Several weeks ago, I printed a letter from a reader who wanted to know what would happen to her home’s value if she replaced a bathtub/shower combination with just a shower.
Her home would then have 1 full bath (with a bathtub and shower), one three-quarter bath (shower only) and a half-bath.
I’ve received nearly 100 responses from readers across the country. Last week, I ran letters supporting the renovation. This week, I thought you’d enjoy hearing from readers who took a different view.
Comment: I must have my bath tub! For those of us ladies who have difficult hair and are not of the “blow and go generation,” showers are devastating. I take a shower after yard work but only when a hairdresser appointment is scheduled soon after! If I had to deal with my fine, limp hair everyday I would lose an inordinate amount of time.
Comment: In my opinion a full bath (sink, toilet and a place to bathe) is a full bath. I agree people with young children might prefer at least one bath with a tub for bathing the small ones. Hurting market value? I think not. Market appeal might be lessened for a purchaser with small children but I doubt the value would suffer. There are many purchasers with older children or teens who would probably prefer the shower. My tub is used very few times in a year (when I have my grandchildren). The older one, now 8, prefers my walk-in shower. The younger one, now 4, still likes to play in the tub. Other than her, my tub is never used. However, if I were to remodel the second bath, I don’t think I would eliminate the tub. You never know what a house guest would prefer. Your market might be limited a little for a home without a tub, but I don’t think I would penalize a home without one. Besides, unless you go in your comparables, call the realtor (if there is one), or call the appraiser (if you know who), how would you know that they had a tub or not?
Comment: Although I am not buying or selling, your column is always of interest. I do not know what the practice might be in Tampa but must ask what is a ‘full bath’? Since we are dealing with quarters there must be 4 items. I would guess: commode, basin (single or double), tub, and shower. But what if the shower is only included with the tub, as a telephone style or a stub? I would say a full bath should have a free standing, separate shower enclosure in addition to a tub. Otherwise we should be thinking in thirds. A shower/tub combo is surely not worthy of a 1/2 bath designation (as a toilet and sink).
Comment: I think the new value is dependent on the quality (value) of the new hardware. If the old tub has retro value (and you are considering replacing with a newer, but less valuable plastic tub) the remodel is not worth it. Leave the decision to the new homeowner.
Comment: I bought a custom-built house owned by a fifty-ish couple with one shower, double sink and stool and no tub. When I had a tub and shower, mostly took showers and maybe five tub baths in the seven years I was in the house. However, do miss a tub occasionally, so if one was available along with a great shower, I’d be happy and think it would sell well! Will be watching for pros and cons.
Comment: I just read the question/answer about a bathroom with no tub. My husband and I are adding a second bath to our home in the spring and I want to do the same thing. I’d rather have a nice, roomy 5 x 8 glass block and tile walk-in shower with all the fancy shower heads and body sprays than to spend money on a large, hard to clean bathtub that would seldom, if ever, be used by us. Our existing bathroom has a tub for our 10-yr-old daughter to use, but she prefers showers also. Another bonus with the larger shower wheelchair access in the future, if needed. No tray to step over, no door or curtain to clean. Just beautifully smooth tile flooring, walk in and walk out.
My husband, a plumber with 25 years experience, was insisting that a modern master bath needs a jetted/whirlpool tub. However, he has helped draw plans for the new bath without a tub and it’s going to be spectacular! We’re also smart enough to keep the design realistic, with lots of countertop, drawer space and linen storage which will definitely increase our home value.
Comment: For my husband and me that would be a negative. We both prefer baths. Even when I had elderly company I thought the walk in shower would be appreciated but he preferred a shower in the tub enclosure.
Comment: One thing I’m sure of, as an architect, having watched people and their behavior in various settings: Your environment shapes you. If kids don’t have a tub they will never know what they’re missing. Plus they can always go to the other bath.
Jan. 20, 2007.