Is a tub in master bathroom Important?

gabbythecatJune 6, 2013

We're planning the master bathroom for our new house. We're going to install a large (48 inch) shower - both my dh and I take showers, but never baths. The large shower will be our "luxury" item there and useful as we approach senior years - more accessible. At this point we're planning on putting a bench where the tub would have been - a place to sit and dry your feet (or whatever) instead of having to perch on the toilet.

There will be a tub/shower combination in the second bathroom in case we or our guests ever wants a bath (we don't have children).

But is a tub in the master bathroom important for resale value? I've heard that many people don't actually use their MB tubs - so why have them? Our real estate agent - who is married to our builder - says MB tubs are important for resale, but she also says to follow our instincts. My instinct is confused!

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In my area a bathtub in the common or hall bath is more important than a bath in the master bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:25AM
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If you are thinking about resale, then I'd say that no decent size tub in the master bath may be a "no deal" for many people. The regular tub/shower combos are usually way too small. The potential problem is that you eliminate that segment of the buyers who want a tub in their master bath.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:55PM
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I think it is more important to have a tub in the hall bathroom that any kids would use. As a home owner/buyer, I greatly prefer a nice walk-in shower in the master, rather than a tub/shower combo. We are in the midst of a bath remodel right now, and that is one of hte big changes we are making.

If the bathroom is big enough for both a nice sized shower and a separate tub, that is the best option for re-sale, but no tub in the master would not be a deal-breaker for me as long as there is a really nice shower in the master and a tub in another bath down the hall.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 4:54PM
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I would not put in something I would never use just to meet the needs of an anonymous future buyer__as long as the house had the essential full and half bathrooms in general.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Thanks for the answers. We have the room for a tub in the MB, but we don't like the looks of the tubs that we can afford - they seem kind of plain. There are terrific looking tubs - I like the whirlpool ones that have wonderful surrounds - but that's a lot of money for something we wouldn't use. Not to mention the wasted space.

We're going to shrink the bathroom by a few feet so there will be room for a towel closet *outside* the bathroom. I don't like a lot of storage *in* the bathroom b/c no matter how much we use the fan after a shower, I'm afraid the storage might not stay fresh...we'll use the remaining "tub" space for a large (not tiled) shower and a separate bench...we sort of figure that as long as there is a tub in the house, we don't need one in the MB...and this *is* a different sort of house - a log cabin - so we're trying to think creatively with it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I would definitely not put one in if you don't want to use it, and if there is a tub in another bathroom. Many homes and luxury condos in my area do not have tubs in the master, the preference seems to be for nice sized shower stalls with glass doors.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:28AM
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Buyer's preferences are constantly changing. The master tub is usually not put to good use by most people, so maybe the perception that master bathroom has to have a tub will change too, especially with new builds being smaller than their predecessor. There aren't as much space available to be wasted on rarely used tub.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Hall bath with bathtub in the master bathroom the bath is more important than

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:39AM
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As a tub person, I've never cared as long as there's one someplace in the house. In S FL where I grew up, it was pretty standard for the master bath to be shower-only, as long ago as the 60s when my parents' house was built.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:51PM
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The "in" thing in my area is a freestanding tub --- which also takes up less space. i think it also depends on how soon you're thinking about selling.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:53PM
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We are also building a log cabin and we put in a large shower but then we decided to bump out the bathroom a little more to put in a freestanding tub in.Don't have grandkids yet but if I ever do didn't want to have to tote them up to the bathroom in loft to bathe them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:31AM
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In our area, our contractor said he is taking more tubs out of master bathrooms than he is putting in.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Deb, yeah we thought about needing a tub for children. But since we will have a tub on the first floor - the entire house is one floor! - we didn't want to take up space in the MB with a tub that we really don't want for ourselves. Originally I wanted a very cool claw foot tub, complete with the terrific looking claw foot hardware, but we decided we'd rather use the space and money for something we really would like and use.

As far as doing what others in the neighborhood are doing in their MBs, there aren't any other log homes, so we figure our home interior can be as unique and special as the house itself will be. Our other bathroom will have a topographic map embedded into the top of the vanity, for instance - we are excited about that! - we're trying to make this house very special and not worry about doing what the neighbors have in their homes. :-P Most of what they have wouldn't be appropriate in our house - we're trying to keep it rustic and outdoors related. Simple.

This post was edited by gladys1924 on Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 10:30

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:40AM
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Get what you want for yourself. Sounds like you're planning to be there awhile if you're thinking a larger shower will be good as you get older, So don't worry about resale. If the space is there the next owner can put one in if they want.

On an every day basis we're shower people, but now and then I love a long soak in a tub with a book.

When we bought our home in a new track 25 years ago we liked 2 of the 4 plans and went with the 4th slightly bigger one because it had a big oval tub in the MB. Both had 3 full bathrooms, with a secondary shower tub combo in one, but the other home only had a shower in the MB and that was a deal breaker for me.

Funny thing is I've rarely used that tub, Water gets fast and I use the one in other bathroom if I want tub time! If I had known that would have happened I would have gone with the slightly smaller and less expensive plan 3 that had a bigger shower!

When I remodel the MB, hopefully this year, it will be with a narrower soaking tub, but still won't have room for a bigger shower which would be more useful day to day.

So my point is get what you want, there will always be buyers who don't care as long as they have a tub somewhere. My sister just doubled the size of her home in PA to over 5000sqFt and she still didn't add a tub in her MB. Couldn't care less about what it might or might not do to resale.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 5:09PM
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" Our other bathroom will have a topographic map embedded into the top of the vanity, for instance - we are excited about that"

Ok, that sounds too cool. Please explain!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:41PM
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Cindaintx - thanks. We are so excited about the topo map vanity! :-)

We are building a log house in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. We decided to put a log vanity in each of the bathrooms - some of the log furniture companies sell them. They're well made, and are decently priced. If you choose to get their wood slab top, they will cover it with a liquid glass coating, which is durable, waterproof, good for a bathroom environment. Dh and I love the outdoors, and tying the outdoors to the inside makes sense for a log house. So - we decided to get a topo map of our area, with the mountain we live near featured prominently on the map. has topos of many outdoor areas, and you can choose sizes, etc. Our log vanity supplier, JHE Log Furniture Store, has agreed to put our topo map (from My Topo) under the liquid glass - like decopauge (sp?). Of course, the sink and faucet will take up some of the space, but since it's a 48 inch vanity, there will still be a fair amount of map showing on the wood vanity top.

I thought of this myself, so I am eager to see how it turns out! Since DH and I both hike, this is going to be a fun feature of that bathroom. Of course, the same thing - embedded topo - could also be done on a tabletop, etc...Do you hike? We have been brainstorming about other ways to bring the trails, the wildlife, etc. into our home. We're having fun with this!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 7:29PM
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I totally agree do what you like and don't worry about what others want later down the road.We are finding challenges with building a log home but trying to do the best we can with design Hubby wanted a loft so thats where 2nd bedroom is.We built a 14 x 17 basement for our safe room since we are in tornado alley.The topo map sounds like a great idea.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:48AM
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gladys-we also live in WA state (eastern part) and one year friends that we have done a lot of hiking and skiing with made us placemats from topo maps of places we had all been. I love your idea of the topo topped vanity. Please post pics when you're done! (and I have to ask-N. Cascades? Rainier?)

When we remodel our MB next year we'll remove the tub to make room for a larger shower. We only use it to store cleaning supplies ;-)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:38AM
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We're in Granite Falls. The map centers on Mt Pilchuck, since that is the mountain right above us. Topo place maps would be nice also - a good memory of terrific hikes...I haven't found a lot of information about log home interiors that is helpful - what I have seen seems terribly impractical and/or expensive for a place where we are going to be *living*. So I'm just experimenting with ideas, and a few of them are really working..

DebR - have you been to They have some good information over there, although their forum doesn't seem terribly active..

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I would suspect the resale value impact of tub vs no tub in the master would really depend on the comparable properties in your area. I imagine some buyers in general would not consider a property without a tub in the master. Personally, I would be happy with or without a tub in the master, but would consider a reasonably sized master shower to be significantly more important. In general, I would enjoy a tub large enough for my tall significant other, but would want one that's easy to clean or not at all.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Pricklypear, but there *are* no comparable properties in our area. There are some similar in size, but as a log house, everything compares differently. At least, that is what our lender tells us. They're viewed differently by both financial institutions and by real estate agents! There are no other log homes in the area. So I'm at the point of figuring that we'll do what we darned well want, and that resale in 20 years or so (when we head off to the nursing home) won't be *that* important. It'll sell to people that want a special house, and as long as there is a tub in the house (there will be), they will buy the house for what it is!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Here is an example of a topo map sink. It is made of cement.

On the subject of 'future buyers' and tubs, I would advise you to not worry about a future buyer at this point. As others have said, it seems like you are planning on staying for a while and if there's little room for a tub but you want a huge shower, I would do it. I have had much experience trying to 'mind read' what a future buyer would want since I do a lot of residential remodeling/designing. It amazes me how different everyone is.....I have spent oodles redoing a bathroom with high end materials and making it look modern, clean and beautiful, only to have a buyer come in and rip it all out. I had an entire walnut library done at my last house and the new owners tore out $20,000 of new cabinets and desks in order to make way for a gigantic laundry room (no office needed they said). In the end, if it fits your needs and isn't too far out (like a weird observatory above the bathroom like I've seen), then I say go ahead with your tasteful update.

Here is a link that might be useful: Topo Map Sink

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:17AM
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If it is a brand new build, and similar new homes in your immediate area, re-sale concerns may exist. Personally i have never lived that way but i can see many may want to if they see a move in the 10yrs ahead. I have three properties and all are very, well, personal in some details. Not unlike above with the maps. One of my kitchen walls is 'wallpapered' with topical/trail etc maps.
I would just ask and see if, while other plumbing is being done, that plumbing for a tub could be put in and capped off and hidden for a future buyer if it is a concern. A future buyer might call it a deal breaker...but "it is plumbed for a tub so you can choose what you want!". Much easier installation if the plumbing exists?
Just a thought.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 5:10AM
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That concrete topographical sink looks interesting, but how could it be cleaned? It looks like a disaster in terms of cleanliness - or is it meant to simply be looked at, not used? And - how would it fit into my log home? It has an industrial appearance, not a rustic appearance fitting a log cabin. Decorating a log cabin - a home that will be lived in by ordinary people - is an art, perhaps something not taught in designer training. Perhaps part of being a designer is being in tune with the lifestyle of the people you are designing for (hint, hint).

Thanks for your willingness to offer insight, but my dh and I are very happy with our topographical map that will fit in with our log vanity and log cabin, also with our lifestyle.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:07PM
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