Why Italian Bathrooms Don’t Have Bathtubs

Adulting is expensive! That's what our Italian home renovation has taught me. Countless expenses have left me gobsmacked. Take an 8,000€ bathtub for example.
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If you’ve been following our Italian Home Reno blog series Renovating Bardonecchia, you know how hard I fought to get a bathtub in Italy! At the time, I had zero idea how expensive bathtubs could get.

After getting the invoice to approve for all the bathroom materials, Paolo took the time to break down all the costs line by line. It’s a good thing he did. There was the inner bathtub, the outer shell, the pipes and plumping, the installation fee, the fixtures… it all added up to 8,000€.

Right about now, my friends and family can actually hear my voice saying “no f’ing way!” Here’s the scoop and the compromise that saved us around 5,000€.

Why Italian Bathrooms Don’t Have Bathtubs

There are a lot of quirky differences between Italian and American homes. In America, bathtubs are almost a given. Not so much in Italy. Space for bidets take priority in Italian bathrooms. Especially in smaller homes like ours.

Still, Paolo knows me well and pushed just as hard as I did to get a bathtub in our home. Having never owned a home or done a renovation before, we simply had no idea a bathtub could cost 8,000€.

Rookie mistake.

The bathtub that was proposed to us, was selected because it could be tailored to fit the space we had and it would work as the shower as well. That and it’s a lovely Corian jewel, take a look.

Italian Home Renovation Blog Bathtub NIC Pool vertical image
NIC Pool Bathtub Image: NIC

Not to knock anyone who has a bathtub this expensive, but for 8,000€ I want a back scrubbing, foot massaging, self-cleaning bathtub.

As a first-time homeowner turned renovator I was totally floored. Is it just me or is that really, really pricey? Any other homeowners care to weigh in here?

Needless to say, we went back to the drawing board on the bathtub. Instead, we’re going with one from a Makro bathroom concepts called Wave. Meet our soon-to-be bathtub!

While I love the look of the built-in shelves, it costs more, and frankly, we don’t have the space. So we’re going with a simple, white bathtub. Like the NIC bathtub, this one will be custom. The interior tub portion will be cast to size. The exterior shell of the tub will be built and installed on site. Sort of like this!

Italian Home Renovation Blog Video

If you’re on the lookout for more Italian Home Renovation blogs I recommend checking out Almost Fiorentina (Insta featured above).

Making this switch alone is saving Paolo and I around 5,000€. It’s not that I don’t believe design is important. It’s not that I don’t want to bathe in a beautiful Corian shell, I do! The problem is that I can do the math. 5,000€ invested over 20 years (assuming a 7% annual interest) is around 20,000€ give or take. This is why, we’re not taking a bath, on the custom bathtub we’re installing.

With our Italian home renovation, we’re quickly learning whatever we assume something is going to cost that we need to double it. Still, anywhere we see a chance to save real money, you can bet we’re looking for it. Line by line before we approve any invoice.

Now, I do have one major splurge planned for our home. It will be the first thing I’ll see when I walk out of my bedroom door. Something I know will make me smile at the very sight of it. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not a bathtub but it is as big as one. Any guesses? Stay tuned to find out!

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  1. Hahaha! You make me laugh with this line, “Not to knock anyone who has a bathtub this expensive, but for 8,000€ I want a back scrubbing, foot massaging, self cleaning bathtub.” AGREED! In regards to how you close this article, is it fair to wave my hand in the air and say, “oh, pick me!” Yes! I know the beauty that you have debated. AND having a light bulb moment thinking, “Oh no! It’s better right there and NOT shifted to the right.” Right (as in correct)?!!!