The bath tub has been a part of our everyday life for as long as records go back. Romans made bathing popular as early as mid-2nd millennium BC and they still form the basis of a good bathroom in modern day life too.
But recent thoughts are that the humble bath is not as popular as it once was and that many people now value the shower over the bath. Do you?
Of course much of this is down to modern life and costs (as are many things that change) but we wanted to look into this more.
Are we really moving away from the bath? Are they going to be extinct in future?
Back in 2010 a study found that 1 in 6 people couldn’t remember the last time they took a bath and as we constantly work on ways to do things more quickly and more efficiently the bath is getting some bad press.
Let’s look at the obvious ones…
It’s true that showers cost less to run than a standard bath. If you were to take a shower everyday and keep it under 5-10 minutes then, yes, it would be cheaper to run. Showers use less water and therefore less hot water and that will save you money over the year.
But if you have long showers (more than 10 minutes) you could actually be using more water than a standard sized bath. A standard bath uses 80 litres of water but you can use more than that with a power shower in 15 minutes.
In our 21st century life we’re always looking to be more eco-friendly and the bath has come under attack as being less efficient than a shower.
Yes, a bath every day when a short shower would do is less efficient. But if you only have a bath once or twice a week instead of that long shower then there isn’t really any difference!
Long showers use as much water as an average bath and some power showers (which represent 20% of the market) actually use more energy!
Ah… yes that old chestnut. It’s true that in our modern life we are all time poor. The time taken to fill a bath would be better spent showering. You can’t argue that takes almost that time to shower to simply fill the bath. But it’s not like you can’t do something while you’re waiting.
Showers are quicker and therefore popular with the busy lives that we lead. Baths of course can combat stress and make us feel better after that busy life… if we ever stopped to give ourselves that break.
Showers are easier for disabled people
Baths have long been tricky for the less able bodied. Elderly or disabled people struggle to get in and out of slippery baths and they can be a very dangerous place for an elderly relative.
A shower with a grab rail is often the best choice and there’s no accident that most hospital rooms in rehabilitation units have showers and not baths.
You can get a bath fitted with a door that gives you the option to walk in and close the door. But Disability-friendly bathrooms, this does have its downsides.
You can also get shower trays with a proper anti-slip base rather than a few bobbles or moulding that used to be classed as anti-slip.
Baths are not as hygienic?
It is thought that baths are not as hygienic as showers. Yes you are lying in your own (potentially dirty) water in a bath and in a shower it’s all washed straight down the plug hole.
But, you might just be doing bathing all wrong. Bathing is great for opening your pores, loosening dead skin and really soaking the dirt away. Here are some useful tips of ‘proper bathing’.
Baths are preferable for young families
The fact remains that a bath is a good thing to have if you’re selling your home near a school. Why? Because young families still put the bath tub high on their list of must-haves for their first home.
Babies have always been traditionally bathed before bed and the science is true – it really can relax your baby, and you for that matter.
Because of this there is still a big reason for the bath to remain in our homes and hearts.
Baths are still a must for modern home design
We’ve not seen many new homes without a bath. It would be a pretty brave move to exclude the bath. Although the use of the bath is decreasing we think you’ll agree that a new build without a bath would be commercial suicide.
Baths are good for aching muscles
Baths are far better for your aching muscles than a shower. If you’ve ever run a long distance or sustained a sports injury then you’ll testify to the amazing relief a long bath can bring to your muscles.
We’ve blogged before about using baths and jacuzzis for relaxation and the benefits for your skin, blood flow and stress. Too good to give up? We’ll leave you to decide.
So what do you think? Are we about to say goodbye to the bath just because the shower is quicker and more eco-friendly in some cases?
Let us know in the comments.
At Alan Heath and Sons we create bespoke bathrooms for all types of homes and although many small bathrooms would be better designed without a bath it’s hard to see how we’ll ever really leave the bath behind.