Shower versus Bathtub Advantages and Disadvantages

Today’s Busy Family Steps into the Shower Most Mornings but the Bathtub Still has its Time and Place

By Mark J. Donovan

With today’s busy lifestyles and the cost of water, showers are by far more frequently used by households than bathtubs. Showers are more efficient in cleaning the body and consume considerably less water than a bathtub. Moreover, from a time perspective taking a shower is a much faster endeavor. For example, a low flow showerhead that pumps out 2.0 gallons per minute (GPM) only consumes about 10 gallons of water in the average 5 minute shower. With a bath on the other hand, it can take 10 minutes or more just to fill up a 50 gallon bathtub.

And then there’s the time to take the bath itself. Bathtubs are also more difficult to get in and get out of, thus making them less ideal for elderly folks.

Showers are also self draining and to some extent self cleaning. However shower walls should be wiped down after every shower to prevent mold and mildew growth.

This is not to say that a bathtub doesn’t have its advantages. Unlike a shower, soaking in a bathtub gives you time to relax and unwind from a long and busy day. In addition, if you have a large Jacuzzi tub with built in water jets there is therapeutic advantages, particularly if you have an active lifestyle that leads to frequent sore muscles.

Also, bathtubs, unlike showers, do not spray up fine water particles into the air which it can cling to bathroom walls and cause mold and mildew growth. So though showers are the go-to washing venue with today’s modern family and bathroom it is still recommended to have a least one bathtub in the house.

Frameless glass shower door

Showers and bathtubs each have their unique advantages and thus one should not be missing in a new house plan. Instead, extra attention should be given to both the shower and bathtub styles and plans.

There are many types of shower enclosures and solutions to choose from today including off-the-shelf shower enclosures as well as custom tiled showers. It’s important to design a shower that has shower walls and shower pans that quickly shed water. In addition, they should be easy to wipe down and have clean lines to prevent mold and mildew growth.

When it comes to bathtub selection consider putting in a large soaking tub. The standard 32”x60” bathtub is great for children but it is not very comfortable or relaxing for an adult. So go the extra mile and install a large bathtub that allows you to truly take a comfortable and relaxing soaking bath on the rare occasion that you have time for one.

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