Bathrooms without bathtubs

kathieloJanuary 15, 2010

I asked this question in another posting and it was suggested I start a separate thread to get some opinions.

We are planning a master bath remodel and my original idea was to remove the "never used" jacuzzi tub and replace it with a very large shower. The current shower would become the linen closet. However, DH suggested we may lose resale value if there is no tub in the master bathroom. We do have two other bathrooms with standard size tubs in them. We are currently trying different layouts where we can fit both a freestanding tub, if need be, and the larger shower in the room but I would prefer only the shower.

So the question you really lose resale value if there is no tub in the master bath only a huge walkin shower...6 ft + probably.

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We have a full bath (with shower/tub combo), a powder room, and a master bath with a huge shower and a jacuzzi. In 5 years I have never used the jacuzzi, and my wife uses it every couple of months. We're shower people. I'm of the opinion that people ooh-and-aah over luxurious bathrooms with jetted tubs, but don't have much time for really using them. In a hoe like yours with two tubs already, not having one in the master bath is a non-issue. Although some people might want it, I doubt it will affect the resale value, or, more importantly make it harder to sell your house. A large shower would score points with me and a lot of others over a jacuzzi any day. And I see my house as the place I live, not something I occupy while thinking of the possible desires of some future owner. If you want a big shower, build it and enjoy it.

One possible compromise if you want to hedge your bets would be to put in a big shower...and a Japanese soaking tub, which is pretty cool, practical, and takes up little room. They are available both in free standing and built-in models. I might take a bath once in a while if I had one of those!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 9:27PM
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You need a tub somewhere in the house, that's code.

As far as master baths, no, a tub is not required, and in several of the homes I have built tubs have been omitted from the master bath. Nice homes, well built.

Without a tub you want a nicely appointed shower, spacious, and visually appealing. Realtors around here don't see a tub-less master as a liability as long as the rest of the master is nicely detailed.

A couple of times I have plumbed for the tub but capped the plumbing and buried it in the walls. No one has ever called and asked for the tub at a later date.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:37PM
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I wouldn't buy a house that didn't have a nice tub somewhere in the house and preferably in the master bathroom. The tub needn't be huge; we just installed a 60 inch freestanding tub and I use it all the time (daily). However, I realize I'm in the majority and not everyone likes to take a bath.

Do you have room for a modest freestanding or built-in tub (not jacuzzi size) and a shower?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 12:12AM
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We are planning to not have a tub in our master bath but to have a large double person shower instead. There will be two other baths in the house and a hot tub just outside the master bath with a door from the bath out to it. I figured I'd rather spend the money on the hot tub than a regular tub and this fits our bathroom. Whatever works for you, go for it. But we don't plan on moving in a very long time, so while we cosider resale, it certainly doesn't make our decisions.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Personally, I would not buy a house without a nice tub, either. The last house just had a tub/shower combination and in that you could not take a real bath. Squeezing into those combos is not relaxing at all when you are tall so I missed out on taking a bath for a couple of years. And I really missed that in winter.
In our MasterBath remodel we left the big jacuzzi and added a shower. We do not bath often either but every once in a while it is just great to do just that (we have a shower only and a tub combo in 2 other bathrooms). But I know more and more people opt for the 'shower only' when space is limited. I think if you search for it in this forum a lot of opinions will pop up and more are in favor for 'shower only when you have a decent size tub in the house'.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Jean Bo

When I purchased the house I am in right now I never gave it a 2nd thought when looking at the house it didn't have a tub in the master bathroom, what struck me was the nice big walk in shower. Frankly I rather have the square footage on something I will use rather then have to dust. But were shower people, I plan on putting in a better tub in the 2nd bathroom for soaking when the few times we want to. I have not made any plans as to air or jet but it will be deeper which should be nice. I would plan this room around your likes.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:40AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Not knowing your ages, or how long you 'might' be in your house, you may want to rethink getting rid of the Jacuzzi tub, or maybe get a smaller one.

Though I am basically a shower person too, my personal (not entertaining) sized jacuzzi has been put to some very good use over the years when I was suffering with back pain, as well as other aches and pains at different times. I'd hate to live without it. Being the size it is, it isn't a lot of water (and energy to heat it) to use mine whenever I feel like it. When my back was at its worst (before surgery), I sometimes used it multiple times a day for several weeks.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:22AM
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You will find the forum community divided on this one. I am one of those who would love to take baths in theory, however, cannot due to busy life etc. We recently got rid of our only tub in the house and reclaimed the space for a shower. It's not huge, but we already feel the huge difference in accessibility of my bath.

Also, whether a tub will help resale or not really depends on which RE area you are in. In my area, houses are so saught after in my area that people would be ok to buy; and also I'd imagine that the other buyers would have a lifestyle just like me where they simply are too busy for frequent baths.

I am myself planning an extension to my house in mid term future, and I'd design a bath so that tub plumbing is in place (for resale) and space planned so that it would be reasonably easy for a tub to be added if so desired. (e.g. by reclaiming space from a bench rather than a fully tiled shower or vanity area etc).

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 12:30PM
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One bath tub in the house is plenty. Most new homes I see now have large party showers (!), no bathtub in the master.
I dont even know how a tub/shower combo is even up to code. Major slipping danger.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 1:05PM
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We're building a new house without a tub in the master bath. However, there will be a 4'8"x5'3" steam shower, so we think that will make up for it. There is a tub/shower combo in the guest suite which is on the same floor. Also, there is room to steal 3'-4' from a walk-in closet (now 13'6") to put a tub that would even have a window over it.

As several folks have said, all I do with our current jacuzzi tub is dust it. The bathroom we are building is very open, airy & with great light. We preferred to put the square footage somewhere else that we would use and enjoy more.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 2:58PM
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It's really personal preference, and I fall on the side of the posters who say one tub somewhere in the house is plenty. Like drjoann, I have a 4x6' steam shower in the master, having taken out a large garden tub and a smaller walk-in shower. I'd do the same in my next house.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 3:19PM
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We removed our tub from the master and replaced it with just a larger shower. Love it. We have a tub in another bathroom and in our area, this does not affect resale.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:51AM
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I'm grappling with this question also. Our MB needs a redo and it isn't really large enough to house a tub, shower and double vanity (although we have all that now and the tub is large). Having all of that in our space makes if feel cramped and not very attractive.

We have a combination tub/shower on the same floor (kid's bathroom) and we have a brand new shower in the new guest bathroom downstairs. I'm actually considering putting in a nice jetted slipper tub in the MB because they are so pretty and I'm sure we'd take a bath more often if we had one. We haven't used our large jetted tub much in all these years. When the kids were little they'd "swim" in the big tub but that's about it. So I know this is taking a chance. But if I don't put a slipper tub in the MB then we can't do one and I'd really like to have one as I said because of the esthetics and also because I'd love to be able to soak in a pretty and comfortable tub without having to use so much water (like in our current monster tub). Our current monster tub isn't even comfortable.

Anyway, I wonder if doing what I propose would be a bad idea. To recap we'd have a combination shower/tub in kid's bath upstairs, a separate 3' x 4' shower in guest bath downstairs (there's a sauna in guest bath also), and slipper jetted tub in MB.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:21PM
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I came to this forum to ask about tiles in the shower I'm planning to replace the tub in the master bath. There's a tub in the hall bath. I'm planning on having a steam shower with as many jets as I can afford to have put in. With a shower seat, that should take care of my aching bones and muscles.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:44PM
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We're planning to have a tub in the hall bathroom (replacing the old tub) and one in the MB (replacing a shower stall with the tub). Both will be Toto 1525's with no-slip grips on the bottom. I am used to showering in a tub anyway, and it gives me more flexibility (shaving legs, soaking if/when I want, etc.).

Also, it'll save us $ since we will use shower curtains rather than glass doors, as we did in our guest-bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Just install what you want. Stop worrying about resale.

You install a tub because of the worries of resale, then you grow old, and who really cares then. What does resale mean to you now, not much. Time has slipped by, your best years are behind you. As you sit all alone and stare at a bathroom (you once gloated about and were proud of) you will realize that is now outdated, worn, and need of renovation again.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 4:15PM
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We are building a custom home and are not putting a tub in the master. We are having a large walk-in shower with a rainhead, two shower heads, and 6 spray jets. We also have a tub in one of the other bathrooms. I would think that if the shower you put in has a "wow" factor, you will not lose resale value.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:25PM
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If you watch HGTV, the people looking for houses seem to want a tub also. We put in 2 and neither are used.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 7:23AM
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When you sell your house, there will undoubtedly be some potential buyers who are disappointed in the lack of a tub in the master, whether they plan to use it themselves, or they are concerned with future resale. You will probably turn off some buyers, and the whole point of doing something 'for resale' is to maximize your buyer pool. However, only you know if taking that risk is worth it to you personally...if you are highly risk adverse, put in a tub. If not, don't.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 8:51AM
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I'm a real estate appraiser so I can speak with some authority on the matter. And, in true appraiser form, I will tell you that it depends. Will you lose VALUE? I doubt it, especially if you're replacing it with a very nice and spacious shower. Where you may hurt will be marketability -- you may lose part of the buyer pool that is tub-centric. But since you'll have a tub in another bath, I think that would mitigate it some. To be honest, it is very market-particular. If your area generally has master baths with sep tub and shower, you will see more of a market reaction to the lack of it. If it is more of a mixed area, especially with homes of various ages, you will probably see less of a market reaction. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 9:59AM
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Thank you all so much for the best advice, inspiration, chuckles and honesty. I'm voting for big shower...two person/steam whatever and like clarosietoo, as many shower heads as I can fit in it.
We'll see what DH says when the time comes. I guess I should double check with our local realtors to see what sells around here.

Thanks again everone.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 4:05PM
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Ok two questions is does it affect resale. Yes, it does. There is no "no" for this answer. Read the real estate appraisal guidelines. You get less value for not having a tub in a bathroom. A full is worth more than a 3/4 or a 1/2 bath, that's just the facts of life and they're derived from sales info that tells folks that people want a tub in a bathroom.

A nice sized shower is nice, but it will not make your 3/4 bath into a full bath. And if there are no other tubs in the house...well that's really an issue, but let's say there are...My son has a lovely claw foot tub in one of his bathrooms and another that's a jacuzzi (we have two houses). Would I relax and bath in my 4 year old's bathroom? Ummmmmm think it through. You're going to turn off those who like to bath, or even think someday they might get to bath :) (I'm in the second category since he was born but a girl can dream).

Consider a beverly 40x40 type soaking tub. It's like a hot 4 year old loves it and I do as well. It takes up much less space, leaving you room for a nice shower, but still offering the value you don't want to see go from your home.

Unless you have a huge old victorian like me, you can't just yank out a tub and not get hurt value wise, but let me tell you, even with twelve bathrooms, and honestly, I don't know how many tubs LOL (It's a new house) but we will have a tub in the master bath....value wise it would be nuts to leave it out.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 9:00PM
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I'm struggling with the same thing for my lakehouse. It has a large garden tub that has been used once in five years. I'd like to eliminate it, turn the area into a closet and turn the MB closet into a 1/2 bath (the closet is adjacent to a hallway). This would be so much more functional. But, I think back to when I was house hunting and the garden tub made this house seem so much nicer than the other more practical homes I looked at and I worry I will lose potential buyers/value.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 11:33AM
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I was talking with a friend the other day about how she misses the tub in her former house. But it certainly didn't stop her from buying the place she lives in today. As for me, I much prefer a big shower to a tub. For the very few times that I use a tub (maybe once a year, if that much), I'll use the tub in the hall bath.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Bathrooms are legally defined by their bathing fixtures. It's not considered a "full bath" without a bath tub. At most, a bath with a shower only can be considered as a 3/4 bath. Lowering the amount of baths in a home, even if it's "only" by "1/4" lowers the value. That's standard real estate equationese. It's like taking that too small bedroom and making it an office. If you take out the closet and make that a permanant change, you just lowered the value of the house by eliminating a bedroom.

However, if you're gonna be carried out feet first from this house, then don't worry so much about "resale". Worry about "livability". Only let resale in the pic if you plan on moving in a couple of years. For resale, you're not selling "livability". You're selling the fantasy, which includes a tub. Even if that tub isn't used, it's part of the master bath fantasy of the potential homeowner to think they'll use it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 7:01PM
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My brother had the opposite issue. His master-bath had a huge garden tub but no shower. When he went to sell no one was interested once they found that out. He pulled out the tub and put in a really nice shower with no tub and it sold within days of re-listing it. The wife loved the luxury shower! So you just can't tell.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Our house was built without a bath in the master and there is no room to add one with out knocking down walls! Instead we replaced the tub in the hall bath with a jacuzzi tub and upgraded that bath! The shower in the master has been redone as has the whole bath. I think just making it the best it can be is all you can be expected to do.

You shouldn't be judged on whether you have a bath in the master if there never was one or there is no room to put one. I hate it when the 'experts' make you feel guilty because you don't have something! Even if you never had it to begin with!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:23AM
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I also don't think you need to have a tub in the master. However, if a family was only going to have one tub in the house I would hope it wouldn't be a deep jacuzzi or soaking tub. Thinking resale, someone might have a baby or child they will be bathing or an elderly person who cannot step very high. Since the op has two regular size tubs I'd say she could eliminate the tub in the master.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:56AM
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I think you need to decide why you're doing this bath reno and how long you plan to be in the house. I think this thread proves there are enough people out there who like a tub that it could negatively impact resale value. But if you're not planning to sell for another 10 to 15 years, well heck ... you'll have a lot of things that will negatively impact resale.

If you really want to know, why don't you call a local real estate agent and ask their opinion?

I will tell you that I bought a one-bathroom house with no tub and a horrifically outdated bathroom. And it didn't matter. I love the house and there was nothing (not even a pink countertop, heavily plastered walls and gold fixtures) that was going to stop me from buying this place. Now we're working on adding a second bath that will also not have a bathtub. Eventually we hope to redo that other bathroom (which seven years after buying the house still has the pink countertops, gold fixtures and heavily plastered walls) and we may put a tub in, but frankly it's really just so I would have a place to give the dogs a bath.

And whoever said it code required a bathroom that's obviously a local code. It's certainly not code in my area.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:00PM
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We're planning a steam shower for our next home, no tub. We've never used the tub in our current home. Even our kids take showers, right down to our 4yo. First, who actually has the time to sit in a tub? Second, the whole idea is just sort of unsanitary, sitting there marinating in a stew of filth. How do you bathe in a tub and not feel dirty afterward?

As far as resale, we've actually passed on a couple houses because the master baths had huge tubs and tiny cramped little shower stalls. I think tubs are an old-fashioned notion.

We've got friends who spent $$$ having a luxo jet tub put in their new build years ago. In 15 years, they've each used it maybe once or twice. The only time it ever gets regular use is when they clean their dog!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:30PM
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As far as resale, we've actually passed on a couple houses because the master baths had huge tubs and tiny cramped little shower stalls

I toured several new home developments last year and ALL of the master bathrooms were like that. It would make me crazy to have to shower every day in a tiny shower while my ginormous tub went mostly unused.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Whether this will affect resale is probably a question best put to a local real estate expert. I believe this would be impacted directly by the comparable homes in your area.

If you do not wish to consult (and pay?) a real estate agent for the advice, consider looking on local real estate websites. Look at the photos/tours of homes for sale in your area and see what they look like. If you are really far out of the norm in your area, you may restrict the number of interested buyers (though not necessarily the price). Note if the prices or durations on the market seem impacted by whether there is a bath tub in the master.

Personally, I have a master bathroom with just a shower and I love it. I am installing a nicer/larger soaking bath tub in the main bathroom in the house for me to relax in. But for day-to-day, I much prefer a comfortable shower. As long as the house had a bath tub, I'd be happy. In fact, I'd rather not have two bath tubs in the house to clean.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 1:27PM
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I toured several new home developments last year and ALL of the master bathrooms were like that. It would make me crazy to have to shower every day in a tiny shower while my ginormous tub went mostly unused.

Exactly! One home we saw was right out of the 70s. Had a 2-person PINK jacuzzi tub and jammed in a corner niche was a 3 sq ft shower pan with a curtain rod. The other was exactly as you mentioned, new construction, long & deep jet tub (with lights) dropped in a marble platform with 2 steps up and a fancy waterfall faucet, but the shower was a cheap fiberglass 1-piece with a home depot head.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:40PM
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Please tell me what a slipper tub is?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:59AM
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We had a huge jacuzzi tub and one of those nasty fiberglass showers in our master. We completed our remodel this past summer. We replaced the tub with a 4' by 6' 2 person shower. And moved the toilet to where our old shower was. It is a much much better space now! I have a bench in the shower below a "privacy" glass block window. So, I can relax by sitting in there with the shower going. I am thrilled to not have that monstrous tub. We put nice looking grab bars in our shower too. As far as access, I think it is much easier to get in and out of a shower than a deep tub.

However, for the remodel, if I would have had enough space, I would have put a tub in too. But I had to make the choice of a tub and small shower or large shower. So, the large shower won out!

That being said, some people love to soak, but not many have the time.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 6:37AM
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Lots of great ideas about bath tubs - in the UK we can't do without them! Showers are hard to find too, especially on the South Coast. Get lots of lovely seashells and starfish to decorate that tub - which we all call a bath! Best of luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dorset Gifts

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 4:55PM
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Everyone here has posted wise considerations: time you plan to stay here, and what YOU enjoy. I agree that showers re-designed and spacious have alot of appeal both to use and for show.
Assuming resale is an important consideration:
We use the tub (me more than he) and the showers. But we dislike jacuzzi tubs and soak is what we're after.
One of our favorite configs is a large shower area WITH a deep but not large tub within the same space: this provides, with fully surround tile and perhaps some natural light, lots of wall and cubic space re: the shower area/ splash areas (and we like flexability re: all the the controls to just have a quick one-showerhead spritz, or a luxe multi-jet multi person experience), and this type of layout creates a real sense of space and really doesnt sacrifice that much footprint to the tub. For the occasional tub use, it feels roomy and private too, with a nice dry off and grooming area as well. Or, some people like to rinse off after a hot soak, espec if oil or bubbles were steppng right into a shower is a nice nice feature that i have loved.
Even tho your home has other bathrooms with tubs, i will assume they are less luxe and soak-worthy (more like dual function tub showers?)...that would influence my purchase decision alot. Not whether it was actually part of the Master Suite...altho i would always prefer that the tub be part of "my" area rather than the guests.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 4:04PM
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I would think it also depends on your neighborhood. We are in the design phase of a "most of the house" remodel and addition. We're adding a master bath with a 7' shower and no tub. I can pretty much guarantee that we will be the only house in the neighborhood with a master bath at all, so I am thinking that it will be a selling point someday. We plan to exit the house, as Live Wire Oak put it, feet first, so we're not really considering resale value at this point.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Thank goodness for this post. We are going through this right now as well. Our answers have really been a mixed bag, which is frustrating a bit. We have a HUGE jacuzzi tub and tiny 36x36 fiberglass shower in a dark corner. I use the tub as a vessel to hold my drying rack. It is ridiculous. We do have a tub in the upstairs bath for guests, which we'll most likely replace with a nicer version in the future.

At this point we've decided to nix the tub and make the shower area much larger, with 2 shower heads and body sprays. The toilet will be moved to where the tub was and we'll finally be able to have 2 sinks. Seems like a much better use of space! In my opinion, double sinks is WAY more important (and functional) than a jacuzzi tub that collects dust.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 4:33PM
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In our area, most homes were built in the 20s and 30s. The master baths are all small with a shower only. When we were house hunting we held out looking for a shower and tub - couldn't find it - and ended up getting a house with a shower only in master bath and tub in the other bath. As others have said, I think you have to check out your area to see what the expectations are. Then use that to help you decide. Also, if you are going to be in the house a long time, it won't matter as much, plus you might renovate again!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 9:38PM
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I have to redo my bathrooom (I live in a very small condo). The current bathroom has a one-piece showe/tub combo fiberglass unit. I'd like to remove the unit and make it a walk in shower. I read in one of the posts, that there has to be a tub? Is this true? Also, would thus hurt the resale value? Pl help. I am so confused as to what to do.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 5:15PM
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Nilgris, I think, as you read in this posting and the other on the Home decorating forum, the decision is really yours. I understand that there has to be a tub somewhere in the house probably for young children and the elderly. We are still leaning towards shower only, but then we have two other bathrooms with tubs. When the time comes, we will check with our local realtors to make the final decision. Hope this helps...Kathie OP

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:10AM
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If a bathtub becomes a barrier for bathing in your own home and removing it can produce a show piece like this barrier free shower - why not?

With so many baby boomers looking for luxury upgrades in home renovations that allow them to age in place - I think a level access shower increases the homes value.

This shower showcased was built by my main Riccardo who has worked with me on projects here in Vancouver for over seven years. The shower was renovated for his parents and sister in their new 1970's fixer upper home.

Riccardo and his family continue to renovate beautiful homes and his mother has a keen eye for detail. I'm glad he makes time to help me with my clients and my projects.

Once again Ricco. Nice work!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:00PM
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Any other opinions? We are also debating this issue, we'd love to get rid of the ugly 1970s garden tub (which is at least 5-6 feet long), but what would we replace it with? We have a 42" square shower (lovely and bright, one shower head). Plus the bathtub is sitting in a bay window. The exterior wood siding of the window has been eaten away by termites and rodents (which entered our walls/attic last winter so we must deal with this asap) and the elements, plus the windows are awful (we cannot open them and the glass has a very thick, opaque pattern which is rather institutional looking. Also, every house in our neighborhood is built with a garden bathtub that is the focal point of a very good sized master bathroom. In the 1970s, this builder got the message that homeowners wanted spacious master baths. Ours is huge and I am not complaining! It's fabulous. But what to do about the tub.... worried about resale and aging (though that is many years down the road). I'd love to eliminate the tub, level the floor, and hide the plumbing, but I'm very worried about resale. When you want to sell, you don't want anything hindering the process.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
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I use my master bath spa tub at least every other day and sometimes every day...I love it. I think there are lots of folks who want the full works in the master bath. Don't know how many potential buys you would loose due to no tub, but sure there are plenty of folks that are just shower people like you. I'm not much help, but I would want the tub.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:06AM
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We have a big shower in our small master bath. It is more or less "tub-size", so you could do what mongo suggested earlier-plumb it for a bathtub. then when you sell, you could put up a sign that said "plumbed for potential conversion to tub/ shower combination."

I love a nice, long hot bath so my solution was to upgrade the hall bathroom. I am putting a deep MTI soaking tub in the tub alcove. I'm leaving the shower for future resale, although I never use it-I've got a spacious shower in the master. It's just the two of us, and we use the spare bedrooms as offices, but that hall bath could be viewed as the children's bath by a future owner. That way I'm covered-baths for the small kids and showers for the teenagers.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:04AM
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We just built our house with Ryland Homes. There were three master bath configurations to choose from:
1. Garden tub with a shower (fiberglass combo unit)
2. Separate garden tub and 3' square shower (again, fiberglass)
3. Luxury tiled shower with dual shower heads.

Unforunately, they wanted $6500 for option 3 (I know!), so we opted for the base plan (option 1). I've already checked into it and discovered that for $2-3k I can convert this to a tiled shower. This would leave us with a standard tub/shower combo in the hall bath and a 5' shower in the guest bath on the first floor.

I used to have the separate jacuzzi tub and shower (though it was a 42" model with a seat, so easier to shave your legs in), and we rarely used the tub. In fact, I forgot to clean it after I used it once, and a year later my sister and neice were babysitting for me and decided to "swim" in the jacuzzi tub. Well, they turned on the jets and all the green gunk came floating out. What a mess! NEVER AGAIN!

As we looked at houses I immediately wrote off any house that had a tiny 3' square shower in the master bath. Those things are ridiculous! How does a woman shave her legs in those things? But a tub? Don't need it -- just another thing to clean!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:13AM
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It is easy to convert a bath tub to a shower. There are many options.

A low curb shower is the easiest of renovations and a curbless design can be installed but is a little tougher to plan and execute.

Removing the tub and having a walk in shower is a dream for many people. Not having a tub at all in a house I think would be a mistake but if there is one tub - that is about all you need for a family.

Many seniors have trouble getting in and out of tubs to start with and many people suffering from bad hips can not even step over a 5-7" curb.

Look into your options and find a good crew to help you.

My thoughts.

John Whipple

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:18AM
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Personally, I would have loved to rip out our tub and install a full sized shower but DH would not let me do it. He insists it would affect the value at resale. Well, we've lived here sixteen years. For sixteen years I have whacked my foot on the track of the glass doors getting into the shower because I have fibromyalgia and am very stiff in the mornings. DH has a fully replaced hip joint too. We aren't even 50 yet. He has never taken a bath and I've taken about six since we have a hot tub on the deck right off the master. This house only has one bathroom and two bedrooms. No families are going to move here though. I think if a multi head walk in shower with no barrier was that big of a deal for resale it would have been worth it all these years. We are now finally tiling around the tub and adding a rain shower in the ceiling but I'm not looking forward to years more stepping over the dang tub. We have no intention or plan to move any time soon.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:50PM
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Glad to see this thread resurrected. As the OP I am still interested in what people are thinking and doing about this issue. We haven't taken the leap yet but we did check with local realtor and they are advising against not having a tub.

It is like putting a pool in your yard. When it comes time to sell you eliminate a certain geographic and you attract others.

We are in our 60s and as much as we like to think we will stay here until the end, who really knows. It is a big house for two people and an even bigger yard....a lot of work. Sooner or later we will decide what to do. There are other projects I still want to do first.

Thanks for your thoughts.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:07PM
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I believe that one might consider the geographical area when making this decision.

When I lived in a cold climate, I loved a nice soaking tub bath - if it had jets, that was even better. Since I am now in South Florida, a shower is my passion. If I want to be in water for an extended time, I swim in my pool and/or use the spa. Showering off later is great with little clean-up involved.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:15PM
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I'm replacing my tub/shower with just a shower. I'm putting in a bench with handheld shower so future users with small children or me in the not too distance future can shower in comfort. I refuse to be held hostage to "resale" arguments. Do what you want and enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:00PM
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We designed our last house; the master had a big 2-person shower, with a nice soaking tub in the second bath. I take baths rarely, maybe once a month in winter, no big deal to walk down the hall. We loved it and our house sold pretty easily, but I'm SURE the shower/tub wasn't a factor :-)

We're starting to plan the remodel of the master bath in the new house, and will remove the big periwinkle blue oval tub and making the shower stall large enough for two. This will also allow us to reach the bathroom window to open/close it, without stepping into the tub.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 8:47PM
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This must be a regional thing because where I live (in the San Francisco Bay Area) a bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet is considered a full bath, not a 3/4 bath. My DH is a realtor and I confirmed this with him.

I do think people here expect bathrooms that will be used by kids to have bathtubs, but master bathrooms are different. Adults just don't usually take baths. Maybe it's because we don't have time. I used to enjoy baths but haven't taken one in quite awhile.

In an area which is prone to droughts, a large tub is wasteful. Even if water were plentiful, it also takes a lot of energy to heat the water for a bathtub. As people become more concerned about their carbon footprints and green building practices, the large tubs that were popular in the '80s and '90s may become obsolete.

I had a friend who lived in a Victorian which had one bathroom on the second (bedroom) level with a lovely claw-foot tub and no shower. Her entire family bathed in a little shower off the kitchen, which was quite a trek from their bedrooms. To me, that really illustrates our society's preference for showers.

So if you prefer showers to baths, skip the tub and go for that luxury shower.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Love love love big walk in showers. If you have one bathtub in the house, you can certainly ditch the jacuzzi. My husband says people are frequently getting rid of tubs and putting in large showers, here in Chicago anyway.

Everyone has their own taste, but me jacuzzis are gross. I would do an air bath instead, much more sanitary. To be honest, if a house we were interested in had a jacuzzi, I would rip it out anyway..who wants to bathe with others dead skin cells yuck!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 8:50AM
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In our last house, we removed the master bath tub and made a nice walk in shower. There was a second bathroom with a tub. Loved it and never regretted it. When it was on the market, we had one or 2 comments about the lack of tub but the for the majority it was a non-issue. We are now building a house and once again, there will be no tub in the master but a nice walk in shower. There will be 2 tubs in the upstairs. I never take baths and definitely prefer the shower. BTW, we are in Florida so it could very well be a regional thing.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 12:09PM
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> Adults just don't usually take baths.

Umm, actually, lots of adults do. I wouldn't buy a house without a tub, but I realize that many people would, so I wouldn't let that stop me if there's no local code against not having one.

But there sure are a lot of grownups who do take baths, believe me.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:19PM
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We built a house without a tub in the MB, but opted for a nice shower. I did leave room to add a tub later, but for now, I'm planning to put a bench where the tub would be. Although a tub would probably look nice, I would rarely use it. We've been here a year, and I haven't missed it. I had one in my house for 22 years before this house, and NEVER used the tub.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Count me in as one who goes tubless in the master. We just bought a new house with 3 bathrooms and the master bath HAD a soaker tub which is now demo'd out. We're in the process of putting the largest shower in that will comfortably fit in the smallish master bath.

Every house I've ever lived in that had a tub, I've never used the tub - not once. I'm a shower person, so is my BF.

Now OTOH though I love a HOT hot tub, but I prefer mine outdoors. But I live in a mild climate (Northern CA) and use a hot tub outside all winter long.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Think about who is your target audience for sale.

I know that lot of first-time buyers will probably comment on the lack of tub - just because it is different than "usual" home, not because they will be using it.

If you are selling to high-end owners, they will expect high-end fixtures - again, not because of use, but because it is considered "standard" for high-end homes (think of it like buying Audi with no Tiptronic - very few will ever use it, but it comes with it).

If potential buyers have little kids - they would want tub somewhere - it is much, much easier helping kids take a quick shower in tub surround, as opposed to walking into shower stall (even big one) with them. But on the flip side, most people will not realize this until they've tried showering kids in shower (at least I have not until our tiny bathtub started leaking and we moved to huge shower downstairs).

So, your situation with bathtubs everywhere except master bathroom - will slow your sale just a bit, but will not be a deal breaker. For high-end buyers - might knock off couple of hundred, just for "visual" appeal. Everybody else will be just fine.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:32AM
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We just completed a renovation of the two remaining 1930's baths in our home. We pulled out the 6' porcelain over cast iron tubs and opted for tiled showers, one of which is level entry. I would not go back to a bathtub again! We are planning a new smaller home for retirement, and we are eliminating the garden tub in favor of a 6' by 6' steam shower with all the bells and whistles and a second commode room. There are two other baths in the house with tubs large enough for soaking.

On a related note, we used the commercial waterproofing system, and shower pan, made by Schluter, called the Kerdi system, and we installed in floor radiant heating. I can highly recommend both.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:30PM
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