Is It Cheaper To Have A Bathtub Or A Shower? Bathtub vs Shower – Which is Cheaper?

Yes, it’s typically cheaper to have a shower as it uses less water compared to a bathtub, making your utility bill lighter. However, deciding between a bathtub and a shower involves multiple factors, from installation costs to long-term maintenance expenses, and it can significantly impact your budget.

Is it Cheaper to Have a Bathtub or a Shower?

Determining the cost-effectiveness between a bathtub and shower is a multi-faceted endeavor. You need to consider aspects like installation, maintenance, water usage, and even the potential return on investment when selling your home.

Initial Costs: Installation and Materials

The primary cost consideration starts with the initial purchase and installation:


  • Purchase: Depending on the type, material, and brand, a bathtub can range from $400 to $8,000.
  • Installation: Labor costs vary based on location and complexity but typically range from $500 to $1,500.


  • Purchase: Showers are generally more diverse, and their cost can range from $450 to $10,000, depending on customization.
  • Installation: Similar to bathtubs, labor costs range from $500 to $2,000.

Long-Term Costs: Maintenance and Water Usage

Aside from installation, consider the long-term costs, primarily maintenance, and water usage:


  • Maintenance: Bathtubs are generally easy to maintain and require less frequent replacement of fixtures, translating to lower maintenance costs over time.
  • Water Usage: On average, a bath uses approximately 36 gallons of water.


  • Maintenance: Showers, especially those with complex showerheads and systems, may require more frequent maintenance. The cost will depend on the complexity of your shower system.
  • Water Usage: A 10-minute shower with a standard showerhead uses about 25 gallons of water.
Water Usage36 gallons25 gallons

Return on Investment

Don’t forget to account for potential return on investment when selling your home. A house with at least one bathtub is often more appealing to buyers with young children, increasing its marketability.

Resale Value: Bathtub or Shower?

Here’s a fun fact for you – Having at least one bathtub in your home is often more appealing to potential homebuyers, especially those with young children. Removing all bathtubs from your home in favor of showers could potentially reduce your home’s resale value.


Is it cheaper to install a bathtub or a shower?

Generally, showers can be more expensive to install due to their diverse range and the complexity of shower systems. However, the total cost depends on the specific models and materials you choose.

Which uses more water: a bathtub or a shower?

A bathtub typically uses more water than a shower. On average, a bath uses around 36 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower uses about 25 gallons.

Are bathtubs or showers more popular with homebuyers?

It depends on the buyers’ needs. Bathtubs are often popular with families with young children or those who enjoy relaxing soaks. Showers appeal to those looking for modern conveniences and water efficiency.

Which is more expensive to maintain: a bathtub or a shower?

Showers, especially those with complex systems, might require more frequent maintenance, which can be more expensive in the long run compared to bathtubs.

What are some hidden costs of having a shower instead of a bathtub?

Hidden costs of a shower can include frequent replacement of showerheads, higher maintenance costs for more complex systems, and potentially higher installation costs due to customization.

Key Takeaways

  • While showers may have a higher upfront cost due to the diverse range and complexity, they typically consume less water, potentially saving on water bills.
  • Bathtubs, though potentially cheaper initially, consume more water but may provide a higher return on investment when selling your home due to their appeal to a broad range of buyers.
  • Ultimately, whether a bathtub or a shower is cheaper for you depends on your personal needs, preferences, and long-term plans.

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