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Bathtub or shower? What to choose?



Renovation of the bathroom is without any doubt one of the most complicated and demanding challenges. This is why, before any works are started, it is necessary to consider what your needs are and what effect you want to obtain. It is much easier to fit a bathroom in a newly-built house rather than convert the existing installations. But where is a will there is a way.

One of the most important decisions is a choice between a shower and a bathtub. The main factor determining our possibilities is the area of the room. In bathrooms in flats it is quite common that a bathtub – even the smallest in size – is just too large, and a shower is somewhat a must. On the other end, are those lucky who can afford to install both of these solutions. Let’s however assume that your bathroom can accommodate only one of them. What to choose then?

Needs and habits

It is very often that when choosing either a shower or a bathtub to be installed in the bathroom, your previous habits are decisive. If shower was in use, and you prefer not to spend too much of your time sitting in a bathtub full of water, and rather opt for quick showers, it is highly likely that you stay with it. Lovers of long baths who like to relax in a bathtub, most definitely will not give it up.

A bathtub is a frequent choice made by families with children due to preferences of the little ones to stay in water for a long time. Children see a bathtub as a home playground or a pool, and parents are eager to let them spend a lot of time there to have just a moment for themselves.

On the other hand, a shower is preferred over a bathtub by elderly people. They opt for a shower without a shower tray due to a comfort of use, especially when they have problems with mobility or pain. Flat surface of the floor without a threshold minimises a risk of tripping. Apart from that, a stool can be brought to a shower so they can bath while sitting. With linear drains being level with the floor, a risk of tripping when bathing is very unlikely. All this makes a shower fitted with linear drain safer and more comfortable in use.


A bathtub can serve two functions. It allows taking both a quick shower, and a longer, relaxing bath. On the market, there are more and more furnishing elements that allow bathtubs to play both roles. For example, shower curtains or bathtub screens prevent water from splashing when taking a shower. A perfect example of multi-functionality of bathtubs are increasingly popular shower columns which are fitted with integrated spout enabling quick filling with water.

Which bathtub – built-in or free-standing?

A built-in bathtub, brought close to one, two or three walls, allows for fitting with a screen which will protect the floor from wetting when taking a shower. For such model a suitable solution would be a shower column or other shower set which can be used in two ways. An extra advantage of such concept is that it can be kept clean easier compared to free-standing models which should be washed all over their perimeters. If you choose a version with cut mixer holes or enclosure around the bathtub made of tiles, take a look at the offer of 3-hole mixers.

They certainly look more modern than conventional wall-mounted models, and the shower hose is invisible (concealed under the bathtub), which gives an aesthetic effect. An interesting solution are wall-mounted bath mixers with foldable spout, which additionally serves as a switch. Once the spout is folded, the stream is directed to hand shower. Apart from that, after filling the bathtub with water, you can fold the mixer and lie comfortable without a risk of hitting any protruding parts.

Free-standing bathtub requires more space. It looks best in spacious bathrooms where free access to the bathtub can be ensured from either side. Such models look exceptionally elegant, both these in modern shapes and in retro version. They will be best matched by a high upright bath mixer. Also these models are fitted in standard with a shower set. If the shape of a free-standing bathtub permits, you are free to bring one of its sides closer to a wall. Then you can opt for either a wall-mounted or a flush-mounted mixer.

Shower with or without a shower tray?

In smaller bathrooms showers are much more common. They are chosen mainly due to savings in space. Contrary to what one might expect, a shower gives a wide range of arrangement and use options. It is essential to make a choice between a shower tray and a linear drain. Not always is it a question of aesthetics but often our choice depends on installation possibilities. Especially, in flats on higher storeys above the ground floor the ceiling may be too low to install a drain. Before you buy anything first check if a model for low installation, as Basso will suit your bathroom. A shower without a shower tray not only looks modern but is much more easier to clean. No thresholds and recesses prevent collection of dirt or residues of cosmetics on the floor.

A shower with a shower tray can be installed in almost any bathroom. At present, the offer of shower cabins is very rich and such solution doesn’t differ too much in terms of aesthetics from tiled showers. Shower trays have different shapes and are made of aesthetic and durable materials, mostly of acrylate, enamelled steel, conglomerate, and even granite. Various shapes (including asymmetric and polygonal models) and sizes allow a shower to be located in any place in a bathroom. Also, type of door can be of great importance when it comes to comfort of use of the shower. You can choose from among sliding, tilting, swinging or folding doors. A cabin with a shower tray with raised edges should be considered by parents of small children. By cutting off the water supply, a shower can be used as a baby bathtub. Moreover you can use it to leave a laundry for soaking or to comfortably bath your dog. Currently, walk-in shower cabins are enormously popular. Their main advantage is doubtlessly a modern, minimalistic design which suits interiors in industrial style, in particular.


The most obvious choice of fixtures for shower recesses are models with overhead rain shower. Due to savings in space, very often do you choose sets for concealed installation. They, as well as shower cabins, are to provide an aesthetic and functional arrangement of a bathroom, without taking up valuable space which doesn’t hamper your movements. Shower columns occupy a little bit more space but also look attractively, especially in colour finishings. If you expect something more of a shower, then go for fixtures with additional functionalities. With thermostatic mixers you can save time and water required to set an optimum temperature. Shower sets with hand showers (and also rain showers) with a possibility to switch streams allow for taking a shower with an intensity adjusted to current needs.

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