It’s not a philosophical question. Rather, it may be a question of space or of cost. Or it might just be personal preference that dictates the choice of tub or shower. Common wisdom for decades has been that a tub-shower combination was the best way to satisfy everyone. Now that many homes have more than one bathroom, the prevailing answer is that, to maintain resale value, a home with at least one tub is best or one tub on each floor in larger homes; There is no reason, however, to have a tub or a tub/shower combo in every bathroom if you prefer using a shower.
Remodeling to Get What You Want
Busy lifestyles tend to encourage quick showers rather than relaxing soaks, and if that’s the norm for your household, it can make sense to have the convenience of a separate shower, perhaps with a built-in bench, rather than a tub only or even a tub-shower combination. Showers can be designed to fit any space and lifestyle. If you like to relax and enjoy the peace and privacy of a longer more soothing shower experience the sky is the limit today. You can incorporate sound, steam, music, phone answering, tv, seating, chromatherapy and just about anything else. Digital controls that are programmable to set the temperature, music, and type of water flow can even be controlled by smart phones. Modern curb-free or low curb showers are also more convenient for older persons and those with vision and mobility issues or those who have difficulty bending or use a walker or a wheel chair. If the shower space is large enough, the shower can be built without a door and still control the water spray.
It is relatively easy to design a spacious shower with a non-slip floor surface to replace an existing tub. If that seems like an overly large shower, many bath designers choose to add a row of open shelves, a narrow supply closet or a slim cabinet at one end. The addition of a frameless glass panel and door can visually expand a small bathroom and eliminate the need for a shower curtain.
Soaking tubs are all the rage in trendy bathrooms today — with higher than normal side walls, they are sometimes viewed as luxury items, but they can also be practical in homes with children because they tend to reduce splashing, and can be large enough to seem like small swimming pools — encouraging young children to enjoy bath time. One of the common reasons to have a tub in a family bathroom is for its convenience as a baby bath since most younger children don’t enjoy showers.
Separate Shower and Tub
If your bathroom is large enough, you might want to add a separate shower rather than replace an existing tub. Again, depending on the configuration and the existing plumbing, it might be an easy task to reroute water lines and tie in to an existing drain, or it might involve chipping into a slab or breaking through a floor. In most cases, though, it does not constitute an impossible dream!
The Master Bath Retreat
The planning process for a master bath renovation may involve some of the same considerations, and many of the same rules apply.
Freestanding baths are gained in popularity, and master showers have grown in size. The rule today is that “if it makes you happy, go for it,” and some master bathrooms rival expensive spas. If, however, your grooming and pampering needs are minimal, and your routine tends to be simplistic, there is certainly no reason why you should not have a master bath than has only a tub or only a shower.