Bathroom/shower upgrade

Ok, my husband and I are planning a bathroom upgrade this fall. It’s an old/gross bathtub and ugly enclosure. To save money we’re planning on just doing a shower stall and tiling the whole bathroom (my husband does great tile-work). My only concern is that we plan to cater to families. I’m starting to doubt my decision, but it costs so much more to do a tub. I have a 2yo and a 4yo, but I’ve taken them into the shower with me often when in a hurry or in a place that doesn’t have a tub. Do you think it would be an issue? I’d prefer to make the bathroom more luxurious and have a built in seat than have a tub, but I’d hate to spend the money and then have tons of comments on not having a bathtub.

I am a professional interior designer ASID. At least one tub should be in a home. You will devalue the home if it has no tub. If another bathroom has a tub that’s ok. All tile is good, put some nice accent tiles or a border. As for guests, I’ve only had two who used the tub. Personally, I love a large walk in shower. Two of my projects where I removed the tub, but they had another tub.

1 Like

In my situation the people are on another level of the home, so I allow them to bath very young children upstairs in our tub - but if I remember correctly, you’re on in a different building. Is that right?

I think you could wait just a bit and see what your bookings are - if you get a lot of very young children. We don’t - young, yes, but only twice in almost 70 groups has someone had to use the bath for their small child.

This is in a “mother-in-law” style apartment above our garage. It is on our property and if someone really needed to give their kids a bath, they could use our kids bathtub in our house. I"m just trying to foresee issues. We plan on using accent tiles. :slight_smile:

That should work! Good idea.

What is your occupancy limit? Is this a large mother-in-law suite?

Yes, this is a large mother-in-law suite. I allow up to a family of 5 or 4 adults, but only after they know exactly what they’re getting.

If it is only for guests, don’t put in a bathtub.
Taking a bath uses a lot of water and energy.

When you are putting in a new shower, have a look at a heat recovery system.
It warms the cold water in the shower by using the heat from the drain.

It works very well in holliday homes, because guests tend to shower short after each other with little time in between.

So I take it is 2 bedrooms if you allow 4 adults?

Do you happen to have a heat pump water heater? Just curious.

We have a queen bedroom and a sofa sleeper and then air mattresses/toddler pallets as needed…which is why we make sure people know exactly what they’re getting. And we have a standard tank hot water system that is right in-between the bathroom and kitchen in a little closet.

I’ve had someone ask if it would be appropriate for 2 couples vacationing together, nope. But it works well for families who are used to being cozy, or I’ve got a family coming next week with 3 adults and a toddler, the singleton doesn’t mind the sofa-sleeper and I have a pack n play. This is why I don’t use IB, it just wouldn’t work unless people know what they’re getting!

1 Like

No one has stayed with a small child (and my listing says "not suitable for children) but guests have been loving the shower in my new en suite bathroom. There is no door it’s just a walk in. I’d have preferred a glass wall for looks and light but not for cleaning. So it’s a solid wall with the valve in it.


The tub will benefit your equity.

I would go ahead and do whatever you want with just having a shower.

You may end up deciding later down the road that you prefer to rent only to one couple anyway.

The place I am getting ready is above the garage and is fairly large. There is only a shower in the bathroom. The rest of the area is one large room with king murphy bed, pool table, full size fridge, deck, etc.

I am not providing a grill, but just a large toaster oven and microwave. There really isn’t a place to wash dishes so I don’t want to encourage anyone to prepare meals. There is a sink but it is part of the wet bar. I could add a sleeper sofa comfortably but just didn’t like the idea of little kids running around…and there are so many stairs to get there.

So, I would just suggest thinking about if you think you will change your mind down the road (regarding occupancy)…or if you are fairly certain you will keep with up to 5 guests. If the majority of your bookings are only going to be couples…I would not add a bath if you really don’t want to.

1 Like

I plan to “cater” to families as St Louis is more of a family destination than a romantic one. Plus, as a mother of 4, I appreciate a clean place that isn’t a hotel even if we have to squeeze. I have a full kitchen, so again it works well for families for up to a week. I have a family of 5 that is between houses/closing dates that are in week 2 now and they said it’s worked very comfortably for them, so that’s a relief. I could probably ask her thoughts on the shower/tub too.

@KKC, that’s kinda what we want to do, but since it’s a small space we’re probably going to do white tiles. I like the idea of it being partially walled for privacy, but then also looking cleaner without the glass door. I was just thinking of having up curtains, but now my mind goes to puddles… I need to see what I can dream up for the bathroom that will actually work.


Well, Sarah, as we know that bathtubs provide lots of comfortableness, but there are some cons (like it occupies a large space area) that let one thinks of other options like built in seat, freedom shower, etc. Freedom shower can be the best option as a replacement for bathtubs as they comes with built in seat, designer shower head and non slippery floor. We too have a freedom shower recently installed in our bathroom by the professionals walk in tubs Kent team. You can also ask for such luxurious bathroom upgrade to the contractor you have hired for bathroom upgradation.