Are tubs going the way of horse & buggy?


For more than a century, almost every master and secondary bathroom in North American homes was outfitted with a tub shower. That’s not the case as we approach the third decade of the 21st century. Who wants to step over a tub to take a shower? That’s a question many hotel developers are answering by eliminating tubs altogether. Hilton’s Canopy brand has replaced the tub with a barrier-free, walk-in shower. Marriott also is foregoing tubs for walk-in showers at properties that are part of the brand’s Autograph Collection. Both hoteliers are not eliminating tubs completely, however. They are outfitting their suites with tubs to evoke a more luxurious feel and look to the space.

Do you need or want a tub? That’s a question we almost always ask our clients when they are renovating their bathrooms. When designing a bath, the overall goal is creating a room that offers the greatest amount of enjoyment in the least amount of space. Often my clients want to include a tub in their master bath because they think it’s necessary for resale.  It’s common in the older homes of New England that the master bathrooms are on the small size so having a tub sometimes means having a relatively small shower.  I always suggest to my clients that they consider skipping the tub to make room for a larger shower.  Most chose this option because they realize the tub will sit mostly unused whereas the shower is part of their daily routine.   

If there is room for a separate tub and a decent sized shower today’s free-standing tubs resemble works of sculpture that give a room a sense of luxury and good taste. Form is only one of the distinguishing features of today’s tubs. Tubs today can be equipped with spa-like jets and air systems or both that offer warm, circulating water to relax tired muscles, relieve aches and pains from overexertion, improve circulation and remove unhealthy toxins from your body. Additionally, properly designed hydro-massage systems provide a personalized 

massage that invites repetitive use that enhances your health and well-being. You can outfit your tub with light therapy and aroma therapy that helps to recharge your batteries and reduce stress.

If resale is of concern, many of our clients elect to place tubs only in secondary baths in their home. There is a large slice of the population that want to see a free-standing or system bath in the master bath as well. Consider a tub in your master or secondary bath as comparable to a dining room or fireplace. They are great to have, but are not necessarily used every day.

Designing a dream bathroom that is a spa-like oasis that offers easy-to-use functionality involves choosing materials and finishes that create a warm feel and comfort to a room. Tubs often contribute to that aura. Do you want or need a tub in your master bath? Give us a call at 781-749-6777 and we can help you answer that question and create the bathroom of your dreams.

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