Do I have to have a bath tub?

mikeb33February 6, 2010

My Wife says there has to be a tub, though she admits it will never see use.

Our house is larger, 5 br, about 3800sq ft in an upscale area. Off of our master bedroom is an door leading to the closet/bathroom area. There is a separate shower and 6' tub. We have never used the tub and would like to trade it for some more closet space. I have attached a crude drawing of how it might be.

My real question is whether my house will "Odd" without a tub in the master bath? We don't plan on moving now, but possibly in 5 years or so. Would this make it hard to sell? I am pretty sure many people concede that they never use a tub.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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You don't need one at all, I like to have a bathtub for when I am sick and I justy need to lay in the hot tub or have poison ivy and take an oatmeal bath. But you don't really need a bathtub in the master bedroom.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I, for one, would not buy a home that didn't have a nice soaking tub in the MBR, especially one that is as large as yours. It appears that by moving the vanity you're going to gain more than enough room for the closet.
If you choose not to have a tub, it will probably affect future sale of the home. It's something you may want to talk to your realtor about!

Re: the remodel layout, is that a pocket door leading to the toilet/shower? If you're going to be moving plumbing (when you move the vanity) I'd consider relocation of the shower. Also, do you really need a linen closet in the BR?
Is there not extra storage elsewhere in the home?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 2:06PM
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I think you will lose some potential buyers if there is no tub (especially families with young kids).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 1:32AM
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A bathroom has a bath tub. It's legalese. It's not a "full bath" without a bath tub.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 8:47AM
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The bathtub police aren't going to come and arrest you if you just have a shower. However, when you go to sell, a 3/4 bath is less valuable than a full bath - especially in a master.

Also, if your wife says there "has" to be a tub, do yourself a favor and keep the tub.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:03AM
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Check with your local code enforcement office. In most jurisdiction the codes require a minimum of one sink, a tub and a water closet in all residential structures.

Some permit a variance, but if you do not have an official variance on file when you sell the property they can refuse to issue a certificate of occupancy until a tub is installed.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:36AM
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I think the simpliest solution is just to remove the tub and put a closet in that space. It would be easy to add it back in the future, if desired. Moving the vanity will generate alot of expense in moving the plumbing and redoing the floor. You may also want to figure out how much more linear shelf space and rod space you get with the different configurations. You could end up with alot of expense for a small gain.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 10:23AM
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Some hotel rooms, even fine B&Bs, have bathrooms with showers only. But I would never stay in such a room for such prices, nor would I ever buy a house that had no tub. But if you're not looking for future resale, suit yourselves.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:49PM
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I'm late to pipe in, but I'd never live in a home without a bathtub either...and my children are grown. I take a hot bath every night to relax and get in sleep-mode. It's a ritual. I do believe if you sell in the future you could shoot yourself in the foot by not having a tub.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 7:46PM
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I know I'm late putting in my two cents. but I'm doing the same thing. Only right now I don't have a walk in closet at all and when we do the remodel we plan on taking space from the bathroom where a bathtub could go (we actually don't have one now anyway). We have a soaker tub in the guest bathroom which we'll keep even though we never use it. We have a jacuzzi on the patio so that's where we do most of our soaking. We've moved a lot and the most important thing to me when looking at a master suite is storage and closets. Is that your only closet?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 1:29PM
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One thing I have seen is roughed in plumbing with a bench for plants that could be converted into a tub -

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 8:56AM
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Quote, "Some hotel rooms, even fine B&Bs, have bathrooms with showers only"

That is true, and we could go a bit further and say that some college dorm rooms only have a shower, however per code, they are not residential domiciles, they are temporary domiciles and fall in an entirely different code.

As I stated above. Check with your local AHJ. In most jurisdictions a residential domicile is required to have a tub.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:33AM
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I for one would never use a tub and would rather have a huge shower instead. Check the bathroom forum. There is a large discussion on this subject. My Brother had no trouble selling his house with no tub in the masterbath and I'm remodeling mine to take out a tub that was a waste of space. There seems to be a pretty even split on this so you can probably find a buyer.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 6:20PM
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Lazypup is correct. In order to comply with your city's building code call or visit your city's Building Dept. and they will tell you.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:25PM
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I got the impression that the OP wants to know whether the master bath needs a tub, not whether the entire house needs a tub. It's a 5 Bedroom 3800sq ft house. It most likely has several bathrooms. I could be wrong though, just wanted to say, since this post has become focused on code.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 1:33PM
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My own home is much smaller than that and we elected to have only a larger shower in our master bathroom remodel instead of a tub/shower combo. We have a tub in the hall bath, so for our smaller home, I think it's fine. We don't have room for separate tub and shower anyway.

But, I do have to say to check with your local realtors for resale value and comparable houses in your area. In my area, 3,800 sf homes have separate shower and tubs and it would affect resale value if they didn't. If this was your forever home I would say do whatever your want, but if you're only staying there a few short years, better to be safe than sorry and check with your local real estate experts.

Do you have a basement where you could build a large cedar closet for seasonal storage?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 9:35PM
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The 2006 International Building Code requires at least one the following plumbing fixtures in each single family dwelling:
1 water closet (toilet)
1 lavatory (sink)
1 bathtub/shower
1 kitchen sink

This means that in virtually the entire US a single family home is required to have either one bathtub or one shower as a minimum. Which fixture is provided is entirely up to the owner.

We can drop the building code from this discussion unless there is evidence the OP's state or town has a different requirement.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 5:18PM
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The term "bathroom" is not used in the IBC for obvious reasons.

Design the shower so that a tub could be installed later by a new owner for a reasonable cost and let it go.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Personally, as long as there was a tub SOMEWHERE in the house, I would be very very happy to buy a home that didn't have one in the master bath.

I am not the only one; this topic has come up many times here (not sure how long ago, or how hard those are to find), and a great many people prefer NOT to have a tub in their daily-use bathroom. In those threads, the "don't need a tub in the master" people were the majority.

I would not be happy to buy a home that had NO tub at all.

There may be municipal codes that require an actual tub, but generally that's also "one somewhere in the building," not "one in every bath-type-room."

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 1:01PM
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In our previous home, we had a large jetted tub in the master bath. My wife did backflips when she saw it for the first time. In the 9 years we lived in the house, she used it once.

In our current home, we are combining 2 bedrooms to make a master suite. That means we are building a bathroom from scratch and can include/exclude anything you want. Guess what is going to be a focal point?

If you guessed a cast iron soaking tub, you would be right. I'm betting this one will get about the same amount of use as our old one - ie none. Oh well. I've been married long enough to know that this isn't something I want to fight over. If she wants to hold on to the illusion that she will someday have time to leisurely sip red wine while taking bubble baths, I'm not going to be the one to squash that dream.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 2:35PM
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After 11 years in our home (which we had built), we are eliminated our master bathroom jetted tub. My husband nor I are big bathers. We both prefer a shower. The shower has walk in/wheel in access without any "curb" to step over. No door. We also put in the braces and handicap bars.
We have two other bathrooms in the house that are tubs with showers. Not all the built in bells, streams, whistles and sprays but a handheld system and bench a must.
My husband and I are in our early 40's and neither of us are handicapped. However, I experienced a terribly broken leg a few years ago and a tub was impossible. As well as a medical issue with my mother recently, (74) tubs are virtually irrelevant to many older and aging people.
It may hurt my resale value in the future in that a tub loving man or woman may not want my house without a master tub, but someone else may who is not a bather.
One side note: I did have a drain stop installed so that, if I want, I can close the drain and sit on the bench to soak my feet or on the floor and take a shallow (6") bath.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 2:00PM
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