Do You Really Need a Bathtub in Your Home?

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated October 18, 2021
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You might want to keep that bathtub, even if you don't get the opportunity to relax in it all that often

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Soaking in a tub surrounded by candles might sound like the perfect way to relax, but how often do you actually do it? If you barely use your tub, you might wonder if it’s worth keeping when planning a bathroom remodel. Many homeowners are considering whether or not to remove the tub and have only a shower instead. But is it the right decision, especially when it comes to resale potential?

Whether you opt to have a bathtub in your home is a personal and practical decision. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed choice about whether or not to keep your tub. Speaking to a local bathroom remodeler can also help you better understand the market and what will work best for your space.

Benefits of a Bathtub

Resale Value

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Having at least one bathtub in your house may help with resale; however, this also depends on the size of your home and your target market.

In a one-bedroom apartment with limited space, a lack of a bathtub is unlikely to put off prospective buyers. However, having at least one bathtub can be an advantage if you have a multi-bathroom home or you want to appeal to first-time homebuyers who are planning a family. At the end of the day, a bathtub will help you appeal to the widest possible market.

Comfort and Luxury

You also might want to consider a bathtub for aesthetic reasons. Bathtubs can be a beautiful addition to your bathroom. Large, free-standing tubs in primary bathrooms create a feeling of opulence and can be a point of focus in a large space. Plus, soaking in a large tub can be the perfect way to relax and unwind.

Health Benefits

As well as being a great way to relieve stress, soaking in a tub can offer other health benefits like soothing sore muscles and joints, improving breathing, lowering your blood pressure, and burning off some calories. Salt baths can also help with skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and an hour-long bath with lavender oil could even help you get a better night’s sleep.

A Must for Children

For practical reasons, it’s best to have at least one bathtub in the house if you have a baby or young kids, you’re planning on having a family, or you want to sell to someone who does. Bathtubs can save on bedtime drama and are a no-fuss solution for cleaning up.

Other Considerations


Bathtubs aren’t the best choice for those with limited mobility—stepping in and out of a tub can be a risky proposition. In these instances, a walk-in shower is a more logical choice if you only have one bathroom with limited space. However, bathing young kids or pets is easier in a tub, so don’t rush to get rid of the bathtub if you only have one in a family home.


The average bathroom can be pretty tight for space. You might decide to ditch the tub to install a walk-in shower, a larger vanity cabinet, or even to have counter space for brushing your teeth at the sink. Often removing the tub and opting for a shower makes the bathroom feel bigger.


If you’re renovating your bathroom, replacing the tub with a new one can be cheaper than installing a new walk-in shower. However, costs can vary greatly depending on the design and fixtures you opt for. Replacing a bathtub can cost anywhere from $200 to $10,000, whereas shower replacement costs can range from around $200 to $15,000.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Glass shower screens can be tricky to clean, but leaning over the bath to clean it can be a real pain if you have a bad back. Also, old seals around the tub can quickly gather mold and mildew, and bath surfaces can get scratched—making them more of a challenge to clean effectively.

Environmental and Energy Efficiency Considerations

Unless you’re one for long showers, they’re more energy-efficient and use less water than baths. If you’re looking for utility bill savings and use your bathtub a lot, replacing it with a shower and a modern, low-flow showerhead could help. This is especially true if you currently have a deep tub or one with whirlpool jets.

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