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Tub and Shower Combinations

tub and shower combinations

In centuries past, ancient tribes would trudge miles in search of waterfalls. They were an effective way to bathe, so you could say bath/shower combos have existed for centuries. The ancient Greeks created the first true shower out of lead piping and aqueducts, but it was only in the Victorian era that the first tub/shower combination was invented.

This convenient design remained utilitarian in nature throughout the Eighties, but we’ve come a long way since then. Today’s premium bathrooms are lush, digitally-operated, and therapeutic. There are hundreds of ways to approach tub/shower combo design these days, so how do you find the perfect option? Let’s find out.

What are the pros and cons of tub/shower combos?

Tub/shower combos were invented explicitly to save space. They remove the shower footprint entirely, leaving you with plenty of floor space. Their compact abilities make them particularly popular in guest bathrooms and apartments.

They’re not perfect, though. Combos are notoriously high-maintenance, adding significantly to your cleaning routine. This is, however, easy to overcome with mildew-resistant, low-maintenance materials.

Combos offer plenty of privacy, but they come with mobility restrictions. They’re rarely wheelchair accessible or adorned with grab bars. If you’re aging in place, you’ll need a walk-in or wheelchair-accessible design. Both options require a generous amount of floor space, so a wet room might be a better alternative.

Installation vs. conversion

Every remodel has its own budget constraints. While a gleaming new walk-in combo could cost a lot, a conversion could be considerably cheaper. All you’ll need is a curtain rail and a basic shower attachment for your existing tub. If you have a little more wriggle room, don’t restrict yourself to this rudimentary option, though. Tub/shower combos have come a long way in recent years. There are a host of creative ways to achieve a premium design:

  • A whirlpool/shower combo comes replete with water jets.
  • A wet room/tub combo incorporates a shower into the side of the tub. This might create a cleaning nightmare, but it’s hard to beat its luscious aesthetic.
  • A walk-in combo allows you to step into the bath without climbing over the side.
  • A glass-walled combo offers a spacious, airy aesthetic that’s considerably sleeker than a curtain rail.
  • A corner combo offers extra soaking room while simultaneously using floor space judiciously.

What bath/tub combo features should I consider?

Shower/tub combos can offer unparalleled luxury and convenience. Many products are fully customizable, allowing you to find the perfect features for your unique priorities. Pay close attention to:

  • The slip-resistance of your flooring. Standard ceramic tubs aren’t built for standing users. If you have aging residents, it might make sense to perform a full, slip-resistant replacement rather than a conversion.
  • The number of shower heads in use. There’s no reason to limit yourself to a single water source, after all.
  • The kind of conversion your kit can manage. Some conversions are only suited to two or five-piece faucets.
  • Whether your quote includes both the showerhead and door. Some manufacturers require you to buy them separately.
  • Whether your new design can accommodate seated showers. This will require a gooseneck extension.
  • How much cleaning you’re willing to do. If the side of your tub is exposed to water from a shower attachment, you will constantly be at war with mold.
  • Luxury features like rainfall showerheads and aromatherapy systems.
  • ADA compliance. These products have safety features, a larger tub, and wheelchair accessibility. You’ll also need a hand-held shower option with adjustable heights.

Are tub/shower conversions worth it?

Even minor cosmetic changes can boost your bathroom’s return on investment by as much as 64%. Even so, the bath vs. shower debate continues to rage. Americans generally prefer showers to baths, so they might increase buyer demand when you ultimately sell your home. By the same token, though, buyers consider tubs to be expensive installations, so they could add to your resale value.

The bathtub industry has surged over the last 10 years for that reason. The National Association of Realtors has found that half of home buyers prefer a master bathroom with both a shower and tub. You can sidestep the entire debate with a tub/shower combo.

The average person spends a year and a half bathing over the course of their lives. An upgrade is thus well worth the investment, even if you never sell your home. A beautifully designed, spa-grade tub/shower combo is a luxurious way to upgrade your lifestyle. It can even render your home more planet-friendly and cheaper to run.

Need help with a bathtub or shower replacement? Contact 1-800-HANSONS for a free estimate.

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Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Bathtub

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