Walk-In Shower Vs. Walk-In Tub: How To Decide Which Is Best For You


When it comes to the bathroom, one of the most common questions homeowners have is whether to install a walk-in bathtub or a shower. Both have distinct advantages, so how do you choose? Does it make more sense to add a space-saving shower or should you go with the family friendly tub? 

To help you reach a good decision on the walk-in bathtub vs. walk-in shower conundrum, here’s a look at some advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Pros and Cons of a Walk-in Bathtub

Unlike a standard bathtub, a walk-in tub has a lower threshold, higher walls, a built-in seat and a door that opens to allow the bather inside. Here’s how it stacks up:

  • PRO — It’s safer and more accessible for elderly or disabled individuals, which makes it an ideal choice for aging in place
  • PRO — It provides greater water depth for a more comfortable, immersive bath experience
  • PRO: Despite its depth, the amount of water used is comparable to traditional tubs
  • PRO: Extras such as handrails, anti-scald valves and non-slip flooring are included
  • CON: You can’t prefill the tub, but rather have to get in, sit down and start adding water. Likewise, you have to empty the tub before getting out.
  • CON: Installation can be pricey.

The Pros and Cons of a Walk-in Shower

Highly on trend today, walk-in showers are stand-alone bathroom features. Because they don’t include a bathtub, they can be narrow and provide more space-saving features than the traditional shower-tub combination. If space isn’t a concern, walk-in showers can be spacious enough for two and include amenities such as steam generators and massaging shower heads. Consider their pros and cons:

  • PRO: Can take up less space, freeing up square footage
  • PRO: Often easier to clean, with fewer areas where water, dirt and grime can collect
  • PRO: On trend, often a selling point
  • CON: Not practical for kids
  • CON: Potential slip hazard
  • CON: Typically more expensive to install

Questions to Consider

For some bathrooms, the choice of whether to include a tub or a shower is easy. Once you consider the pros and cons of each option, it becomes apparent which you want to use daily. For others, however, it can be helpful to think through the following questions:

  • What do you have now? In the case of a remodel, sticking with the layout you have is usually the easiest and least costly option. Sticking with a shower, for example, when that’s what you already have will save you the extra construction work involved in creating a walk-in bathtub.
  • How much space do you have? In a secondary bathroom where space is at a premium, going with a walk-in shower is a great way to open up the floor space.
  • Who uses the bathroom? Whether you’re talking about the master bathroom or a guest bath off the hallway, think about who primarily uses the bathroom. Are they young children or elderly family members? Would they be more comfortable with a shower or a walk-in tub?

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, when it comes to the question of walk-in bathtub vs. walk-in shower, the best choice for you is dependent on several factors. Consider the size of your bathroom, who uses it, what you need and like, and then make your choice!

To find affordably priced, high-quality bathtubs and shower fixtures online, come to Modern Bathroom! Shop our site or contact us today to learn more.

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