Removing Bathtub and Replacing with a walk in Shower

obrionusaNovember 5, 2011

I have a 3 bedroom 2 bath house. The master bedroom has a 48" walk in shower and I love it. I was thinking of replacing the tub/shower surround in the main bath and replacing it with a 60" walk in shower. Would this be a bad decision? I lived here 22 years and doubt someone hasnt taken a bath in it more than a dozen times. Would it effect the resale of the house? Are they still putting tubs in the new homes being built?

Thanks in advance!

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Yes they are placed in new construction and it's because a tub, which can also be used for a shower, is considered a "full" bath, while a shower is considered a "3/4" bath.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Where would a family bathe young children with no tub?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 5:41PM
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I think I read (maybe on the plumbing forum) that residential homes must have a tub by code. (maybe it is state specific, not sure which "code" as I am not a plumber). Something to check into.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Circus Peanut

I'm a bather by preference, so if you're considering resale, it would affect a buyer like me, as well as folks with dogs, kids, tropical palms and other things that need occasional baths. Not to mention the crafty people who use their tub for everything from papermaking to wig dying.

But if you could really use another big shower, it's YOUR house. The only drawback might be having to offer a buyer some kind of discount or make-up sum to remodel a tub back in, so factor that into your decision. Of course if it's a building code issue, that's something else again.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 12:51AM
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A house will sell better with at least one tub. The issue I run into converting a bath to shower is depth. most often you are limited in depth by the depth of the tub at perhaps 30"/32". That is a rather narrow shower.The toilet is usually the culprit that keeps you from extending shower out.
I'd keep the tub.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:30PM
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We are planning to eventually replace our 1st floor tub with a walk-in shower, and keep the tub in the upstairs bath (or rather, replace the tub with another tub when we remodel it).

Having a 1st floor shower makes sense from an accessibility standpoint, but having a tub available makes sense for people with kids. In our last house I found it easier to wash our large dog in the walk-in shower, I just walked in with him. But for a smaller dog I can see how that would be awkward.

Last thought - if you live in an area with frequent power outtages and use well water ... a tub is a great place to store a lot of water for flushing the toilet if a big storm is headed your way.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:48AM
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Got rid of our tub and good riddance. If we sell someday and it's an issue, we'll deal with it then. The shower with frameless glass door, fancy fixtures, etc., is much better looking than a tub with either a curtain or doors.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:43PM
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My parents bought a pre-construction house and one of the changes they made was to have the only tub replaced by a shower since they never use a tub. When they went to sell the house, the first person who looked at it gave them a full price offer. They had a particularly nice lot and got a very good price for the area (pre-crash!) so the lack of a tub didn't affect them at all.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 9:13PM
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I've been house shopping and many have tub/shower in the master. We never take a bath and would prefer a shower. If the tub is removed, how do you raise the floor for the shower. I've seen showers where the tub was removed and the shower floor was too deep for safety. Can the tub depth be raised for the shower?


    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 9:44PM
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They make "retro-fit" shower pans that fit in the tub space. We replaced the tub in our master with one and we love it. They sell that at HD/Lowes. I am not sure why you would have step down to a shower. Isn't the tub sitting on the same floor as the rest of the bathroom? Maybe it was a "sunken tub" before?

We did the same at my MIL's house because she is physically disabled and could not get in and out of the tub safely anymore. There is no longer a tub at their house. When it comes time to sell, we can always remodel the bathroom again and replace it with a tub. It wouldn't be that hard to do.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:15AM
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Three comments:
1. It costs a builder less money to put in a tub than a shower. A shower requires more care for the "shower pan" to be sealed properly and requires more tile work. Also, as already pointed out, new homes with 3 baths sell for a bit more money than 2+3/4 baths.

2. In one of my rentals, I took out a leaky old shower in the masterbath and pulled out a 12" deep linen closet on the other side of the wall. This gave me 12" more to work with so I was able to add an extra-wide spa tub. By putting tile all the way up to the ceiling, it made a standard 8 foot ceiling look much taller. The room is quite small (only 5' x 10') but it has a very luxurious spa-like quality. While every tenant has "ooo'd and ah'd" over the masterbath, only one of them has actually used the tub as a tub. All the rest just use it as a shower.

3. We have another small home with one full bath down and two full baths up. It is currently a rental but we plan to move back into it in the next year or so. When our children were little we only used one of the upstairs bath tubs to bath them because it was the warmest. Consequently, when we move back in, we are planning to convert the downstairs tub to a walk-in / roll-in shower in the event that either of us is in a wheelchair. As the largest of 4 floor plans in our "track", changing out the tub will make very little difference in the resale value of our house.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 10:25AM
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I personally would keep one tub in the house personally but if I was going to keep the house for quite a while, I wouldnt care.

Lots of houses here in TX that are being built with large showers vs tubs as they are much more practical. This debate is the same as the formal dining or not debate to me. If people are that stuck on having something, they wont buy. In my eyes though, it seems the trend is big showers and no formal living or dining.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:51AM
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2012 IRC:
R306.1 Toilet facilities.
Every dwelling unit shall be provided with a water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 2:15PM
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I have a 1bdrm condo and there is a tub in my bathroom. I really hate the tub and spoke with a realtor in my state (WA), and he said technically it would turn it into a 3/4 bath, BUT, if I ever decide to list, I could list it as a full bath and in the description say that I would install a tub if that's what the buyer wanted (it'd be minimal cost to put in a tub later in the scheme of things). But likely, people in the market for a 1bdrm condo are not needing tubs.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Just removed both of my tubs--in 17 years no one had ever taken a bath. Loving the easy to access showers. No stepping over. One shower has glass doors, one retains curtain. I prefer the latter as I don't have to deal with cleaning the glass, but DH wanted glass. Do you think he ever cleans it? He thinks it stays clear by magic!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Followup question - we are leaving the bath in one bathroom, and taking out the bath in the master and replacing it with a shower. Someone above mentioned that the width of a typical tub (30") is narrow for a shower. I agree with that, but I wonder why it's so, since now i take a shower in that same tub every day.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:56PM
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