5 Shower Bathtub Ideas That Make This Small Space Combo Feel So Much More Luxurious

Combining a shower and bathtub is a great idea for a small bathroom to help your space do double duty — and it can look incredibly stylish, too

(Image credit: Tim Veresnovsky)

Whether you have a small bathroom or a large one, a shower-bathtub combo can fit into any size of space and give you the best of both worlds. Plus, this style allows for serious flexibility in fixtures and materials, allowing you to design the bathroom of your dreams. Largely, these combos are cost- and space-efficient.

If a walk in shower isn't on the cards for your space, then these shower bathtub ideas are worth considering. Here are 6 designs that feel design-forward and elevate these combination styles to greater heights.

1. Go for a fully tiled shower bath

a fully tiled bathroom

(Image credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker. Design: Maestri Studio)

Give your small bathroom shower a big boost in personality with a built-in bathtub and a tiled design. Black and white tiles especially give the space character without making it feel too busy. Plus black bathroom accessories look especially nice against these tiles.

'Fully tiling the bathroom floors and tubs has multiple benefits — enhanced waterproofing, increased durability, and easy cleaning,' says Lauren Lerner, CEO and founder of Living with Lolo. 'Also, low-maintenance features like low-porosity tiles and epoxy grout add more value to the bath.'

2. Or a half-tiled shower bath for a spa feel

A bathroom with zellige tiles

(Image credit: Gavin Cater. Design: Bungalowe)

Give the shower bathtub a special touch with Zellige bathroom tiles that have an inherent calming, relaxing, spa-like appeal. Waterproof ceiling lights on a dimmer can help set a great mood in this space.

'Completely awestruck by a trip to Grana B&B in Oaxaca there wasn’t a shadow of doubt it would serve as our main source of inspiration when designing our next Spanish style home,' say Karan and Sapna Aggarwal of Bungalowe.

The shower niches enhanced with Mexican-style tiles also add to the decorative effect in the space.

3. Experiment with unique materials for a design touch

A built-in bathtub and shower

(Image credit: Tim Veresnovsky)

A shower with a built in bathtub can sometimes feel a little less than luxurious — a case of squeezing two things into one space. However, by upgrading the materials, these bathrooms can still feel expensive and elevated. This scheme is the perfect example.

'The walls are lined with stainless steel and marble trim,' says interior designer Tim Veresnovsky. 'I wanted to create a bright contrast from the materials, so I added a pedestal in a veneer made of poplar root. Thus, I combined cold and very warm textures.'

4. Choose a more classic style

A bathroom with a classic bathtub and brass showe

Retro blends with contemporary

(Image credit: Rett Peek. Design: Meet West Studio)

Classic bathroom designs can also make a shower and bathtub combo feel more luxurious, as this design by Whitney Romanoff of Meet West Studio goes to prove. However, you don't necessarily have to rely on a built-in tub every time you want a shower over the bath.

Clawfoot tubs have been a big bathroom trend for years but this design staple is now seeing new uses. One being a wonderful combo with a shower. We love this classic conversion. 'A combination of a shower and freestanding bathtub is an incredibly effective feature in bathrooms, offering the best of both worlds,' says Marie Flanigan, founder of Marie Flanigan Interiors. 'It provides the versatility of a quick, efficient shower while also allowing for the luxury of a relaxing soak in the tub. This dual functionality maximizes the use of space, making it perfect for both busy mornings and leisurely evenings.'

5. Choose a minimalist design

a tadelakt bathroom with a built in bath

(Image credit: Huxley Architects)

To make your tub-shower combo feel a little more seamless and one with nature, choose a tactile, earthy finish. In this project, the Tadelakt lime render across the walls and bathtub creates an eco bathroom feel.

The finish also gives the room a stunning tonal and textural look, along with depth and warmth. Antique and chrome hardware especially looks dainty and beautiful in such a bathroom.

6. Place the shower next to your bathtub

A bathroom with a bathtub and shower

(Image credit: Barbara Kraft. Design: STUDIO PCH and Nobu Hotel Los Cabos)

And finally, if you want to expand the utility and style of the wet room, consider moving the shower a little away from the bathtub. This will allow you to use both the elements separately, and also together, as the shower handle can be pulled into the bathtub space. Plus, add a shower door so the entire space is separated and easily used.

'The bathroom features a spacious open shower and traditional Onsen teak soaking tubs for a truly spa-like experience,' says Severine Tatangelo, founder of Studio PCH. 'As for the wall behind it, our team adorned it with dark grey pebbles for a stylish and serene ambiance.'

Is a shower over a bath a good idea?

Yes! Shower bathtubs are all-in-one designs, especially useful for compact bathrooms. These really do save on space and keep the 'wet' part of the room segregated into one area. This combo allows you to enjoy the convenience that both a tub and shower offer. Plus you can customize it the way you like.

What size of bathtub can you have in a shower?

If you're adding a bathtub to a shower area, the ideal tub dimensions would be 60"Lx 30"Wx 74"H. You'll notice the tub itself is about the size of a standard alcove tub for a standalone bath, but the height accounts for the floor-to-ceiling wall of the unit. In tiny bathrooms, it would be prudent to go in for a 60"Lx 30"Wx 14"D size. And finally, for a drop-in tub, a standard dimension would be 45"Lx 30"Wx 20"D.

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.