Why Homeowners Are Trading in the Bathtub for a Shower

Tubs make way for both wet room designs and for aging in place

bathrooms aging in place color natural materials

Design adapting to lifestyle

Aging homeowners and millennials entering the housing market are removing bathtubs, but for different reasons.

That’s one of the predictions for bathroom design from a survey of over 700 designers, architects, contractors, and showroom managers. And all the findings are in the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s latest annual report. Sweeten has seen these same design decisions from renovating homeowners.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and secure payments—for free.

An all-in-one bathroom

Millennial renovators are removing bathtubs to increase the size of their showers. Spa amenities such as steam showers and multiple showerheads are in demand. 

bathtub for shower conversion with double trough sink

(Above) Sweeten homeowners Ylia and Andre removed their bathtub for a shower making room for a double trough vanity sink

According to the survey, often these showers are in a wet room design. This means the shower has no shower tray or curb. The water washes down a drain in the center of the bathroom. The shower and the bathroom are in the same space with no barriers between them.

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The freed-up space allows for more bathroom storage and a larger dressing area.

wet room style bathroom with walk-in shower and soaking bathtub

(Above) Wet room-style bathroom remodel by Sweeten homeowner Alice

Aging in place highlights safety measures

The big draw of no tub and a big shower for an aging population is it’s easy to use. They no longer need to step over the high rim of a bathtub or the lower curb of a shower tray. This population is also adding grab bars to prevent slips. 

As this group of homeowners age, the foresight to make these small changes will give them greater independence for longer.

aging in place curbless shower renovation

(Above) A family converts an extra room into an accessible bathroom with a  curbless walk-in shower for a senior family member

Inspiration for new color and textures

Homeowners, especially millennials, are looking at travel and their favorite boutique hotels for bathroom design. These hotel bathrooms often have bold or even quirky design features. This could mean vibrant pops of color, patterned tiles, and unusual accessories such as towel hooks in odd shapes. 

Bathroom renovation in the Bronx

(Above) Steve and Lewis’ bathroom mixed colorful tile in chartreuse, dark green, and gray-green

Terracotta bathroom vanity with gray tile walls and freestanding sink

(Above) This Sweeten homeowner incorporated a natural look in his bathroom with materials like accoya wood and handmade zellige tile

Rather than focusing on white like the last several years, bathrooms are finding their fun side. 

Design inspiration is also coming from nature. Organic materials like wood and stone are providing a warmer feel to bathrooms.

When you’re ready to get started on your bathroom or home remodel, work with Sweeten to renovate with the best contractors.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

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