Goodbye Jetted Tub, Hello Custom Shower

8th st master bath_shower2 shower remodel with subway

There’s a heated debate happening in master bathrooms across Northern Colorado. It has nothing to do with the classic seat-up, seat-down battle of the sexes or the more subtle over-or-under paper roll preference. We’re talking about bathtub versus shower – jets versus steam – in the ultimate battle to earn and defend coveted space in the master bath.

We get calls all the time from homeowners looking to remodel their master bathrooms, and most of these people want to increase the size of their shower. When space is at a premium – and that’s often the case in bathrooms – many homeowners are forced to make a tough choice between keeping or removing the old jetted tub.

Consider keeping the old soaker if you use it several times a week and if it’s the only tub in the house. Perhaps replace the tub with a new larger shower if the tub is rarely used, it’s dated and difficult to clean, you prefer showers to baths, and if filling the tub is beyond your hot water heater’s capacity.

Although homeowners often tell us they dream of a bigger custom shower, many are hesitant to remove the unwanted tub because they think it demotes their high-end five-piece master suite to a common four-piece commode. It doesn’t matter that the tub is a giant dust-catcher; gut instinct tells them removing it from a master bath remodel is a form of re-sale suicide.

Not so, says realtor Dave Trujillo with The Group at Centerra. He claims, “As long as you have another bathtub in the house, ripping out the old jetted tub in the master should not hurt your re-sale value.” After 17 successful years in the Loveland-Fort Collins real estate business, Trujillo has seen a significant change in buyer trends, including the shift to more buyers looking for properties with updated, oversized custom showers.

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Today’s buyers want big, walk-in showers with all the bells and whistles like overhead, wall-mounted and hand-held showerheads, rain bars, thermostatic temperature controls and steam features. Bench seats add comfort and safety, and built-in wall niches provide storage space for shampoo and other necessities. And if the master is on the main floor of the house, we encourage homeowners to think about making it a no-threshold roll-in shower for accessibility as they age.

Trujillo contends that deep jetted bathtubs are a thing of the past, and those people who want a tub in the master are opting for more energy- and space-efficient one-person soaking varieties. Trujillo is so convinced big showers are the wave of the future, he followed his own advice. The local realtor recently worked with HighCraft to remodel his master bathroom. He replaced the old jetted tub in the corner with a light and spacious custom shower.

BEFORE: the old jetted tub in Dave’s home in Loveland.
BEFORE: the old jetted tub in Dave’s home in Loveland.
8th st master bath
AFTER: Dave compromised during his remodel with a light, bright and spacious new shower and single-person soaker tub.

Showers may be winning this particular remodeling round, but don’t throw in the towel if you still love to soak in the tub – there’s always room for compromise.


If you find yourself in the middle of the tub versus shower debate, talk to a professional remodeler, like HighCraft Builders, about your options.