Bath vs Shower – Do you really need both?

Contemporary shower

How often do you have a bath?

In times gone past it was the preferred bathing option, but showering is taking over in popularity, probably as it’s quicker and more convenient for daily ablutions. So do you really need to have both a bath and a shower in your home?

A study carried out last year by the universities of Lancaster, Manchester, Southampton and Edinburgh on people’s bathing and showering habits revealed that having a daily shower has almost replaced the habit of having a bath.

It’s not a unique finding. Recent research found that the average person takes 227 showers a year, yet only four or less baths. This is despite three-quarters of people still having a bath in their home.

Of course, many baths these days incorporate a shower. But if you’re simply standing in the bath to have a shower, why not just have a separate shower cubicle? Here are some of the key issues in the bath versus shower debate!

Bathroom with a view
Bath – A bath is often used more for relaxation than a shower. When you have a bath, you may linger in it for longer than a shower. For some, it can be a time to let go, to do nothing and indulge in some ‘me’ time.

Shower – A shower tends to be associated more with practicality than relaxation. You take a shower in the morning before work, or when you come home from the gym. Yes, being in the warm water can be relaxing, but not quite so much as lying down in a bath.

Water usage

Bath – Filling the bath tub right up uses a lot of water. It’s fine for a long indulgent soak in the bath, but if it’s just a quick splash around you’re having, then perhaps you could make do with a shower?

Shower – In terms of water usage, a shower can be more efficient and use less (unless you’re in there for hours!). So it can be a more water-friendly option if you’re on a water meter or have lots of people queuing to use the shower.

Who’s using it?
Serene bathroom
Bath – For younger families with children, a bath can work out as a more practical option until they’re a bit older. Bath time isn’t quite the same when there’s no bath!

Shower – For singles and couples, or those with older children, jumping in the shower in the morning is a speedier solution than having to wait and run a bath.

Bathroom size

Grey Bathroom

Bath – If you’re only going to have a bath, then you could go a step further and have the bath of your dreams. Double ended, a classic original bath, slipper style or a corner bath, perhaps?

Mosaic bathroom

Be aware that when space is at a premium, you may have to opt for a smaller than average bath. A standard size bath could make a small bathroom feel even tinier, or simply not fit in. If you get a clever designer on board though, they could come up some creative ideas for fitting in a bath in tricky spaces.
Industrial shower
Shower - If you have a small bathroom, then opting to only have a shower can be the most practical option. You may even be able to have a larger shower tray installed, since you’re not trying to cram in a bath as well. Or why not go for a luxury wet room instead?

Selling your home

It’s also worth noting that some people worry that only having a shower could affect the sale or value of their home. Yes, some buyers may be put off by the lack of a bath, but others might not. Some new homes are built without having baths installed. Unless you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, it’s best to choose the option that works for you and your lifestyle.

Rachel Newcombe

Article by Rachel Newcombe

Rachel is an award-winning UK-based writer, blogger, editor and researcher, specialised in health, property/home and interiors. She works for a wide range of companies in the UK and internationally.



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