You’ve seen it before, and you’ll see it again – the bathtub shower combo. Because it’s the most common bathroom setup you’ll find makes it seem boring and overdone. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best choice for anyone with limited space and a limited budget.
Every design choice comes with its pros and cons. But what’s most important is your personal preference and what works best for you and your household.
Before we dive into some beautiful bathtub shower combo inspiration (and ways to dress up your existing tub and shower), let’s discuss the difference makers and the deal-breakers that they can bring to your bathroom.
Why a Bathtub Shower Combo is a Good Idea
Deciding whether you want a bathtub or a shower while you’re remodeling your bathroom can be tricky. On the one hand, there’s the ability to take a long, steamy bubble bath after a stressful day. On the other hand, a sleek shower stall is minimalistic and still gets you just as clean.
Combining your bathtub and shower means you don’t have to compromise, even if you’re short on space. Here are some great reasons to consider a combo.
Installing a prefabricated bath and shower kit is a budget-friendly option that allows you to put an already complete combo into your bathroom wherever you want it. They may not be fully customizable, but you can still find a kit that matches your bathroom’s style at a lower cost.
Even if you plan to put in a custom combo and tile it yourself, the cost of materials and labor will still be less than if you built them separately.
It’s pretty much a no-brainer that a combination bath and shower is going to take up way less space than if you keep them separate. If you’re working with a pretty small bathroom, it’s a great way to keep from choosing between them.
Plus, saving space on bathing gives you more room to put an impressive vanity with plenty of counter space.
Depending on how many people you have living in your house, having a bathtub and a shower gives everyone the ability to clean off the way they want. On top of that, any guests that come to stay don’t have to compromise on their own preferences while they’re in your home.
What to Consider Before Remodeling
Now before you jump straight into throwing things at the wall, there are a few things you should think about before you begin putting in a tub shower combo. These are the big questions that will make you more confident in your decisions before taking any steps forward.
First and foremost, your aesthetic is the most important thing to consider. What vibe are you going for in your bathroom? Do you want it to look contemporary or more old-fashioned? Are you hoping for a sleek spa mood or something more energetic?
What you want for your bathroom should take precedence over any other design advice out there.
Home Resale Value
Home resale value is something that you should definitely be thinking about. Even if you’re not considering selling right now, that doesn’t mean you won’t in the future, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Before you pick out your tile or start fitting showerheads, ask yourself if the style you’re going with would appeal to a lot of people. Clean, neutral colors tend to do better than edgy, bold designs. Updated fixtures will draw more eyes than something that looks like it’s straight out of the 80s.
Keeping other people in mind may help you reign in your own indecision and keep things simple.
The one downside to a bathtub shower combo is that it’s not easily accessible to anyone that’s injured, handicapped, or elderly. A separate shower appeals to these people much more, especially if they have handrails because they’re easy to get in and out of.
Custom Combos vs Prefabricated Kits
One of the biggest questions you need to answer is whether you want a premade combo or you want to build it yourself. Each of these options has its pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what is most important to you and go from there.
- Cost – You can easily get a prefab tub and shower kit for less than $1,000.
- Time – It can take a professional a few hours to install a prefabricated kit.
- Mess – You don’t have to worry about a huge mess in your bathroom for a long period of time.
- Easy to Clean – There are no grout lines. All you have to do is wipe to clean.
- Watertight – These kits are chips and crack resistant as well as watertight to prevent leaks.
- Weight – Prefab kits weigh a lot less than a custom combo.
- Limited Choice – You’re limited on size and style choices because they are premade.
- Updated Fixtures – If you want some fancy fixtures like a ceiling shower head, you’ll have to pay extra for a plumber to install it for you.
- Repairs – Repairing a prefabricated kit is difficult and can be costly.
- Unlimited Choices – You’re only limited by your own imagination on size, color, and fixtures since you’re putting it all in yourself.
- High End Feel – A custom-built shower and tub will always feel more upscale, especially if you add shelves for your soaps or other unique features.
- Home Value – Tile bathtubs and showers will always get you your money back if you’re hoping to sell your home.
- Repairs – It’s much easier to replace individual ceramic tiles and fixtures in a custom combo.
- Cost – Installing a custom bathtub and shower will cost you a pretty penny. Material and labor costs add up fast, especially if you have to hire a bathroom remodeler to do the work for you.
- Time – Custom builds definitely take much longer to install than prefab kits.
- Mess – You’re looking at a good amount of time with your bathroom looking like a complete mess before it’s finished.
- High Maintenace – You really have to get in those grout lines and make sure all that tile is clean.
- Leaks – It’s entirely possible for your shower and tub to leak because they’re not guaranteed to be waterproof, especially if they’re installed wrong.
- Weight – Your shower and tub are going to be heavy, so make sure your floor can support them properly.
Bathtub Shower Combination Inspiration
Still not convinced? No worries! You just need to see how beautiful a well-designed tub and shower combo can look! Take these ideas as inspiration to craft your own gorgeous combo in your home.
1. Modern Accents
Think of your shower as an accent wall and cover it in gorgeous herringbone tile for a contemporary look. You can even take it a step further with a different kind of tile behind the showerhead to bring in a pop of color that matches the rest of your bathroom.
Funky-colored fixtures only add to the fun of this one.
2. Cozy Marble
Marbled walls were made for bathrooms but have you ever considered taking neutral in the opposite direction? Dark marbled walls enclose this space to make it feel small and cozy. You can have the most luxurious baths in a room like this after hard days at the office.
3. All White
Make your tub and shower blend seamlessly into the rest of the bathroom by extending plain white tile all the way around the room. White opens up a small bathroom so it doesn’t feel so confining even when you’re standing in a tub. This kind of simplicity appeals to a lot of people.
4. Freestanding Tub
If you have the square footage available, a freestanding tub is a great way to inject some 1920s nostalgia into the modern world. If you’re feeling a little extra, you could always go with a clawfoot tub straight out of the victorian age to give your bathtub shower combo an incredibly unique touch.
5. High-End Fixtures
One quick way to take your shower and tub to the next level is with high-end installations. Gold and rose gold give that look of luxury you want out of your bathtub when you want to relax. The more modern and sleek, the better!
6. Bright Tile
Replace the existing tile with something more fun and colorful that suits your personal style more. A brand new tile can take a boring combo and make it vibrant and something you enjoy seeing every time you walk into your bathroom.
7. Ditch the Shower Curtain
Give your combo the feel of an upscale shower enclosure by taking down the shower curtain and installing glass doors. You can have them swing open, slide like barn doors, or put in glass to completely enclose your shower and tub.
8. A New Enclosure
Sometimes the outside of the bathtub is the worst part of a combo like this. By adding tile or wood to the outside of a plain white bathtub, you can take it up a level on the design scale. Matching it to the rest of your bathroom keeps it from standing out so much as a combo shower and tub.