What to Know Before Upgrading to a New Shower Bath?

Bathrooms usually are the smallest room in the house but are notoriously difficult to get right especially when space is at a premium. I like to take showers more but wanted to keep the bathtub for occasional soaks and relaxing time but the space simply wasn’t big enough to accommodate both.

After exploring various options, I stumbled upon an ingenious solution, the shower bath. This simple combination of shower and bathtub offers the best of both bathing worlds.

Now, after this successful (and surprisingly smooth) upgrade, I’m eager to share my experience and guide others who, like me, are facing the same space vs. functionality dilemma in their bathrooms. So, if you are looking for something similar, keep reading!

What is a Shower Bath?

What is a Shower Bath?

A shower bath simply is a two-in-one bathtub that can possibly be used for both shower and bath depending on your needs. They may be straight, L shape, and P-shaped providing some space on the other end that can be used for showering. You usually need to install shower screens with a shower bath to complete the look.

Do I Need a Shower Bath?

Do I Need a Shower Bath?

It is important to know why a shower bath might be the right option for your lifestyle. Here are a few things that will help you know whether a bath is for you.

  • Space: Smaller bathrooms benefit greatly from the space-saving qualities of a shower bath. Upgrading to a shower bath eliminates the need for a separate shower area allowing you to enjoy both without requiring more space.
  • Functionality: Do you crave a luxurious soak or a quick, invigorating shower? If you primarily shower, a shower bath with ample showering space is ideal. If you enjoy occasional baths, consider a deeper p or L-shaped shower bath or keep a separate tub if space allows.
  • Family Needs: If you have young children or elderly family members who require bathing, a shower bath is the best choice provided you do not have space available to accommodate a separate shower area.

Factors To Consider

Once you know shower baths are a way to go, it is time to get down to practical planning. Here are the things you should consider.

  • Measurement: Bathtubs come in various sizes ranging from 1400mm to 1800mm in length. So, unless you know what size can fit into the available space in your bathroom, it is not possible to buy the right one. So, first measure the space where you would want to fit a bathtub. If it’s just a replacement, then simply order the one with the same dimensions you already have. You must not only account for a shower bath itself but also the space needed for other fixtures and move around freely.
  • Budget: The cost of shower bath installation may vary significantly depending on style, feature, and material. While acrylic is considered the most economical and reasonably durable choice, other high-end options are also available. You should set a realistic budget and factor in potential additional costs like plumbing adjustment and tile replacement. Most acrylic baths for £300 or more. Bath filler/ taps will require an additional 100£. And don’t forget to consider the cost of bath side panels. The plumber will charge around £250. So, you should roughly aim for a minimum of £600 for the shower bath upgrade.
  • Shower Bath Material: The material of the shower bath is an important matter to consider as it impacts its price and ability to keep water warm for longer. While some materials like acrylic are more common, there are other materials like iron cast and stone etc that are expensive and heavy but more aesthetically pleasing and durable.
MaterialHeat RetentionDurabilityWeightCost
FiberglassFairLowVery LightInexpensive
Cast IronExcellentVery HighVery HeavyExpensive
Porcelain-Enameled SteelPoor to FairModerateHeavyModerate
Stone ResinVery GoodHighHeavyExpensive
Cultured MarbleGoodModerateHeavyModerate to Expensive

Bathtub Shape

P Shape Shower Bathtubs
Source: Pinterest.com

The style or shape of the bathtub is also an important consideration. These are often available in three types: P, l-shaped, and straight shower baths. The P and L-shaped bathtubs have one end slightly wider that offer extra room for a shower.

  • P Shape Shower Bathtubs:  P-shaped shower bathtubs, as the name suggests, have one end of the bath slightly arched. The curved side is used for the shower while the other is for the baths. Despite their arch-shaped curved design, they require the same space as a standard bathtub. That makes the p-shaped bath a perfect option for small bathrooms. A curved side screen is usually installed on the shower side to complete the look and prevent water splash out. Click here to choose from a variety of these baths for sale available at Royal Bathrooms.
  • L Shape Shower Bathtubs: L shape shower bathtubs are edgy shaped, depicting a dense and sleeker look to the bathroom. These are meant for compact and small spaces. These are generally fitted with a glass side screen panel, partly enclosing the shower space.
  • Straight Shower Baths: Straight shower baths look similar to ordinary bathsbut have an interior design that suits their usage as a shower bathtub. They usually come with a shower screen that prevents water splashing out. Although you can use them in any bathroom setting as a standard bath, these are an ideal choice if you want to combine shower and bath due to lack of space or personal preference.

Final Thoughts

Upgrading to a shower bath can transform the functionality and aesthetics of your bathroom. However, it is important you plan it carefully while considering your needs, space constraints, and aesthetics. It is something you would want to do once and do it well. So, go forth, conduct your research, and choose the shower bathtub that is a perfect fit for your bathroom and experience the perfect shower or bath even in a small bathroom.


Terrill Welch
Terrill Welch
Meet Terrill Welch, your home transformation expert, offering sage advice on creating blissful backyards, serene bedrooms, and securing your sanctuary with expertise in home improvement and security.

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