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Bathtub: How Important Is It in a Master Bathroom?

In the past, having a bathtub in the master’s bathroom used to be all the rage. For some people, they are still a deal-breaker. However, bathroom trends are changing, and so many homeowners no longer consider bathtubs an essential bathroom component.

So, do you install one or not? Do you leave the tub in place during a renovation or pull it out and install a larger shower? If you are in the process of remodeling or building your master bathroom, here is an article to help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of having a bathtub in your bathroom. 


Studies show that houses sell better and for higher prices when there is a bathtub in the master bathroom. They are sought after by parents, pet owners, luxury home buyers, and more.

At Least One Bathtub in the Home

Installing a bathtub in every bathroom might be impossible or even unwanted by some homeowners. However, real estate professionals agree that having a bathtub in at least one bathroom, even if it’s not in the master bathroom, is likely to appeal to a larger demographic of prospective buyers.

Of course, certain homeowners prefer a walk-in shower. So, a bath would just be an inconvenience for them. But if you intend to sell your house in the future, it is advised that you include at least one bathtub. 

Bathtub Increases Resale Value

A study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that bathrooms, especially the primary bathroom, tend to be a focal point for most buyers. 

The study also shows that 74% of buyers prefer a primary bathroom with both a shower stall and a tub. Out of the 74%, 36% of buyers rate the shower and bathtub combination to be more essential than any other bathroom feature. 

Modern bathtub with a shower stall

Another study published by the NAHB shows that 76% of millennial home buyers go for bathrooms that feature both a shower and a tub in the master bath

Real estate professionals agree that the absence of a tub might mean disregarding luxury home buyers and families with small children or pets. 

Moreover, bathrooms with just a shower are listed as three-quarter baths and those that come with a bathtub and shower are listed as a full bath.

A full bath is used to refer to bathrooms that have a toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub. They can increase a property’s value by 5-20%

According to Opendoor, a full bath can increase a house’s value by up to $18,000.  

This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to get good value for your property if it doesn’t feature a bathtub. But having one would definitely increase your chances.  

Master Bathroom Often Biggest

The master bedroom is usually the largest room in a house, so it makes sense that the master bathroom is the largest in the house as well.  

The size of regular bathrooms is typically anywhere between 36-100  sq. ft., while a master bathroom is about 40-150 sq. ft., with some high-end master baths taking up as much as 200 sq. ft. 

That said, the size of the master bathroom is generally dependent on the size and layout of the house. 

Bathtubs can take up over 10 ft. of bathroom space. So, if you are going to install a bathtub in just one bathroom, it’s best if it is situated in the bathroom with the most space. 

Additionally, most modern master bathrooms tend to give off a more luxurious feel. They are also designed so that more than one person can use them at a time. So, a bathtub would definitely be a great addition to the room.  

Pros of Bathtubs in Master Bathroom

  • They are ideal for families with small children. Bathing a child in a shower can be risky and difficult. So, most homeowners with small children go for houses that feature a tub. Having it in the master bathroom is convenient for a parent who can do their ablutions at the same time as helping their child. 
  • Appeals to luxury home buyers. A bath and shower combination adds a touch of luxury to a bathroom. For certain individuals, even if other parts of the house meet their requirements, the absence of a bathtub can derail them from purchasing a property. Most buyers look for the most luxury in the living areas and the master suite.
  • Increases property value. A bathtub is just another feature in a home and, in most cases, houses with more features tend to have a higher price tag. Additionally, the presence of a bathtub in the master bathroom is going to appeal to a larger demographic of prospective buyers. 
  • Adds aesthetic appeal. Bathtubs come in numerous designs that can significantly improve the appearance of your master bathroom and add a touch of elegance to the space.  
  • Provides numerous health benefits. Besides being a source of relaxation, taking baths has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on the body, easing muscle pain, calming the nervous system, reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and reducing stress levels. In the master suite, a single person/couple or parents in the home wouldn’t have to use the guest room/kids’ bathroom to relax after a stressful day.
  • Can double as a shower spot whereas a shower cannot perform the functions of a tub. 

Cons of Bathtubs in Master Bathroom

  • They might not be easily accessible to older people or individuals with injuries. Getting into the bathtub might be a chore for people with mobility challenges and it also puts them at risk of getting injured. As master bathrooms are typically the largest, these are more accessible to people with disabilities. The space of a bathtub would take away from facilities that these people could use.
  • They take up space. If the master bathroom is already cramped, adding a bathtub would only make the space more clustered. As a general rule, there should be an allowance of about 60” length and 30” width so that people can safely get in and out of the shower. This, in addition to the space the bathtub occupies, might be a lot for a small-sized master bathroom. 
  • Bathtubs require a lot of water to fill. A full bath typically needs about 70 gallons of water, while a ten minutes shower requires between 10-25 gallons of water. Also, the process of filling the bath can be time-consuming. 
Filling the bathtub with water
  • Some homeowners prefer quick showers. For people that rarely take a soak, a bathtub would just occupy valuable space in the bathroom. 
  • They can be expensive to remove. If you ever decide that you no longer want a bathtub or a prospective client demands that the tub be removed, the process of removing the tub might cost a lot if floor repair and tile work need to be done.

Final Verdict

Whether you install a bathtub or not in your master bathroom should depend on your personal preference and needs. There are both pros and cons to having a bathtub

There isn’t a set rule that bathtubs should be installed in the master’s bathroom. So, depending on your preference, you can choose to forfeit the bathtub altogether or you can install the tub in another bathroom as long as there is enough room for it. 

However, if you have plans to sell your house in the future, adding a bathtub to your master’s bathroom is definitely something you should consider.

Also, if you are considering removing the bathtub from your bathroom and you have intentions of selling the house, do not remove it unless it is outdated. 

Sources

https://www.badeloftusa.com/buying-guides/bathtubs-vs-shower-resale-value/#

https://glassdoctor.com/blog/walk-in-shower-vs-bathtub-resale-value

https://streamlinebath.com/how-bathtubs-increase-home-value/

https://www.gulfstreamhomes.com/does-replacing-a-bathtub-with-a-shower-affect-the-resale-value-of-my-home/

https://eyeonhousing.org/2021/06/buyers-insist-on-both-a-shower-tub-in-the-primary-bath/

https://www.nahb.org/blog/2019/11/top-bathroom-features-among-millennial-home-buyers/

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