A bold 2014 MarketWatch headline declared, “Bathtubs are out, Standing Showers are in.” In new design and renos the humble tub seems to be getting kicked to the curb in favour of larger, sleeker showers that offer multiple options, tons of space and are more economical. Who takes baths nowadays, anyway?
For many reasons, the headline may be on point, but did the article take into consideration the fact that ripping out an existing tub to replace with a full shower could hurt the resale value of your home? Record scratch, wait a minute. Though upgrading your bathroom is for your personal enjoyment, no one really wants to hurt their bottom line.
Your design choices just got a little tougher, didn’t they? Bath tub versus shower, how are you going to decide?
Bath Tub V Shower
First and foremost, consider your own comfort. Though return on investment is an important factor to consider before making any major design and reno decision, if you need a shower more than you need a tub, nix the basin and opt for something wide open. That being said, if you plan on selling in the future, know that eliminating a tub in the home’s only full bathroom is a riskier move than doing so in a second or third bathroom, and may turn buyers off. Families, especially those with young children, tend to get a lot of use out of tubs and if your home only has a shower, they’ll immediately cross it off their list.
If your home has two or more washrooms, each with a tub, nixing the tub from the master suite may actually be a good thing. Another main concern for homeowners surrounds the issue of space. A tub – traditional or contemporary – can take up a lot of valuable real estate in a relatively small room. Though there are definitely small-space friendly designs, like the Japanese soaker tub, if you aren’t the kind to enjoy a good soak, that square footage would be better suited to some other purpose.
Showers are economical on space, and contemporary designs incorporating glass or transparent enclosures (or no enclosure at all) can help make even a tiny bathroom feel grand. Seniors or individuals with limited mobility tend to favour shower stalls over bathtubs, as they can avoid having to climb in and out of a steep-sided, slippery tub, and there are hundreds of gorgeous “curbless” shower styles to choose from. As mentioned above, bathing children and pets is more convenient with a tub.
Though they may not be as elegant a design choice as a freestanding tub in a statement bathroom, built in tubs are space savers, and its easy to combine a wall-mounted shower head system.
For the environmentally conscious, the average bath will use more water – 30 gallons – than the average shower – 25 gallons over 10 minutes. That number decreases more when you install a low-flow shower head, making taking showers the more efficient and eco-friendly option.
Armed with a deeper understanding of the pros and cons, you should have no trouble deciding which fixture is right for your family. Tub or shower, when you’re ready for a bathroom reno, give us a call. Brian Hayes Plumbing has been helping Oshawa homeowners realize their bathroom dreams for over 35 years.