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The Big Bathroom Design Decision: Tub or Shower?

Shower and tub combinations are the most common type of fixture you'll see in a household bathroom, but recent trends suggest that homeowners are ditching the convenience of the two in one combo for the design opportunities that come with a freestanding tub and a glass paneled shower. Having a bathroom with enough square footage for both makes for an easier decision, but if you only have room for either a shower or a tub, you've got a tough choice to make.

The truth is, neither option is necessarily better or worse than the other, and there are a lot of benefits that tubs and showers have in common. They both come in a wide variety of designs that will provide your bathroom a different look. Tubs come in standard, claw-foot, freestanding, whirlpool, and even walk-in varieties. Showers may come as stalls enclosed with doors or curtains, and walk-in showers give you an open bathing space without the door or curtain.

They also come in wide ranges of materials, including acrylic, cast-iron, fiberglass, and even natural stone. You'll even have a range of therapeutic water flow varieties to choose from; whirlpool tubs are equipped with jets that release massaging blasts of water, and showers can be equipped with rainfall or waterfall shower heads that release a soothing, trickling stream.

Along with the similarities of showers and tubs, there are also differences that give each option a different set of pros and cons to consider, and these are what will most likely be deciding factors in the option that you choose. The pros and cons of showers and tubs are as follows.

Pros Of Showers

If you have a smaller-than-average bathroom then showers are a clear winner, as they take up less space while being more accessible. Showers also are more efficient, using less water on average than bathtubs while being more quick and convenient to use. If you take 10 minute showers, then your water bill will generally be lower than if you took a bath, which requires a fixed amount of water no matter how long you bathe.

Cons Of Showers

The main drawbacks of choosing shower over bath are maintenance related. Shower doors require regular cleaning to prevent visible lime and calcium stains, and shower curtains are often a trap for mold and mildew. Leaks can also be a nuisance to fix, as they must be repaired and glued properly with plenty of time to dry, leaving that shower unusable for a period of time. Showers are also not practical in households with children, which is important to consider.

Pros Of Bathtubs

Few things are more relaxing at the end of the day than a long, hot bath. If you have a demanding job or workout routine that frequently leaves you with sore muscles, then a bath is often a more comfortable choice than a shower. The wide variety of sizes and styles available mean that if you have the space for one, then you'll be able to find an attractive tub that perfectly suits your needs. One such variety is the freestanding tub, which can be placed just about anywhere as they're finished on all sides. Tubs also have a bit more variance when it comes to special features; air jets and whirlpools are appealing choices for many homeowners. Finally, tubs are the ideal choice in households with small children, as they make bathing much easier.

Cons Of Bathtubs

The primary drawback of having only a bathtub is that they're difficult for older people and people with injuries to get in and out of, with the exception of walk-in tubs (a much more expensive choice). Tubs also take up a lot of space, making them ill suited for small bathrooms, and they require a lot of water for proper use. Expect a higher water bill if you take more baths than showers. You also need to consider your water heater; if it doesn't have the capacity to fill the tub with the right amount of hot water, then your baths won't be very comfortable. The final drawback of bathtubs is convenience; it takes a lot of time to wait for the tub to fill, and longer still to clean yourself in one.

Whether you decide on a bathtub, shower, or both, Divine Home Remodeling's qualified experts will be able to accommodate your needs. If you're planning on remodeling your bathroom, give us a call today for a free quote!

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