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The Big Bathroom Question:  Showers or Bathtubs?

Bathroom upgrades are an easy way to add value to your home, regardless of what price range you’re in.  However, before you can begin any renovation, you have an important question to ask yourself:  bathtub or shower?  For some, it may just be a matter of personal preference.  For others, it’s a serious debate about potential resale value.  While we can’t tell you expressly which one is right for you, we can compare the pros and cons of both.

The Bathtub Side

Most older homes come with bathtubs already installed, so before you rip it out, consider some of the benefits.  Even if it’s not the most luxurious model, many potential homebuyers at least want the option of taking a bath.  For (prospective) parents, it’s actually a necessity for bathing small children.  So, if you only have showers installed, you could deter an entire category of buyers.

Even those without families may prefer taking a bath when trying to relax.  In higher-end homes, having a standalone tub is desirable, but a tub/shower combination is better than nothing.  After all, it’s easier to upgrade a tub if another is already there.  Once you exchange a bathtub for a shower though, that becomes a more expensive bathroom renovation, since they require more space, water, and upfront costs to put in place.

The Shower Side

All that aside, showers are great too!  When you want a fast, easy, and energy efficient way to get clean, showers are the way to go.  For people with mobility issues, such as those caused by injury or old age, a shower might be the only option.  It’s also a great way to maximize your space because they take up less square footage in what’s traditionally a cramped room.

When you’ve got room to spare, it can be tempting to trade in your outdated tub for a luxurious, oversized shower.  Even with some extra bells and whistles (like multiple shower heads or benches), showers are generally less expensive to install.  If you remove all of the all of the bathtubs in your home, though, you could actually hurt the resale value.  After all, people like options!


Updating your bathroom isn’t an easy job, but’s it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor.  Whether you prefer the convenience of showering or the luxury of taking a bath, think twice before you rule out either one completely.  If you’re planning on reselling in the future, try to keep at least one bathtub/shower combination bathroom, so you’ve got a little something for everyone.