Bathtubs vs Shower Resale Value 2023

Does adding a bathtub to your home increase your resale value? The short answer is yes, with many US homeowners recouping around 60% of their investment from having a bathtub installed in their home. But why is that?

Today, we will dive into the details about why bathtubs make better investments compared to showers. 

Differences Between Bathtub and Showers

For each section below right about the core differences between bathtubs and showers.

Bathtubs and showers are different fixtures, giving your bathroom different advantages and disadvantages. Traditionally, bathtubs are seen as more of a luxury fixture whereas showers are more appropriate for everyday use. Let us take a look at their core differences: 

modern bathtub and shower combo

Style

Bathtubs and showers add different aesthetics to your bathroom. While both can provide a classic or modern feel, a shower is more ideal for quick and convenient bathing whereas a bathtub is meant to provide a more relaxed bathing experience.

Bathtubs are available in drop-in, soaking and freestanding variants which can drastically alter the look and feel of the bathroom. A shower, on the other hand, is more limited in design, providing owners with less aesthetic options.  

Bathroom Space

Bathtubs and showers require different amounts of space to accommodate. A shower is typically smaller, able to fit just about any sized bathroom. The dimensions of a shower accommodate a person’s vertical height and require less horizontal space, with a small shower measuring anywhere between 24-32 square feet.

A bathtub, on the other hand, will require either an ingress that meets 2-3 joining walls or a large enough space to accommodate a freestanding bathtub. A bathtub is generally anywhere between 50-72 inches long, with a width of 24-32 inches which will require a fair bit of space to accommodate. 

bathroom space.

Installation

A drop-in bathtub and a typical shower are fairly similar in terms of installation. They both will require cleaning out the requisite area before they can be installed. A shower is much easier to install however, as there are no heavy parts to transport.

Many of the aspects of the shower can be broken up into smaller pieces and installed on sight. A bathtub will require additional assistance as they can weigh upwards of 300 pounds. A drop-in tub needs to be installed in an ingress then reinforced with caulking and sealant. A freestanding tub however, can simply be placed wherever you desire. 

installing bathtub.

Plumbing

Plumbing for both a shower and a bathtub are very similar, both requiring a connection to the main line. The plumbing needs to be sorted before installing either a shower or a bathtub to test their functionality before tile or flooring is installed over it.  

installing bathtub.

Maintenance

A drop-in bathtub and a shower require similar maintenance, which will require checking the integrity of the respective material. Certain materials will degrade or warp with heavy moisture and use, so it is best to check up on your shower or bathtub every couple of years to ensure that no accidents may occur.

On the other hand, a freestanding bathtub will require very little maintenance as it is a separate element and it is not bonded to your wall.  

bathtub maintenance.

The User

Who uses the bathroom is an important factor in determining which is more appropriate for your family. A shower is great for teenagers, young adults and adults as they can easily access the shower and it is wholly more convenient to use. A bathtub is best for families, the elderly and young children as they often require assistance and bathtubs are a much safer option for those who may have difficulties walking on their own. 

child taking a bath.

How does having a shower or bath effect the resale value of a home?

Generally, a bathtub is seen as more valuable in terms of resale value. This is because bathtubs are seen as more difficult and more expensive to install when compared to showers. The market itself has seen a surge in freestanding bathtubs especially, with their popularity growing over the past 10 years.

So while showers and bathtubs might be priced similarly, bathtubs are more beneficial in increasing the value of your home as the market views them as more valuable fixtures. 

shower

Advantages of installing a shower

Contrary to popular belief, a shower provides your home with a few benefits over bathtubs, primarily function. They save space and save water, making them the ideal choice for everyday use.

Save Water

A shower typically uses about 50 gallons less than a bathtub which results in cheaper utility bills and is better for the environment. In addition, showers are much more efficient with water usage as bathtubs need to be filled with hot water and a shower simply has to reach a target temperature. 

Space

Bathtubs require a large amount of space to be installed, roughly 13 square feet. Showers, on the other hand, only need about 9 square feet to operate. This makes showers much more versatile as they can be placed in a wider variety of locations, including corners and alcoves. This is the principal benefit of showers over bathtubs as they are suited for all bathroom sizes, whereas bathtubs are more limited in this regard. 

Easy access

When it comes to differently-abled individuals, showers are much easier to use when compared to bathtubs. Including non-slip tiles, grip bars, and hand-holds, your shower can easily be transformed to prevent accidents. A bench or a seat can also be installed to improve your shower.

Advantages of installing a bathtub

Installing a bathtub in your home imparts a few benefits, namely increased home value and better comfort.

Health Benefits

Bathtubs provide health benefits as your entire body is submerged in warm water. This can help to alleviate stress and massage your muscles. Keeping your muscles warmed up will lower the risk of injuring yourself. In addition, there are relaxing bath bombs that can elevate your bathing experience and further enhance your bathing experience.

Ideal for Families

Bathtubs are great for families as it is much easier to clean and wash small children in a bathtub compared to a shower. Children can also sit in a bathtub and the ample room means that no one is uncomfortable.

Increased resale value

Bathtubs are more expensive to install and maintain, which will reflect on their resale value. Compared to showers, Bathtubs will always pay for themselves and provide an ROI or return on investment. However, it should be noted that bathtubs paired with showers are more attractive to prospective home buyers than just a bathtub by itself. 

Which should you consider: A bathtub or shower for resale value? 

Before choosing between a shower or bathtub for resale value, consider the answers to these questions first:

  1. Are you fully renovating?-If yes, then you have full freedom to design your bathroom the way you want with few constraints such as adding a bathtub and a shower. If you are not fully renovating, then you need to understand that certain compromises must be made to accommodate existing elements of your home and bathroom.
  2. How much space do you have?-Similar to the renovation question, the amount of space you have available will dictate how much freedom you have in renovating. As stated previously, a bathtub will require a fair bit of space to accommodate whereas a shower is much more flexible in terms of installation space. While it may be more valuable to install a bathtub, your bathroom may only fit a shower, so it is best to understand your limitations.
  3. When are you considering moving?-If you need a bathroom to use immediately, then your renovation may have a harder deadline. While it may be ideal to install both a shower or a bathtub, you may want to pick a project that can be completed in an ideal timeframe before you move. 
  1. Who will be using the bathroom?-Who uses the bathroom will greatly impact whether you install a bathtub or a shower. A shower is very convenient for young adults whereas a bathtub is most ideal for young children and elderly. 
  2. Which material are you using? Choosing appropriate material can make either a bathtub or shower more appealing for resale. When adding a shower or bathtub, consider which would look more visually appealing to your buyers. 
  3. What do you currently have in your space? Another factor that can help in your decision is what your home currently has. Ideally every bathroom would have both a shower or bathtub but that generally isn’t practical. If your home already has showers installed, consider a bathtub or if you only have a bathtub, consider a shower. Remember that potential buyers desire options.

A bathtub makes a wonderful addition to any bathroom by providing a relaxing oasis while increasing the resale value of your home. So, if you are looking for a way to add value to your home, consider installing a bathtub today.

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