Tub vs. Shower
You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and renovate your master bathroom. Biggest question on most homeowners mind is whether to ditch the tub for a grand size shower or settle for a standard shower-tub combination.
You’re afraid you’ll hurt your home’s resale value if you ditch the tub. So what do you do? If you have room for both great if not, ask yourself a few simple questions.
First, how long do you plan to be in the house? If you’re going to stick around for three or more years . . . create the bathroom you want. Don’t get stuck living in a house for future owners. It’s your house and you need to live in the manner your family wishes to live.
Second question, is this the only bathroom in the house? If yes, you might want to consider a tub/shower combo especially if you have children. Most parents find it easier to bath young children in a tub than in a shower.
If you love to soak in a hot, bubble filled bathtub and your partner loves a shower, find a way to incorporate both. If space is limited take a look at stealing some space from surrounding rooms.
If you have a linen or walk-in closet that backs up to your bathroom you may be able to remove the wall and access more space. If you bedroom is large enough consider reducing it’s size and annex a few feet onto the bathroom.
A good designer or architect can help you maximize your existing spaces to get the room you need to create your dream bathroom.
Today’s freestanding tubs are beautiful. They come in stone, porcelain, glass, metal and fiberglass. But don’t be swayed by a pretty face. Do you research and take it for a test drive. Never buy a tub without sitting in it first. I know this sounds silly but you’d be surprised how many people skip this important step. If you plan to bath with a friend then you both should go shopping together and try it out (without water of course!) before you buy.
In the 1990’s jet tubs were all the rage. Many homeowners rarely used them and found it expensive and noisy to operate and maintain. They are also difficult to clean and take up a lot of space.
If you still want moving water, consider an air tub. They provide soft, gentle, relaxing bubbles that soothe away stress. The cost of an air tub starts around $1,000. A floor mounted faucet range between $500 – $1,000 not including installation.
Jet or bubble tubs all require space for heaters, pumps, motors and anti-tipping brackets. These keep the tub from flipping with extra weight. Make sure your builder is familiar with installing the type of tub you are anticipating purchasing so you both can review space and plumbing requirements.
If you decide to skip the tub and go for a big spacious shower, consider installing a zero threshold shower (no ledge to step over to access the shower). The floor of the shower is sloped slightly away from the entrance so the water remains inside the shower.
You will also hear this type of shower referred to as a “roll-in” shower. That’s because it provides wheelchair access. What designers have discovered is this type of shower is very popular with all age groups. The cost, depending on the structural issues, can be as low as a few hundred dollars. That’s a small expense when you consider that this feature will let you age in place.
Glass shower surrounds and doors will make your shower make all look and feel bigger. If you are installing a steam shower the walls and doors need to go all the way to the ceiling. Steam shower equipment will add another $2,000 to your project but provide lots of benefits.
Do you homework. Explore all your options and decide which style works best for you and then meet with a designer that specializes in bathroom renovations and get contractor recommendations from him or her. Get their input and a firm bid for all the work before you finalize your plans.
Last question, can we afford to do this now? If yes, don’t put off updating that bathroom. Enjoy your house now. Nothing is worst than writing out a mortgage check every month for a house that you don’t love.