Bathtub vs. Walk-in Shower: A Common Dilemma

Planning a bathroom remodel? One of the first and most important decisions is choosing between a bathtub or a walk-in shower. This choice will impact your design, budget, and functionality, so it's crucial to weigh your options early in the planning process.

My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea knows that deciding between a bathtub or shower is one of the biggest dilemmas homeowners face when remodeling their bathrooms, but an important one nonetheless. Here, we'll look at the differences between these two features and how they can affect your bathroom remodel!


Bathtubs have long been cherished fixtures in homes worldwide. Beyond their practical functionality, they offer a serene and rejuvenating escape. When paired with a shower and curtain, you have the best of both worlds.

Here are some of the pros and cons of bathtubs:

Advantages of Bathtubs

  • Versatility: Bathtubs accommodate everyone – adults, children, and even pets. This makes them an excellent choice for families.
  • Relaxation: Nothing beats a soothing soak in a bathtub after a long, tiring day. Bathtubs offer therapeutic benefits, helping to reduce stress and promote better sleep.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: A well-designed bathtub can be the centerpiece of your bathroom, adding a touch of elegance and luxury.
  • Increased Home Value: Homes with bathtubs, particularly in the master bathroom, often have a higher market value.

Disadvantages of Bathtubs

  • Safety Issues: Bathtubs can be somewhat hazardous, especially for seniors or those with mobility issues. The act of climbing over the side can lead to slips and falls.
  • Size: Bathtubs require a significant amount of space in the bathroom, which could be a disadvantage in smaller spaces.
  • Water Consumption: Bathtubs typically use more water compared to solo showers, which may lead to higher utility bills.
  • Maintenance: Bathtubs, particularly those with jets, can be more difficult and time-consuming to clean than showers.

Walk-in Showers

The contemporary style and aesthetic appeal of walk-in showers make them one of the top trends in bathroom remodeling. Their accessibility and open design, devoid of shower doors or curtains, allow for a sleek and seamless look. For those who value both practicality and modern style, walk-in showers are the perfect choice.

Just like bathtubs, walk-in showers also have their own set of pros and cons. Let's dive into the details:

Advantages of Walk-in Showers

  • Accessibility: Walk-in showers are usually easy to enter and exit. This makes them an ideal choice for seniors or differently-abled individuals. Explore our other recommended home accessibility improvements! 
  • Space-saving: Unlike bathtubs, walk-in showers take up less space, making them an excellent option for smaller bathrooms.
  • Water-efficient: Showers typically use less water than bathtubs, contributing to lower utility bills and a more environmentally friendly bathroom.
  • Customization: They can be customized in various ways, including the type of glass, tile, and fixtures, to match your personal style.

Disadvantages of Walk-in Showers

  • Higher Initial Cost: The materials and labor for installing a walk-in shower can be more expensive than a traditional shower or tub, increasing the cost of your bathroom remodel.
  • Lack of Bathtub: While functional, a shower may provide a different level of relaxation and therapeutic benefits than a soak in the tub.
  • Resale Considerations: Some homebuyers may prefer a bathroom with a bathtub, especially those with young children. Not having a tub could limit your market.
  • Requires High Maintenance for Appearance: Depending on the materials used, it may show water spots, soap scum, or need frequent cleaning.

The Final Rinse: Walk-in Showers or Bathtubs?

The choice between a bathtub and a walk-in shower ultimately depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, and your family's specific needs. While bathtubs offer a luxurious, relaxing experience and often boost home value, they require more space and can pose safety risks for those with mobility issues.

On the other hand, walk-in showers are space-efficient, customizable, and accessible. Still, they may not offer the same level of relaxation and could limit your market when selling your home.

Remember, the perfect bathroom remodel balances aesthetics, functionality, and comfort to create a personal oasis just for you!

Need Help with Your Ann Arbor Bathroom Remodel or Update?

My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea is your go-to for exceptional bathroom remodels! Our team has years of experience updating bathroom paints and mirrors to replacing bathtubs and walk-in showers, helping you successfully add value to your home while creating a beautiful space.

With us, you'll benefit from top-notch service provided by handyman professionals backed by a national brand you can trust! Check out our gallery of completed projects and get in touch today to learn more about making your dream bathroom a reality.

Contact us today, and let's get started on your Ann Arbor bathroom remodel!

Share Article name