Converting tubs to showers

Tub-to-shower conversions have been popular among hoteliers and designers for years now—they’re more efficient, sanitary, and arguably, sleeker than bath tubs. Designer and manufacturer of cast marble shower pans and panel systems for the commercial market, Mincey Marble has capitalized on these conversions, taking hotels unused tubs and turning them into hassle-free, beautiful showers.

We spoke with Melissa Schroeder, VP, business development, Mincey Marble, who told us more about the company and conversion process:

Can you talk about the history of the company? How did Mincey Marble come to be?
Mincey is a third-generation family-owned business based in Gainesville, GA. Kenneth Mincey started the cast marble company in 1977. In the beginning, Mincey mainly focused on making cast marble tubs, showers and vanity tops for the local Atlanta market. Soon after, the company was designing and manufacturing vanity tops for hotels. In 1994, Mincey became a specified supplier for our first hotel brand. The company eventually left the residential market altogether, focusing solely on the commercial industry. The product focus also shifted. Hotels required fewer tubs as they started converting them to showers. Now, Mincey focuses mainly on shower panels and shower pans—with designs now seen in hotel properties throughout the country today.

We’re proud that our cast marble products continue to be designed and manufactured in the United States. In 2019, we built a new 380,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility outside of Atlanta. We continue to invest in the latest technological advancements, exceptional designs and unsurpassed product innovations.

Can you detail the products/services that Mincey Marble provides hotels with?
Mincey designs and manufactures cast marble shower surrounds and pans for the hospitality industry. We offer a wide assortment of panel designs, many with the realistic look of tile. Mincey panels and pans are durable, nonporous and completely grout-free. All our cast marble products are designed and manufactured in the U.S., bringing our customers personalized customer service, shorter lead times and outstanding quality. To complete the shower, we offer shower doors and accessories (shelves, footrests) as well.

Many times, hotels will have specific requirements for their space. We offer a variety of sizes for each of our products, in addition to custom capabilities.

How did you get the idea to start converting tubs into showers?
We used to make tubs many years ago, but when the hospitality industry transitioned to showers, we shifted our focus to panels, pans and shower doors.

How do you convert unused tubs into showers?
We offer shower pans that make tub-to-shower conversions much easier. For example, our renovation shower pans are available in the same sizes as standard hotel tubs. The drain is also in the same location as the typical hotel tub making it a simple switch.

Customers can also encounter some sticky situations with this type of conversion. For example, a contractor might remove an old tub from a property and discover the existing drain connection is above the floor. In this instance, you can’t install a pan the way you normally would. To remedy this, our customers can build up the pan slightly and use our side outlet drain.

Our shower panels also make these kinds of conversions easy. If you’re replacing the tub, you’ll need to replace the existing tile or surround. Mincey 3-piece panels are simple and quick to install—no tiling, grouting or sealing.

Why is this so helpful for hotels undergoing renovations?
When a hotel uses a Mincey renovation pan, the contractor typically doesn’t have to move any plumbing. They can simply replace the tub with the pan, saving time and money. Rooms are up and running much more quickly.

What’s the installation process like?
Just like with all our shower pans, renovation pans require a simple “drop-in” installation. Essentially, the plumber just needs to connect the drain. Our shower panels are trimmed to fit and then adhered to the wall with a cast marble adhesive. A trained installer should always install Mincey products, and we highly recommend using a certified installer listed on our website. We also provide training to those purchasing our products as needed.

Are you seeing a lot of hotels completely do away with tubs? Why do you think this is?
Tub-to-shower conversions have been the trend for years now, and we don’t see it going away any time soon. Showers are more popular with guests and more efficient than baths. Shower pans are also typically safer than tubs due to the lower threshold, making them the smarter choice for hotels.

What bathroom trends are you seeing?
Clean lines and spa-like spaces continue to be the trend. We’re seeing a lot of light colors, which explains why white shower surrounds are so popular. They feel cleaner and more sanitary. Guestroom renovations are leaning more transitional since they merge the existing space with more modern finishes. I think contemporary design continues to be popular since it can extend the life of bathroom finishes before renovating.

How are your products and services unique from others of its kind?
Cast marble allows us to create beautiful designs and textures without the labor-intensive installation and ongoing maintenance of other products. Unlike tile, our cast marble products don’t require grouting, sealing or the use of a mudbed. Our 3-piece surrounds and shower pans are simple to install with cast marble adhesive. They’re also extremely durable and sanitary, perfect for commercial spaces.

One of my favorite things about our product is that our tile patterns feature the indistinguishable look and feel of grout. You can run your hands across it and not realize the difference. Mincey can also do what tile can’t. Our more artistic and textured patterns don’t have a grout look. They’re unique monolithic pieces.

How do your products benefit hotel designers and hotel owners?
Quick installation: Because our products are simple to install, hotels can open their doors faster. Tiling a shower can take days when you’re talking about grouting, curing and sealing. Because of this time savings, our panels can cost less than tile in the short run, and they always cost less over time.

Low maintenance: Hotels with Mincey panels and pans don’t have to worry about keeping up with costly maintenance. They’ll never have to regrout or seal their guest room showers. Keeping them clean is also simple. Our cast marble is also more sanitary than other products. It’s non-porous and impervious to mold and mildew, which means housekeeping doesn’t have to spend as much time cleaning the shower.

Lastly, our products look new for years to come. Mincey panels and pans are stain-resistant, and their durability can withstand guest after guest. Because of this durability, we offer an industry-leading 10-year warranty.