Bath or Shower - what’s the impact on your property value?

If you’re looking for a definitive answer to this question, then I’ll apologise now. The more research I do and the more people I ask the further away from an answer I get. Estate Agents, Landlords, Property Developers, Friends, Family, they all contradict each other and opinions vary enormously.

Below is a general consensus of what I will be talking about (for those wanting the overview!)

  • If you have a one bed flat (with the likelihood of a single person or a young couple buying) the need and desire for a bath is drastically reduced. In fact, for many a bespoke shower enclosure (perhaps a walk-in shower or wet-room) would be considered by many of these buyers as an improvement to the bath option. So instead of reducing the value of your property there is the possibility that would in fact increase it.
  • If you have a family home with three of more bedrooms and just one Bathroom, there is an expectation that this room should have a bath in it. If this not the case and it has been replaced by a shower enclosure, like-for-like this would lower the value of the property, or at best, extend the time it takes to sell the house.
  • A family home with more than one bathroom / en suite without at least one bath remaining in the property is likely to reduce the value of the property on a comparative basis.

There you go.

One Bed Flat

So thank you to those of you who have chosen to read on! I was quite intrigued about the one bed flat impact. There appears to be lots of people (romantics I think) who insist on retaining a bath in the flat “for those cold winter evenings; a piping hot bath, bubble bath, glass of wine, candles and some depressing music in the background”. How often this event actually happens is questionable and even when it does there are plenty of us capable of ruining the theatre of it all with the slightly unromantic “I really need a dump” shouted above an Adele classic, through the locked door. In truth, most often you can’t be bothered to run the bath and every time you do succeed, the sweet scented candles start burning brighter as the Friday evening takeaway is flushed away by your grinning (less romantic) partner.

The fact is though, if the bath's not actually there anymore, you can’t even think about this indulgence and for some that’s not acceptable. These people need the bath so that this dream remains alive. My theory is that Yankee Candle are the instigators of the entire thing, so hats off to them, pure genius. However, for the real romantics amongst us a large, strong shower enclosure, fitted with a quality shower rail kit that can’t pull off the wall is a fantastic alternative. A bit of Led Zeppelin at full volume and there’s a Whole Lotto Love going on. Don’t knock it. Well you get the gist.

Back to the property value.... What all of this actually means is that you have a choice. Think about who are the likely buyers for your One Bed Flat / Apartment. The law of averages would suggest that more Singletons or Young Couples, taking their first step onto the property ladder, will be the most likely purchaser. So the Singleton population, now adjusting from Uni life having spent years as a student is quite likely to have actually forgotten what a Bath is; “Is it one of those really high shower trays?”, “Is it something you sleep in when you crash around a mates house?” - Times have changed. If this demographic is presented with a stylish and spacious enclosure, with a hot and powerful shower - this will be incredible and much more worthy than a Bath. The young couple who will both be working full time would also choose this option (having evolved from the same world). Their desire to have children is certainly not immediate (but if it was they would want a two bed!) This new home is for the two of them so again the stylish & spacious shower enclosure would be a preference. This obviously excludes any persistent romantics within the millennial generation. They still exist, but their dreams should just wait for the next home!

Family Home

The family home with one bathroom just has to have a bath. By default a family home will at some point be blessed with little people. Apparently, these little people really do need bathing facilities. Personally, I found it easiest to put them in the wet room and hose them down with the shower. Admittedly, this appears to be enjoyed less by the little ones, but invariably it’s all over much more quickly, which is great – my wife for some reason disagrees! However, the family home needs a bath. The challenge in the solo bathroom family home is getting the best of all worlds, with a bath that can be used easily to bathe the kids and work equally well when you’re listening to Zeppelin (let’s get the priorities right). The biggest challenge here is the fact that the majority of UK Bathrooms are only 6’ x 8’ (same size as a king-size bed), so you won’t be able to install a Bath and a separate Shower Enclosure – there’s just not enough room. Fortunately, this dilemma has been recognised and the choice for Shower Baths has greatly increased. The old option of a standard 1700mm bath with the Bath Shower Mixer Tap (not a proper shower) and a shower curtain has somewhat evolved. Bespoke Shower Baths are now the vogue, more sizes to fit more rooms and they come with a (safety) glass screen, baths shaped to maximise showering space and proper shower mixers (or an electric shower) separate from the taps are plentiful. Things have moved on so much.

Multiple Bathrooms

For those with more than one bathroom or en suite(s), the bath is going to be the item that is redundant, gathering dust. Yes, WE MUST HAVE A BATH, but you won’t use it often, if at all. If you have your own en suite in your bedroom, with a beautiful shower enclosure, and your main bathroom is a bath, do you really think that your kids will use the bath? They will be in your en suite showering (via your bedroom) every time. And all of this is because of the dream, the romance and the Yankee Candle marketing campaign. Admittedly, with this spare bath, clean (never used) it is possible that one night in winter you can get the candles, bubble bath, wine and Adele bliss behind a locked door. This time no-one can ruin it for you - there’s another toilet in the house! Amusingly, it is a ritual to not actually have toilet paper in any other room other than one you’re locked in, relaxing, so the choice is yours, turn Adele up, stay put, ignore the shouting and try not to think about any collateral damage to your face towel in the en suite. Knowing how good the options for Shower Baths are (even with another showering option in the house) I believe the “Bathroom” in the house should be and easily can be updated to provide a proper shower, this can only enhance the value of your property. But don’t remove the bath from a family home.

I hope the above has provided some insight into the various options you can choose for your bathroom but in the end, it’s about what suits your needs in the here and now.

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