The Master Bathroom Renovation: Tub or no tub?

June 11, 2020

We first posted this blog about master bathroom renovation in 2017, with the intent of answering the age-old bathroom design question: Tub or no tub? Now three years later, I’m still getting that same question from homeowners. So, I’ve updated the previous blog to include some up-to-date design details along with new photos. Enjoy! 

The Master Bathroom Renovation: Tub or no tub?

Make the right choice for your home.

The master bathroom is one of the most personal spaces in your home. So, as you’re contemplating the tub or no-tub dilemma for your bathroom remodel, worry less about current remodeling trends and think more about what’s right for you. Making the space unique to your lifestyle and personal preferences goes a long way toward your ultimate satisfaction with the finished product. My advice: Design for the way you live.

The Shower-Only Bathroom. 

In the 1990s, the master bathroom trend featured an oversized soaking tub with whirlpool jets. Now, I have more customers looking to repurpose that massive tub space to create or expand an existing closet or to simply add more functional elements in their bathroom. 

With that shift, we’ve seen the footprint of the traditional stall shower expanding to create a larger, comfortably-sized custom shower area. Some ideas for making the shower a luxe experience:

  • Custom, floor-to-ceiling tile
  • Built-in seating and niches
  • Multiple showerheads, with one hand-held
  • Steam shower for spa effect
  • Frameless glass doors or no enclosure 

The Tub and Shower Combination Bathroom.

If you enjoy relaxing in the tub, there are lots of options for creating a Zen space that includes the best of both worlds with a shower and bathtub combo. In fact, combination bathroom design has come a long way. For traditional built-in style tubs, you might opt for glass doors set on hinges that open/swing out (instead of side-to-side) which makes for easy access and cleaning.

It used to be that the tub and shower were installed as one “package” which limits the design and layout. But today, you’ve got lots of creative options: Bathtub fixtures make fabulous design statements, whether you lean toward a sleek and contemporary piece or a classic iron tub. Consider placement of the tub, incorporating it into an open layout that includes a separate shower area and use tile to unify the entire space; or feature the tub in its own nook for more of a garden or spa setting. 

Because most new-design tub decks are smaller, the tub takes up less space in the bathroom, which affords more area for installing a shower, vanities and more. Lately we’ve done quite a few combo spaces—but with a modern edge that includes new technologies and spa-like features that elevate the look and the functionality of the space.

Tub or no tub, today’s master bathroom has become an oasis. This is the space where you can relax and unwind at the end of the day, so add design extras to make the room even more comfortable and convenient for everyday living:

  • Heated floors make the space cozy during the cold winter months
  • A TV installed inside a cabinet or on swing-arm is easy to view from different angles
  • Custom cabinetry creates a linen closet and extra storage, as well as convenient plug-in access for styling tools, cell phones, and more
  • A 36” vanity height provides easy, comfortable accessibility
  • Back-Lit LED vanity mirror provides a seamless look with added energy efficiency

Above all, the secret to creating the ideal master bathroom remodel is to take it personally: Follow your own lead and make the space uniquely yours. You’ll be glad you did.

The best is yet to come,

Beth Orr