Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Bath or Shower?

A Discussion on Health, Hygiene, Conservation, and Property Value

Clawfoot bathtub with faucet and hand shower.

In the battle between bath vs shower there are no clear winners. Each has its positives and negatives. What you decide to do will be based on your priorities. Here are four perspectives on the bath vs shower debate to help you decide the best course of action.

The Water Conservation Perspective

If you are concerned about conserving water, your primary question is “does a shower or bath use more water?”. A standard showerhead uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. So a 10 minute shower uses 25 gallons of water. Standard bathtubs can use up to 70 gallons of water per bath. Showers nearly always use less water than baths. 

If you enjoy an occasional soak, there are things you can do to reduce your water usage. Instead of filling the tub all the way up, just fill it halfway. You can also save water by plugging it right away instead of waiting for the water to warm up then adjusting water temperature as you fill the tub. 

Showers not only use less water than baths, but you can easily decrease water consumption even further. Consider taking a shorter shower. You can also upgrade your showerhead to a WaterSense labeled product. The EPA WaterSense label certifies that a showerhead doesn’t use more than 2 gallons of water per minute with the same experience of a 2.5 gallon or greater showerhead. 

The Hygiene Perspective

If cleanliness is your priority, you’re probably asking yourself, “what is more hygienic, a bath or shower?”.  You probably already guessed that the shower is more hygienic. Fresh water continuously comes out of the faucet and contaminated water washes down the drain. Baths are still effective at cleaning your body but the shower does it a bit better. 

Showers are generally better for your skin too. A long soaking bath tends to remove needed skin oils and can actually leave your skin dryer after your bath than a shower does. 

The Health Perspective

Water and water therapies have been used for health for millennia. So in the bath vs shower health debate, there are really no losers. 

Showers, especially cold showers, reduce tension and improve circulation. Warm showers relieve sore muscles and get rid of headaches. A 2016 study found that a hot-to-cold shower (start with hot and decrease temperature over the course of the shower) resulted in adults needing fewer sick days in a year. It’s also possible that this type of shower can help with depression: stimulating your nervous system and increasing endorphins. 

Different types of baths have been used over hundreds of years to treat eczema, psoriasis, sore muscles, colds and flu, inflammation, and are often prescribed for hemorrhoids and after giving birth. A 2019 study showed that people who took daily immersion baths in warm water had less fatigue, stress, and depression. Additionally, baths are home remedies for a good night of sleep and better circulation and blood pressure. 

The Property Value Perspective

If you’re considering a bathroom remodel you may wonder about the influence a bath vs shower has on your property value. Any bathroom remodel produces a good return on investment but what you include or exclude in that bathroom can have an impact on property value. 

There is a huge trend toward luxury showers over bathtubs with many opting to get rid of the tub entirely. Technically, this downgrades the bathroom from a full bath to a three-quarter bath but that doesn’t necessarily spell a decrease in value. Be sure that at least one bath in your home has a tub and you shouldn’t see a decrease in value. If you put that full bath on the main level, it’s even more enticing. According to a 2013 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, 81% of home buyers want a full bath on the main level.

If you are getting rid of a bathtub but amping up the shower with luxury features (like a spa shower or walk-in shower design), you might even see an increase in value. If you’re remodeling the master bathroom, the NAHB study found that 51% of home buyers prefer a bathtub in the master bath.

Bath or shower is purely about what’s most important to you. Find your best bathing experience right here at DecorPlanet.

Luxury Bathrooms