Will Removing the Bathtub Hurt You Down the Road?

There are "tub-people" and "non-tub-people" For fellow tub goers, the thought of removing their end of day escape seems like an out of the question option. For people that think the tub just sits there, unused, wasting space, the thought of removing the towel collecting fixed bathroom furniture seems like a no brainer. The decision to keep or to remove a bathtub can be deeply personal. Let's consider the motivation.

If you have a dated, unused bathtub in your master and you dream of a large(r) walk-in shower, one with a waterfall shower head, shampoo niches, and gorgeous tile, you're not alone. We meet with people here in Texas every day that are considering converting their master bathroom into a tubless bathroom. One question that comes up is the worry over resale. It's a valid consideration. When I consult with real estate pros, I get mixed answers. Based on my experience, I find that as long as there is at least one tub in the house, most buyers will overlook a missing bathtub in the master.  That is unless they are "tub people," in which case a tub can be a substantial factor when purchasing a house.

If you're considering removing the bathtub to make way for a large walk-in shower, one that you will enjoy while you are in the house, that matters. If you're remodeling to sell, keep the tub. If you're remodeling for you, and you plan to be in the house for a while, make the bathroom the way you want it. Most people, statistically, take showers over filling up the tub and tossing in the rubber duckie. Tubs, for most, are a once in a while, get-a-way. In my business, it's my job to understand how spaces will be used and to design to those needs. One is 50 are exclusively "tub-only." For this select (and small group), they'd never set a showing to look at a home that doesn't have a master tub.  Most buyers will quickly overcome a missing bathtub so long as the walk-in shower was designed well, looks current, and blends with the rest of the house.

Many young families are concerned about that time for their children. It's much harder to put a toddler in the shower than it is the bathtub. Bathtime, for kids, can be an enjoyable ritual, and it's much easier for parents to bathe their kits in a tub vs. shower.

I have a client, she's actually a "tub-person," her husband isn't. They have a small master bathroom, and he wants the tub to be removed and to open the space up. They are lacking storage in their master and replacing the existing shower with a linen closet (using the shower footprint), and replacing the tub with a large, oversized walk-in shower. While she was hesitant at first, she admitted that she showers significantly more than she takes the time to draw a bath. For her, it's a matter of the availability of time vs. the desire to soak. She conceded to replace the tub location with a large walk-in shower.

We will be converting their master closet into a guest's new bathroom. They've agreed that the updated, modern bathroom will have a large, soaking tub with an in-tub shower. It will serve mostly as a tub, but guests will be able to use the tub as a shower as well. For this couple, the compromise of increased storage, and adding a much needed third bathroom made perfect sense.

In the end, consult with your real estate professional. All areas have different philosophies on the age-old question of how removing a master bathtub will affect your resale value. If you have only one tub in your house, our recommendation is to keep at least one.

Check back on the master closet loss resolution.

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