David Bromstad Says Removing This Bathroom Feature Can Hurt Your Resale Value

Updating your home, especially from a functional perspective, should always be done with a focus on making the space better for your family and their unique needs. If you want to invest in an over-the-top fixture because you love the look or a low-flow toilet to conserve water, go for it. It's your home, after all. However, there is one area of the bathroom you should really second guess taking out because doing so could reduce the resale value of the property.

Numerous factors impact the resale value of a home, and a newly renovated bathroom with designer features is likely a good thing. However, the bathtub is one of those areas that you should be absolutely sure about before ripping it out. That's according to David Bromstad, who, in a Season 12 episode of "My Lottery Dream Home," discussed how prospective home buyers could update the home they were considering to make it more luxurious and effective.

In the episode, the HGTV star strongly urges them to reconsider ditching the bathtub. Over the course of his hit show, Bromstad has pointed out numerous bathroom updates that just aren't worth doing. As an experienced real estate investor and designer, he is always thinking about the long-term implications of any renovation. Not all are simple enough to revert to the way they were if you change your mind either. Though various factors play a role in whether or not a home will sell, Bromstad believes having a bathtub is a must.

Why a bathtub is so important

Wouldn't it be nice to pull out an old, dated bathtub and have contractors install a beautifully tiled, modern walk-in shower, perhaps even with a bench? Participants on "My Lottery Dream Home" typically create homes that are slightly more expensive thanks to their winnings. And removing bathtubs has become somewhat of a popular design trend in recent years, but before you do so yourself, consider David Bromstad's warning.

"I'd usually recommend keeping the tub for resale value," he told the couple, who won $5 million in a scratch-off ticket and were exploring a property that needed upgrades throughout. The design expert reflected on the importance of a bathtub for one clear reason: families. When selling a home, the more people you can market the property to, the easier it is to sell. More so, it's often beneficial to make the home as fitting to most people's needs as possible. 

Having a very eclectic, over-the-top paint color isn't a problem because it's easily updated. Removing the only bathtub in the home immediately makes it less accessible to people with children since you can't bathe them in a walk-in shower. By removing the tub, homeowners essentially eliminate or drastically limit the desirability of their property to families with young kids — especially since they'll need to consider the value of renovating to add a bathtub.

Weighing the pros and cons of bathtub removal

A bathtub isn't a readily used fixture in many homes, and when considering updating any space, there are plenty of reasons to remove it. Doing so gives you back a significant amount of square footage that can be transformed for other uses, including a luxury walk-in shower. This change will modernize your home, and in some instances, such as a user with limited accessibility, a tub-shower combo isn't ideal. Maybe think twice about putting a walk-in shower in your bathroom, though. They are fun hotel features to use now and then, but they're not necessarily easy to install or cost-effective.

If you want to achieve both a good resale value and a space you'll actually use, moving the tub to another bathroom in the home could be an option. Otherwise, you could upgrade the shower and tub combo to add the luxury tile, features, and high-end rainwater showerhead you want without pulling out the tub entirely. Newer tubs are sleeker and more accommodating for those rare occasions you get to relax for a soak and creating a spa-like atmosphere is still possible with newer shower models. Or, you could go the complete opposite direction and install a super cool claw-foot standalone tub.