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Bathtubs are a thing of the past and belong in the Victorian era, while showers are stylish and modern. This is a common answer you can hear on this topic. But is it really like that? We would say that it’s not, since the dilemma whether to install a bathtub or a walk in shower has never been more topical.
Each solution has its pros and cons and it is really up to homeowners to decide which they like best. But in order to reach this decision, they must be knowledgeable of all the benefits and flaws these two different bathroom design options have.
Let’s talk money. Both of these are going to need to be bought, transported to your home, and installed. This comes at a financial cost that is comparable. Bathtub’s simple design means that its price will be lower from the very start. Plus, it requires no special installation. Just securing it and attaching it to a water source is enough. This is something that the homeowners can do themselves.
The walk-in shower has many more elements, such a special kind of glass or plastic for the cabin. Also, their floor has to be installed by a professional and in some cases even built in the bathroom. This significantly increases the total cost, giving the bathtub an advantage in this segment.
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Use what you have
The price is only one side to the picture. The other side is the overall situation. Do you already own a bathtub and can it be used in your bathroom? Think in terms of size and quality. If you already possess a tub, then opt for this solution.
The same goes for shower cabins. If you bought a new house and it already has a cabin, you might want to consider renovating it instead of buying a brand new. Sit down with somebody knowledgeable, like the local handyman, and figure out the cost for all options.
The right time
Whichever option you choose, time plays a significant role in the entire process. Firstly, the season of the year is important. During winter, when temperatures plummet, it is harder to handle piping as metal becomes brittle and fractures easily, causing a pipe to burst. Like it is the case with any major makeover in home construction, summer is the best time of the year to call in the local home renovations services.
Bathtubs are again easier to install, as showers require professionals to step in. This means that if you buy a new house or apartment and decide to make a walk-in shower, do this right after you move in.
Another side to this dilemma is whether you will need any additions to the tub or the shower, respectively. Bathtubs are self-sufficient, but placing a board across their width is a must if elderly people are going to use it. This can be used to place the shampoo and other bottles on it, doing away with the need for more shelves.
Showers are pretty straightforward, but you can always choose the type of shower handle. Also, it is possible to install benches, you can take a shower while sitting.
Who are the users?
The complexity of this question mostly comes from the capability of either of the solutions to cater to the needs of the end users. Since you probably already know who is going to take a bath or a shower, adjust your choice according to this.
Bathtubs are ideal for giving baths to small children, which would be hard to do while standing upright in a shower cabin. A walk-in shower cabin is perhaps more suitable for adults and people with a mobility problem. The latter ones could have a problem entering a bathtub.
If you care about the environment and your water bill at the end of the month, then energy efficiency ought to be a factor. A bathtub requires more time and water to fill up, unlike a walk-in shower. Not only does it usually use less water for an average-length shower, but hot water is instantly ready and there is no wait involved.
Another water management issue are leaks which are more likely to happen in showers, as tubs are made of metal which doesn’t break or corrode easily. Fixing a leaking shower is a complicated process that requires the expertise of a plumbing agency.
In the end, it all comes down what your needs are. If you have children and want to have memories of splashing around with a rubber duck, then go for the bathtub. Otherwise, a shower is a much more practical solution for everyday use.
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make your daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.