Ask a Realtor: Huge Shower and No Bath OK?


Question: My wife and I are getting ready to remodel our master bath. However it’s small and our options are limited. We can get a better look and use out of a huge walk-in shower, but I’m fearful a bath/shower combo may be better for resale. Any expert thoughts out there would be appreciated.

Answer: From Los Angeles Realtor David Kean:

“A home’s master bath can be a major selling point or a deal breaker. If you create a space too specific to your taste, potential buyers will deduct the cost to re-do the room from the price they offer, if they make an offer at all.

“To qualify as a full bath, there must be a toilet, sink and tub. If there is only a shower and no tub, the bathroom is considered a three-quarters bath. Most buyers expect a bathtub in the master bath. While a walk-in shower tends to get the most use and is practical, you still need the tub for optimal resale.

“There are several ways to create a tub and shower combo that gives you the best of both worlds. By adding a glass shower enclosure to a large soaking tub, you will create the feeling of a walk-in shower while retaining the tub. Or you can build in the tub and use a tile or marble surround that encases the tub. This will tie it into the overall design of the bathroom and create a more custom look.”

My Take: Even though I’m a bath devotee, I was rooting for you to get the huge shower. As I found out in a poll titled “Shower or Bath Most Important?,” the votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the shower, versus the bath. While a hardy 56 voters stuck with me on the importance of the bath, 195 said showers reign supreme.

I think it depends on how long you will be in the house. Why deny yourself a huge walk-in shower if you’ll be in the house for five to seven years or longer? If you’re going to sell next summer, fine. But for years of use, gosh, get what you want. And maybe when you go to sell, it will be a seller’s market (remember those good old days) and you’ll get multiple offers no matter what you’ve done.

Or, consider these before-and-after photos of a bath remodel in Palm Springs. This is a sunken shower and bath combination. It looks like a very uncomfortable bath to me, but you still get to say there’s a bathtub in the room and you also get a walk-in shower. Obviously, this would require more work than just placing a shower or bathtub at floor level, and may not even be possible.

Any other ideas for this guy?

1 Comment on Ask a Realtor: Huge Shower and No Bath OK?

  1. Carl Heldmann

    I agree with David Kean. I am a shower person (I haven’t had a bath in 60 years, ha, ha), but my wife is a bath person. She won’t even stay in a Hotel that only has a shower, let alone buy a house that only has a shower in the Master bath. But, as you say, why deny yourself. It is after all your house.
    But, I think the combo idea is superb! In fact, it just solved a problem on a bath remodeling problem I have. See, you really do learn something everyday.
    Carl Heldmann