Should You Replace Your Only Bathtub With a Shower?

When homeowners remodel their bathrooms, one of the most sought-after features is a spacious walk-in shower. Much of the time, that means pulling out a bathtub to make room. But what if it also means there’s no bathtub in the home at all?

The short answer is that if it works for you, there’s nothing wrong with going tubless. The only caveat is that if you plan to sell your home, it’s possible that the lack of a bathtub will be a sticking point for some prospective buyers.

A Perfect Fit

For the right buyer, a gleaming walk-in shower just might be the feature that pushes them over the line toward making you an offer. Most adults are too busy for baths and take showers all the time anyway, so losing the bathtub isn’t necessarily a big deal.

If your home has an outdoor hot tub available for soaking and relaxation, that’s all the more reason to go for the remodel. That backup option will be there anytime you or your future homebuyer feel the urge to take a dip.

But it’s important to keep in mind that couples with young children or plans to have children are likely to want a bathtub. Even pet owners who do their own grooming may consider a bathtub to be a must-have. If your home is in an area where most of the residents are young families, it could be a bigger risk to take out your only bathtub than if you live in an area that’s more popular among single people or retirees.

Some buyers may be uneasy with the idea of not having a bathtub even if they don’t have a particular reason – after all, they’re great for washing cumbersome things like oven racks and mini blinds. And since you just can’t predict with 100 percent accuracy how it will affect your home’s appeal, real estate agents might caution you against taking the plunge if you expect to move within a few years.

If you have multiple bathrooms with bathtubs, however, converting one tub to a shower is unlikely to cost you any points with interested buyers. As long as there’s at least one tub in the home, you’re likely to appeal to a broad range of people.

Planning Ahead

Before you get too involved in your walk-in shower fantasy, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection and consultation with a licensed plumber. Even if you’re not sure about all the aesthetic choices you’ll eventually need to make, a plumber can help you define some basic parameters for things like the maximum shower stall size your bathroom can support.

You might also have a situation where the ideal location for a walk-in shower is not in the same place as the existing bathtub, in which case there could be more plumbing work than in a typical conversion. It’s best to figure these things out early, because they can have an impact on overall costs that might push your project out of your budget range.

Thinking about making a big change to your bathroom design? Call your local Benjamin Franklin today to schedule an inspection and discuss next steps.

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