What is a Bathtub Shower?

Mary McMahon

A bathtub shower is a bathroom fixture which combines a bathtub and a shower in one location, allowing bathers to select whichever they prefer at any given time. Many small bathrooms are installed with a bathtub shower, as there is not room for a bathtub and a shower, and combining the two fixtures into one also saves on plumbing costs. It is possible to purchase modular bathtub showers from home supply stores, and also to build this bathroom fixture from scratch.

A bathtub shower is a combination of a bathtub and shower, commonly featured in small bathrooms.
A bathtub shower is a combination of a bathtub and shower, commonly featured in small bathrooms.

Several concerns must be addressed with a bathtub shower. An ordinary bathtub has sides which are just high enough to contain the water, and taps which are located inside the tub or just above it for the purpose of filling it. Showers, on the other hand, need high walls to contain splash back, along with a curtain or door to permit entry. Showers also require high taps so that water can fall from above onto the bather.

Many small-sized bathrooms have a bathtub shower installed to save space.
Many small-sized bathrooms have a bathtub shower installed to save space.

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There are a number of ways to approach the construction of a bathtub shower. A common solution is to have one set of hot and cold taps with a valve which can be used to divert water to the shower head or the bath tap. It is also possible to see two totally separate taps, or to use a hose attachment which connects to the bath tap and loops around a hook on the wall to create a shower.

In some cases, a traditional bathtub is converted into a bathtub shower, either by being surrounded by a curtain held up on a rack which also supports the shower plumbing, or by being built into an enclosure which can be closed with a door or curtain for showering. Modular bathtub shower enclosures are usually designed to be built into a wall, and they include a tub attached to high sides to make a shower stall.

In older bathrooms which only have a tub, doing a bathtub shower conversion is a cheap solution to the desire to have access to a shower, when contrasted with adding a shower to the bathroom or ripping the tub out to make room for a shower stall. The versatility is also a benefit, as it allows bathers to choose from both options. In a household where people have mixed preferences and only one bathroom, bathtub shower fixtures can eliminate arguments about whether to install a tub or a shower.

Some people with disabilities also find bathtub showers useful, especially if a seating area or folding bench is included, and the shower head is on a flexible hose which can be held in the hand for bathing.

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