Choosing between a bathtub and a shower for your bathroom renovation can have a major impact in your daily life. Everything from your energy bills to the safety of your family members are areas of consideration. While showers are the go-to for speed and convenience, bathtubs tend to offer a more relaxing, luxurious experience. Deciding on which is a better fit for you and your household comes down to more than personal preference. Think beyond your ideal bathing or showering experience and compare the advantages of showers and bathtubs to find the one that best fits your goals and lifestyle.


While there is no one-size-fits-all bathroom, an average bathroom may measure as little 5 by 8. Standard bathtubs, on the other hand, often measure 30 inches wide, but can reach as long as 72 inches, according to This Old House. Stand-alone showers, however, range from 36 by 36 inches to 36 by 48. The smaller footprint of a shower allows it to fit more easily in small bathrooms than would bathtubs, freeing up space for additional features and necessities. Eliminating the tub in favor of the shower also allows homeowners to incorporate a larger, spa-like shower rather than the standard enclosure, while still utilizing less space than the average bathtub.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency and water conservation, a quick shower virtually always beats a bath. The average bathtub holds 25 to 45 gallons, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency. Using a modern low-flow showerhead, which uses 2.5 gallons per minute, a 5-minute shower consumes just 12.5 gallons of water. Even a pre-1992 showerhead rated at 5 GPM consumes 25 gallons during a 5-minute shower, which is less than the amount used to fill most standard bathtubs. For those who tend to stretch showers out for a longer period, however, bathtubs may have the advantage over showers. For example, a 10-minute shower consumes 25 gallons at 2.5 GPM, or a whopping 50 gallons of water at 5 GPM, more than the largest standard bathtubs.


If you're considering swapping out your bathtub for a stand-alone shower unit, consider the impact this decision could have when it's time to sell your home. While a shower-only home may not necessarily have less value than one with a bathtub, it may take longer to sell, according to the National Association of Realtors. Keep at least one bathtub in the home to avoid turning off families and buyers with children, who may prefer a tub for easy bathing.


Climbing in and out of the bathtub can be difficult for the elderly, disabled or those with limited mobility. For these individuals, showers provide a safety and accessibility advantage over bathtubs, particularly showers with a curbless or roll-in design. If someone in your family has difficulty using the tub, a shower may allow them to enjoy independent bathing with less difficulty than using a bathtub.

Here you can see different shower designs for your homes: