Rivercrest Master Bath Remodel

Does a Master Bathroom Need a Bathtub?

Bathrooms are one of the most popular spaces to remodel, particularly when homeowners are considering ways to make their homes more attractive to buyers. While large tubs used to be all the rage, now we’re increasingly being asked “does a master bathroom need a bathtub?” Here are some things to consider if you’re wondering whether to add a tub to your master bath remodel.

does a master bathroom need a bathtub? - large soaking tub next to walk-in shower

Bathtubs by the numbers

Whether your primary motive for remodeling your master bath is to increase immediate resale value or whether you plan on staying in your home for a while, it can be helpful to understand some emerging themes among homeowners when it comes to bathtubs.

According to the Houzz 2020 U.S. Trends Bathroom Study:

  • Roughly 40% of renovating homeowners say they view their bathroom in part as a retreat where they can rest and relax.
  • Nearly equal numbers say they use soaking in the tub — as well as long showers — as forms of relaxation (55% and 54% respectively). But tub soaking is down 7-points from the previous year.
  • That decline could help explain why just 10% of renovators reported adding a bathtub in 2020. That’s down two percentage points from 2019.

Is a tub right for your master bath?

While the numbers from the survey seem to indicate that tubs are becoming increasingly less attractive to home buyers, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave it out of your next remodel. Here are some things to consider if you’re trying to decide whether to make a tub part of your master bath renovation plans.

Pros of a tub

  • If you enjoy taking long soaks in the tub and find that they help you unwind after a long day, then including a tub in your remodel can make a lot of sense and be a great fit for your lifestyle.
  • If you work out a lot, a jetted tub in your master bath can help relieve sore muscles.
  • The right style of tub can add aesthetic value to your master bath and create a spa-like atmosphere.
  • If you only have one tub in your home, keeping it could help increase your home’s attractiveness to buyers, especially to families with young children.
Does a Master Bathroom Need a Bathtub? Spa-like tub in remodeled master bath

Cons of a tub

  • A large tub, especially built-in ones, can take up a lot of your master bath square footage, which could be used for an expanded walk-in shower or closet.
  • If you don’t use your tub, it may simply become more of a chore to keep around, as you may spend time cleaning it but never actually using it.
  • They can use a lot of water to fill up, particularly jetted tubs.

Does a walk-in shower make more sense than tub?

Large walk-in showers are very much in-demand these days when it comes to master bath remodels. They come in a variety of materials, from large slabs to decorative tiles to shower wall panel systems. They also can include a variety of features, from multiple shower heads to body sprays to grab bars.

glass walk-in shower

The often sleek glass designs of walk-in showers can also added aesthetic value to your master bath and make the space feel more open and airy. Then can also be easier to clean than large jetted tubs. In addition, showers with no threshold are more accessible for those who are elderly, wheelchair-bound, or have other mobility issues.

How will you use the space?

Ultimately, whether to include a tub in your master bath remodel will come down to how you plan to use the space. If you’ll be in your home for a while and you’re more of a shower person or want to use the tub space for something else like a walk-in closet or even a sauna, then foregoing the tub may be the right choice.


If you plan to resell and there are no other tubs in the home, then retaining it may increase your chances of selling more quickly. This can be especially true if you’re in a neighborhood that is near schools or is an attractive area for new families to move into.

Are you thinking about a bathroom remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’d love to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!

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