Should I Trade My Tub for a Shower?

When you think about home renovations, you probably think about what you’d do if money were no object. There are countless magazines and TV shows to serve this purpose, and it’s fun to dream about those big-time renovations that would totally transform your space.

But let’s get real. In the real world of home renovations, people are looking for value. They’re looking for a practical, effective, long-term, and savvy investments. Often times, these aren’t the big glamorous projects, but the smaller, simpler ones.

And if we’re going to talk about smaller, simpler, practical, and above all desirable home renovation projects, switching out that old bathtub for a walk-in shower is definitely in the conversation. This is a hot topic, even on those magazines and TV shows. When an unsightly old tub gets torn out and hauled away, and a spacious walk-in shower stall is built in its place, it’s a very satisfying thing to witness.

But should you really make this trade? What considerations should you keep in mind while you mull it over?

1. Baby on board

It may be tempting to go for that renovation, and maybe even get rid of all your bathtubs. For people who love the experience and aesthetic of a spacious walk-in shower, it may feel like a no-brainer. But consider the fact that if you ever sell your home, having at least one bathtub may be desirable for potential buyers, especially those with young children for whom a shower isn’t practical. Ideally, with enough space, you might be able to configure your bathroom with a new tub and a separate walk-in shower — but to get the necessary square footage, you might be looking at a more elaborate renovation.

2. Square footage

The idea that getting rid of your tub is going to make your bathroom into a spacious wonderland is nice — and obviously, using up some of that vertical space can make the room feel bigger. But it’s important to consider the size of your would-be shower stall, and the layout/configuration. Not all interiors are equally conducive to walk-in showers, and sometimes it takes a seasoned pro to really find the best strategy, and hit on the right answers to important questions about this renovation.

3. No soaking

A good soak is something you, or someone else in your home, might actually miss — this is especially true in states like New Jersey, where winters are cold and snowy. A walk-in shower might seem like a fantastic idea in hot summer months, when you’re at your most active. But how will it feel during the winter, when you want nothing more than to relax in a hot bath? It’s good to keep in mind that a new tub can go a long way. Updating your bathroom while keeping the tub in place is also a viable option that can give you to refreshing new feel you’re looking for.

Finding the right people for the job

Even though trading tubs for stalls is a common procedure, the results can vary widely depending on what contractor you hire. Focus on reputable, experienced bathroom renovators with good client reviews, and you’ll be on the right track.