Showers vs. Tubs: Breaking Down the Pros and Cons

So you’ve bought a new home and you’re planning on renovating the bathroom. You’re now stuck on a single choice: whether to install a shower or a bathtub. Either one essentially does the same thing—helping you bathe and clean yourself—but they both do it in vastly different ways, and each has its own pros and cons. Which one do you pick in the end?

While only you can truly decide that, it’s worth finding out just what each one really offers and what kind of downsides you’ll have to deal with either once they’ve been installed. Doing so will help you make a more well-informed decision, and not have to deal with the costly consequences of changing your mind.

To help you with that, here are the pros and cons of showers and tubs.




  • It’s more water-efficient. Showers use up way less water than tubs. It’s only logical—after all, to be able to use a tub you have to fill it up completely with water beforehand, with multiple refills needed whenever you want to do some intensive body cleaning. A shower uses only as much water as you need it, as it directly sprays it at you rather than you having to soak in it.
  • It allows you to bathe quickly. A shower also takes up less time to use than a bath tub. Filling up a tub takes a long time, even if you have a high pressure hose or faucet doing it. A shower is immediate – turn the knob and you’re blasted with enough water to clean anything off you.
  • It’s easily accessible for the mobility-challenged. Elderly people and those with mobility issues can handle getting in and out of a shower more easily than a tub. You can also install grab bars or non-slip tiles to make it even easier.
  • It has a small bathroom footprint. Since showers are made to be used while standing up, they take up very little room.


  • It can be hard to clean. Cleaning your bathtub or shower will always be a chore, but the latter will always be more difficult because of visible lime and calcium buildup, especially on the shower doors. Thankfully, this can be resolved easily by using specialized cleaning tools like microfiber towels. Microfiber towels are much more absorbent and efficient at picking up grime, dust, and even bacteria/viruses.
  • Impractical for children. Bathing children can be hard with a shower, what with the shower head usually installed at adult height. However, you can mitigate this by having the showerhead be removable from the wall or ceiling, allowing you to hold it lower.
  • Leaks are difficult to resolve. A shower leak must be repaired properly and then left to cure before the shower can be used again. This may leave you with a hefty repair bill as well as having no place to bathe while waiting.

Now that we know how showers fare, let’s move on to bathtubs.




  • It’s relaxing. Soaking in a warm bath is the perfect and most luxurious way to relax your muscles after a tough day at work. Add some bath salts or aromatherapy and it’s like having your own spa treatment with every bath.
  • It’s perfect for bathing small children. A bathtub can make any bath time easy (and even fun!) for a child that is usually skittish with the activity. It allows them to play with the water along with any tub-friendly toys.
  • They come in different sizes and styles.  No matter your aesthetic taste or amount of bathroom real estate, you’re sure to find a bathtub that’s perfect for your needs.
  • They can be set up in any angle. As bathtubs are finished on all sides, you can display them in any angle you want.


  • It uses up a lot of water. Bathtubs take a lot of water to use. Not only do you need to fill it up the first time you’re using it, but you have to drain and refill it every time you’re soaking, washing, and rinsing. This results in a lot of water used up.
  • It takes up a lot of space. Even the smallest and space-economical bath tub will take up a considerable amount of space in your bathroom.
  • It’s harder to get out of. Getting out of a tub can be challenging, especially if you have mobility issues. There’s also a bigger risk of you slipping and falling in a bath tub rather than in a shower.


There you have it, the pros and cons of showers and bathtubs. Now that we have it all laid out, it should be easy for you to decide on what to go with. But if you really can’t, then you can always just ask your family about what they prefer, and what they’ll have the most fun in using. Moreover, you can also ask housing and bathroom furnishing professionals on whether your house will do better with a shower or a bathtub.

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