For a complete bath/shower replacement, the
chain of events will go roughly like this:

1.  The walls get broken down and discarded.

2.  The tub/shower pan gets busted out and discarded.

3.  A new tub/shower valve (faucet) gets installed, if desired.

4.  The drain plumbing gets relocated, if needed.

5.  The wall and floor framing gets repaired, modified and/or insulated,
if needed.

6.  The tub / shower pan is installed.  For prefabricated systems, the
walls may be included here.

8.  The wall studs are sheathed with cement board.

9.  Tile is applied to the wall, if tiles are to be used.

10. The tiles are grouted; exposed walls are finished and painted; the
whole thing is caulked to death.

Before you start swinging that hammer and
smashing the place to bits, some things to

•        What kind of tub/shower are you going to install?

•        Is the replacement going to fit through the front door? The
bathroom door? Up the stairs?  Think seriously about this if you are
considering a one or two piece unit.

Bonus: How are you going to transport the thing from the store to your

•        If you’re using a prefabricated wall system, will if fit in the wall
space that you have?

•        Did you get a tub/shower pan with a drain hole in the correct

•        Once you place the tub /shower pan, how are you going to reach
in there to connect the drain?

•        How are you going to finish “blunt ends”?  Some prefabricated
wall panels get buried beneath the surrounding wall board; some do
not.  Some ceramic tiles are available with “bull nose” pieces; some
are not.  Sometimes your outside corners will line up vertically perfect;
sometimes they won’t.  It is better to anticipate these things than to
“build yourself into a corner.”

If you’re going to spend a proverbial bundle on a project like this, it’s
worth thinking about these things.  The rest of this section may help in
that regard.