In reality, a bathroom remodel is one of the most nuanced renovations any homeowner can invest in. There are so many small decisions to be made that contribute to that grand design vision that will make homeowners and home buyers fall in love with the room.
Since the shower is one of the most important bathroom fixtures, it’s crucial to make the right decision during a remodel. Here’s where you want to take a step back for a moment and ask a key, high-level question—should you install a walk-in shower or tub?
Walk-In Shower or Tub—The Value Perspective
People choose to renovate their homes for various reasons. Some do it to maximize their home value so they can put it on the market. Others decide to renovate to improve their comfort and update the house based on their preferences.
If you’re primarily concerned with maximizing value when you sell the house, a tub is most likely your best approach in a bathroom remodel.
Walk-in showers are trendy but can alienate home buyers who have families (especially if they have small children). Having the tub provides a level of flexibility, which makes your house more valuable to a wider range of buyers.
This is all especially true for homes with just one bathroom. If you have multiple bathrooms in the home and there’s already a tub, you may have more freedom to experiment with walk-in shower trends in a bathroom remodel. As long as you can accommodate families that expect tubs, a second bathroom with a beautiful walk-in shower can boost value even higher.
Staying Within Your Budget
If you get carried away in the design phase, blowing through a bathroom remodel budget isn’t very difficult. Most homeowners won’t be operating with an open-ended budget, so staying within the planned scope of the project is important.
And while you may love walk-in showers or want a luxury tub, the reality is that your budget will thank you for keeping what’s already in the room.
Even though you’re remodeling the room, it’s more cost-effective to replace an existing tub with a new one. Or replace an aging walk-in shower with new materials and an updated design.
You might be tempted to overhaul the bathroom to your heart’s desire, but just keep in mind that it can have a major effect on the budget.
The Accessibility Challenge
As stated above, the general answer for “walk-in shower vs. tub” is to go with a tub because it’s more appealing to families—who represent the majority of home buyers.
However, this is as much an accessibility topic as a design consideration.
If you’re outfitting a home for an elderly person or someone who has physical limitations, it’s important to keep accessibility in mind. That means opting for a walk-in shower with special handrails and/or seating to accommodate anyone’s needs.
It may not have the most positive impact on home value, but accessibility is a critical factor when designing a bathroom remodel for families that need it.
There’s No Right or Wrong Answer
Everything explained here is meant for more as a guide than a definitive answer to the “walk-in shower vs. tub” debate. The reality is that, like any other home renovation decision, this decision comes down to personal needs and preferences as well as project scope.
That’s why it’s so important to work with the right bathroom remodeling contractor. Having a contractor and designer you trust will help alleviate the pressure of so many decisions throughout the process.