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Master Bathroom Without a Tub: Is It a Good Idea?

With more and more adults preferring a shower over a bath, some wonder if taking the bathtub out of their master bathroom is a good idea.

Why would a bathtub even be necessary if you’re never going to use it?

Many people today who are going through the bathroom renovation process decide to replace the bathtub with a large walk-in shower.

This article will help you decide whether or not removing your bathtub is a good idea. We will discuss how your property’s resale value is affected and how to increase it. We will also give you design ideas and other important things to consider.

Let’s begin.

master bath no tub

Do I Need a Bathtub in My Master Bath?

Bathtubs are not mandatory parts of bathrooms. The need for a bathtub will depend on your bathing preferences.

Many modern bathrooms use just a shower that has a shower pan with a slight lip and a shower curtain or a walk-in with a glass shower enclosure to keep water inside.

There is no building code that states a bathtub is a necessary part of a master bathroom. But this leaves many people wondering what actually defines a full bathroom?

Is a Bathroom Without a Tub Considered a Full Bath?

The exact definition of a full bath can get a little tricky.

Your average person considers a full bathroom as a room with a sink, toilet, and a place to bathe, being a bathtub or shower.

But for those in real estate, a full bath must have all four components (toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub) to be considered a full bath. If the bathroom lacks a bathtub, they instead call it a ¾ bath.

It can get confusing. Usually, if you are dealing with someone in real estate, a bathroom without a tub will be called a ¾ bath, while someone selling their home on their own will simply call it a full bathroom.

Does Not Having a Tub in My Master Bath Hurt Resale Value?

You could possibly lose some of the future resale value of the home by removing the bath. But that is not for certain.

Ultimately, the resale value is affected the most by what the buyer wants and the housing market’s current state.

Many buyers out there would be perfectly fine with having only a shower in the master bath, so long as there is a bathtub somewhere else in the home. But by removing the tub, you may turn away some potential buyers who view it as necessary.

Things to Consider If You Should Remove a Bathtub During a Bathroom Remodel

Is There Another Bathtub in the House?

The most important thing to consider is are you removing the only bathtub in the house.

If there is another bathtub elsewhere in the home, then you can feel reassured about removing the tub in the master bath.

Having another bathtub keeps your options open for both your families’ bathing choices and the home’s future resale value.

What Are You Going to Do With the Space?

Before you attempt to remove a bathtub, you should have plans for the empty space it will leave behind.

A popular choice is to create a large walk-in shower, but there are many other options available, and we will dive deeper into those options in the design ideas section below.

Just be mindful that utilizing this empty space or just bathroom remodeling, in general, can carry a heavy financial burden.

Consider Your Future Needs

Our needs change over time, and just because you currently don’t need a bathtub won’t mean that you might want one someday.

A bathtub can be a lifesaver when you want to wash your small dog during cold winter months. 

If you plan on having children, your kids may prefer a bubble bath over a shower. Even as you get older, the time may come when you prefer a bath over a shower.

You should consider future possibilities before removing a tub, especially if it’s the only one in your home.

Tips to Increase Resale Value During Bathroom Remodel


Upgrades and custom features are the easiest way to increase your property value through a bathroom remodel.

Things like designer tiles, custom glass shower doors, and heated flooring give your new bathroom elegance that people will pay a lot of money for.

But all of these nice upgrades can make your remodeling budget spiral out of control.

Use the Highest Quality Materials as Possible

Using the highest quality materials possible will make your bathroom more durable and long-lasting and add to your home’s resale value.

Prospective buyers favor materials like natural stone and engineered wood. But these materials do not come cheap and will require an upfront investment.

New Fixtures

Installing new fixtures is an easy yet inexpensive way to increase your property value by adding to the appeal of a renovated bathroom.

Most of the ways to increase resale value through a remodel require a lot of money. But adding new fixtures is a way to give your bathroom style without breaking the bank.

Install a Modern Bathtub or Shower System

Besides other upgrades and top-notch materials, the best way to increase resale value through a remodel is to install a new tub or shower system.

Many of the new Moen and Delta systems come with interchangeable valves and numerous features for which prospective buyers will pay top dollar.

Master Bathroom Without a Tub Design Ideas

The Large Walk-In Shower

The most popular option when removing a tub is to install a large walk-in shower. These amazing shower units usually have glass doors and enclosures.

These showers look amazing in stone, tile, or even wood. You have the choice of using a barrier or not, along with many other fixture options available to you.

Steam Shower

Instead of utilizing the space for a large walk-in shower, you could create a steam shower instead.

Steam showers can be costly and difficult to build but using a steam shower comes with many health benefits, such as improved skincare and circulation.

However, steam showers require a lot of space, and by removing a tub, you can install a small steam shower that could accommodate one or two people.

Double Sinks Plus Cabinetry

If installing a large walk-in or steam shower doesn’t suit you then you can instead have a medium-sized shower and use the extra space for an additional sink along with some cabinetry.

This design choice is great for couples who struggle with space constraints in the bathroom or want some additional storage.


What do you call a bathroom without a bathtub?

Some individual sellers may call it a full bathroom. But since those employed in the real estate market do the majority of house selling, it would instead be called a ¾ or three-quarters bathroom.

Can a bathtub be relocated?

Although it comes with some difficult plumbing work, you can relocate a bathtub. The best-case scenario would be to use a freestanding tub which is very easy to relocate.

James B. Parker

At a young age, James' father taught him carpentry, and he was pretty much destined for a career in the construction industry. He worked as a professional remodeling contractor for some of the most prominent construction companies for several years, before deciding to pursue his passion for writing.

A vast amount of construction experience allows James to provide practical advice for those considering a bathroom remodel.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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