raineyann

How necessary is a bathtub?

The house we bought has no bathtub. My sister-in-law said the real estate agent told her it was a pity her unit had no bath as that reduces resale value. I've always considered a bath necessary, though we never use one much - only when young children are visiting or after certain types of medical procedures. I noted aged relatives really appreciated a bath, and we are now approaching the age when we might want to sit down to wash, but perhaps a bench in the shower or a shower chair serves just as well?


I had a plan to change the bathroom to 3-way and install a bath, thus getting over a number of design problems (including no wash basin in the toilet), but it seems that may present insurmountable plumbing problems because we can't get a floor waste into the area where the vanity was to go.


I can get a very small bath (1200mm long) in by reducing the size of the very large vanity currently in the bathroom.


What do others think about houses without bathtubs?

Comments (28)

  • oklouise
    28 days ago

    i like a bath in any house but rarely make time to use one but we did install a hydrotherapy spa bath for disabled use which has a side access that opens like a car door and you sit down and fill up the water to chest height...pretty flash but the early domestic model we installed is a noisier than i would prefer so anyone interested should make sure they test drive one with the spa motor running but different models can be installed in the space used by an existing shower or bath so don't need a new bathroom to be considered....

    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked oklouise
  • pottsy99
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    You have just bought the house , and it doesn't have a bath ? So why worry about resale ? I assume you aren't wanting to 'flick' it , but even if you do , you are selling it the same or similar to existing condition and layout -- it wasn't a problem to you , it won't be to a lot of others .

    A 1200 long bath is almost a waste of time , and it sounds like anything else would be lots of $$$$ , and cut into actual usable space from other rooms . If you don't want a bath , don't have one . If you or a family member need a bath , add one if you can but I wouldn't be too worried -- a shower or two is essential , a bath is more a 'nice to have' .

    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked pottsy99
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  • Black Bamboo
    28 days ago

    I bought a home without a bathtub and while it's true I would use the shower 99.99% of the time, putting in a bathtub is something I want to do as soon as I have saved up for it. In winter I want to be able to take a long soak without running water down the drain for 20mins. They are an economical use of water from that point of view and you can have them plumbed into a grey water tank for recycling the water in the garden.


    I don't agree with Potsy that a 1200mm bath is a waste of time. Sure if you are 6ft tall maybe. But many women are closer to 5ft tall and a 1700mm bathtub is actually too long to be comfortable for us as we constantly slip down the bath while soaking. Also if its the bathtub that fits in your space, then it's not a waste of time either. A 1200mm bath is what I am going for, owing to my height (or lack of) and the fact that putting in a full sized bath will cost $40,000 in realigning the walls to fit such a tub. The depth of the tub is actually more important to me than it's length.


    Put a tub in if it's something you will use, and personally want. Resale value is just opinion and who cares anyway if it's your forever home.

    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked Black Bamboo
  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Thanks Pottsy99. Actually, the lack of a bath was an issue for us, as were a number of other issues of really bad design. But we wanted the property (location, water, acreage, views, etc.) We had plans to fix most of the problems and have already rearranged the kitchen and pantry to remove a useless storeroom and hallway and make a much larger and more open kitchen, a scullery and better access to and storage in the laundry. We are in the process of fixing some other issues. We decided we'd just live with the poor ensuite layout, but we planned to convert the main bathroom to 3-way. We did not anticipate the unusual drainage issues - drains under 300mm of solid concrete topped with high quality porcelain tiles (white, and slippery, which is another issue we will have to address in the bathrooms!)


    We can't take space from other rooms. The bathroom is quite large but a weirdly angled wall and the position of the shower make rearranging it tricky. Maybe we could move the shower, but it would not be an easy thing to do. We might need to find an innovative plumber who can conceive some outside-the-box solution. But I really wanted to canvas opinions to see if maybe I was wrong to think a bath tub is essential.


    We do not intend to flip the house, but given our ages we might have to sell and move into something smaller in a decade or so.



  • Black Bamboo
    28 days ago

    Ask your plumber about installing a saniflo or similar system. It's a tank under the sink with a pump in it that allows you to use a wall drain instead of a floor drain and pumps the water uphill to the downpipe.

    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked Black Bamboo
  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Thanks Black Bamboo. A 1200mm bath is certainly not a waste of time when there are children visiting.

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Thanks again Black Bamboo. I will ask about a Saniflo. I thought our issue was the lack of a floor waste, but I may be wrong about that. I really would love to make a 3-way bathroom. They are so much more practical in every way, and then I wouldn't have to figure out how to get a wash basin into the small toilet room as the vanity would be right outside its door.

  • oklouise
    28 days ago

    could you post the plans with dimensions to help with suggestions for possible new bathroom floorplan

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Here it is. Just for clarity - in case it's hard to read: the sloped wall is 2.74m long. The room is 2.62m long on the hall side and 3.86m long at the exterior wall. The entry wall is 2.58m long. Shower rose is in the middle of the wall with the WC. The shower measures 1.4m long x 1.05m wide.


    My original plan was to move the linen cbd to cut into the hall wall and open into the hall, then put a vanity where the linen cbd is and a bath where the vanity is now. Apparently we would have to have a floor waste in front of the vanity, and that is not feasible.


    Our other option was to put a wash basin in the WC (possibly on the shower wall and swing the door out or convert to sliding) and find a way to add a bath tub. We will not entertain a bath/shower combination. I've seen too many accidents with people climbing over a bath wall to get into or out of the shower.


    We will be removing the glass shower screens and putting a solid wall along the front of the shower and leaving the end open. The towel rails (which currently line the entire hall wall) can be relocated onto that wall.



  • oklouise
    28 days ago

    where does the extra door in the bathroom lead to? does it have to retain access to the bathroom? where is the ensuite?..plans of the whole house would make it all clearer

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Thanks, Black Bamboo. We don't want to remove the exterior door though, as we've just put it in to give access to the toilet from the swim spa, which is located just outside. I hated the idea of trooping water all through the living area to get to the loo when swimming!

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Here is the whole house plan as approved by council, though it's not quite accurate as some minor alterations were apparently made during the build - including removing the raked ceiling (sadly!)


    We have changed the kitchen/store/laundry area extensively. It is now like this:



    The exterior door from the bathroom leads out to the swim spa. We replaced a huge window with a door in order to give swimmers access to the toilet.


  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    I have just read an HIA article on bathrooms and it seems to suggest the plumber was wrong to tell me we had to have a floor waste for a vanity where the linen cpd is. It might actually be possible to do the 3-way bathroom if we could run the basin plumbing through the WC. Alternately, even without removing the exterior door, we could probably get a reasonable sized tub in if we installed a corner vanity. I've never much liked the look of most of the commercially available ones, but maybe it's possible to design one that looks good and offers decent bench space and storage. (I need towel storage space in the bathroom as the linen cpd is very small.)

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    I'm keen to see what oklouise comes up with as I've seen several of her designs on Houzz and they are often excellent.

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Interesting. I had not thought of moving the door. It might be worth comparing costs to do that with the cost of moving the linen cpd. I love the long vanity, and with the right type of screen on the door side the shower could open at the end and not need glass screen or door (which I am trying to avoid!). I can get a tiny vanity (which is all that's needed) in the toilet without moving the toilet wall if I change the door to a slider (A pocket door would be too much of a challenge given the way the house is built, but a barn slider going back beside the toilet would be okay.)

    I think I need to get some comparison costs. I'm still keen on the 3-way if it can be done, but your design looks really good, oklouise. Thank you.

  • siriuskey
    28 days ago

    Have you checked out

    saniflow.com.au

  • siriuskey
    28 days ago

    sorry that was

    saniflo.com.au

    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked siriuskey
  • oklouise
    28 days ago

    unless you want to rip up the whole bathroom floor i think you will have difficulty having the walk in shower without any screens ...there needs to be a much bigger space and or a new floor shape for the easy drainage that needs ...but i've been thinking of another option that might be worth considering...what are all the internal walls and floors build out of? and what is the exact distance between the external bathroom door (including any side panels and architrave and both ends of that wall and can you share some photos inside the old bathroom showing the outside door and a photo of the corner of the lounge room on the other side of the bathroom and showing the ceiling and hall doorway

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Hi oklouise

    The sad part is the existing bathroom is beautifully finished! This whole house was well finished and really well built. It was sad to have to demolish things that were so well done, but the design problems made changes necessary.


    The bathroom has porcelain wall tiles floor to ceiling on all walls and a white polished porcelain floor (slippery as all hell, and a mongrel to keep the grout lines clean!) is laid over a full 300mm+ of solid concrete, under which are all the drains. Outer walls are 200mm of reinforced solid concrete. Tiles on internal walls are over cypress timber frame with generally two layers of lining glued, screwed and nailed on - and there is way more timber in the frame than necessary. I think the builder (who built it for himself) thought the house would last forever and would never need to be changed in any way.


    Exact distance from external door to wall is 1.1m on both vanity and shower side. The door combination is 1200 wide and placed dead center. It's worth noting that 300m on the vanity side of the door is full-length frosted glass panel and it's possible to infringe a bit on that area if absolutely necessary, provided there's enough room for the door to swing safely (as it swings toward the vanity. I will take some photos now and share.

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Footnote: I was considering an acrylic shower tray placed over the existing floor, as it's way too slippery as is. Also probably would have to run a small tiled hob around the edges to contain the water in the shower area (Sad, as it makes an obstacle to step over on entry, but I suspect it's unavoidable) We had to remove the glass door from the ensuite shower (which is the same size and shape but has two shower roses and the door on the side instead of the end) and we've found that very little water escapes. It has an identical finish and is also very slippery so we are considering what to do with it as well. I really want to get rid of glass. I hate it. But the floor is the biggest issue with the showers. It's dangerous.

  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    28 days ago





    Above is living rm wall adjacent to bathroom. As you can see, it's a feature wall. The original owners must have had a mirror fetish. There are mirrors everywhere! This particular one does not offend me, but the mirror wardrobe doors have got to go and I'd like to shrink the bathroom mirrors - maybe by putting a cabinet over part of them.


    Ceilings are just standard 2400 white painted gyprock throughout the entire house.


    External bathroom door install is not quite finished. There is a timber trim, architraves and aluminium threshold to be installed.

  • oklouise
    27 days ago

    what about something like this with a modest 1500 x 750 FS bath, wall hung nadbasib or smnall vanities, aluminium trim around the windows and door (not wood) and a custom made walk in shower (consider a shower curtain if you don't want any glass) but there's no shower tray that would fit this space (although we've had a tiled step in shower bath that was only 60cm x 1200 that was ok to use) but you'll need to waterproof and replace the whole floor with safer tiles so you might be able to have a long shower grate to drain the floor and the slope of the floors will determine the best options for floor drains but should be better than any hob to trip over


  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Thank you oklouise. That's an interesting concept, and one I had not considered. The benefit of your suggestion is that there are no tiles under the existing vanity so I would be starting over with the shower floor. I would have to tear up the existing shower floor and find a contrasting tile to put around the basin, but that's okay. (Can't get anything to match and prefer a safer floor anyway) I did consider a low step-in shower bath but 600mm is too high for me. I saw a lovely Japanese-made one that was only 300mm high, but I can't find a supplier. I would not be the right shape anyway.

    I think my next step is to get some rough estimates of comparative costs for the different options. Thanks again.

  • siriuskey
    27 days ago

    I don't think it's necessary to have a bath, it didn't stop you from buying it and it won't stop others. But if you have the space and the money, I suggest this quick sketch

    Trun the WC around and if possible add a hand vanity, you can also get toilets with a small hand basin on top of the cistern, all one suite..

    Bumb out and maximise the shower space turning it into a Japanese style bath/shower, They are either side by side parallel or horizontal when you look at the sketch. Just the one solid wall and no glass screen, with a timber bench to sit on to shower or dry The linen cupboard is moved into the bathroom joining the vanity


    Lorraine Cobcroft thanked siriuskey
  • Lorraine Cobcroft
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Thanks siriuskey. Yet another bright idea! I love the Japanese bath/shower concept. I think it's brilliant and if I were building I would have a 3-way bathroom with a 'wet room' containing nothing but bath and shower side by side and no space between. I did think of implementing it in this house but I couldn't figure a way to do it. Never thought of turning the toilet around! We plan to replace the loo anyway so maybe it's feasible. The existing vanity could remain with just a cosmetic update, which would save a bit. I hesitated at the thought of the linen cpd in the bathroom but realistically we don't access it that often. I don't store our master bedroom linen in it anyway - only sheets for the guest room and towels for guests and the pool.

  • siriuskey
    27 days ago

    sorry for my rough sketch I wasn't having any luck with the sloping wall so gave up. The japanese bath/shower is my favourite and I thought that the existing shower drain would work for both shower and bath, perhaps a long drain when you replace the unsafe floor tiles. I thought a narrow linen cupboard as you walked in that then connected to the vanity.

  • siriuskey
    27 days ago

    If we put a doorway across from the old linen cupboard you could have a 3 way bathroom, this would then have the entrance into the bath shower from the new anti room that we have created