No bathtub in the house??

gowelchJune 28, 2009

We currently have two and the half baths in the house. We are ready to remodel the first bathroom by taking out the tub, and replace it with a walk in Shower. My mother (73) is living with us, and it is just too dangerous for her to step in and out of the bathtub everyday. The master bath has a walk in shower with no tub, and I really want to keep it that way.

I don't intend to sell the house, so it is just more functional for us as a family.

Is this a bad mistake not to have one tub in the house? We (hubby and me are in late 40's)have been in this house for 13 years, and I have never taken a bath in the tub.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

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In your own words you said you don't intend to sell the house, just make it more functional for you as a family. So in that vein I would take out the tub as you wish and replace it with a walk in shower.

You are aware that when you DO list the house down the road it will have two 3/4 baths instead of one full and 3/4's. Since it is a long way off, maybe that won't be unusual. But won't it be worth it to have what you need right now?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 11:04PM
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We will most likely stay in the house for a very long time, or rent it out sometime down the road.

I just can't picture myself step in and out of the tub every single day just for the resale value. Given my age, it will become more and more of a hassle (or dangerous) for us to step in and out. Once my mom is gone (say in 15 years), the bathroom will be dated again. I will convert her bathroom back to a bath with a tub then.

I wonder if other people face the same issue.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 11:53PM
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I think the 1/2,3/4, full bath taxonomy will be outdated soon (especially with regard to the bathtub).

The standard will become shower+toilet+sink = full.

I wonder who I can contact to change the language to reflect the reality of modern life.

OP: Take it out!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:04AM
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I say, no tub in the house is FINE as long as there's a hot tub out back!

But seriously, if you ever need a tub for something, there are ways around it. When we vacationed at a lake house with a shower only, and our kids were tiny and really easier to clean with immersion, we partially filled a plastic storage bin with water and used that.

If you ever have an injury that is helped by therapeutic soaks, or for some other reason need tub functionality, you can rent something, or use a kiddie pool. I'm not kidding! Lots of people use them for home water births; more spacious and accessible than a tub.

I guess what I'm saying is that, even if some bizarre outlier situation requiring a tub pops into your life (strange injury, guests with young children, desire for a water birth), there are easy/cheap substitutes for having a tub permanently installed in your bathroom. If you do set up a kiddie pool to fill, just make sure you do it in a spot that can structurally bear the weight.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:42AM
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Well, I'm going to dissent. I wouldn't buy your house, especially if I had small children (but then I'm a bath taker myself so I wouldn't buy it anyway). :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 11:32AM
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I agree with writersblock. We use our tub every day with 2 young kids and there is no way I would want to live in a house without one. We could make it work, but I would NOT want to.

I understand your reasoning for removing it and I think that you need to do what is best for your family now, but know that down the road it might be a roadblock for potential buyers.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 11:56AM
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I agree with scoutfinch and writersblock. Not having a tub can be a big roadblock for young buyers with little kids. I would not have bought my current home if it didn't have a tub to bathe my son. I do understand where you're coming from, though, as I have a tub in my house, but no desire to ever take a bath myself. My son is older now and takes showers. I don't know whether you have kids or how old they are, but I was wondering if grandkids a possibility for you in the far off future? If you plan to stay in your home for many years to come, in 15 or 20 years would you regret not having a tub to bathe the grandkids if they stayed with you overnight? Just a thought.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 2:32PM
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You need to do what is best for your situation. If you stay with a 5' standard shower unit then it won't be too difficult for you or someone else to change it to a tub in the future. In 10 or 15 years it won't be that bad of an idea to do a moderate makeover anyway.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:57PM
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I'm not a bath taker and we just took our tub out of the master bathroom for that reason, but we still have a tub in our main bathroom. I also completely understand why you want to make the main bathroom more elderly friendly. On the other hand though, you don't really know what's going to happen in 5, 10 or even 15 years from now. Life has no rules and between a changing economy and heaven forbid, family emergencies, anything can happen. Murphy's law has taught me regardless of what my intentions or plans are, always be prepared for the unexpected. So unless you own your home 100% and don't need to worry about loss of income, IMHO it's very risky to make such drastic changes and not be somewhat prepared for the unexpected. Any realtor will tell you, 99% of prospective buyers want to see a tub somewhere in the house. Of course we shouldn't have to base all the decisions we make regarding our homes strictly on resale, however, I think to leave it entirely out of the equation is not very wise either.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Thanks all for sharing your opinion and experience.

For me, I love walk in shower because it is quick and conserve water. I figue functionality is more important to me on a daily basis. Once again, my mom won't be with us in 15 years, so I could always convert her bathroom (guess bath) to a tub.

I really appreciate your inputs.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:20PM
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I have only 1 bathroom in my house. Two years ago I removed the tub and replaced it with a pre-fab shower. I finally decided that since I have no plans to ever sell my home, that I need to make it work for me. Climbing in and out to shower became a problem as my arthritis got worse. When I am no longer around, then I expect that my son can easily change the prefab shower pan back to a tub so he can see the house. BTW, I replaced my tub with a 5' long shower pan(same size as tub) with corner seats (from Lowes). All they had to do was center drain. The had to remove one row of my tile for easy install. Since it was in good shape I repaired it and kept it. I hope this info helps.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:35PM
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gowelch, we are somewhat in the same boat, same age, and we are remodeling our main bath and are removing the tub. There will be no tub in the house, but we will have two bathrooms with showers in the house. In the 16 years we have been here, we have never used the tub except to stand in it while showering. We do not intend on selling and I figure by the time we do (or our kids do!!), the bathroom will have to be redone again and a tub can always be added. I'd rather have a luxurious shower than a tub that will never be used. Real estate in my area goes quickly, so I don't worry about ever selling this house. A bath can always be added. People buy houses that need complete remodels all the time, so not having a bath tub can be easily remedied. If you plan to stay a long time, do what makes you happy, not someone who you don't know who may buy your house in 20 years from now. Believe it or not, when I was little I lived in a house that had a tub only, and then later my parents added the shower. My sisters and I hated that tub and we all now love showers. I'll end by quoting Kramer, "I just took a bath Jerry...a bath. I was sitting in a pool of my own filth and germs!"

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:17PM
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>I love walk in shower because it is quick and conserve water.

Well, on that point, a bath in a normal (not oversized extra deep) tub actually uses less water than a shower, unless you like to take navy-style showers. :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Right on! I am so glad to hear someone else is in the same situation as we are. We have been in the house for over 15 years, and I have never ever taken a bath in the tub.
We have two and the half bath, and won't have a tub after the remodeling.
Same as you, we don't intend to sell the house. When we are gone, and the kids are ready to sell the house, the potential buyers will have to remodel anyway.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:50PM
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We are planning on removing the bathtub in the only bathroom in the house. We own our home and have no intentions of selling. A walk in shower will be much more advantageous to us as we get older. The kids can worry about selling the house, we live for today. We do have a raised (waist height) full size tub downstairs that I use for bathing my dogs. If someone wanted to spend the money they could put a beautiful spa bathroom in that location.
For now, at this stage of our lives a shower makes more sense. Whatever works for you, at the time, is the way to go.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:59PM
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We recently took out the only tub in our house and replaced it with a shower. I had occasionally taken baths in there (very occasionally) but we did it primarily for the sake of seniors in the family who stay with us and would use the bathroom.

The new change has been awesome. During the demo/remodel, I had a few pangs wondering if I was doing the right thing, but the finished shower put my worries to the rest. A 5x2.5 tub gives way to a shower that feels much more spacious, easy to get in/out from.

We also installed a hand shower instead of the regular shower heads, and I would strongly recommend it.

We have a 2.5yr old and we bathed her in a tiny tub in the kitchen sink earlier and then in the bathtub (before remodel). Our backs were always aching due to this bathing exercise. Now, with a hand shower, it has become a very comfortable and fun part of the day. It might be easy to immerse kids in the tub and might be a done thing, but a hand shower is very very convenient and it is hard to imagine it unless it is experienced.

Overall, I would strongly recommend getting the shower. It is so much more convenient that you will not miss the tub at all.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 1:55AM
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Homeybird do you have photos of your new walk in shower you could share.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 6:41AM
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Bellcrest, let me try to post the pix of my shower. I actually want to post the pix of entire bathroom but have been lagging behind because my camera cable is missing :-(

I will try over this weekend. Should have some time to look around the house for the darn cable.

Sorry about the delay......

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:33PM
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I posted my pix on another thread. Here is the link to the thread, and hope it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to the thread on my bath pictures

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 1:10AM
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Homey, that is beautiful!

My sister and BIL are going through this right now. I think it really depends on where you are in your life. They now have their first grandchild, and she says they need a tub. However, with age, a tub is more difficult, and our population is ageing, so in some ways the walk in shower seems more sensible. Also, I read that universal design (ADA compliant) may be the way to go.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:58AM
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My understanding with ADA is that they are a set of measurements that basically makes the space accessible easily for a wheelchair bound person thus making it more friendly to the seniors. Having said that, I believe that there are walk in tubs that are presumed to be ADA compliant.

I have seen some pix of ADA baths, and sure they look a lot more luxurious due to the sheer space that is allocated to them.

In terms of making the space more senior friendly a tub can never beat a shower! The low curb, the space, ease of walking in/out is fantastic. If you associate luxury with a bath, then try to splurge by getting body sprays etc; that would be a luxurious experience.

Regarding the resale, in my area, a bath with a standing shower is considered to be a "full bath" (no 3/4 business).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 11:14PM
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