Would you remove a bathtub and replace with shower only?

jakefieldMarch 6, 2014

Thinking of redoing the bath/shower area of an upstairs bathroom. It used to be the kid's bathroom, but they are mostly out of the house now. It is essentially a guest bath. The vanity and floors have been updated in the past. Presently it is a tub/shower combo with a curtain. The tub could probably use a refacing, but it is functional. The shower just has cheap builder grade white tile. Would you recommend removing tub and just making it into a shower only or does it make more sense to reface the tub and just put in some pretty new shower tiles? The only other tub is in our master bath. Thanks for your thoughts.

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How long do you anticipate staying in your home?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Is there a tub in another bathroom? I was warned by a real estate agent that removing the only tub in our 3/2 home would limit it's marketability and value. We removed the tub anyway, it was the bathroom my 80 year old dad used and I was more concerned with his safety than resale value. We sold the house last year, not having a tub was a non issue.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:26PM
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Hi there. This is my first time over here......I frequent other forums of the GW, but your post on the right brought me here.

I've come to the conclusion years ago, that I would love a shower. Anytime I see houses for sale/model homes etc that have the large jet tubs it's a turn-off for me. I would never want one. I don't take baths, and all I would do is be standing on my head dusting the darn thing. And it takes up too much real estate in the bathroom.

The only time I use our bathtub is when I'm washing the kitty litter pan. Period. Don't take baths, I've always been a shower person.

Having said that, I wouldn't want just a small, square shower stall. I like elbow room.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Tub-to-shower replacements are VERY popular and make up a large part of my buisness!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:35PM
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larecoltante Z6b NoVa

In our previous house we removed a spa tub from our master bath and replaced it with a large shower. We loved it--it was well worth the money and hassle. When we had to sell due to a corporate move, we had no trouble selling the house. (We did have a tub in one of the other bathrooms.)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Yes. I understand that there are "soaker and jacuzzi" folks who will disagree. I am on the other side 65 and a bathtub is simply scary getting in and out. Regarding the folks who think they need tubs for kids...People bathe infants in little plastic tubs (or in sinks). As they (the kids) get older, you can hold them on your lap, (on a bench) soap 'em up and rinse with a soft spray from a handheld shower head. NO need for a bath tub if you don't use it. I have a laundry tub for washing out kitty litter pans but a hand held shower head would do just as well. Although a 30" x 5 or 6' bathtub switched to a shower is a little tight width wise, it is better by far than having to climb into a bathtub to take a shower. Just make sure you put in a handheld shower head that can be mounted up on a slider bar to be positioned like a regular shower head. I don't think resale prices would be affected by that very much. Real estate is all about location, location, location. The next owners can remodel if they want a tub. Do what will work for you and your guests..


    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:09PM
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A hand-held shower is a must for a bathtub or a shower, for ease of cleaning. I have no idea how people clean the tiles and tub without one. Also for rinsing my kitty litter pan :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:16PM
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I think if you are in a neighborhood where the majority of people moving in are young couples or young families, they might prefer to have a tub. Bathing 2 or 3 little ones in a single tub is much better than trying to shower them individually! Otherwise I think the shower would be fine, especially if it is a nice size. Ditto to the suggestions for having the hand held shower head.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:28PM
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I can see having a tub in the bathroom that children would be likely to use. Sure, you can help the kids shower while you hold them on your lap - but you'll get soaked...and many little kids love playing with their bath toys in a tub...so I would be inclined to replace the tub in the master bathroom with a nice shower while keeping the tub in the second bathroom. In this case, the tub is on the second floor anyway; an accessible shower would make more sense on the first floor.

I agree with what the others have said about the handheld shower on the sliding bar. We have one in our walk in shower and both love it!! Dh is tall; I am shorter, but we both are able to have the spray exactly where we want it!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:47PM
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Thank you everyone. We do have a tub in our master bath as well. That is the tub we always used to bathe the kids when they were small as there was much more room. We plan to be in this house for at least another 10 years and probably longer if we can manage the stairs. We haven't had any guest complain about taking a shower in the bath/shower combo, but I would like to make it nice for guests. We have many overnight guests. Maybe I will just replace the bland tile with something prettier and call it a day. I could never give up the tub in my master bath. I use it every night!! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Our guest bath is the only one with a traditional tub and shower. I could not but a house that didn't have one traditional tub....for bathing the dog. Your idea of just re-doing the tile with something more updated sounds like a great idea.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:19AM
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I could easily buy a house without a tub. I wash and rinse my dog in the shower using a hand-held shower head. For older dogs, getting into a tub can be very difficult.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:25AM
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From a re-sale perspective, removing the tub from the secondary ("kids") bath would be the kiss of death for many buyers. Good decision.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:42AM
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I am working on my master bathroom remodel plans and I am torn between making my shower a larger one or having a shower and freestanding tub. I think I would have room to expand my shower but I honestly don't use the bath often but I do enjoy it when I do. Maybe used the tub 5 times in the 2 years we have lived here.

My daughter is currently looking for a new home in Kansas City area in the $350K price range and several of the new build homes have large showers and no tub in the master but have tubs in the hall bath or the Jack and Jill bath. My daughter is 26 and loves to have a long bath and is disappointed with no tub in the master. It might be a deal breaker for her.

I does seem to be a trend to have a larger shower and no tub in the master - at least in that market. Several hotel chains are remodeling and and going with shower only.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 12:05PM
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As long as there's a tub elsewhere (which you have), go ahead and convert it to a nice custom shower.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 1:12PM
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I will be remodeling my BR this year and will remove the tub/shower combo and replace with shower only. We also have only a shower in DH's BR, so my house will be tub free. I haven't used my tub for at least two years. We are in our 60's and plan on living here until we die or move to a nursing home.

I do have a new grand baby who will visit often (two hours away) and I plan on using a plastic tub for her until she is old enough to shower :). My 12 year old granddaughter has been showering since she was about 8 years old and could have much earlier.

I feel my comfort and safety is more important than guests.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 1:54PM
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With the only other tub in the house being in the master, I'd take out your old ugly tub, and replace it with a new tub. Will be less expensive than tiling the shower, and will be more appealing to future buyers.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 3:19PM
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I think if you plan to be there in ten years, do what you want. We have a tub in the kids' bathroom. Guess what? They have never taken a bath in it. They both take baths in our huge soaking tub in the master--it's like a pool for them. And now that the oldest is 8, does he take showers in his bathroom? No, he adores the walk-in shower in OUR bathroom. As long as there is one tub, you are good to go.
When we sold our last house, a couple weeks later I had to go back to pick up some mail. The new owner proudly showed me the guest bathroom where they'd already ripped out the tub and put in a walk-in shower.

Do what YOU want, not some nebulous far-in-the-future buyer whose needs/wants/desires are unknown. IMO.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:47PM
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As long as you have one tub in the house I don't think it has any impact on re-sale. I detest tub/shower combinations. I'd pull the tub and be done with it. I was looking at a Houzz survey recently that said 42% of people are not putting bathtubs in the master bath.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:49AM
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I can't imagine a house without one tub. Its so much easier bathing kids, and as the other post said, they like to play with their bath toys and splash around in there. My kids loved it when they were little. As they got older, they never took baths, always showers. They are grown and on their own now, my husband never takes a bath, but I like the occasional bubble bath. If you have 2 tubs and want to replace one with a shower, I think that is a good idea. But I would not buy a house that had no tub. You should always remodel your house to your liking, but keep in mind the resale value, just in case. You may plan to live there a long time, but sometimes things come up and you need to sell. So its best to find the right combination of what works for you, and possible resale if you can.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I am also in the same boat as those pulling out "garden tubs" in a MB and putting in a shower, instead. There is NO shower at all in the master! There is a tub/shower combo in the upstairs bathroom, so we are sleeping in a secondary bedroom until that bathroom downstairs gets done.

This is the reason I have sneaked over here from the Roses forum, lol! We are supposed to be starting this demo and remodel pretty much NOW, but it is a daunting task. Hoping to pick up some great tips here on the forum.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:44PM
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My grandkids preferred the large tub in the master bath when they were young. Now that they are older they love a shower. We took out a smallish tub in this guest bath and put in this shower. I think as long as you have one tub (I wouldn't buy a home without one) you should be fine.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 5:20PM
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I was raised taking baths and, whenever my bathroom gets completed, I will quite ceremoniously have an inaugural bath. The claw foot tub was actually the first thing I bought for my bathroom and I anticipate swan diving into it on a weekly basis well into my 80s.

Having said that, I think you should do whatever you want for yourself and your lifestyle. Our homes should be a place of joy and comfort for us without the perceived taste constraints of some mysterious future buyer who could very well demolish your entire home the day after the closing.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:26PM
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I would remove a tub and replace with a shower but only in the master bath and if there was another bath elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:53PM
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we are doing exactly that in a new house... it has an enormous jetted tub-- we will have it taken out and will instead put cabinetry/additional storage in that area, along with slightly enlarging the shower... we do have other tubs n the house- don't think i would do it if there were no other tubs.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:02PM
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I'm having our 2 upstairs baths completely renovated and adding one in our basement. The master is getting the tub removed and replaced with a shower. It should look similar to scpalmetto's shower.

In the kids bathroom, we're replacing the tub with another tub. I agree that you want at least one tub. You need it to bathe kids. The basement will get a shower.

There are too many decisions and my wife can never decide on anything. It's driving me (and our builder) nuts.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:33PM
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I am like your wife kidhorn in that I am waffling--
this is the tub in our late 70's Florida ranch master bath--
shower has water damage and failing tiles...needs to be redone--but what to do???

our shower possible COULD be made a little more functional when it is redone which would give a little more room for moving around taking a shower...without having to move the toilet...

I think we would probably do a totally different style of bath if we keep the shower and tub--more a cottage bath style w/white bead board and white subway tile...more traditional...

IF we got rid of the tub and put big shower on the back wall where ugly tub is I think I would want more contemporary, spa look--and glass tiles on the back wall for focal point.

does that sound weird??? to switch styles depending on what we do?

My husband thinks so...

This post was edited by loves2read on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 16:50

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:47PM
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Another reason to have at least one tub:

Advised one of my patients to soak a body part in warm water 2-4 times a day, the pt responsed with "remodeled... bathroom and took out the tub." Was much more difficult to implement the therapeutic intervention.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:02PM
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I would not hesitate to remove the bathtub and turn it into a shower. None of us take baths - our grandchildren take showers, our dogs take showers. That would leave us with zero bathtubs. Unfortunately, in Florida, it's important to have a bathtub to fill in case a hurricane threatens so you have water for household uses. That is the only reason I am not removing my tub.

I don't really care about future buyers. If it becomes a problem then you offer the buyer a credit at closing to add a tub.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:39AM
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The only reason I am threashing over trying to find a way to keep tub and shower but have larger shower is in case I have my knees redone and I can see how an air/heated tub would help with that...
but finding a tub to fit in the spot where the shower is currently doesn't seem possible...
have even looked at Japanese type soaker tubs and while their dimensions would fit in the space---they are too tall to fit through the doorway and no other way to get them into the bathroom...exterior walls are concrete block so even going back to stud stage wouldn't offer any assistance w/bringing it in...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:35AM
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loves2read - I had my right knee replaced earlier this year - NO way I could have used a tub of any kind until recently (operation was end of January). Heat can be definitely helpful during recovery, but what good is it if you can't get in and out of the tub? Grab rails by out elevated toilet *and* our walk in shower have been wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Thanks Gladys1924--always good to know first hand info--

I have looked for over two hours today trying to find a tub to fit where the shower is now but even if we give up the linen closet on that wall to gain more space (and maybe not be able to place it elsewhere) I don't think it is doable...

Can someone recommend a website that explains the difficulties in relocating a drain for tub or toilet or shower that is in a concrete foundation?

Or can anyone give an idea of the cost to do something like that---
might be worth 1K to really get an improved layout and use less expensive materials...

I posted this question about giving up a tub and only having a shower in master bath on local website in my FL area and everyone that responded (many RE agents and flippers) were in favor of giving up the tub for nice shower...
so I don't know that it would hurt resale value at all...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:35PM
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I'm working on 2 total BR remodels with a house on a concrete slab and am moving a lot of plumbing and drains. I just checked on my bid and it said "chip up to 5' concrete and install new plumbing- $975". That's for one, not all of them.

I'm in the San Antonio area. Hope this helps- Lisa

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Thanks for that info re cost
My sister owns rental houses in San Antonio
She always knows someone to do stuff like that
One guy is going to quote on moving plumbing but another guy is comjng Tues so we can ask him about that and several options.

I think I found a corner 48" tub that might work but need more info on dimensions
48 is really small but we wont use it
Just an option

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 6:58PM
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I would definitely do a tub-to-shower conversion. The only reason I can think of having a tub these days is if you have little kids. Other than that, tubs are pretty old fashioned. They were designed to hold water before we had running water in our homes. They have much smaller standing room than conventional walk in showers. These days, are becoming outdated. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Showers Tub Conversion

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 8:27PM
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I would definitely do a tub-to-shower conversion. The only reason I can think of having a tub these days is if you have little kids. Other than that, tubs are pretty old fashioned. They were designed to hold water before we had running water in our homes. They have much smaller standing room than conventional walk in showers. These days, are becoming outdated. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Showers Tub Conversion

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 10:32AM
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It is like work for my husband (90 yesterday) to get into the tub to shower. I am researching on what kind of shower we need to purchase--to best fit in our small space and with a built in seat if possible. What better place to come than the GardenWeb. Have you any pictures of your converted showers? Both our son and son-in-law are pretty handy and will be doing the installation. Did I mention, our tub is lavender?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 10:32AM
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