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Walk-In Shower vs. Bathtub: What’s Best for Your Bathroom Remodel?

There are a lot of decisions to make during any remodel, such as choosing between paint types, cabinet finishes, countertops and many other important details. All of these design choices will eventually come together to form a stunning new addition to your home.

One question many homeowners have when they’re planning a bathroom remodel is if they should opt for the increasingly popular walk-in shower or a traditional bathtub, or somehow incorporate both. There’s a lot that should go into the decision, and like most people, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Consider Your Space

In simple terms, your space often dictates your options. For example, installing an 80-inch freestanding or jacuzzi-style tub in a common, 35-square-foot guest bathroom might not be feasible. In smaller bathrooms, a cozy and stylish walk-in shower could be a better choice. A walk-in shower might provide you a surprising amount of additional space, allowing you to install other features, like his and hers bathroom sinks, a vanity or additional cabinets.

If there’s only one bathroom, you may consider both options by choosing either a shower and tub combo, which comes standard in many homes, or working with an expert designer and contracting group to find a way to maximize your space and pair a small walk-in with a tub. There are a large variety of tub and shower shapes and sizes – you might be surprised to find how little space you need to comfortably fit one of each.

Energy Efficiency

Homeowners concerned about water conservation and overall efficiency often wonder whether a bathtub or shower would be best in terms of energy savings. Recent estimates show the standard bathtub requires about 70 gallons to fill, while a five-minute shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons of water.1 So, if saving water (and saving money as a result) is a priority in your home, opting for the walk-in shower rather than just the tub may be the right choice.

For additional energy savings, install low-flow faucets in your new walk-in shower to eliminate as much water waste as possible. The EPA estimates WaterSense® low-flow showerheads could save around 2,900 gallons of water for the average household per year.2

Who Is the Bathroom For, Now and Later?

Remember to consider who will primarily be using the bathroom, both now and in the future. Young couples may want to give their bathroom a luxe facelift by adding a large shower with his and hers showerheads, not considering their needs may drastically change if they decide to have children. In that case, opting for a smaller walk-in shower and a neighboring bathtub instead of one large shower might make more sense in the short and long term.

Similarly, households that frequently host guests with limited mobility should take that into account, especially if they’re remodeling a guest bathroom. A luxurious bathtub may look nice, but if it won’t be useful for guests or family members requiring a walk-in shower. In that scenario, it’s probably best to pass on the tub-only remodel.

Resale Value

Even if selling your home is the last thing on your mind today, it’s recommended you make choices that will boost your home’s resale value during a remodel. A general rule of thumb is you don’t want to alienate any potential buyers. For example, remodeling your guest bathroom to feature just a walk-in shower might not be appealing to families with young children looking for their first home. This doesn’t necessarily hurt your home’s value, but it may be more difficult to sell to certain buyers.

In general, any bathroom remodel will provide a good ROI, so any choice you make will be a good one!

Get Your Bathroom Remodel Started With DMG

From start to finish, it’s important your remodeling project is handled with care and expertise. At DMG, we provide our customers with transparent communications from start to finish, listening to your goals and ideas every step of the way so you get the best possible result. Call (504) 275-6664 or visit us online to begin your remodel today!

1 https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=28853

2 https://www.epa.gov/watersense/showerheads