Tub vs. Shower/Resale Value

baylorbearApril 29, 2012

We currently have a tub/shower combo in our master bath that needs to be replaced. I want to remove the tub and replace it with a really nice shower, but I'm concerned about future buyers. We plan to move/build within the next couple of years.

If we had a big soaking tub, I would replace it, but it's just a standard size tub - not anything special. There is a tub in our second bathroom.

Should we replace the tub/shower or just put in a shower?

Thanks for your opinions and advice!

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I can't put a dollar amount on it, but I think a bath tub is an expected feature in a master bathroom. Not having one would eliminate some potential buyers. Having an amazing shower might bring in some buyers (it would have to be amazing, not just "nice"), but I personally doubt it would be enough to offset those lost.

Generally I am a fan of doing remodels that you like, without much concern for what potential buyers will want (within reason). I view my house as something to live in and enjoy first and foremost, rather than an investment vehicle. But if you know for sure you're going to be selling soon, the decision might be a bit different.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:43AM
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How many bedrooms?

Folks buying s house with little kids often want tub, nut just showers.

Would it be marketed as a 'starter' house to young marrieds?

If you know a friendly RE agent, talk with them because it is very market driven (as in the market of possible buyers).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:28PM
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My parents built a house when they retired thinking that they would not move again. They had it built with showers only, no tub at all. When that decided to move, that got a full price offer from the first person who looked at it.

I don't care if there is a tub in the master bathroom at all. I'd be much more interested in a house with a nice shower. In other words, build what you want and you'll be fine when you go to sell the house. No house will be perfect for everyone.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Is there another bathroom in the house which has a tub? If so, I'd think you'd be okay in having just a very nice shower in the master bath.

Lots of people want a tub in the house even if they take showers 99.9% of the time. Tubs are useful for bathing children or dogs, handwashing large things like quilts, holding beer and ice during big parties, all sorts of things.

I'd buy a house with just a shower in the master bath, but I'd want a tub in one of the other bathrooms.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:11PM
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As long as you have room for a nice big shower and there's another tub in the home, it could work and be just fine for resale. However, this doesn't mean a long narrow shower just exactly the size of the tub. It means a true master sized shower. At minimum, if you do a shower only, you want it 36"x48". Or if you want to use the whole 60" length of the tub, you want a 42" width with a regular and hand held shower at opposite ends and maybe even a rain head. If you have the room (and funds) to do that without impacting the clearances needed by the toilet and vanity, then fine. If not, then you'd definitely be hurting the resale of the home.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:53PM
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I vote for the tub. I prefer a bath over a shower, and I don't want to take my bath in the guest bathroom. And if you do decide to put just a shower, make it a really nice one.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:28PM
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I would put in the shower. Forget the tub. Most people take a shower before work, not baths.

We just saw a house today, which we loved but it only had a jetted tub in the Master. We know we would have to tear it out and put in a shower. I mentioned it to the LA at the Open House, and he said the majority of buyers said the same thing. He shook his head and said the master bath was a drawback to the house selling.

Put in the shower.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Thanks for your help! You've given me many things to think about!

Our house is 30 years old and 1700 sq. ft. It has three bedrooms and two baths, and is definitely what I would call a 'starter home'.

We bought it 8 years ago, and since then have completely remodeled the kitchen, replaced the roof/gutters, replaced all interior doors and floors, repainted the interior/exterior, replaced vanities in both bathrooms, etc. We will leave this house in much better shape than when we purchased it, and in my opinion, the next buyers will be pretty lucky! ;-)

Our tub/shower backs up to our closet, so we could use this as an opportunity to make some layout changes if we replace it with a shower. GreenDesigns, thanks for your advice and measurement information!

My BIL is a realtor and I will make sure to ask his opinion, as well as the contractors that are coming by to give estimates.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:32PM
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The local competition in the same price range is often the driver for improvements.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:43AM
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I would put in a tub/shower combo.
The tub being acrylic, and NICE tilework walls around it. Spice it up with a couple of extra showerheads. This should cover both basis. Someone who wants a pretty shower, and a tub for bathing.

Cost-wise it should be less than just a tiled shower.

Resale will depend on your type of a buyer. Who do you see buying your home?

I like to have an option of showering or using the tub on a cold day....or soaking if I were to get hurt....young mothers with hemorrhoids (after childbirth). I'm just throwing it out there. Nobody ever thinks that they need a tub, or a bedroom on the first floor UNTIL they get sick, hurt or old.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Um, I totally agree with the tub/shower option. I did not realize when I chose the tub that a shower was not included in there already.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Our master bath only has a shower. It's a very nice one--36" x 62", double shower head, attractive tiles.

In order to put a tub in, we'd have had to shrink both the shower and the closet, which we decided not to do. We debated this while building and I talked to lots of people--some of whom wouldn't buy a house with a tub in the master bath, and many who said they would, because they never use the whirlpool tub they have.

We do have a hot tub in the backyard, and a tub in the lower level and one upstairs (none on the main floor).

*We've* never missed having a tub on the first floor and I don't think we ever will. Of course, we don't know if that will make the house hard to sell, but it wouldn't be hard to sell a house with a master bath tub to us!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:16PM
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I LOVE soaking in a tub, so it would be a must-have for us!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:16PM
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I always shower before work, but my husband often bathes, and I like the option of taking a bath after a hard day. I also find a tub useful for all the multiple purposes camlan mentioned. We definitely fit the niche of starter home buyers, so I'd consider keeping a tub/shower combo if I were you. Some people dislike showers-only, some people dislike tubs-only...it seems to me that fewer have an objection to the tub/shower combo.

Of course, if you really, really want the shower-only, you might want to go for it just in case you don't move after all.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:00PM
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We removed a sunken "garden tub" with a low-curb shower in the master bath. Filled it in with concrete! There is a tub/shower in the second bathroom.

Found out from the contractor that he's been yanking out tubs and filling in those 1980s "Roman baths" or "garden tubs" all over town.

It's not hurting resale value in our area.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:10AM
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We took out the tub/shower combo in our master bath and put in a 4'x6' shower. We have a tub in our second bath. Like lazygardens, our contractor said he has been getting rid of tubs in master baths right and left.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:29AM
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We took the whirlpool soaker tub out of our bathroom a couple years ago and replaced with 30"x60" low-curb shower too. I love it, and wish we had done it right when we bought the house.

We do have a tub in the main bathroom. I don't see it as an issue as long as there is another tub available.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 1:04PM
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I removed the tub from the main bathroom which my son used and replaced it with a beautiful shower. We just had a home built and did the same thing. We redid our master bedroom bath and kept the tub but made a much larger shower area. We got one of those bubble spa tubs which takes a minimum amount of space.

We just sold our house and never got any bad feedback, in fact just the opposite, everyone loves the bathrooms.

I think you need to have one tub in the house, but I would rather have a large shower in the master if I had to pick.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:12PM
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