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Tub Or Shower? Which Bathroom Upgrade Is Best

If you’ve looked at bathrooms on Instagram or Pinterest, you’ve surely slowed your scroll to double-tap or save a photo of a beautiful bathtub. Whether it’s a luxurious clawfoot tub, a freestanding tub in front of a window with a great view, or just a really enviable bubble bath with candles setting the mood, a good tub pic can definitely grab your attention on social media. In the moment, you may be thinking "I need that", but do you really?

And, if you're going to shell out the cash to renovate your bathroom, it's worth doing a little cost-benefit analysis, especially since the average price of a bathroom renovation is around $10,000. How much joy will you get out of it, versus what will it do for your home's overall value? Is a bathtub more desirable than a large, open shower? What are my options, honestly?!


When it comes to bathing, you’ve got three options: a standalone shower, a freestanding tub, or a shower-tub combo. The popularity and desirability has evolved over time and has been influenced by different design trends: 25 years ago, big whirlpool tubs were super popular, often paired with a smaller shower stall. Since then, more homeowners opted for a shower-tub combo to save space and create a more efficient bathroom that still had both options. Now, a separate shower and soaking tub are much more desirable for today's buyer.


Part of the reason jetted tubs fell out of popularity after the ‘90s is that people realized they weren’t using them as much as they’d imagined (Instagram and bath bombs were not around back then to help inspire them), and the hassle of cleaning that large of a tub turned people off.


Supersized, ultra-luxe tubs may be out of fashion, but there is still a mindset among home buyers that homes should have at least one tub; primarily because they are a requirement for a lot of families with small children and pets. And if you’re taking on a bathroom renovation that might eliminate your home’s only existing tub, it’s important to recognize that although going tub-less might not directly


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