Tub or no tub, that is the question?

I hereby solicit your advice and feedback on a master suite full bath rmodel.  The question is whether or not to include a bath tub, or have only a large luxury shower?

Here are some details:

- The home is c.1985 when they were building stupid large master suites.  This bathroom alone is 20' x 15' with cathedral ceilings and two skylights.  

- Seems like adding a tub would be a no brainer, but it really isn't.  

- We have two other full baths, one of which has a very nice separate tub and shower combo on the same lavel as the master suite.  I gave up my closet to enlarge this bathroom and I installed a really nice upscale new bathroom.  Lots of nice touches and plenty of room.  The other full bath is in the basement which I installed when I finished it.  This is a nice bathroom in a finished space that includes a home theater room and two large rec rooms.  Fully carpeted and drywalled thoughout with recessed ceiling lights that make things plenty bright.

Back to the master bath:

- I need to add a closet since I lost mine with the guest bath expansion mentioned above

- The original shower was small, ~5x3.  

- The original vanities were on either side of the shower and are 5' 6" wide.  

- The overall space footprint includes a toilet "closet" (5x5) and a large walk-in closet for my wife (8x7+) - these will not be touched, except to add new shelving, storage, paint and some other finishing details.  Oh, and I'll install a pocket door in place of the traditional swinging door on the closet.

So, after all is said and done, the plan involves dividing the long wall with the vanities and shower as follows: 

- build a new long closet where one vanity and part of shower were 
- build large shower (~6.5x~4.5) where other vanity and part of shower were
- relocate the vanities to the closet wall and use studor valves for venting

The only place left to put a tub is in the far corner of the space where there are corner windows (and the skylights) that look out onto a large wooded lot.  But that really chews up what otherwise would be a large rectangle that is ideal for an exercise area or a cozy nook/escape, or both.  (The long wall faces south so lots of daylight in the room)

We both know we will never use the tub (ok, maybe once or twice a year if that).
Plumbing for that tub will be a challenge - long drain run and no vent stack nearby.  Can be done but is it worth it?

We see that more and more couples are eschewing tubs in favor of a larger luxury shower.  Easy peezy with this remodel.  

Attached is a draft sketch of the proposed remodel that shows where the tub would be.  (I have drawn at least 7 or 8 different reconfigurations of the bathroom, so this is the one we seem to be drawn to this month.)  

All thoughts, suggestions and advice are most welcome.  Thank you.

Attached Files
.pdf   Bath plan.pdf (Size: 1.2 MB / Downloads: 29)
sleepy hollow

We are currently building a house and our Master Bath will NOT have a tub. We put a big jetted tub in our last house and used it maybe a dozen times in 16yrs. Too big, too hard to clean, emptied the water heater, etc etc. Rather than a tub we have a big 4x8 shower with two shower stations - a rain head and a hand held. Much more useful IMHO
If the revised shower contains a hand held and seating, the need for a tub goes way down.

Bad experiences come from poor decisions. So do good stories. 

I don't think anyone has taken a bath in our tub, except for grandkids, in about 30 years.  I intend to remove the current bath/shower and replace it with a shower only, sometime before the wife & I are too old to get in and out easily.  Given the circumstances you describe, this seems like a no-brainer to me.
If you are going down a river at 2 mph and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to shingle your roof?

Thank you all for your reinforcing thoughts.  Yes, the shower will have a fancy diverter valve to operate both the shower head and a separate handheld on an adjustable height bar.  Also thinking about some body sprays to make it even more appealing if we decide to move (30+ years here).  

I should add that the area where the tub is shown in the drawing originally had a 6x6 jacuzzi tub with a crazy ugly tiled deck around it.  Took up way too much of the space, and we, too, used it almost never.  Except the kids used it for swimming in the summer when they were very small.  Drained the water heater indeed!

Also I was worried about the load on the joists if I got a deep tub.  I am feeling much more confident about this design based on your comments.  

Any contrary views out there, or other thoughts?  Please share.  

Thanks again.
sleepy hollow

Your MBR sounds exactly like the one in our house built in 1989. We also had an oversize tub with a large tile surround which morphed into an unused eyesore. We contemplated not including a tub in the remodel, but found a steal on a freestanding composite/resin tub we couldn't pass up. But to your situation as long as there's a tub on the same floor I think no MBR tub is absolutely OK. 

I might add that our remodel is now three years old and the only people who have used the tub are my young granddaughters.
Meant to add...not sure where you live but if geographical logical consider heated floors. Relatively inexepensive when looking at the entire budget.
If there's a tub elsewhere in the house, I'd go without.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
We expanded our bathroom a couple years ago. It's now 14 x 14. 2 vanities and a nice big shower. We could have squeezed in a tub but something would have to give... maybe 1 vanity or two smaller vanities and/or a smaller shower. We didn't want to give up any of those. We really enjoy the nice big shower and both vanities. We considered a standing tub. The wife wanted it, I didn't. One of the few wins I've had and both of us are happy. We did 2 shower heads, one at each end. She has her niches and shower and spray wand and I have mine. It's nice.

You'd be surprised how many times I see tubs and whirlpools removed and larger showers installed in bathrooms in fairly new homes. Or for that matter, tubs that were never used in master baths..
Neil Summers Home Inspections

I came to a stop sign and a skanky tweaker chick in a tube top climbed out of the brush and propositioned me.  She looked like she didn't have any teeth so I counted that as a plus.

... Kizar Sosay

The only people I've ever consistently heard say "don't take out the tub" is realtors. Every other person I've ever talked to had mentioned they never use the tub, why do they have it, etc. Ours currently has a clothing drying rack sitting in it.

Having a tub or two somewhere in the house is good for hurricanes (I live in Houston). But even if you need that it sounds like you have two other tubs.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.