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The Great Debate: Shower Vs. Tub

As you consider your next bathroom makeover, where do you fall in the great shower vs. tub debate? While both features have their pros and cons, it’s not always a matter of personal opinion.  You should consider your budget, your space, and your future needs before committing to one or the other.  In fact, have you considered incorporating both?

The Bathroom Budget

Since both bathtubs and showers come in a wide range of styles, materials, and technological capabilities, you should find something to fit your budget no matter what you choose. The biggest difference, quite honestly, comes from the installation.  You may be surprised to learn that it’ll be less expensive to install a new tub, as opposed to a shower stall.  Of course, more luxurious options, like whirlpool, freestanding, and/or soaker tubs, will add to that cost.  But they’ll still be less than a comparable quality walk-in shower.  Sometimes, it’s a difference of between 25-50% of the overall cost.  So, if your budget is tight, you may want to look at the tub side of this debate a little more closely.

Your Space Solution

Depending on the size of your bathroom, the whole tub vs. shower decision may be out of your hands.  After all, you can’t really fit a huge clawfoot tub (or even a small one) in a 40-square-foot space.  At minimum, professionals recommend that you have a 75-square-foot room to install even a standard-sized bathtub.  Remember, there are other features we need to be able to incorporate successfully.  Plus, you need a little room to maneuver around, if you’re going to utilize the bathroom regularly. 

Showers need considerably less space.  From a design standpoint, they’re also the easier option, since we can simply tuck them away in a corner when formatting the layout.  Or keep them flush with the sink, so there are less obstacles in your walkway(s).  When space is really your primary focus, think about it this way.  You can have a larger, more luxurious walk-in shower with the same square footage as a pretty basic oval or alcove tub.  What’s more important to you in this debate?

For the Future

Whether you’re thinking about potential accessibility issues down the road or resale value—maybe both—your bathroom layout will come into play.  If you intend to age-in-place or care for family members with mobility problems, then you’ll need a shower large enough to accommodate them.  As well as the necessary equipment to make everyday bathroom tasks more user-friendly for individuals of all capabilities.  We’re talking smooth sliding doors, grab bars, benches, and anti-slip safety precautions.  In these cases, it’s definitely more beneficial to invest in a walk-in shower.

Still, don’t rule out bathtubs yet.  Even though showers have convenience in their corner, you may still need a tub for resale purposes.  Many homebuyers don’t consider a bathroom—especially a master bath—“full” unless it includes both a tub AND a shower.  Without even one tub in the house, you may inadvertently deter families from purchasing your home later on.  Whether they’re planning to have children or already have a family with young kids, they’ll need a tub for bath time. 

Honestly, there’s no clear winner in the tub vs. shower debate.  Not even for the experts at KCCS Construction.  And we’ve been working with homeowners in Carroll, Howard, Frederick, and Baltimore Counties on bathroom renovations for over a decade!  As we said, you need to consider the factors that are most important to you before settling on just one option.  But, if possible, we recommend finding a way to incorporate both!  We can even help you design the layout and then handle the installation—all at competitive pricing.  Right now, we’re offering an additional 15% off bathroom remodeling projects.  Call us today to learn more!

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