Top Appliance Trends to Inspire Your Kitchen Design

By McDaniels Kitchens and Bath|Kitchen Design

When starting a bathroom remodel, one of the big questions homeowners face is whether to include a shower, tub/shower combination, or a separate tub and shower. This is one bathroom design decision that can leave some homeowners scratching their heads, wondering which is the right choice.

In recent years, more people seem to be veering toward the “remove the tub for a larger shower” camp. The Houzz 2023 bathroom trend report showed that more than a quarter of homeowners are removing a tub during a remodel, with 77% of those removing a tub opting to enlarge their shower. This seems to fit a trend toward remodeling to fit your everyday needs and preferences, rather than focusing on external factors like the demands of the real estate market. That said, removing a tub is not right for everyone, so you should carefully consider your needs before making this decision.

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Which One Is Right for You?

There are several factors that influence the decision of whether to keep a tub or replace it with a shower, and the answer to this question will impact on your bathroom’s layout, style, remodeling costs, and more.

  • First, look at your available space in the bathroom you plan to remodel. Depending on the size of your bathroom, a tub and shower may feel cramped, while a larger shower may make your room feel larger.
  • Next, consider your family and lifestyle. Are you a young, growing family with small children? If so, it makes sense to keep at least one tub in your home. If you are planning for aging-in-place on the other hand, a walk-in shower is ideal.
  • Does anyone in your household love a soak in the tub, or do all family members prefer showers? If you never use the tub and would prefer a more luxurious shower experience, then get rid of that tub!
  • Make sure when you look at your family’s requirements to future proof your plans – you are not just designing for your family today, but for the lifespan of the remodel.
  • Look at the setup of your home, including how many bathrooms you have. If you have multiple bathrooms and one already has a tub, then your decision about whether to remove a tub in another bathroom is more straightforward.
  • Finally, consider whether you plan to sell your home and, if so, what the real estate market in your region dictates. Is this an area that appeals to young families or one that is geared toward singles or aging in place?

The answers to these questions will help you determine whether it makes sense to remove a tub in favor of a spacious shower, or whether you should retain a tub in your bath design.

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There are many reasons why today’s homeowners are choosing to replace a tub with a shower. Let’s explore some of the top reasons to ditch that tub for an improved shower experience.

Efficient Space Solutions

If your bathroom is a spacious room, you may be able to accommodate both a separate tub and a large shower, in which case you could keep both in your design plans. In a smaller bathroom footprint, you must decide what is more important to you. If a tub is necessary, you could go for a tub/shower combination that gives the best of both worlds.

If a tub is not important, then a shower tends to make better use of the available space in a more compact bathroom. It also gives the illusion of more space, particularly with a more open shower style or a frameless glass enclosure. A custom shower can also be ideal for awkward spaces where the shape of the room is narrow or angled as it lets you maximize your floor space and get a better shower experience for the available square footage.

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Ideal for Accessibility and Aging in Place

There’s no doubt about it, a walk-in shower makes sense in a home where seniors or anyone with reduced mobility lives. A tub can be a significant hazard if you struggle with balance or limited mobility as you have to step into or swing your legs to get into the tub.

A walk-in shower with grab bars and non-slip flooring makes it much easier to shower independently. If you have a spacious walk-in shower, it can offer enough room for assisted showering if that is necessary. Families with children generally prefer tubs. However, with adjustable showerheads, handheld showerheads, and built-in seats, a large shower may even work for helping children shower until they can do so independently.

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Clean Design Aesthetic

A shower can be designed for any bathroom style, with tile, door style, and showerheads to fit your aesthetic. Replacing a tub with a large, custom shower is especially well-suited to a clean, contemporary bath design style. With frameless glass enclosures, thresholdless custom-tiled shower floors, and recessed niche storage, a shower is the perfect choice to give your bathroom a clean design aesthetic.

Glass shower enclosures or even a fully open shower also provide a clear line of sight throughout your bathroom. This means they let light shine through your space, making the room appear larger and brighter.

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Room for Extras

A custom shower offers more room for extra features than a tub, which can benefit your bathroom’s style and functionality. In a spacious shower enclosure, you can include a custom built-in bench, which offers a comfortable place to sit while showering, shaving, or drying off after your shower. You can also add more showering features, such as multiple showerheads or even a massaging shower panel for the ultimate shower experience!

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Creates a Stylish Focal Point

While there are ways to customize a tub/shower combination to create the style you want, nothing beats a spacious shower built to your specifications. A large, custom shower naturally becomes a style focal point in any bathroom design, whether you go for an open shower, a glass-enclosed shower, or one with a customized half wall and glass.

In a more open-style shower that lets you see through to your tiled wall, you can choose a tile size, shape, color, and pattern to enhance your design. Even your choice of plumbing fixtures forms part of your shower’s design aesthetic, with the shape, color, and finish.

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Convenience and Time Savings

A bath is ideal if you have the time for a long soak in the tub, but showers are a better fit for a modern, busy lifestyle. A bath takes time to fill up before you can even get started with your bathing routine and then you generally spend longer in the tub than you would in the shower. When it comes to convenience and making the most of your precious hours in a day, a shower is the obvious choice.

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Easy Maintenance

When planning a bathroom design, you must also consider the durability and ongoing maintenance needs of your chosen materials and fixtures. This is equally as important as design aesthetics as you must be able to live with and maintain your bath design.

In general, a shower is a smart choice when it comes to maintenance. Cleaning a shower enclosure is much easier than trying to clean inside and around a tub. If you go for a sleek shower style with a frameless glass enclosure and a large format, simple tile design, then your shower will be even easier to clean and maintain. Even better, an open shower style has minimal areas to clean around and will make your cleaning routine a breeze!


Efficiency and Cost Savings

Showers have the added advantage of being more energy efficient than a bath. They typically use much less water than a bath, though this can vary depending on your showerheads and how long you spend in the shower. By opting for a shower instead of a bath, you not only reduce your water usage, but you also save on household energy expenditures.

Improve Resale Value

It can be beneficial to keep one tub in your home if you have small children or pets, or in case you sell your home and live in an area that appeals to young families. However, a large, luxurious shower in place of a tub can also enhance your home’s resale value. Particularly in a more compact space, a shower maximizes your bathroom footprint and creates a more stylish and efficient design.

Modern, open bathrooms appeal to potential buyers, so going for a more open shower style is sure to be a winner when selling your home. A walk-in shower will also be high on buyers’ requirements for aging in place or universal design, so this feature makes sense if you live in an area popular with retirees.

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When deciding whether to keep your tub or replace it with a shower in a bathroom remodel, there are many factors to consider. Is this your only bathroom? Do you plan to remain in your home or to sell in the near future? How much space do you have? Who lives in your household?

If you prefer a large shower where you can refresh yourself for the day ahead, then go for it and get rid of that tub in favor of the shower you always wanted. Check out our amazing shower displays when you visit our Lansing, MI showroom and meet a member of our design team to start planning your bathroom remodel!