About a bath
I've been going back and forth in my head as to whether I want a bathtub or just a shower. Here is where I stand:
- I rarely take baths
- Showers [should] use less water, which will matter if I go off grid
- Smaller footprint matches a small house
- Less plumbing --not much, but it adds up: labor, time, materials
Most tiny houses only have showers for pretty much the reasons I've listed. The more I think about it though, the less compelling these reasons seem. To start, I do take baths. Not often, maybe a couple times a year. Usually when I feel bad. Like say I spent all one day shoveling dirt, then the next day my body reminded me I was 40 years old. When I feel bad enough to take a bath, a good soak works in ways a shower doesn't.
I'm also not so sure that using less water is a real reason. Yes, a quick shower (with a low-flow shower head) should use less water than filling a bathtub. But since I would almost always be showering in the tub anyway, I would use the same amount of water.
As to the difference in footprint, it depends on the tub. A 32" x 32" shower base is pretty small but useable. I can get a 54" x 30" steel tub for under $200. It comes to about 4 square feet difference. (Only 2 sq ft if we compare to a 36 x 36 shower.) Four square feet can be a lot, but you can get some of it back by using the area above the foot of the tub, like so:
Adding a tub is still more work and expense... but not much.
- My daughter does take baths
- Tubs can be used for other things
My daughter is 8. She doesn't like showers. She needs a tub.
Bathtubs are also good for stuff other than bathing. I've hand-washed clothes in a bathtub that I couldn't have washed in a sink. I remember when I was a kid, a few years my dad raised a bunch of chickens for meat. Each year when it came time to slaughter them, the final soak and rinse before they went in the freezer... took place in the bathtub. You can't do that in the shower.