
    Bathroom cabinets can often be salvaged during a remodel, saving homeowners a lot of money. New paint or stain is affordable. Best of all, the work can be done by the homeowner saving money on labor.
  3. Accent Tiles
    By simply adding a few accent tiles to an existing bathroom, a homeowner can transform the space in a unique, affordable and clever way. Getting creative in this fashion can be fun and interesting.
  4. Light Fixtures
    Adding unique and innovative lighting to a bathroom space is often the easiest way to take the space to a new and exciting level. There are so many fixtures available to those doing a remodel project that the possibilities are virtually endless.
  5. Upgrading A Medicine Cabinet
    No bathroom renovation project is complete until the medicine cabinet has be updated. There are so many attractive medicine cabinets on the market today that finding the perfect one is really quite easy.
  6. Counter Top Replacement
    As with a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel in Santa Fe stands to gain a lot from a new counter top. From granite to concrete and many other options, a new counter can add elegance and opulence beyond compare.
  7. Added Storage
    Adding storage in a Santa Fe bathroom renovation can be as simple as installing vanity draw dividers or trays. This is a functional and inexpensive way to make a space more usable.
  8. Window Treatment
    The final touch in any Albuquerque shower remodel or bathroom remodeling job is to add a true touch of class with great looking window treatments. This will serve to round out the finished project perfectly.

5 Reasons to Tackle the Bathroom Remodel

The bathroom is often one of the first rooms to get remodeled in a home. There’s something so inviting about fresh paint on the walls, a new sink, shower, countertops, and of course new flooring! Here at the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque we can help you with every aspect of your bathroom remodel.

Escape From Outdated Style

If your home still features an old avocado colored sink and tub then it’s time to stop running a history exhibit in your home! Even if your bathroom is in top shape and very clean, it may be time to start a bathroom remodel simply for the sake of updating the bathroom style!

Flaking Paint and Old Grout

If you start to notice the paint in your bathroom is suffering from the moisture in the room and starting to flake away, then it’s time for a bathroom remodel. In the same way, chipped tile and old grout can be the perfect place for mold to grow. If you see these signs popping up in your bathroom, then move the bathroom remodel to the top of your home improvement to-do list!

Add Some Value to Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling your home soon and want to bump up its value, then start with the bathrooms. Updating even a smaller bathroom can help your home sell for a higher price. If you’re not looking to take on a large project, consider simply installing new flooring and repainting. Fresh, clean porcelain tile can go a long way in making your bathroom feel like new again!

Your Bathroom Lacks Organization

Do you feel like there’s never any space for your stuff in the bathroom? If you find yourself searching for counter space regularly, it may be time to consider a bathroom remodel. Adding in extra storage will help you stay organized and help your bathroom stay neat!

Your Flooring Doesn’t Look Clean

Even if you scrub for hours, some old bathroom flooring is never going to look clean. Don’t despair, this simply means it is time for some new flooring in the bathroom! Consider adding in brushed porcelain tile, travertine tile, or even some exquisite marble! The possibilities are endless and the experts at the Poulin Design Center will help you select the perfect new bathroom flooring for your home!

Call now at 505-880-2500 to schedule a free in-home consultation and let us get your dream bathroom started today!

Design Center

Founded 38 years ago by Tom Poulin CGR, Poulin Design Remodeling, Inc., has become a mainstay of Albuquerque home renovation.

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