Will no bathtub in your master bathroom hurt resale value?

Elegant bathroom with long white vanity cabinet

Dave,

We are in the process of designing our new home and looking over many floor plans and we have noticed that many don’t have a bath tub in the master bathroom. We are now considering only putting a shower in our master bath, as neither of us are “tub” people and rarely, if ever, take baths. Our only hesitation is that this may cause problems down the road with resale and make our home harder to sell when that time comes. Any thoughts or insight would be very much appreciated. 

Dale and Kathy, Grand Junction


Dale and Kathy,

Great question! I often say that only 20% of the population are “tub” people, but those 20% are REALLY tub people and not having one in the master can be a significant hurdle. It is rare that not having a tub in the master bath is a show stopper, but it does happen on occasion. If you decide to eliminate the shower from the master bath, make sure you have a bath tub in one of the other bathrooms. This is your insurance policy and will likely make the impact much less significant for those weird tub people who have enough time to carve out of their lives to soak and relax! How dare they…

Really the tub is of significant importance to families that have young children. There are years that having a tub is really not an option, as showering toddlers is not overly enjoyable for either the parent or the toddler. Just make sure that you have at least 1 tub in the home to appease the hard core tub lovers. I remember when our kids were small and if we were in a position to only give them showers, our home would have been much less savory than it was!

Really the tub is of significant importance to families that have young children.

Here are a couple of parting shots concerning tubs. According to Nerdwallet.com a shower uses only 10-25 gallons of water where a bath uses upwards of 70. Showers are a conservationist’s friend and water conservation is only going to get more important. If you want to turn this around and make your shower a “selling feature” when the time comes, then consider making it LARGE with multiple heads! Spacious showers are in and people love having multiple shower heads. If you want to take it a bit further, turn your shower into a steam shower! Luxury showers are super popular and there are very few buyers who don’t consider them a high end feature and a true luxury. Another option is to take the space that would have been a tub and create a small sitting area! We have a small bathroom, ample but small, and I have long coveted a small sitting area in our bathroom. I would consider that to be a true luxury. To be honest some of the best time my wife and I have to talk is in the morning or evening while in the bathroom! Much of the time our lives are so busy that we don’t really have time to sit and talk where we are not distracted by televisions, cell phones, kids etc. and having a sitting area in the bathroom would be awesome! 

Bottom line, don’t sweat it as long as you leave at least one tub somewhere in the house and consider some of the other bathroom features to really turn your master bath into a selling benefit!! Best of luck!

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team 

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