How to Choose the Best Bathtub
The right bathtub can be the beautiful centerpiece of a new bathroom.
It used to be that baths and showers were linked as one unit, but increasingly, homeowners are preferring their bath areas be separate and more elaborate. Trends are changing, and the bathtub is becoming more and more a place of peaceful relaxation in the modern American home.
Picking the best bathtub, then, requires a lot of thought and consideration. Buying a tub is no longer a simple purchase, and because it can be expensive and permanent, it’s important that proper research is done before selection and installation.
If you or your client are trying to select a proper bathtub, it can be helpful to go over what is out there and what to consider. Below, we’ll do just that. Read on for our tips on how to choose the best bathtub for you.
Types of Bathtubs
Modern bathtubs come in many different shapes and sizes. What one best fits the bathroom you are designing depends on your own personal preferences.
Standard sized bathtubs are typically 60 inches long by 30 inches wide and 60 inches long by 32 inches wide. A typical rectangular-shaped bathtub, however, will have a smaller bathing well, measuring 55 inches by 24 inches at the top and narrowing to 45 inches by 22 inches as it nears the bottom. They are normally built into the bathroom, connecting to one or more of the walls.
A freestanding tub, on the other hand, is not surrounded by cabinetry or built into anything. The tub may stand on feet, or be skirted or encased with custom-built panels and deck. Designed to be self-supporting, this type of tub can serve as an elegant focal point for any bathroom.
One of the oldest styles of freestanding tubs is the claw foot tub, which originated and found popularity in the 1800s. The claw foot tub is still popular today, adding a traditional and even classical look to a bathroom. The tub body is elevated on sculpted “feet,” which lift the tub from the ground.
They are typically generous in size and made of cast iron. This style is usually pricey due to the porcelain enamel applied to both the exterior and interior of the tub.
Another popular type of freestanding tub is the soaking tub. Freestanding soaking tubs have been making a comeback as a stylish statement in the bathroom.
These tubs are significantly deeper than a regular American-style tub. They are about 27 inches deep, meaning when you sit upright the water still comes up to your chin. They provide a true deep soak, as the name suggests.
Soaking tubs are manufactured in many different styles, from the classic cast iron to ultramodern acrylic pieces. Soaking tubs can weigh a lot. They range 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, and heating the water can sometimes be an issue.
You’ve likely heard of this very popular bathtub type. The whirlpool tub, much like a hot tub, comes with a number of therapeutic and relaxing options in the form of jets that are installed in the walls behind the tub.
They come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes and can include tubs that fit in the standard shape and size if need be. Typically whirlpool pools feature either massaging jet hydromassages or soothing air bubble systems, and sometimes both.
Some manufacturers such as American Standard or Jacuzzi even include heaters with their tub that warm the air before you enter it.
If you or your client are in the market for a whirlpool tub, you’ll want to choose one that features a quiet yet powerful pump motor to avoid noisy distraction. You should also pick one that is UL listed and approved. It should have a removable front apron for easy access to its machinery, just in case anything goes wrong.
The walk-in tub is the preferred tub for senior citizens or anyone with mobility issues. A standard bathtub can be hard to get in these individuals, and these tubs offer a sealable door for easy and stress-free access.
A walk-in tub also includes a comfortable built-in seat and a grab bar for added security.
Some walk-in tubs also feature jacuzzi style jet systems for therapeutic purposes. The walk-in tub from American Standard also features a special Quick Drain feature. Quick Drain incorporates a powerful pump that removes bath water in less than two minutes.
What’s The Right Tub For You?
In selecting the right type of tub for you or your client’s bathroom, there are a number of factors to consider.
The amount of space you have in your bathroom will dictate what kind of tub you can get, and how big it can be. Freestanding tubs require plenty of room around the tub, so measuring out your bathroom is an important task to do before considering such a tub.
Calculating the weight of your new bathtub can be vital. You will need to know this weight and ensure that your current bathroom floor can support this addition without needing structural support.
From a plumbing perspective, knowing drain and pipe placement is particularly important when picking the best tub. Moving a drain is an expensive process and is usually difficult, so it’s smart to find a tub with matching drain placement.
And don’t forget to think about the future! Bathtubs are a long-term purchase and investment. It can be worth taking future safety and accessibility concerns into consideration, even if they are not applicable today. Your future self may thank you.
The Best Bathtub For Your Bathroom
There are many types of bathtubs available to the modern consumer, all with their own benefits and visual eccentricities. Finding the best bathtub for you requires research and serious consideration. With the above guide, you should be well on your way.
Check out our blog for more bathroom design tips, tricks, and advice.