I Have A Small Bathroom: Shower Vs Bath

I received an email the other day from Darren, he wanted to know how the value of a property would be affected if he decided to replace his bath with a shower cubicle. It’s a good question, and i’m sure others have been in a similar situation.

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


The Situation

I assumed that the property Darren is referring to is a small property with only 1 bathroom, as opposed to him referring to a 2nd bathroom. So i’m going to base my answer on that scenario.

There are a lot of reasons why someone may want to replace their bath with a shower cubicle; the main reasons being to create space or simply because the bath is unused. In many cases a bath doesn’t suit the lifestyle of many people.

Bathrooms are valuable

Bathrooms are extremely valuable; they do have potential to add/reduce value to a property, so it’s important to get them right. A lot of people put great importance into a bathroom, especially those that like to kick back and relax in a hot tub after a long day at work. Additionally, in a family market, extra bathrooms can add significant value.

Know your target market

Small Bathroom

Before making any decisions, you need to know which kind of market your property will appeal to when selling. I think the key factor that we can extract from the email is that he has a small home with 1 or 2 bedrooms. If that’s the case, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be targeting couples, first-time buyers or investors, consequently eliminating the family audience. A small house with a small bathroom won’t be suitable for a family, so the odds of a family purchasing the property will be unlikely. Since that’s the case, investors and couples shouldn’t be phased too much by there being no bath. Essentially, I don’t think the value of the property will be affected, but you do run the risk of limiting your market, and that can be a major problem when it comes to selling. A lot of young couples are constantly on the move, especially young professionals, so it maybe more convenient for them to have a shower. However, every now and then they may want the luxury of wanting to relax in a hot tub.

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 you’re talking about a small house with a small bathroom, it’s the quality that will be affect the value the most drastically.

Ask your estate agent

If you’re really unsure about what to do and are concerned about the value of your property, you should consult your local estate agent. Your agent will know the local market, consequently he/she will know a) what type of people buy the property you live in b) what they look for in those properties. As in an incentive for your estate agent, just tell him/her that when it comes to selling, you plan on using their agency. Keep them sweet.

What would I do?

Small BathroomIf there’s enough space to fit a bath, like there obviously is in Darren’s case, then I would make a compromise. There are some great bathroom suites available these days, so the lack of options shouldn’t be a problem. While a standard sized suite may make the space look cramped, there are a lot of suites designed for smaller bathrooms. These suites are designed for small space, they aren’t physically as big as the standard suites, but everything looks in proportion. Suites like these maybe more costly, since they’re custom, but they’re definitely worth it. I would get a custom suite that offers a bath, which can also be used as shower cubicle. That way I get the best of both worlds. In conclusion, if you can comfortably fit a bath into the bathroom plan, then have one, otherwise you’ll most certainly limit your market, even if you don’t necessarily hinder the value of your property.

Extra Tips for small bathrooms

  • For a small bathroom, you may have to consider your choice of colour carefully, as this is going to have an impact upon 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 appearance of 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. Simple fittings like towel racks will work well.
  • No matter how small or big your bathroom is, make sure the finish is to a high standard. A badly finished, big bathroom won’t be as valuable as a small bathroom that’s finished to a high standard.
  • When you’re limited for space, less is more. Only put in the essentials, and don’t overcrowd the floor space

12 Comments- 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.

Guest Avatar
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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