Does removing a bath devalue your home or is it time to tear out the tub?

old bath in garden
(Image credit: Getty)

Does removing a bath devalue your home? It is one of the most frequently asked questions by both renovators as well as those simply fitting a new bathroom in their home. 

For some homeowners, the bath is a non-negotiable bathroom fixture and a bathroom design essential, while for others, it is simply a bulky space-guzzler that extends how long their bathroom takes to clean. A bath might be ripped out in favour of a walk-in shower enclosure.

However you view the bath, it is important to consider the opinions that any potential buyers of your home might have on the matter too. For many people, a home with no bath could well be an issue — for others, not so much. 

We have been chatting to the experts to find out how removing a bath could affect what buyers are willing to pay for a house so that you can make a more informed decision when it comes to taking out your tub. 

Does removing a bath devalue your home? An expert opinion

There was a time in the UK when baths were a staple item in pretty much every household. However, gradually, as more and more people cottoned on to the speed and convenience offered by the shower – not to mention the fact that they take up less space  – baths began to decline in popularity. 

It is understandable that an increased number of people now look for walk-in shower ideas over those based on the bath tub, given that our lives seem more hectic than ever and that there is, these days, a real desire to squeeze the very most space out of our homes. What's more, a shower helps to reduce daily water consumption as compared with baths.

However, if you live in a house with an existing bath and are considering scrapping the idea of having one as you embark on a makeover or remodel, are you about to make a big mistake?

"Baths seem to be a peculiarly British thing. They are a place to unwind, thaw out after a day in the field or to bathe babies and little ones," says Matthew Hallett, of Winkworth Salisbury in Wiltshire. 

"A contemporary property suited to young professionals would not necessarily be adversely affected by removing a bath, nor would a property better suited to downsizers with restricted mobility. However, family houses still require baths. Removing one for environmental or cost reasons could be detrimental currently."

Most expert also seem to agree that even in cases where the value of a house may not be affected hugely by the absence of a bath, in the case of family homes, it could still mean that they take longer to sell when compared to a similar property with a tub.

Do all bathrooms need a bath?

The answer to whether removing a bath will devalue your home is a little more complex than a simple 'yes' or 'no'. While the type of house and the market it is likely to appeal to should undoubtedly make up a huge part of your decision about whether or not to include a bath, so too should the bathroom design you are aiming for. 

In the main, if it is family bathroom ideas you are after, then making space for a bath should really be a priority. However, if the bathroom is question is an en suite or one that will only see occasional use by guests, a bath might not be worth it — in which case excluding one from your design shouldn't have a negative impact on your home's value. 

shower room with green wall tiles and walk in shower

In en suites, or in homes more likely to be occupied by busy couples, a bath might not be seen as essential — while a stylish walk-in shower will be.  (Image credit: Britton)

Do you have space for a shower and a bath?

If you are thinking about omitting a bath solely because you feel it will take up too much space in your new bathroom, or are looking for small bathroom ideas that could save space in an existing layout, then you might like to explore the world of space-saving baths. 

Standard sized baths measure 1700mm x 700mm, but there are also many smaller, space-saving models now available. It is easy enough to find baths measuring 1500mm and 1600mm in length from many retailers, although 'deep soak' Japanese-style tubs are another option, as are corner baths.

Of course, there is no reason why you have to have a separate bath and shower either — over-bath showers make perfect sense in family bathrooms and the advent of shower baths means there is no need to compromise on style or comfort either. 

compact bath with alcove shelf

Opting for a compact bath is a good compromise where space is tight — the Victoria + Albert Barcelona 1500 Freestanding Bath from Sanctuary Bathrooms measures, as the name suggests, just 1500mm. (Image credit: Sanctuary Bathrooms)
Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.