One of the most important decisions you will make as a homeowner remodeling your bathroom is whether or not to install a large shower or a bathtub. We all know how we prefer to unwind and usually have a preference for one over the other. However, there are many pros and cons to each choice that affect the functionality of your bathroom and could influence your decision within the bigger picture. Let’s unpack the benefits of both options below.
Large walk-in showers are growing in popularity due to their functionality and their customizable design. If you are a person who enjoys the flexibility of taking a quick shower or even taking your time and enjoying the water, a shower is a great option. Here are a few reasons why…
One of the main benefits of installing a large shower instead of a tub is that they typically take up less space in your bathroom. Whereas a standard tub takes up around 15 square feet, a standard walk-in shower only takes up around 12 square feet. A walk-in shower may therefore be the right fit if you have a smaller space to work with.
Water Consumption/Energy Efficiency
Another benefit of installing a shower instead of a tub is that they typically use less water. This is especially the case if you take a shorter shower and even more so if you install energy-efficient showerheads. This can save you both time and money, giving you a considerably lower water bill which is a huge benefit if energy efficiency is important to you. However, if you tend to take longer showers, tubs are likely to win out on limiting water consumption.
Accessibility is another key benefit to installing a large shower. Large showers can be used by adults of all ages and ability levels as they are easy to get in and out of, so they can be particularly useful for those who have chosen to age in place. You can also install a built-in bench to assist with stabilization and convenience or a handheld showerhead to increase ease of use.
Level Up/The Spa Experience
Another less practical but fun benefit to installing a large shower is that showers are now fully customizable. You can choose to install multiple showerheads, a full stereo system, handheld fittings, or a built-in bench for ease of use. You can even choose to make them multi-functional, with the additional option to turn your shower into a steam room or install heated flooring for those cold Wisconsin mornings. While these features can counter some of the water consumption and cost benefits, they do allow you to fully make it your own and create a luxurious “spa-like” experience, which has typically been dubbed a tub-only option.
As a focal design point, and a place you can’t wait to crawl into for a good soak, a traditional bathtub is the other option for your bathroom remodel. Traditional bathtubs can be both decorative and functional. From jetted tubs to ones that provide extra space for you to stretch out or even bathe children, you have many choices when choosing the right tub for you.
Resale Value – Family
If you are in a neighborhood with young families, having a bathtub can be the main selling point as bathtubs are often a necessity for families with young kids and babies. If you choose to remove a bathtub completely, you may limit your pool of buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, this might be why it generally takes longer to sell a home that’s shower-only. It’s therefore advisable to keep one bathtub in the home.
Overall, tubs are cheaper to install, especially if you already have one there. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a tub is $3,000, while it’s an average of $6,000 to build a walk-in shower. Freestanding tubs can obviously be placed anywhere because they are fully finished.
The upkeep and cleaning of a tub and its surround is often easier than a shower, as grout can become hard to clean in a shower. However, wiping down the glass of a shower is much more comfortable than bending over to clean the tub, so it really depends on personal preference!
Level Up/The Luxury Tub Experience
As mentioned above, if water is your happy place and you tend to prefer longer showers or baths to decompress, a bathtub is both more efficient and also the most common choice for relaxation. If you love to kick back and relax, there are numerous ways to make your soak a luxury experience, such as choosing a deeper tub or a more modern design, installing jets, or adding in an unlimited number of accessories to enhance your experience.
While showers tend to be the most popular option for functionality, the biggest question to ask overall is this: who is going to be using it? If you’re in your forever home and you’re planning on using it for years to come, choosing what is most appealing to you is the way to go. If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future and need to make a practical choice, keeping one tub in your home is the best option. Of course, if you have both space and the budget and you want to transform your bathroom into the epitome of luxury, there is always the option to install both!
Whatever option you choose, there are unlimited options when it comes to style and design and we are here to help bring your vision to life. Take a look at our remodeling process here.