One question that perplexes a lot of people who are remodeling their bathrooms is whether to go with a tub or a shower or a combo of both. Tubs and showers may not seem to be that challenging, but making the right decision can have a lasting impact for a very long time. If you’re debating going with just a shower, a bathtub shower, or just a bathtub, here are some things to consider.
What You Have Now
Sticking with whatever you have in place now is a guaranteed way to ensure that it fits your space and does not require a ton of extra construction work to install something new. While many replacement tubs or showers have a footprint that is roughly the same size as a traditional tub, many are just enough different to require significant subfloor work. Plus, changing something out that works is not always the best strategy; the adage of “leaving well enough alone” comes to mind.
Will you be selling your home over the next decade? If so, you may want to stick with a tub or if you have a walk-in shower, you may want to consider adding a bath tub combo. Not having both a bath and a shower option can affect resale value because it rules out the part of the market that wants either a bath or shower tub combos. Bathtubs with a shower also appeal to the largest swath of a family, who is the likeliest group to be on the market for a home. So, if you have a shower, stick with it, and if you lack a shower, you may want to consider installing one.
Tailor Your Choice
The one time it makes sense to go with just a shower is if you’re remodeling to accommodate special needs. With many people that fall into that category, a tub is an extremely difficult, and even dangerous, obstacle to navigate. A walk-in shower allows for access to water without having to step over the wall of a tub. Another option is a walk-in tub shower combo, which allows a person to sit as they bathe, regardless of what they choose.
An additional place you may want to install a walk-in shower is a guest room. Few guests will ever have the time or inclination to take a bath and a shower allows them to get and stay clean while they’re visiting you. They also can use a shower for a quick clean up as opposed to having to take a full-on bath.
The average bath tub uses 15 square feet. The average walk-in shower uses 12 square feet. That opens up 7% more space, which is a cramped room like most bathrooms, and is a fairly substantial amount of space.
The last thing to consider is who is using your bathroom and their needs and/or preferences. If you have young children, you will want an option to give them a bath. Elderly or disabled folks will need easier access, so a walk-in model works best. For two people who are on the go, a combo bath and shower option lets each person pick the type of cleaning method they want. You also want to consider your living space over the years. If you’re planning on selling in under a decade, then a bath shower option is the best way, but if you are planning to age-in-place, you may want to use your remodel to set the stage for older needs.
The most important thing in choosing tubs and showers is that what you choose matches your lifestyle, usage requirements of other family members and resale value if you decide to sell. Address those three concerns and you will end up with a shower or bath unit you will enjoy and get a lot of use from over the years.
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Bathing should be a soothing experience, regardless of age or mobility challenges. When it comes to your daily routine, you should never have to choose between comfort, safety, and independence — and now, with Safe Step Walk-In Tubs and Walk-In Showers, you don’t have to.
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