Do I Need A Tub - Yes or No

reel_timeJuly 25, 2012

We are gutting and rebuilding our 2nd bathroom. Our master bath has a very nice walk in shower. The guest has a tub currently, but both kids want a shower. We will also be installing a hot tub on the deck for soaking. Is the re-sale value going to decrease if we have only two showers in our 4 bedroom home with no bath tubs, or is it just that fewer buyers would be interested. All this may be a moot point anyway since the kids are now fighting over who gets the house when we pass on. We don't take baths, and if we're not selling any time soon, seems like we should just shower it and move on....a nice shower. By the way, the bathroom is on the very small side. There is not a ton of space and with the tub in there now, it is very tiny.


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It's very hard to wash a baby, or toddler in the shower. For that reason alone, a bath tub would be good. Either for resale, or for when the grand kids arrive.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Don't you love it when the kids have already got designs on your house? My daughter has announced that she's raising her future family in our new but very old house. That means I have to consult her on all remodeling decisions :)

Anyhow, it sounds to me like you should just go with the shower for the kids' bath. But design it so that future owners could slip a standard-size tub in there if they need a tub - e.g. allow a 5'x3' space for the shower. If you sell, you could always point out that the space can accommodate a tub.

We recently decided to get rid of our beautiful clawfoot tub in favor of a walk-in shower. This is the only upstairs bath in a 4-bedroom house. (Daughter is ecstatic, by the way.) I am nervous about the decision, as you are, but we just know how seldom we used bathtubs in previous houses. We did add a bath to our basement, and I put in a bath/shower combo down there - just in case we need to bathe a dog or a kid. But I don't think the tub part is going to get used much.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I am not a real estate agent, so I cannot tell you exactly whether your home will decrease in value. One change would be that now instead of having one "full bath" and one "3/4 bath" (as it would be listed on a real estate listing or appraisal), you would now have two "3/4 baths" and no full baths. You might want to ask a local real estate agent whether the lack of a full bath actually decreases the value. At which point, I might ask, are you asking about appraised value or price at which you can sell? I imagine your appraised value would probably decrease (as it would be based on documented home values by square footage and amenities). However, you've state that you have no intention of selling anytime soon, so does it matter?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:38PM
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I think that you probably need to have a tub somewhere in the house.

In our area, a bathroom with a shower counts as a full bath. We don't have a 3/4 classification here. Just full and half (which would be toilet and sink only).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:40PM
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I'm in the Boston area, and without a bathtub your house would be floating face down dead in the water come resale time. So put one in now, or put one in later.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Code requires a minimum of one tub in the house. And no, the hot tub on the deck doesn't count towards that requirement.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:14PM
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mongoct - I'm curious, where in the code is the requirement for a bathtub? I tried to find it, but my search failed.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Code? "We Don't Need No Steenkin' Code!"

Seriously, showers are great and most folks want them. Having said that, a tub is essential for new parents that need to "soap up" the kids. You need at least one. The rest is your choice.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Just my opinion...but in a house with more than one bathroom, not every bathroom needs a tub. But there should be one tub, somewhere in the house...and the hot tub doesn't count. Although it is a nice feature!

Since you have a nice walk-in shower in the master bathroom, I would leave the tub/shower in the second bath. When the kids decide who will get the house...then they'll also get the walk-in shower :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I am not sure where it is in code (and it may be local codes); but I've heard for certain financing, a house MUST have a bathtub (FHA, for example). So, if you ever plan to possibly sell, put one in now, or make sure you have the space to put one in later when your buyer's financing won't go through without it.

You could also post this on the buying/selling homes forum (or search it) for answers to this question.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:54AM
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Code varies from one area to another. Some require tubs, others don't.

I wouldn't buy a home that didn't have a tub in the owner's suite, or at least room to install one. But some people never use the tub and wouldn't care. The resale question is asked frequently here and elsewhere. kmcg is right - since you know everyone that lives in your house prefers showers, install a shower now and make sure a tub will fit in the space - drain at end if possible or if it's a larger space, drain at center towards back wall, and allow at least 5 feet, maybe 5 1/2 or 6, so potential buyers who want a tub can have one. Given the price of a house, the cost of hiring a plumber to replace a shower with a tub (or vice versa) is negligable. For now, you can use the last 15" or so for a ledge/seat in your shower, so the shower pan or floor area is about 4' x 3'.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Always loved my tub until someone pointed out that you are sitting in your dirty soap water. Now I take showers. With a shower hose you can wash a kid and not kill your back

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:36PM
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> Always loved my tub until someone pointed out that you are sitting in your dirty soap water

True, but I quickly rinse off with the showerhead in the tub afterwards so this isn't a problem.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:33AM
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I would agree with putting the shower in but making sure a tub could be swapped in if needed. We just replaced our tub/surround with a Sterling tub and surround and it cost $2500. That included all the drywall work (both old and new were attached to the studs), new fixtures/rough in valve, and painting. Assuming you kept the drain in the same location, just plan on a few thousand to swap out in the future.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:53AM
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pricklypearcactus you make an excellent point! I hadn't noticed this point but raised the same question. The listing would indeed make a difference when the time comes to attract buyers. Didn't think of that. I think I'll keep the tub.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:49PM
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