I visited a client recently who has a small master bathroom she wants to remodel, and one of her questions was, “Do I have to put a tub in my master bathroom for resale value?”  This question comes up A LOT, so I thought I would share my views on the matter.

You MUST have a tub in your master bathroom if either of the following is true:

1. You do not have a bathtub elsewhere. Buyers with small children need a place to bathe the kiddos, so one bathtub per household is a necessary element for resale.

2. You and/or your significant other actually take baths. In master bathrooms that include a separate shower, a bathtub tends to collect dust. If you are one of the few who luxuriate in a tub on a weekly basis, by all means give yourself a tub you’ll enjoy!

Additionally, a tub in the master bathroom is recommended if you have room for both a tub and a large shower in your space.

All of those master bathrooms from the ’80s and ’90s that sacrificed shower space for the big, jetted tubs are now being remodeled left and right to make way for larger showers. It cracks me up that in many high-dollar homes, the kids have more shower space in their tub and shower combo bathrooms than their parents do in the master. What kind of logic is that?

I am asked this question by probably 85% of clients embarking on a bathroom remodel, so that tells me that very few people actually use bathtubs enough to warrant the proportional square footage.  Almost everyone fantasizes about taking a nice long soak, with candles burning and soft music…rose petals gently floating on the surface and an aromatic blend of lavender and chamomille…but very few people actually make that dream a reality on a regular basis.

That said, if you eliminate your master bathroom tub, you have to make it up to a buyer who loves baths.  How do you do that?  You trick out that shower like nobody’s business.  I’m not saying you have to incorporate some marble masterpiece of a shower, but you can’t go standard, either.  Here are ways to elevate your shower-only master bathroom:

1. Include two shower heads. Nothing says BIG-ASS SHOWER like dual shower heads. This broadcasts to your buyer that there is room enough for two…and that can lead to other fantasies that, ahem, make up for the lost tub.

2. Add a bench in the shower. If you can make it easier for ladies to shave their legs in the shower, another percentage of bathtub holdouts will be converted.

3.Incorporate decorative tile accents. “Pretty” sells, plain and simple. A gorgeous shower-only master bathroom will sell a thousand times quicker than an ugly, outdated bathroom with a tub.


This master bathroom shower features a minimalist tile design that appeals to modern design lovers.

Of course, other high-end elements like towel warmers and upscale lighting, counters and faucets make a big difference too, but when it comes to wooing tub lovers, it’s all about creating a different sort of spa experience in the tub-free master bathroom.  If you can do that, you will still appeal to a wide range of homebuyers.