24 years ago, when I was starting out, the conventional wisdom for those remodeling a bathroom was that one had to have both a shower and bathtub in every full bathroom. This was a shame because the thought of many seeking a bathroom remodel was to forego the awkward tub/shower combo for the convenience and luxury of a stand-alone shower. But for fear of resell value, most opted to forego the bathroom they wanted for the bathroom they thought they needed.
Slowly, sentiment evolved and the mandate became for at least one tub in the home. Many still hold to this premise. But, I’m glad to announce, many have let go of the myth of the mandatory tub. To be sure, there is some wisdom in the legend of the tub. It has to do with bathing small children. But many who do not have small children are reasoning that, should a family with small children buy the home in the future, there are options, including adding a tub back to the bathroom or using a temporary tub. The number of years in which the average family is bathing small children is relatively small.
Let’s face it, bathroom space is at such a premium that even the 13.35 square feet taken up by the average five-foot tub is worth harvesting for more effective use in a shower, for a larger vanity, or in storage.
But the tubs that we most frequently remove take up a good deal more space. They are the space-hogging garden or spa tubs that continue to be seemingly mandatory in every new home’s master suite, even though they are used on average less than once a year. The tubs with jets tend to break down and their infrequent use causes unpleasant build up in the lines. Most of the time the water heating capacity in the home does not match the requirement for these tubs.
Not to overlook those who enjoy the relaxation of bathing. There are few things as stress abating as a warm bath. Sadly, those who seek this escape are not often well suited by the typical builder grade tub. Many would prefer a hot tub in a well-designed outdoor setting. And for those who prefer a solitary quiet escape, we recommend consideration of something more luxurious than the 5’ tub/shower combo or the oversized and too cool garden tub.
Is there a bathtub in your home that is not frequently used or one that does not fit your bathing needs? Can you imagine a better experience or use of space?