Alexis Nielsen Interiors

Tub or No Tub?

It’s the first thing to decide on when doing a bathroom renovation: should you have a tub? Ask yourself these questions to help determine an answer:

  1. Do you have room for a separate tub and shower?
  2. Do you plan to have kids?
  3. Do you live in a family friendly area and do you plan to sell your home in the next 5-7 years?
  4. Is there another bathroom in the house with a tub?
  5. Are you empty nesters who plan to keep your home for a long time?
  6. Do you have elderly parents that visit often or are you yourself getting on in years?

If you answered yes to questions #1-3 then you should probably have a tub. Several realtors have told me that, with all other things being equal, people have turned down making an offer on an otherwise beautiful home because there was no bathtub. It seems that people can envision replacing a tub with a shower, but the reverse seems like too much work, and since perception is everything, buyers are turned off. I say five years because by then you will have recovered from a shower renovation long enough to contemplate the idea of putting a tub back in, if your buyer’s market calls for it.

Even if you are a shower person, there comes a time when having a good soak is handy, such as when you need to recover from sore muscles or dry skin and need the magic of an epsom salt bath. When I took a nasty fall a couple winters ago, I rediscovered my love for a tub and long soaks.

If you answered yes to questions #4-6 then lose the tub. Stairs and tubs are a hazard as we age, and I don’t care how many grab bars and slip mats you have: stepping into and out of a tub is dangerous. If you do have grandkids or if your kids still like baths then there are temporary tubs out there like this one that can come in handy.

As I often tell my clients, it’s your home: make it your own. Things can always be changed with time and money, and there’s a buyer for everything. Decide what is important to you and enjoy your home the way you were meant to enjoy it.

E. H. Shepard/Winne The Pooh



  • Pam on Nov 03, 2017 Reply

    This is really a great way to decide. Alexis posed these questions to us and they really helped us to decide to take out a potentially dangerous (although beautiful) tub and construct a walk-in for our elderly parents. While our tub is a jet/spa tub (is that the right term?) in our master, Alexis felt it fit the bill. Win-win!

    • Lexi on Nov 03, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Pam! So nice to see a comment! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your beautiful guest shower.

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