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Article posted: 11/25/2012 5:02 AM

Consider multi-piece bath in lieu of walk-in shower

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By Ed Del Grande

Q. My husband and I are retired, and we're thinking of removing our only bathtub. In its place we want to install a walk-in shower. But friends have said that we may lose resale value by taking out the tub. We plan on staying in our home for as long as we can and would like to feel safe in our own bathroom. Have you addressed an issue like this, and do you have any suggestions?

A. Many retired couples ask this same question. So many, in fact, that a new market in the remodeling industry has branched off from this topic. It's called AIP, or Aging In Place, home remodeling. Replacing the tub with a walk-in shower is one of the most popular AIP projects.

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If your home had two bathtubs and you removed one, the resale issue is usually not a big deal. However, if you remove your only tub, that may turn off some potential buyers. So, I would look into installing a multi-piece shower unit that will exactly fit your existing tub space and wall surrounds. This way you can enjoy a walk-in shower for as long as you live in the home. Then, because you did not disturb the structure of the tub area, reinstalling a tub should not be a major project for the new homeowner.

• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eddelgrande@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

Scripps Howard News Service

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