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Bathtub or No Bathtub? Why the Bathtub is Still Relevant in Today’s Market

Bathtub, Source: Solveig Osk of Flickr

Bathtub, Source: Solveig Osk

Feel like dumping your bathtub? Make sure your house has at least one tub in it before renovating your bathroom and going tub-less, because no matter how many people insist they only take showers these days, many more will still want this as a feature in their homes.

They will insist on having a bathtub for numerous reasons. Having at least one bathtub in your house keeps your house marketable, attractive to potential future buyers, should you ever decide to sell. Another more pressing reason people insist on having a bathtub in the house is for activities such as bathing young children or pets.

However, if you have multiple bathrooms and you decide to change your bathtub to a shower, be it because you’re following the trends, or, as is often the case, in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s much more practical than a bathtub, then consider these following things before raising that sledge hammer: 

What are your options?

  • Shower stall kits are a low-cost option, typically made of acrylic or fiberglass, including pre-made sides, a skid-proof floor pan with curbs and a drain hole, and a hinged glass door. They best fit into corners.
  • The seamless, individual pieces make kit installation fast and relatively easy.
  • The shower pan has curbs to contain water and a built-in slope for drainage. Kits are made in various sizes to fit all sorts of configurations, and some include extras such as built-in seats and shelves for bath products.
  • Generally, showers with doors or elevated curbs make for a more affordable renovation project than barrier-free installations.
  • Tiled showers with curbs are built on site. Either a solid or glass wall sits atop the curbs.

What’s the cost?

  • Shower stall kits with acrylic or fiberglass sides and a hinged door are $200-$2,000; curb-less one-piece shower enclosures are $2,000-$4,000. A competent DIY-er can install a kit in a weekend.
  • A professionally installed, tiled shower enclosure is $1,000-$3,500 depending on complexity, size, and the type of tile and fixtures you choose. Add another $500-$1,000 for tear-out, new plumbing pipes, fixtures, and any custom carpentry.

Whether you decide to get rid of your bathtub yourself and also try your hand at installing a new shower kit, remember to only consider it if you have another bathtub in the house – unless you plan on living in your house forever, you might be forced to re-install a bathtub for when you do decide to resell per market demands. As common as it seems for people to shower, the desire for a bathtub is a classic, timeless item on almost every home-buyer’s wishlist.


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