Growing up in Wisconsin Saturday nights was bath night. It was the one time during the week I was required to sit in a bathtub and get clean. Saturday was the designated night because my parents did not want some dirty kid stinking up the church on Sunday morning. It didn’t matter for the rest of the week; on Sunday, smelling like a rose did.
I don’t have a lot of memories of sitting in that tub. Perhaps once a week didn’t provide enough tape for the memory banks. I do recall when I reached a certain age, the shower was my preferred choice for a wash station, not the tub. Maybe the allure was the speed a shower provides. I can be clean, dried off, dressed, and out the door playing again when it takes to fill a vessel with water.
As an adult, I can count on one hand, the times I’ve used a bath since childhood. Most action in a tub occurred with my kids or, more recently, bathing my grandchildren.
Has the tub been relegated to the archives and treasured as an iconic symbol of days gone bye? Do the risks outweigh the advantages? It can be challenging for aging baby boomers to climb in and out of a tub. Ditto for young children, not to mention the back strain on the children’s parents.
In the master bath today, many of the large jetted whirlpool tubs popular in the ’80s and ’90s are being replaced with spacious deluxe showers. Many are large enough to accommodate two people with multiple showerheads and body sprays.
Where does the tub stand in this discussion? Interestingly, a third-party market research firm found in a study commissioned by a leading plumbing manufacturer that 38 percent of U.S. residents bath weekly, and half of them are men. So, instead of casting the tub aside with space reserved in a museum, we should rethink the classic bathtub’s role.
Most realtors believe one tub, whether free-standing or a tub/shower combination, belongs somewhere in the home, but not necessarily in the master bath. The bathtub falls into the dining room discussion – is a dining room essential? You may not use it every day, or at all, however, it will increase the value of the home and increase of odds of selling your home for a premium.
So, take the upright plunge and pursue the pleasure of a spacious, well-laid-out shower. For in today’s market, the bathroom shower reigns supreme, and the bigger, the better. The tub, however, still deserves some attention and our love.