Ask A Realtor: Should We Upgrade Our 3/4 Master Bath To Full?

We are upgrading our small master bathroom, which originally came with just a shower stall. We’ve been told that if we want this bathroom listed as a “full” and not a “3/4 bath”, that we need to put a tub/shower in it. Is this true? What is the general market opinion of a master bath with a shower but no tub?

It is true that you need a bathtub to qualify as a “full” bath.  In most cases, I’d recommend leaving the three-quarter setup when updating – by trying to add a tub/shower combination, you may do more damage to the value by making a small space seem even more cramped.

The market opinion of a three-quarter master bath is dependent upon the neighborhood and when the home was built.  I’d guess your home was built between the late 60’s and the early 80’s in which case the three-quarter master bath is normal and expected. The alternative is typically that you have no private master bath at all, so the lack of a tub is a very minimal detraction.

Got a real estate question you’d like to get answered?  Contact Jeremy!  You can also visit the Ask A Realtor archives for answers to more questions.

Jeremy Isaac is a Colorado Springs Realtor at The Circa Group at RE/MAX Properties, and is the husband of Springs Bargains!  Visit his website to search the Colorado Springs MLS, find out what your home may be worth, and more.



  1. kate song says:

    I would say two things. Will it increase the value of your home and how much will it cost you to add to the bathroom.
    What will the permits cost you?

  2. I agree with Jeremy. Bathroom remodels are very expensive to do and do correctly. Adding a tub/shower to the tight space will only make it more obvious how little a 3/4 bathroom is to a buyer.
    Our house was built in 1958, and has 2 full baths and 1 – 3/4 bathroom. We thought about tearing out the wall between one of the full bathrooms and the tiny 3/4 bathroom to combine them into one large bathroom with a separate walk in shower, claw-foot tub, and double sink vanity. We ultimately decided against it, because we were worried it would “over-improve” our home for this neighborhood.
    In other words, the remodel would add value to the home, but we would not see the financial benefit.

    If the bathroom is cosmetically ugly, but still functional – there are plenty of economical ways to make it pleasing to buyers:

    1. Paint the bathroom a neutral color. (Whites look nice and clean – something you want in the bathroom!)

    2. Update the vanity and lighting.

    3. Add new hardware or a new shower head.

    4. Change out the medicine cabinet for a framed mirror.

    5. Add new towels and a nice floor mat – to cover up the possibly ugly linoleum or whatever.

    6. Take out the shower door and put up a new shower curtain. (This helps hide ugly tile in the shower.) :)

    Hope that helps!

  3. These all sound like good suggestions! Just thought I mention that I recently purchased a home and if it did not have a master bathtub, it was automatically put on the no list.

  4. Carole says:

    I have been in several homes lately where the master bath was not “full.” Depending on the number of bedrooms/children, sharing one of the hall showers may or may not be a problem. And no one I know takes a bath. Unless it is a “spa day.”

  5. LuEllen says:

    My home was built in the 50s. The original owner put the master bath off the master bedroom and the 3/4 bath as the main bath in the house. I always had to take my children to the bathroom off our bedroom to bathe them, because there was no other tub. Wouldn’t it increase the value of our house to add a tub to the 3/4 bath even though it might have to be a uniquely shaped tub. The space is really tight, and we would have to give up our hall closet. This would still be a squeeze, because the refrigerator backs up to the wall next to the shower and the placement of the doorway limits the shape. I have seen tiled showers shaped from the space that was available. Have you ever seen a tub, made from tile, or do you know of a tub that has more of a triagle shape?

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