5 Fresh Ways to Shake Up the Look of a Bathtub/Shower Combo

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Ah, the tubber combo. It’s ubiquitous in bathrooms all over the world. And because it’s so common, it can very easily fall into the boring side of washroom architecture. If you have one and you hate it, you don’t have to demo the whole thing and start anew. You can just make some smart, sleek modifications and enjoy a fresh-feeling, semi-renovated spa-like space.

Fresh, Bright Tile

There’s certainly nothing wrong with a classic neutral like white subway tile, but if your main goal is to tone down the “boring” in your bathroom, a punchy tile can definitely get the job done, like here in this bright blue shower from Sequined Asphault Studio Photography.

(Image credit: Four Point Design)

A New Outer Casing

When you’re in a style rut, you just go out and buy a new outfit. Do the same for your bathtub by building a new outer casing. You could even tie it into the rest of the bath, like here in this room from Four Point Design.

(Image credit: Roundabout Studio)

Open it Up

If your shower/tub combo is boxed in, you might want to consider tearing down a wall or two to open up the space and make it more a part of the room, as seen here in this space from Roundabout Studio.

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)
(Image credit: Whit Preston)

Replace the Curtain with Glass

This project gives you a huge bang for your buck. There’s no big demolition; just tear down the curtain rod and replace it with a stationary pane of glass that covers half the width of the tub, as seen here in a home on Dwell. If you’re worried about your bathroom turning into a splash zone, you could a door, too, like in the second photo above from T.A.S. Construction.

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

Box it In

If you want the look of a Japanese-style shower room and can afford to sacrifice a bit of square footage, build a full glass wall a foot or so out from the edge of the tub and lay tile in between. You can leave the shower head where it is and still step into the tub to shower, or move the whole arrangement out a bit to create an adjacent standing shower space, like here in this bathroom on Houzz. In this space, splashing is definitely encouraged.