Have you ever wondered whether you were saving more water by taking a shower or a bath? When it comes to water usage, there are a lot of factors to consider. How many people will be using the water? How long do you plan on bathing or showering for? And what about those pesky leaks? All of these questions make it tough to deliver a fully concrete answer.
However, on this page we explore the average differences between different bathing methods to get a general sense of how much water your household is using with each type. The three bathing methods we compare are a standard bathtub, a shower, and a walk-in bathtub.
To see what appliances and activities use the most water across U.S. homes, see our page on how we use water in homes.
A standard bathtub uses about 40 gallons of water, but it is dependent on the size of your specific bathtub. It can reach up to 90 gallons for the larger modern standalone tubs.
Showers use less water in general, but the overall water usage of a shower is very much dependent on the amount of time the water is running. The standard shower uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Therefore, a 10 minute shower will use 25 gallons of water, whereas a 20 minute shower will use 50 gallons. Any time spent letting the water warm up before you get in should be accounted for when calculating the overall water usage for your shower.
The standard walk-in tub holds up to 50 gallons. However, if you choose to purchase a larger size walk-in tub, such as a bariatric tub, it can hold significantly more water.
He we break down how much it costs to fill a bathtub vs. take a shower vs. fill a walk-in tub.
With water costs around $0.005 per gallon in the United States, the cost of each bathing method remains pretty low. Below is the full cost breakdown of each type of bathing method.
The $.005 per gallon price multiplied by the 40 gallons it takes to fill the tub comes out to a cost of $.20 per bath.
$.005 x 40 = $.20
As noted above, showers use less water than bathing in a standard tub or a walk-in tub and therefore will cost less. A ten minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water and cost about 13 cents. A longer shower will increase the price.
$.005 x 25 gallons = $.13
The average walk-in tub can hold 50 gallons and when that is multiplied by the $.005 per gallon price tag, the result is $.25. Therefore, the average bath in a walk in tub will cost you 25 cents.
$.005 x 50 gallons – $.25
Again, these numbers can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of your time, the amount of time you spend in the shower, and how high you fill the tub. However, this is the breakdown of water usage based on the average use for each type of bathing method.