Bath or shower…? That is the (divisive) question!

We recently posed the question, “If you could choose only one – a bath or a shower – which would you prefer? Like an old-fashioned switchboard, our social media channels lit up with opinions. I quickly learned that people can be very hard-lined and protective of their choice when it comes to coming clean. There are shower people and there are tub people. Only a few pushed back, insisting on both.

It’s a question I hear with every renovation. Clients want to know if they should replace their tub with one big shower. I usually turn it back around and ask, “Do you prefer a bath or a shower?” It’s a matter of personal taste, depending on what stage of life you’re in, how long you plan to live in the house and many other factors.

Most older homes in the GTA have a combination tub-shower in the bathroom. For most of us, this is our default option. Although it may not be the best choice stylistically, it’s a great convenience. It provides you with both options in the same amount of space. Had a long day? Take a nice, long soak. Need a quick wake up to get your day started? Hop in the shower. Having a bathtub for small children is usually on a family’s must-have list, even if the parents prefer a shower. If your decision is based strictly on functionality, the shower-bath combo is the way to go.

Which tub works best? Again, it’s personal and it’s not always about function. For some it’s all about form. A free-standing tub, the ultimate spa treat, is a luxury choice – especially if you have the space. Even more decadent is the growing trend of free-standing bathtubs in master bedrooms.

Today’s modern tubs are more than acrylic or porcelain-coated cast iron. Companies such as Victoria + Albert are using highly insulated materials that combine natural materials like volcanic limestone and resin to create a warm-to-the-touch surface.

The condo market is different, as units are built almost exclusively with showers only. When space is at a premium and you’re paying for every square foot, a shower makes more sense. Modern glass doors and great-looking tile help you forget why you’d ever want a tub in the first place. Plus, condo dwellers tend to be urbanites who believe convenience and cost-savings far outweigh the benefits of relaxing in a tub.

If you have a choice of showers, a steam shower is an excellent option to recuperate after a long day at work or a strenuous physical activity. It can reduce stress and muscle aches, and help you to relax. With so many options today, such as body jets, multiple shower heads, high-tech chromotherapy lighting and sophisticated sound systems, showers can be as relaxing as a tub.

When it comes to selecting an option that will give you a better return on your investment, it all depends on the market. With our fast-paced lifestyle, showers tend to be the preferred option, but a family with young kids may opt for a bathtub.

The bathtub versus shower question is a personal one. Which would you choose?


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