How to Compare Tub Shower Combo Kits
It’s probably been a while since you enjoyed taking a shower or relaxing bath in your bathroom. That can happen for several reasons. For most homeowners, it’s impossible to relax in a stained or cracked tub shower combo.
However, replacing it might be more challenging than you first thought. There are different steps to replacing a shower tub combo. The most important step is choosing the right one for your needs.
To make the most informed decision, you must compare different options. This is where things get tricky. Luckily, we’ve put together this guide to guide you through the process!
Comparing Tub Shower Combo Kits
There are different steps to replacing or upgrading your shower tub combo, from measuring and contacting a professional installer to finding the right bathroom design.
However, budgeting is the foundation of the process. Proper budgeting is only possible by knowing the available options and what they offer.
Here’s what you need to know when comparing shower and bathtub wall panels:
Compare Size & Space
Most shower tub combos have a standard size of 60 inches long and 36 inches. However, you can find smaller models of 60 inches by 30 inches or bigger options of 72 inches by 36 inches. The ideal one for your bathroom will depend on the available space you have to work with.
So the first thing you need to do is measure your shower tub combo space. With the right measurements, you will be able to contact a manufacturer or distributor. Then you can get a proper fit for your bathroom.
Although you can measure the space yourself, we recommend seeking professional help, as the wrong measurements can be costly.
Consider the Right Materials
Once you have the right measurements, you can start comparing shower-tub combos based on your other needs. For instance, the right material for your shower tub combo will remain durable without sacrificing style and comfort.
These are the most common shower tub combo materials:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is the most common material for bathtub and shower combos because it’s affordable. However, fiberglass shower tub combos lack the durability and aesthetics that other materials offer.
- Acrylic: Acrylic is a perfect choice because it combines affordability and durability. It won’t crack or stain as easily as fiberglass, and it can provide an attractive look and feel for your bathroom.
- Porcelain: Porcelain is the top choice for tub shower combo materials. It has superior durability, withstanding chemicals, scratches, moisture, and pollutants. Additionally, it creates a more welcoming and relaxing atmosphere, thanks to its elegant look and feel.
The material you choose will affect not only the durability of your shower tub combo but its appearance and maintenance. Porcelain combos might be the most durable choice. However, they require more care.
Similarly, fiberglass and acrylic might be durable and affordable, but they won’t offer the same look and feel as porcelain models. So the best thing you can do is compare every materials’ benefits and adapt your budget accordingly.
Think About Style
Choosing the right tub shower combo is essential if you have a defined style in your bathroom. Modern shower tub combos should be paired with modern and contemporary bathroom decor. Of course, the same can also be said for classic and rustic designs.
It’s important to compare the options so that you can choose the combo that best suits your bathroom’s overall style. However, when selecting a design for your tub-shower combo, your preferences should triumph over design rules.
You can also opt for a model with a tub door, partial door, or no door at all. We recommend full doors because they help protect your bathroom floors while creating a feeling of elegance and luxury. However, a shower curtain does the job just fine and can be a more affordable solution.
Functionality over Looks
The functionality of your shower tub combo is important. The more versatile the combo is, the more enjoyable your experience will be. Some combos and shower kits even offer added features.
Here are the most common features you can add to your shower tub combo:
- Built-In Shelves: Among the most common shower and tub combo features are built-in shelves. They allow you to store all necessary toiletries close to your shower. Kits and combos don’t usually include high-quality shelves, but you can find models with this feature.
- Handheld Showerheads: For a more accessible shower tub combo, a handheld showerhead is a must. It makes the showering process easier for caregivers and users with limited mobility.
- Massage Jets: Although massage jets are more common in jacuzzis, some shower tub combos offer this incredible feature. These targeted jets allow your body to relax even further when taking a bath.
Extra features can be excellent additions to your tub-shower combo. However, you need to consider that they might include different benefits and drawbacks. For instance, massage jets for your tub can be relaxing and enjoyable, but they require a lot of maintenance.
Handheld showers are a useful addition, but they can diminish the overall look and feel of your tub and shower combo. On the other hand, built-in shower shelves can add much-needed functionality. However, they might make your bath-shower combo feel cramped.
Compare the Price
The best bathtub shower combo is the one that adapts to your budget and not the other way around. Spending more money will usually give you better results, especially when remodeling your home. However, you can still get a high-quality shower tub system at a fair price.
For a quick fix and flip, fiberglass without extra features should keep your bathroom looking good for a couple of years. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy your baths and showers for a long time, we recommend increasing your budget or saving until you have enough money for a big remodel project.
Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing a Shower Tub Combo
Now that you are upgrading your shower tub combo, avoiding mistakes that might cost you in the long run is important. Whether picking the right material, design, or size, comparing available shower options is as important a step as any.
These are the mistakes you need to avoid when choosing a bathtub shower combo:
- Avoid flimsy materials that feel like they are going to crack as soon as you step onto them. This may mean spending more than budgeted, but it will be worth it.
- Avoid shower wall panels and tile surrounds that won’t cover your shower head. They allow mold to grow under the surface of your bathroom walls.
- Out-of-date and shaky brass tub doors should be avoided at all costs. They trap mildew and dirt underneath, making the surface hard to clean properly.
- Jacuzzi jets might sound like a nice idea, but we recommend against them. You might be surprised how little you will use them and how difficult they are to maintain.
- Avoid tub decks that are too high or too low. One that is too high is difficult for small kids to use. Meanwhile, one that is too low will make it impossible to enjoy a relaxing soaking bath.
- We recommend avoiding shower tiles with grout that can accumulate mold. Grout-free tiles are a much more effective and visually appealing option. Plus, they won’t add too much extra cost to your budget.
- A warranty is an important part of a high-quality shower tub combo. Avoid models with no warranties or with limited warranties.
Our overall recommendation is to not go too cheap when it comes to the materials and designs. Cheap plastic materials won’t last. Plus, more than anything, they won’t help you reclaim your bathroom space as an area to relax.
Who Will Be Using the Tub Shower Combo?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when upgrading or replacing an old shower tub system is not considering the target user. For instance, families with small children and pets need a bigger and wider combo.
On the other hand, households with members that suffer from limited mobility issues require more accessible combos. It won’t matter if your shower tub complements your bathroom’s decor if your loved ones cannot shower or bathe safely. ADA-compliant tub shower systems can fix that problem for you.
ADA-compliant combos are designed to increase safety in the bathroom. They help caregivers by making their jobs easier and safer while allowing seniors to regain independence. These combos usually include safety features such as shower benches and grab bars.
Find the Perfect Tub Shower Combo Kit for Your Bathroom Remodeling!
Are you looking for the best 2-wall shower enclosures for your bathroom remodel? Look no further than American Bath Enterprises. We have the best enclosures and shower systems for every need, including high-quality ADA-compliant models.
Contact us today at (888) 228-4925 for more information about our incredible bathroom products and renovation services!