I Have A Small Bathroom: Shower Vs Bath

Shower Vs Bath

Darren asks,

My wife and I are thinking of re doing our bathroom, it isn’t very big and we are thinking of taking the bath out and just having a shower cubicle… do you think this would reduce the value of the property?


Essentially, how would the value of a property would be affected if he decided to replace his bath with a shower cubicle?

Good question.

The Situation

I made an assumption that the property Darren is referring to is a small property with only 1 bathroom. So provide my opinion based on that specific scenario.

While there are many potential reasons why someone may want to replace their bath with a shower cubicle, one of the main reasons is that it creates space. In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for a bath to be an absolute item in a household, showers are simply more convenient. If that’s the case, that’s a lot of wasted space on an item that does not get any use.

Bathrooms are valuable

Bathrooms are extremely valuable; they do have potential to add or reduce value to the overall property, so it’s important to get them right.

Many people put great importance into a bathroom, especially because it’s one of the most expensive rooms in a house to refurbish (kitchen typically being the most expensive). Additionally, in a family market, extra bathrooms can add significant value.

Know your target market

Before making any decisions, you need to know what kind of market your property will appeal to when selling.

For example, small properties are more likely to appeal to couples, first-time buyers and investors, consequently eliminating the family audience. Above all, a bathroom needs to be practical, so when considering value, you need to consider what type of buyer will you be attracting and what you think they will expect from their living space.

Essentially, I don’t think the value of the property will be affected if a bath is missing in smaller properties, but you do run a risk of limiting your market.

Quality of the bathroom is likely to be more important!

While replacing the bath with a shower cubicle may not affect the value for young couples and investors, it’s imperative to always finish the bathroom to a high standard, because that will definitely affect the value of the property.

So no matter what you decide to do, plan the space well and finish it with quality. At the end of the day, when we’re discussing a small house with a small bathroom, quality will more often not play a bigger role in desirability.

Ask your estate agent

If you’re really unsure about what to do and are concerned about the value of your property, you can consult your local estate agent for further insight.

Your agent should know the local market, consequently be aware of a) what type of people are likely to be interested in your property b) what features they look for.

What would I do?

If there’s enough space to fit a bath, like there obviously is in Darren’s case, then I would first look at the bathroom suites available for the space I have available.

While a standard sized suite may make the space look cramped, there are plenty of suites designed for smaller bathrooms. These suites are designed for small space – they don’t physically occupy as much space as standard suites – and everything looks in proportion.

Suites like these are generally more costly, since they’re somewhat custom, but they’re definitely worth it. So I would get a custom suite that provides a bath, which can also be used as shower cubicle. That way I get the best of both worlds.

If I don’t have the budget for a custom suite, and I have a small bathroom which is being cramped by a bath, and I know more valuable space would be created for practical living if removed, then I would definitely go with the shower.

Extra Tips for small bathrooms

  • For a small bathroom, you may have to consider your choice of colour carefully, as it can impact the feeling of space within the room. The natural light that comes into a smaller room is likely to be limited. Try using lighter tones and colours to give the illusion of extra space.
  • Making use of wall hung fittings will help save much space and give a much more modern feel, but make sure you keep it simple and don’t overcrowd the walls.
  • No matter how small or large your bathroom is, make sure the finish is to a high standard. A large, poorly finished bathroom won’t be as valuable as a small well-finished bathroom.
  • When you’re limited for space, less is more. Only put in the essentials, and don’t overcrowd the floor space

13 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
V 28th December, 2007 @ 16:43

Nice article. Personally I wouldn't ever buy a property that didn't have a bath and only had a shower, although I would (and have) rented one. That said, I've only rented one when I've not been able to afford more; people are less willing to make a long-term committment to a compromise like that.

And I live on my own and have no children to bath, and actually hate using a bath. But right now my shower is broken, and if I'd bought a place with no bath, I'd have been totally stuffed.

Guest Avatar
Fiona 28th December, 2007 @ 20:08

I think it definately puts alot of people off ... and would say no bath is only acceptable in a flat with not enough space .

Even a terrace with 2/3 bedrooms NEEDS a bath ... because ALOT of people are one parent families .. so only need a terrace .. alot are young couples with a young child .... or a couple that plan to keep the house and could have a child while living in the house .
And ofcourse all the people that like a bath now and again .

So I would say it definately limits your market and can slightly lower the price ... because you arent buying a standard bathroom ... your getting that little bit less.. so people will want to pay less ... for the inconvenience of not having what is standard .

Personally I'd only buy a house big enough for a shower and a bath ... but I think most people except that alot of houses have the shower in the bath ... if its a small house or a terrace .
But now a day you can the curved baths that give you more room , and even the shower screens that fold in to make it into a shower cubicle.

Guest Avatar
shawn 29th October, 2009 @ 11:28

My question is kinda close. I have a 4 bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths. both bathrooms are modest for todays standard. Was considering replacing the master bathroom tub for a cubicle shower. any thoughts?

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Twattybollocks 26th June, 2010 @ 17:38

I would always go for a bath and shower especially if you want to appeal to the widest possible audience!

Shower is nice and quick and easy but according to Mrs Twattybollocks there are certain time of the month when the ladies may like to soak in a nice deep tub of scenty water!

What ever you go for make sure it is white! You can get a chep white trade suite/shower and then bling it up by spending a bit more on taps and accessories.

@Shawn- Why not go for a wet room? depends upon the size of course and whether you need to adhere to any codes (I am assuming you are not in the UK) and of course your budget.

Guest Avatar
Harry 5th October, 2010 @ 15:17

Might have been nice to finish the article by adding some links to small bath or shower manufacturers...that's how these online things work...

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elegantcasa 15th July, 2013 @ 12:07

what is the minimum space required for a bath with shower and tub?

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Jonny Davies 23rd December, 2013 @ 23:36

I have to agree with you first commenter, Unless the space was seriously restricted I think any home would be lesser with out a bathtub. Never mind what I think, it serves as the perfect solution to relaxing the wife which is a result for every one in our house!

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Whitby Holiday Home 9th April, 2014 @ 19:30

Thanks for this. Was undecided between bath/shower and just shower in a family targeted holiday let and your blog consolidated what I already knew really...to stop kidding myself and stick with the bath/shower

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Zetita 17th September, 2014 @ 18:13

I swear I don't get the obsession people have here for baths. I really prefer a shower, is much more hygienic, easier to clean, less water spending... I have a bath at my current house and in a year and a half NEVER used it!

Guest Avatar
Graybags 17th November, 2015 @ 15:25

Considering to make a change to a small bathroom myself brought me to this site. Having read your well balanced and reasoned response to Darren's question and the comments made by others I shall be replacing the current bath with a shower over with new, as it ensures all would be users have the choice. I recognize that my thoughts of replacing the bath with a shower cubicle is more to do with my personal preference for a shower and the apparent simplification of the bathroom design.

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Katiebooboo 21st March, 2016 @ 14:04

If Darren is looking to stay in the property for a long time, why can't he remove the bath and put in a shower cubicle and when he is thinking about moving say 10 years down the line remove the shower cubicle and put a bath back in.

I do agree with Harry a few links to small bathrooms would have been nice.

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Egle 7th May, 2020 @ 12:29

I love bathing! And my husband too. When I was growing up, every Sun evening I was having a bath with bubbles ☺️ we live in a small flat where is no bath, just a shower cabin. To be honest, when I walked in to check it I went to the bath straight away,but was disapointed. But we could not afford anything else so had to move in 😑
Now wherever we go for our holiday, first thing I check is if an apartment has a bath. I don't even look at the the places if it only has a shower, no matter how good it looks or how good location is. So yes, bath is very important! Especialy in winter time or after long day or if you want to relax with a glass of drink and some candles around you its the best place to be - hot bath with bubbles 🤭😉💛

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Lincolnimp 7th October, 2020 @ 11:15

My last flat had no bath. A good shower though. Had I have stayed there, I would have wedged a small tin bath in the shower, for the days that I simply wishes to have a soak!

















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