A different Tub vs Shower question

jimy22February 4, 2013

First, some background. My wife and I live in a 2-3 bedroom ranch home with one current bathroom. I say 2-3 because we have a nicely finished basement that has a sunny room with nice windows. This would make a nice 3rd bedroom for families that wouldn't mind it off the main floor. We have no children and won't be having any.

We are planning to add on to the smaller bedroom, making it the master, with a master bath. The current bath is also way overdue for an update. We definitely need a second bathroom.

We would like one bathroom to have a tub and the other to have a shower unit.

FINALLY the question -

Would it be odd (or hurt the resale value or saleability) to have the only tub in the house to be in the master bath?


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Hi Jim,

I'm curious to hear the answers you receive, because that's exactly what we just did.

We had 2 full baths, a main off the hallway with a tub/shower combo and a master bath with seperate shower stall and soaker tub. We have ripped out the tub/shower in the hall bath and are redoing it to be just a tiled shower stall.

This leaves just the master tub as the only tub in the house. We also are just the two of us and have a 2/3 bedroom house. The 3rd bedroom has a closet, but is off the livingroom and is really more like an office/den. We are figuring that our house is probably not one a large family with small kids will want, so 2 showers and a tub should be enough for future buyers (fingers crossed)!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:03PM
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If you are remodeling for resale then make it generic where it will appeal to a wide base of potential buyers, so in a main bathroom that means tub/shower combo.

If this is your forever home then remodel how you want it, what you prefer and enjoy it.

People with kids need a bathtub and most find using a master bathtub inconvenient because it isn't just the bathing part but the spout protector, the toys for the tub, the tearless baby/kid wash and shampoo. Kids have alot of accessories and stuff. :) Also our last house had a soaking tub in the master, which I loved but I did not bathe kids in it, it was too deep, too awkward to be convenient. If that is going to be the only tub, think about putting a 6-12 month old baby into it, can you still hold onto the baby? Is it comfortable? Would the baby feel comfortable or scared because the walls of the tub are so much higher? Just something to think about.

Looking forward to seeing your remodel pictures, whatever you decide. :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:58PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Basement footage doesn't count as "livable" square footage. So, that bedroom down there doesn't make the home a 3 bedroom home at all. It will hurt the value of the house much more to go down to a technical one bedroom than it would to raise the bath count to 1 3/4. You'd better talk to some local realtors about your projects and get their assessments. You might need to look at going ahead with an altered form of your project in an addition of some sort.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Basement footage doesn't count as "livable" square footage. So, that bedroom down there doesn't make the home a 3 bedroom home at all.

Not true where I live, so check with your local assessor's office.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Thanks for all the thoughts so far.

(I'm not too concerned about the "basement" bedroom thing. It is likely legal - the way the house sits into a hill it is more like a "raised ranch". I wasn't clear, but this is NOT the bedroom being expanded)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Jim, I found your explanation to be clear. I am not sure where the idea of you going down to 1 bedroom came from, your question is about going down to 1 tub. Hopefully you will get some more input regarding this.

Is the one tub a deep soaking or whirlpool type? I can see where that might be hard to bath a small child in. But, I feel that babyhood is such a small amount of time relative, so if someone really liked your home, that probably wouldn't prevent them from buying like no tub at all would. And with the amount of bedrooms you have, you won't be attracting people with large families, as it is.

That's my thought, for what it's worth!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:49AM
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I'd err on the side of tub only in the hall bath with shower only in the master.

If it is likely that a family will buy this house and you don't plan to live there 10 yrs, then that is what I think you should do.

If you plan to live there 10 yrs or longer and a family isn't the target demographic for your house/neighborhood (this isn't a starter home) then you can do what you want.

For me, a young family person, tub only in the master would probably be a deal breaker and/or a devaluation of the property as I'd consider having to put in another tub in the hall bath.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:05PM
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The tub in the master will not be deep soaking or whirlpool. We are keeping things pretty simple.

Personally, I would like a nice large shower unit in the master bath because we each generally shower every day and it would be great to have the best spot to shower in the new master bath.

That said, the existing bathroom is a small (5x8) windowless room and even after an update, it wouldn't be nearly as pleasant for a occasional relaxing bath.

And even with THAT said - I have never used one of the larger shower units, perhaps I wouldn't find it all that much nicer than showering in a bathtub unit.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:12PM
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I can say, from the young family perspective (so again, what will your house be marketed towards, and when?)--

A large master shower that 2 people can use simulataneously with a normal hall bath with tub would be the preference... Rarely does a mom get a chance for a soak anyway. And, if your house is a starter home, an independent "soaking" tub wouldn't be something someone is likely to pay extra for.

If you aren't going to do any bells/whistles on the tub in the master, you aren't adding anything, imo. Keep the tub in the hall bath. Choose something like a white Kohler villager that is inexpensive but looks good and is cast iron and it will be your better bet, for a young family.

As for using a larger shower. Best to find a hotel somewhere (probably a nice one) with walk-in showers of the size you are considering to try it out.

For our family, we are currently undergoing a remodel--we'll have a modest master bath with 2 sinks, toilet and 3x5 (or 33"x60") shower only.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:40PM
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