Scrub-a-Dub-Dub: How to Find the Best Bathtub For Your Home

Today’s tubs offer an immense range of styles, features, sizes, and materials. With so many options, it’s great to have some direction on where to begin and what to choose. Below are some great ideas, and information on tubs so that you can make the right decision for you. Homeowners today want their bathroom to be like a spa; a place where they can unwind. Once purchased based on function, they are now chosen on luxury. The primary goal is no longer to only cleanse your body. They are now separate from the shower (whereas they used to be made with the shower over the tub). Tubs can be expensive, and there’s no returning them. Therefore, choosing one is an important decision.

When deciding, ask yourself what you prefer. Do you like a vigorous massage, or a long, lingering bath? Find out what uses you want or need for the tub. Perhaps you just like to soak, and don’t want jets pushing water on you, in which case, you can buy the same tub without the jets. Be sure to evaluate your lifestyle when selecting a tub. So, what materials can tubs be made of? Here are some of the materials that tubs come in:

Fiberglass: A lightweight, moldable material. This is the least expensive one that you can buy; however, it is notorious for scratching, and not wearing well overall; will last about 12 years. If you put an acrylic finish over it, it can last a little longer.

Porcelain-Enameled Steel: A steel-based material covered in porcelain enamel; it is also cost effective, but more durable and smooth than fiberglass. The finish allows the tub to be cleaned much easier than fiberglass.

Enamel-Coated Cast Iron: A classic material will last forever; it is very heavy, and not recommended for large soaking tubs. Because it is so heavy, it is recommended to only be used on the first level of a home

Acrylic: A type of plastic with a high-gloss finish and excellent durability. It isn’t quite expensive, but it isn’t cheap either. It is more durable than fiberglass, and inevitable scratches are much less noticeable to the naked eye. It is very easy to mold into shapes which is why it is usually used for whirlpools that have more detail. It is also lightweight.

There are also many different types of bathtubs to choose from. Below are the different options that you can select when it comes to a bathtub:

Standard bathtubs are general bathtub dimensions for both cast iron and fiberglass tubs. When you’re shopping, be sure to choose a tub with a drain in the correct location, which will be left or right depending on your tub and shower placement.

Claw-Footed Tubs have been popular since the 1800s, claw-footed tubs are very traditional. They are often generously scaled and typically made of cast iron. This style is usually expensive in part because of the porcelain enamel applied to the exterior and interior surfaces. 

Freestanding Tubs are not surrounded by cabinetry or built into an alcove. The tub may stand on feet, or be skirted or encased with custom-built panels and a stone, tile, or marble deck. Designed to be self-supporting, this type of tub can serve as a luxurious focal point for any bathroom.

Soaking Tubs are usually deeper and wider than conventional tubs; some units are as long as 6.5 feet and sized to accommodate two adults. Soaking tubs can be found in many different styles, from the classic enameled cast iron Victorian style claw-foot to ultramodern acrylic vessels. Models can weigh between 225 to 2,000 pounds, not including the weight of the water, which can be significant—soaking tubs require 50 to 80 gallons of water at 8.3 pounds per gallon. Heating the water can also be an issue. A hot water booster can be installed to augment an existing water heater or, in some cases, an on-demand heater may be necessary.

Whirlpool Tubs are a very popular choice, and come in many options in the form of multiple jets or single jets that are installed in the walls behind the tub. You can also choose from a wide assortment of sizes, shapes, and colors. Among the more basic types of whirlpool baths is the hydromassage, which uses a pump to recirculate bath water out of several jets strategically located in the tub walls. Another is the air bath that features an air system that encases the tub, engulfing the bather with thousands of gentle bubbles that pour in from small holes in the bottom and sides of the tub. 

Some manufacturers offer luxury systems with a combination of both massaging jets and soothing air bubble systems in one unit, as well as baths equipped with heaters that warm the air before it enters the tub. If you’re in the market for a whirlpool tub, you’ll want to choose one that features a quiet yet powerful pump motor, with a removable front apron for easy access to internal parts and maintenance.

Walk-in Tubs are great for seniors, or anyone with mobility issues, the walk-in tub offers a simple solution that combines safety with revitalizing hydrotherapy. Walk-in bathtubs come in several convenient sizes and can even be installed in a standard bathtub space. The tub includes a comfortable, chair-height, built-in seat and a grab bar for added security.

Comments 2

  • I would never want a walk-in tub. What are those, anyway? Are those the tubs you see on commercials that the senior citizens use?

  • Haha, yes they are. Imagine sitting there for 30 minutes while the bathtub drains before you can even get out. Nooo thank you 🙂

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