As we age, built-in benches provide convenience and safety, and niches in the wall make it easy to access bath accessories. For years, I have used a tub and shower combination in my old bathroom. As soon as I renovated it, however, I ditched the bathtub and installed a walk-in shower, and I love it. I admit, the bath or shower option is very subjective and varies from person to person. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Shower/tub combinations are common in most homes because they are practical and efficient and allow you to choose between taking a bath or a shower. It is convenient for families with young children to have tubs and showers together, but it can be difficult for older adults or those with mobility issues to use these combinations.
If you live in an older home, you may only have one bathroom with a shower/tub combination, and if you do, my recommendation is you should keep it. Consider renovating a second bathroom or converting a powder room into a bathroom if you have the space. Particularly if it’s on the main floor of your home where a room can be converted into a bedroom. Keeping all the essentials on the main floor will make living in your home easier for as long as possible.
You might enjoy a good soak after a long, hard day of work if you own a bathtub. Some homeowners prefer a shower and never consider a bath, leaving the tub idle and taking up valuable unused space. It is a great idea to install a walk-in shower in this situation.
When space is limited, adding a shower and removing the bathtub is a great solution. For busy families, walk-in showers can add value to their home.
When you scrape the tub, you can add more storage cabinets or drawers for your bathroom supplies and towels. Keeping the space clutter-free will make it feel bigger, as will being able to store all your stuff.
A walk-in shower is a much better option than a bathtub when renovating for accessibility. Bathtubs can be challenging to get into and out of if you have mobility limitations. The clamp-on tub grab bar is adjustable, but if you are going to renovate, it makes sense to do it right.
Install grab bars on the walls where you need support when sitting or standing, around the toilet, by the sink, in the shower or anywhere you might need them for stability. Don’t forget to mount grab bars into the stud and not the drywall for maximum strength.
Moreover, a walk-in shower should be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, or benches, and perhaps even an additional person to act as a personal support worker at some point. Adding a built-in bench to curbless showers can provide convenience and safety as we age. Your curbless shower will look fantastic when you add non-slip tiles and a linear drain.
Whether you choose a tub/shower combo or a curbless shower, I recommend including wall niches. With wall niches, you can keep all your bathing items neat and organized without cluttering up your bathtub edge or shower floor. Some niches now have lights, which makes it easier to see things – great for those of us with aging eyes!
You can install great corner and rectangular shelves during the tiling stage if you don’t like wall niches. Niche and shelf shapes and sizes can be customized, but prefabricated shapes and sizes simplify installation.
Saving money and conserving water can be achieved by installing the right new fixtures. Invest in smart lighting and apps to run your bathroom more efficiently, and unplug accessories when not in use. Make your bathroom more efficient by installing low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and water-saving shower heads. Don’t forget to install a good exhaust fan. In your bathroom, you don’t want moisture to build up.
A well-functioning bathroom also needs mirrors, glass, and lighting. Mirrors reflect light and make a space appear larger. As well as making the space feel larger, clear glass doors and shower enclosures can become the focal point.
Whatever you decide, tubs and showers are the most important features of a bathroom renovation and can be disastrous if done incorrectly. If you want a bathroom renovation done right, hire the right contractor, use water- and mildew-resistant materials, and renovate for the long haul.