Does a master bathroom need a bathtub?

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If you’re preparing to renovate your master bathroom into the luxurious and relaxing spa-space you’ve always imagined, there may be one question on your mind: Do I really need a bathtub?

Can you eliminate the tub?
Tubs can be bulky, restrict your design plans and limit the spa features you’re able to add to your bathroom. Bathtubs may largely be leftover from the past, when they were the best way to get clean.

Up until the early 1900s in the U.S. and the late 20th century in parts of Europe, showers were very rare. Bathtubs were the most popular and accessible way to bathe. Although fewer American adults use tubs for regular bathing today, many master bathrooms still have tubs as part of their design. However, that may not be for long.

“The simple answer is: No, you don’t need a tub.”

During renovations, many people are opting for larger stand-up showers, steam rooms and specialty shower options in the master bathrooms. As long as there’s at least one tub in the house, eliminating the one in the master bathroom generally doesn’t affect the home’s value negatively. And, of course, a major upgrade of the master bathroom can increase value.

The simple answer is: Not only can you get rid of your old bathtub for a better shower, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular option.

What if I do want a bathtub? 
While classic utilitarian shower-tub combinations are often replaced in master bathroom renovations, some people like to install separate, luxury bathtubs for a better experience. If you don’t want to lose the ability to soak after a long day of work or you want a jet massage after a workout, consider one of these popular master bathroom tub options.

Find the right bathtub option for your home.
Find the right bathtub option for your home.

These large tubs are perfect for anyone who wants a hot tub right off the bedroom. Alure Home Improvements’ bathroom design expert Ken Gold explained that whirlpool tubs are especially popular with athletes. The strong jets and hot water can help your muscles feel better after a long run or day at the gym.

They come in a number of shapes and designs. Talk to your designer to find the exact functions and style you want in your bathroom. Whirlpool tubs can be a fun addition to a master bathroom and fulfill a very different role than a shower.

Air bubble systems
You don’t need bubble bath soap for one of these tubs, which are designed with systems that pump air bubbles through pin-sized holes throughout the tub. Gold explained that the bubbles are very relaxing and not overly frothy. It’s a great option for people trying to create their own relaxation oasis right off the master bedroom.

Some tubs combine the bubbles and jets to create a hybrid option. It’s a great compromise for couples split between these two popular tub styles. Talk to your designer about whether this is right for you.

Elegant tubs 
Sometimes it isn’t just function that homeowners want. Many people want a luxurious, elegant bathtub in their large master bathroom. Slipper tubs are a popular option to give off that old, clawfoot vibe with modern amenities.

The slipper tub is the new clawfoot tub.
The slipper tub is the new clawfoot tub.

Modern tubs 
If your bathroom has a more modern design with a focus on technology, an infinity or undermount tub may be a better option. These slick, lineless tubs can enhance your master bathroom’s design and function. The tub will provide a relaxing getaway and a strong design piece.

When you decide you want to redo your master bathroom, talk to your designer about whether you want a tub and which styles you’re considering. He or she will help you get the exact bathroom you’ve always wanted.

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