I haven't taken a bath since 2004

6 Replies

I am currently completely rehabbing my first 4 unit building with 1 bedroom apartments in Cincinnati, OH. For those who are buy and hold investors who have done complete gut rehabs, is there a need to keep the bathtubs? I haven't taken a bath since 2004 (although I shower almost daily) and I just don't know if it is worth keeping the old, cast iron tubs and having them reglazed or removing them and replacing them with a walk in shower for about the same price. They are one bedroom units so I don't know how many tenants I would have with small children and need a tub to bathe them in, however there may be the odd person who likes to soak every now and then and would need a tub. Short of that, I cant think of another reason to keep them. Any and all feedback would be helpful.



I would not remove them. I agree that the tub is antiquated but you will have people complain about the lack of a tub if you do. Tubs are good for washing babies, dogs, hand laundry, and lots of other stuff, and unless you are going all out with high-end custom showers with built-in seating, glass doors and the like, I predict it will put you at a competitive disadvantage. 

FWIW, I removed the tub in my own master bath, but I have 2 other tubs in my house. 

I have a 5 unit and I had two tenants who specifically wanted the bath. I would keep baths for the most part. If you have a unit where it is prohibitively expensive to do it that way or it would be tiny you could go with a shower but it would not be my choice.   Bathtub is for washing the dog, soaking your feet, soaking,  soaking your wet suit, the occasional visiting kid, etc...   

I'm ok just having just showers in my smaller places.  If someone can't wash their dog or kid, they may rent somewhere else!  The place is too small, anyway and bath every night folks run up the water bills like crazy.  Also had 2 floods from 2nd floor tubs over-filling because they weren't paying attention.  Complete messes!

Sometimes tub removal is more costly and prohibitive than leaving them, though. Are these nice claw-foot tubs?  Cheap fiberglass? What kind of surround?  Have to remove the tile, too?

Most adult singles and couples are fine with shower only I have found @Cappy Jones !

hahah great subject post. I would agree with the others. What part of town is this 4 fam?

This might sound crazy, but true story. 

Last month the hot water heater in my house went on a Friday night, and my plumber was out of town until Monday. It was August, and we had just run the dishwasher and did laundry, so the need for hot water to shower was not so great. So we waited until Monday for the repair, and in the meantime I shut off water, gas and electricity for that hot water heater (yes, a power vent unit needs electricity too). And I started draining the heater so that when the plumber arrived we wouldn't have to wait on that. 

Had a meeting with @Jay Hinrichs that Sunday, since he was in the area for business. I figured I would take a cold shower before that meeting, since I had been outside doing yard work. Well, when I went to turn on the water for the shower, not enough pressure - seems those mixing valves that are anti-scald were pushing the cold water into the hot side. Ended up taking a cold bath. If not for that cold water bath, the meeting with Jay would not have been as pleasant ;)

Thanks to everyone who responded! The tubs are the old school, cast iron tubs that have been in the building since it was built in the 40's. I ripped out the 2 inch thick, metal lath/concrete/pink tile walls (that apparently were really popular in this area) so I am going to have to retile the entire shower already anyway. I figured ripping out the tub too and tiling down to the pan was about the same cost as reglazing the ugly tub. My only concern was make sure I'm not tearing out something that tenants may actually want/use in the units. 


PS @maxj2 The building is in Westwood. :o)

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