Choosing a Bathtub, Shower, or Combo

By Code Authority
September 17, 2019

If you’re planning to renovate your home’s master bathroom or even a wash space for guests or children, there are a few appliances and spaces you might consider remodeling such as a vanity, toilet area, or closet. One of the most important features you must consider is whether a bathtub, shower, or combo is going to be included in the remodel. 

We’re here to help you determine the best fit – literally and figuratively – for your home’s bathroom. Check out this comprehensive list of factors to keep in mind when planning a bathroom remodel involving a bathtub, shower, or combo installation! 


Space is one of the biggest factors in determining what kind of bathroom renovation ideas you can move forward with. Not all bathrooms can fit showering and bathing areas, as they are just meant to be used as a powder room.  

A bathtub, shower, or combo shouldn’t take up the majority of the space in your bathroom. In fact, Better Homes & Gardens recommend leaving at least 24 inches of free space between areas like the shower, and 21 inches of room in front of bathtubs, toilets, etc.


Along with space, plumbing is an essential aspect to consider because it determines whether your renovations can take place where you want them to. While wires and plumbing can potentially be rerouted, it’s smart to take note of where your current connections are and build accordingly.  

The locations of the connections also determine how long the renovation will take. We’ll talk about time as a factor in just a sec. 

modern grey bathroom for bathroom renovation


Keep in mind that the amount you’re willing and able to spend for a bathtub, shower, or combo should be only a fraction of the expense of the bathroom renovation. The cost will vary for all three of the options we’re discussing due to different materials, the labor involved, etc. 

Plan to save for installation and possible demolition fees on top of the price of materials 


Think about how much time you have to complete the renovation in and discuss the timeline with your contractor. Knowing the agenda of events will help you determine what renovations you should do now and distinguish the ones you might want to hold off on. 

A custom walk-in shower will take longer to create than purchasing a soaking tub from the home project store. Although, time is only a small tradeoff if you’re looking for a unique bathroom accent piece.  

As mentioned in the connections section, the layout of the bathroom, as well as the plumbing availability, will impact how long the renovation takes. Rerouting or creating connections will understandably take longer than utilizing in-place hookups.  

Look and Feel

Once you determine the more logistical factors of your bathroom renovation, you can focus on the fun part – the aesthetics! The look and feel of your bathing and/or showering appliances play a huge role in the renovation. You know the saying “we eat with our eyes first?” Well, we appreciate the appearance of many things in life before we even try them – bathroom appliances included! 

If you’re looking for a highly personalized, unique bathroom, consider choosing a walk-in shower or combo. You can’t do much to customize a freestanding tub, but you can make the backsplash, tile, etc. of a shower reflect your style.  

Still interested in a tub? There are other features such as jets, rests, and more that you can opt for when choosing a bathtub, so customization isn’t completely out of the question.  

modern bathroom renovation


The functionality of your appliances, whether it be a bathtub, shower, or combo is another important aspect of bathroom renovation. 

You can’t soak in a shower like you can in a bathtub; if that’s something you value, steer your attention toward a combo or freestanding tub. Conversely, showering doesn’t require users to immerse themselves in water; if you’re one to appreciate the experience of a shower as opposed to a bath, it’s best you opt for a combo or walk-in shower.  

Features such as seating (e.g., a bench), showerheads, and even entertainment features can all enhance the way you, your family members, and your guests enjoy their cleaning experience. 

Additionally, families with small children might find it easier to bathe their kids in a bathtub as opposed to a shower because it is both more accessible to assist the children and less messy for the caretaker. 


Resale value is always a factor to consider when doing any type of renovation, especially one in the bathroom. Upgraded bathing and showering factors can add thousands of dollars in equity to your home, making it worth more if and when you decide to put the home on the market. 

Some features buyers really appreciate include custom showers with non-standard plumbing fixtures such as showerheads, soaking bathtubs to unwind in, and home accessories that complement the bathroom appliances.

shower and bathtub in modern home for modern bathroom renovation inspiration


Bathtubs, showers, and combinations all have benefits and drawbacks. So, it’s up to you to determine what would work best for you and your family. If you need some further assistance in choosing the option that can suit your family well, Elegant Kitchen & Bath’s professional remodelers can assist you in transforming your home’s bathroom into an elegant oasis for relaxation and preparation.   

Leave your kitchen and bathroom renovation to the professionals! To see how we can make your vision a reality, contact us for your free bathroom remodel consultation