That’s a question we hear frequently when we work with homeowners who want to remodel a bathroom, particularly a master bathroom. While the trend a few years ago was to tear out the tub and replace it with a shower, the cycle has reversed itself slightly.

Some people may be surprised to learn that a 2017 HOUZZ survey showed that the most popular trend among households that have remodeled a master bath is to install a freestanding tub. So what does this mean? Basically, if you’re not ready to chuck it, don’t. Here’s why.


About 37% of homeowners renovating a master bath chose to upgrade their bathtub. Among that group, 64% chose a soaking tub, which is deeper and larger than a standard, builder-grade tub. If you’re one of those people who love to soak or are disappointed when your hotel room only has a shower, you fit into this category.

In terms of shape, half of renovating homeowners who upgraded their bathtub chose a freestanding bathtub, while 26% choose an alcove tub bordered by three walls and 17% chose a deck-mounted tub, which sits within a built-up structure. Among the popular features, 21% made sure that the tub would be big enough for two while 19% wanted a whirlpool

The Case For Removing the Tub

Just over a quarter of homeowners, 27% to be exact, who opted to remove the master bathtub did so because they wanted a larger shower. Of these respondents, a whopping 78% have a tub located in another bathroom in the home. Reasoning goes beyond this, however, as most renovators see opportunity for other elements in the master bath. Typical additions included cabinetry, followed by an expanded vanity or sink in the area vacated by the bathtub.

bathroom remodeling wheaton il

High-End Shower Features

Installing high-end shower features is one way to spruce up your master bath. One of the most popular, and also one of the least expensive is installing a rainfall showerhead, which are larger and hang directly overhead. You’ll get a spa-like experience every time you shower with one of these. Dual showerheads, which allow you the convenience of a European style moveable showerhead, are also popular. Spend a little more for a steam shower if you want to ease sore muscles.

walk in bath tub

Install a Curbless Shower

Another consideration is installing a zero-threshold, or curbless shower, if you are older and have physical limitations and/or want to remain in your home after you retire. Curbless showers allow you to walk in without lifting your feet, thus reducing your chances of falling. Another great feature is installing a permanent bench inside the shower where you can sit and relax. Curbless showers also open up the look of your bathroom, which is particularly important if you are remodeling a smaller space.

Let Rosseland Remodeling help you with your decision to keep or ditch your bathtub. We’ll talk about your needs and budgets to make sure you get what you want. Call Chris at 847-791-5886 for a complementary consultation.