How to Decide: Shower vs Tub Pros and Cons

Before jumping into a tub to shower conversion, you first need to decide whether or not a conversion is right for your situation. What’s best for someone else may not work for you, and there are several pros and cons for each area to consider.

Why Convert to a Shower

Save Space

A tub to shower conversion is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to reclaim space you didn’t even know was missing! 

To be clear, this isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. The amount of space you’ll save depends on a number of factors:

  • How much room your tub currently takes up
  • The size of your bathroom
  • The layout of your bathroom
  • The design of your shower

Increase Safety

Without question, a shower is a safer and more accessible way to bathe. The low-threshold options available on the market make showers far more accessible. Because you’re walking in and never stepping over a wall, there’s a far lower risk of falling.

Walk-in showers also offer countless safety additions:

  • Shower benches
  • Grab bars
  • Shelving options
  • Non-slip mats
  • Handheld showerheads

Whether you’re designing for disabilities, elderly inhabitants, or just trying to limit the chance of an accident for anyone in your household, converting your tub to a shower greatly decreases the likelihood of a fall.

Save Water

Did you know that:

  • The average shower uses 25 gallons of water.
  • The average bath uses between 36-50 gallons of water.
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath will save 4,000 gallons every year!

Boost Home Value

Bathroom design trends have been, and will likely continue, moving toward showers. This means a tub to shower conversion will give your bathroom a contemporary and aesthetically pleasing design while increasing your home’s value at the same time.

New Showers Are a Big Selling Point

On average, homeowners can expect to receive $1,583 more for a home with a new shower as opposed to an old bath. And that’s not taking into account the increase in buyers interested in your home due to its updated bathroom.

Enhance Efficiency

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it, showers are quicker and more convenient compared to baths. Daily life gets busy, and often, a full bath simply doesn’t fit in the schedule. The convenience and quickness of showering comes with added energy-saving and environmentally friendly perks.

Here are just a few of those perks:

  • Increased water efficiency
  • Lower utility costs
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce your monthly water bill

Cons: Why Keep Your Tub

We’re big fans of a well-done tub to shower conversion, but we know it’s not right for everyone. There are a few cons that often get overlooked when people are deciding whether to convert their old tub into a new shower.

You Love a Nice Soak After a Hard Day

Who doesn’t love a good soak in the bathtub? If bubble baths are your indulgence of choice, then a shower conversion may not be for you—especially if it’s the only tub in the house. Baths have countless health benefits:

  • Lowers cortisol levels
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Relieves sore muscles
  • Releases endorphins

Additionally, bath salts or bath bombs can provide bathers with soothing scents, moisturizing ingredients, and relaxing additives.

Bathtime for Kids

Kids love baths! For parents with little kids, it’s usually much easier to use a tub than to get the

little ones clean in the shower. With a tub, you can stay dry while you help your children bathe, keeping bath time safe and effective—for everyone involved.

Time & Money Investment

Like any renovation, a tub to shower conversion is an investment of time and money. Whether you plan on doing it yourself or hiring a contractor, your conversion won’t be free. The average tub to shower conversion ranges from $1,200 to $8,000. So, if you’re remodeling an entire bathroom, it would cost substantially more.

If you aren’t in a place for the financial investment, then you might need to hold off on the shower.

Disruption to Your Life

Besides money, the tub to shower conversion process takes time. That’s time you won’t be able to use your bathroom. This is something that can’t be avoided, so it’s crucial to decide when it’s most practical to start your project, and how long you’re comfortable having your life disrupted.

Some conversions are longer than others, so you should also consider the scope of your specific project. With a contractor, your project can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If you’re planning on the DIY route, you should plan on your project taking at least that amount of time based on your schedule and level of expertise.

Deciding between a shower and a tub requires careful consideration of the pros and cons based on individual needs. Converting to a shower offers benefits such as space-saving, increased safety with low-threshold options and safety additions, water conservation, boosted home value, and enhanced efficiency. 

However, it's important to weigh the cons, including the preference for relaxing baths, the convenience of tubs for kids, the financial investment and disruption during the conversion process. 

By evaluating these factors, one can make an informed decision that aligns with personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget, ultimately improving the bathroom experience accordingly.