​Which is better: a bath or shower?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Richmond Showroom, TW9 BathroomsByDesign Retail Ltd Modern Bathroom
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When it comes to households with families, a shower/tub combination is the most common type of bathroom fixture. In addition to being practical and efficient, a shower/tub combo also gives one the option of enjoying either a bath or shower without taking up more space. Of course it’s not all sing and dance, for while these types of combos are practical for families with youngsters, they can pose problematic for older people with mobility issues.

Today, the modern bathroom provides a tub or shower, sometimes both, but rarely a combo of the two. Should you have the budget and space to have both in your bathroom, obviously it’s fantastic to enjoy the best of both worlds, but not all bathrooms are equipped to handle this sort of layout.

So, that brings us to that age-old question: is a bath or shower best for my bathroom?

1. The pros of a bathtub

Taking on a big bathroom renovation? Then you’re probably struggling with the shower/tub problem. Let’s break it down for you with the pros and cons of each.

Bathtub pros: 

• Fabulous for relaxing after a long day, especially with sore muscles 

• Perfect for getting small kids clean 

• Available in numerous sizes to fit any bathroom 

• Freestanding units can be placed anywhere, seeing as they’re finished on all sides 

• Available in a huge array of designs and styles (including materials, tiles, colours, etc.) 

• Flaunts plenty of special features like air jets, whirlpool versions, etc.

2. The cons of a bathtub

Luxury Bathroom DeVal Bathrooms Modern Bathroom
DeVal Bathrooms

Luxury Bathroom

DeVal Bathrooms

Bathtub cons: 

• Can be tricky for older people and those suffering from mobility problems 

• Takes up more space than a shower 

• Requires a lot of water 

• To adequate fill the tub with hot water you’ll need a water heater 

• Filling up a tub and taking a bath can be time consuming.

3. The pros of a shower

Victorian Terrace House, South-West London Drummonds Bathrooms Rustic style bathroom
Drummonds Bathrooms

Victorian Terrace House, South-West London

Drummonds Bathrooms

Shower pros: 

• Uses less water than a bath 

• Much quicker to get clean 

• Easier access for people with mobility problems, and showers can also be equipped with grab bars, non-slip tiles, and benches 

• Smaller footprint than tubs (although it’s currently trendy to install large, luxurious shower stalls) 

• Various high-end features to pick from (such as rain showers, jets and steam options).

4. The cons of a shower

Independent Living - Bathroom ideas Victoria Plum Modern Bathroom Glass White
Victoria Plum

Independent Living—Bathroom ideas

Victoria Plum

Shower cons:  

• Not practical for households with very small children / toddlers 

• Shower doors require cleaning and maintenance to avoid visible lime and calcium stains 

• Fixing leaks can be tricky as they need to be fixed and glued properly, plus given adequate time for drying (leaving you with no way to use the shower for quite some time).

5. Which is healthier: a bath or shower?

Penrose freestanding acrylic bath Heritage Bathrooms Classic style bathroom
Heritage Bathrooms

Penrose freestanding acrylic bath

Heritage Bathrooms

Quite a tricky question, for both possess different health benefits.

• Soaking in a warm bath has been proven to increase calmness and reduce feelings of loneliness. It also helps to moisture the skin (if the water’s not too hot). 

• Hot showers also ease anxiety, plus the hot pressure on the back is good for sore muscles. The shower’s steam also acts as a natural decongestant when you have a cold. 

• Cold showers provide the most health benefits: they’re good for your mood, instantly wake you up, stimulate weight loss, don’t dry out your skin or hair, increase the speed of muscle recovery, plus boost immunity. 

The final answer? Both baths and showers have their time and place. We recommend showering throughout the week to save some time and water, then indulging in a luxurious soak on the weekends.

6. Does a bath or shower use less water?

No points for guessing that a shower uses less water! A regular showerhead pumps out more than 9 litres a minute, meaning a 10-minute shower easily uses about 95 litres of water. But opting for a low-flow showerhead decreases that amount to about 47 litres. Compare this to a bathtub which holds about 180 litres of water. Thus, unless you indulge in 20-minute showers, a bath uses far more water. 

Of course we are not suggesting that you cut out bathing completely. But if you want to do your part for the planet, that bathwater can always be reused afterwards, like for hand-washing your delicates, flushing the toilet or watering the garden. Just be careful, as some bath products can be toxic for outdoor use.

7. Which is safer: a bath or shower?

Both can pose a problem of injuring oneself – or worse. You can slip and fall in the shower as you’re rotating and moving around the whole time, and you can also fall asleep or pass out and drown while soaking in a tub. And let’s not get started with relaxing in a tub while those scented candles are burning.

So, let’s call this one a tie.

8. Which cleans you better: a bath or shower?

Smart Froms Pixers Minimalist style bathroom

Smart Froms


A lot of people avoid taking a bath as they think you just end up sitting in a cesspool of your own filth. And they’re right – sort of.  

Baths are important, as you only shed dead skin cells through soaking. But then you continue to sit in that water with said dead skin cells, in addition to all the dirt on your body and the residual soap. Fortunately, rinsing off after a bath clears up that problem! 

Showers are fine for everyday cleaning, but a bath is recommended for some deeper cleansing. 

Looks like we have another tie!

9. Does a bath or shower save more time?

Exquisite Shower Room DeVal Bathrooms Modern Bathroom
DeVal Bathrooms

Exquisite Shower Room

DeVal Bathrooms

The average shower takes about 8.2 minutes. It takes 7.5 minutes just to fill up a 170-litre tub with a standard bathtub faucet running 22 litres a minute.

Thus, if you’re in a hurry, opt for a quick shower!

10. Which is better for ROI?

Victorian Terrace, Hither Green, Lewisham Model Projects Ltd Classic style bathroom
Model Projects Ltd

Victorian Terrace, Hither Green, Lewisham

Model Projects Ltd

With our busy lifestyles we opt for showers far more than baths. This results in a trend towards taking out bathtubs and installing spacious, stand-up shower stalls in our bathrooms. And while this might enhance your rushed day-to-day life, it turns out that it’s not such a great idea for your house’s return on investment (ROI). 

Before you rip out that tub, think about the type of buyers who might want to purchase your house in the future. If they’re elderly you should be fine, but more likely than not it’s going to be a family with little kids that require a tub. 

The homify recommendation? Leave at least one bathtub in your home, even if it’s in a guest bathroom!

We all need to get clean, but we must also do our part for the environment. Let’s see 7 great tips to help you save water at home.

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