Walk-In Bathtub vs Walk-In Shower: What Is The Difference and Which One Is Better?

Wil Thomas
Wil Thomas
Editor at Seniors Bulletin

One of the biggest investments in your home is your bathroom. It is one of the most used rooms in the house. The design of the bathroom plays a large role in how much relaxation you feel while enjoying its amenities. Yet, many do not have a bathroom that is suited for their daily routines. Especially as we age, our needs in a bathroom change and so should the design.

After determining you are ready to make your bathroom work for you, the question often becomes whether a walk-in bathtub or a walk-in shower is more suitable. Let’s examine the benefits of each.

Both walk-in bathtubs and showers come in many shapes and sizes. Each offers unique features and advantages over traditional bathtub designs. The difference between the two tends to be based on preference and needs. Some people’s mobility are more challenged, while other people’s preference for space is the biggest factor.


  • Bathrooms are crucial for relaxation, and as needs change, so should their design.
  • Consider comfort, space, and budget when choosing between these options.
  • Assess needs, costs, and space before investing in a walk-in bathtub or shower.

Why You Should Consider A Walk-In Shower

  • Low threshold to step-in to shower
  • Many designs to select from
  • Many showerheads options
  • Add-on features available for storage and safety

Why You Should Consider Adding a Walk-In tub

  • Low threshold to step-in to bathtub
  • Variety of modifications for safety
  • Hydrotherapy and Comfort Features
  • Built-in seat to bath in seated position (added safety for aging)
  • Additional features available for storage


Your decision whether to purchase a new bathtub or shower depends largely upon what your preferences are and how you expect to use the space. If you plan to share the bathroom with someone else, like your significant other, consider how comfortable he or she would feel sitting down while bathing.

Bathtubs and showers come in different sizes and shapes so they can fit most bathroom designs. The size of the room is also important; larger rooms are needed to accommodate larger walk-in tubs. Walk-in showers can be handy if there is significant limited space. However, there is also a comfort element to the size of the tub or shower. Sometimes a larger space can help people feel more comfortable.

Also for those looking for a more traditional stand up bathing experience may be more comfortable with a walk-in shower because it offers a more conventional bathtub style. Walk-in baths are also great for relaxing after a long day but not everyone likes bathing in water. Either option works well, but based on preference.


Safety and health benefits are very important considerations; however, practical issues like costs should also be taken into account. For example, what is your budget for the walk-in bathtub or shower? How much do you plan to pay for installing it? Some people opt for self-installation as they have the skills and know-how to install it themselves. Are there additional features and functions you want added? Typically the cost of a walk-in bathtub or walk-in shower is based on how large and how many features it includes. They can also vary by the brand and installation fees. It is important to shop around and get quotes before you proceed.

Space Considerations

The size of your bathroom can help make the decision. If you plan to shower regularly, then consider installing a walk-in shower instead; this option could take up less room than a full-sized tub.

However if standing safety is a major concern, and you prefer sitting and baths, then walk-in bathtubs are most likely your choice.

Some companies offer the benefit of both, with a Walk-in Tub and Shower combination.

Does A Walk-In Bath Or Shower Increase Your Home’s Resale Value?

Homeowners often invest money in remodeling projects because they believe this investment increases property value. Adding a bathroom will definitely help maximize return on investment. If you currently own your home, and you’re looking to sell, walk-in tubs may not be ideal as this is a specialized product. However, if you intend to live independently and age in place, then you may wish to think about replacing your current bathtub with a walk-in bathtub or walk-in shower instead. This is especially important when considering renovations for safety reasons.

When To Buy A Walk-In Bathtub Or Walk-In Shower?

It is important to review all the information you have on what your needs are. Measure those needs with the costs by getting several quotes from many different vendors. Read the reviews and also make sure you feel comfortable with the company before moving forward. Generally walk-in tubs or showers are large investments, and require time and effort to make a thoughtful decision.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the providers being reviewed. The providers and SeniorsBulletin assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied.

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