Tub Vs. Shower

by | Bathroom Design, bathtub, shower

It’s one of life’s fundamental questions: bath or shower? People are usually firmly in one camp or the other, either they like to take baths or they prefer to take showers. Choosing between a tub vs. a shower, therefore, is a standard consideration during a bathroom remodel. Assuming you have the space for it, both might be the best option, especially for your home’s resale value since most buyers want access to at least one tub. But what if the footprint of your bathroom (or perhaps your budget) won’t accommodate both? Take a look at the similarities and differences between a tub vs. a shower:


First and foremost, both tubs and showers serve the same purpose; they provide a place for us to clean ourselves, and choosing one over the other won’t affect that objective. In addition, they both:

  • Are Available in a Variety of Styles

Tubs are available in multiple configurations: drop-in, under-mount, free-standing, and alcove for placement between walls, in a corner, or standing alone as a focal point of the room. Showers can be configured for an alcove, corner, or as part of a “wet room”, all that’s required is one wall for plumbing controls and a drain. You can really think outside of the box when designing a shower. 

  • Are Available in a Variety of Materials

The most common materials for a tub or shower pan are acrylic, cultured marble, and coated fiberglass with additional options in enameled steel and stone composite. Surrounds for tubs and showers are typically manufactured panels or tile. Selection is the most limitless when designing your tub and/or shower area. Your designer can guide you on the best materials for your style and budget. 

  • Are Available with Various Water Flow Options

Tubs and showers are designed with wellness in mind. Tubs can be relaxing with just a deep soak bathing well or configured to provide therapeutic treatment for muscles and skin. Shower heads and hand showers are available in combinations to provide relaxation or massage benefits. And for the “wellness” of our resources, most fixtures help to conserve water by injecting air into a lower flow fixture. 


Despite the similarities, there are several key differences when assessing tubs vs. showers:

  • Showers Take Up Less Space

Showers are available in much smaller sizes than tubs; a standard one can be built in only nine square feet, whereas a tub usually demands at least 13 square feet. If you’re looking to maximize space, a shower might be your best bet.

  • Tubs are Often More Convenient for Those with Children

Tubs are more convenient when bathing small children. Not only do they allow parents to assist in the bathtime routine without getting wet themselves, but they can also be used to stimulate cognitive and emotional development. Research indicates that time spent playing in a tub of water provides multi-sensory experiences that lead to actual physical and psychological changes in the body.

  • Showers are Often More Convenient for Those with Mobility Issues

On the other hand, showers are often better suited for aging populations and those with mobility issues who might find it hard to climb in and out of a tub. Zero-entry showers, for instance, allow people with walkers and wheelchairs to move directly into the bathing space, reducing their risk of a fall. Adding seating with a hand-shower allows users with different mobility levels to utilize the same showering space. Walk-in tubs allow the bather soaking and therapy options without having to climb in and out of a traditional tub.

  • Tubs are More Versatile

You can install a tub/shower combo that allows you to bathe, as well as shower. However, you can’t ever take a bath in a shower!

Want to Learn More?

Choosing between a tub vs. a shower really comes down to individual preference and personal need. For expert consultation of your own bathroom design project, please contact Capital Kitchen and Bath.


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