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Tub vs. shower: What should I choose?

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When planning a bathroom renovation, you’ll be faced with the decision to include a tub or a shower. If you have limited space and prefer to shower you may be wondering what the consequences are of living tub-free.

The general consensus is you should have at least one tub in your home for resale purposes since most families find a tub essential for bathing children. However, this depends on if your target resale buyer is a family with young children. If you have more than one bathtub in your home, replacing one with a shower only will not impact the resale value of your home. Because of this, many homeowners are opting for large spa-like walk-in showers in the primary bedroom ensuite.

On this page is information to consider when deciding on a tub or shower. Or both.


The most common bathtub, a drop-in standard tub, is the most affordable option and is great for families with small children. However, if you’re looking for a tub that will provide ultimate relaxation, consider a soaking tub, which is deeper and often wider than a standard tub.

A jetted tub soothes sore muscles and gives a massage-like experience as long as you don’t mind listening to the sound of the motor.

If you’re limited on space, a shower/tub combination is a great option. If you have a larger bathroom, a freestanding tub is a stylish and sophisticated alternative.

The most affordable bathtubs are made out of fiberglass or acrylic. Other specialty alternatives like cast iron, steel, marble or copper will cost you more, but will retain heat better. If you want to go with one of these options, keep in mind that they will be heavier and therefore cost more to install.


There are a few different types of showers to consider if you have decided to either forego a bathtub or have a separate bathtub. A pre-fabricated shower insert consists of an acrylic or fiberglass shower pan and usually 2-piece or 3-piece molded shower walls that are installed onto a wood stud frame. This is an economical choice and is an easy DIY project.

Next is a one-piece shower enclosure and this, like the name suggests, is a single shower unit that you purchase in one piece and includes base, walls and door.

The third type of shower is a custom shower and may be the most popular with homeowners. This is a shower with tiled walls and floor and is combined with either a shower curtain or a more popular glass door. This version is the shower of choice because it can be the size you choose and can conform somewhat to odd spaces.

A custom shower can also be more stylish than the other two shower types because you can choose the tile colour, shape and pattern. You can also add a built-in bench and cubby holes or a ledge to store toiletries.

Head into your local TIMBER MART to start your bathroom transformation. We have the tools, materials and expert advice to help with your project.

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