Choosing the Right Bathtub

From on February 01, 2007 in Bathroom Remodel

A good bathroom can be timeless, so it’s worth the investment to get a high quality, accessorized tub. By knowing your bathtub basics, you will be giving yourself years and years of “Calgon” moments. Bathtubs start around $500 for a basic model or up to $4000 for a top-of-the-line whirlpool tub.

Discuss your tub-type with the contractor as soon as possible because they are usually installed in the first stage of construction.

Whirlpool vs. Standard bathtub

Whirlpool - massage bathtubs generally are slightly larger than standard tubs and contain many little jets that shoot out water. These tubs tend to be a little deeper than a standard tub. Most of the whirlpool/massage type bathtubs state their size and capacity.

With a standard tub there are a few more things to consider, namely, ?how much space do I need?? Measure your bathtub before you install it. Does it fit the largest person in your family? You may have to modify the measurements and compromise a little if your family is very tall, very large, or if the ?perfect bathtub? is out of your budget.

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Bathtub Styles

The following tubs are the most common; if you are looking for exotic or custom designs, your contractor can help.

Alcove tubs sit against the wall on three sides with only the front open. They have limited finishes and style and are fairly shallow because they’re usually combined with a shower. When purchasing an alcove tub, be sure to specify if you want the drain to be on the left or right wall, ask about matching shower doors, and choose your tub surround. Note: If your shower is attached (a big space saver), it’s best to go with a waterproof material such as ceramic tile or waterproof paint. Depending on your preference, you can have a shower door installed or use a shower curtain.

Freestanding tubs, with their roll-tops and cast-iron claw feet, were once the only type of bathtub found in American homes. Today, manufactures have given this centuries-old classic a new make-over. The design remains true to form?a sloped back and straight front?but the feet can be ball and claw, pedestal or legged. As for material, you can choose from cast iron, porcelain on steel, and acrylic. Remember these tubs are freestanding so their pipes are exposed.

Whirlpool tubs are specialty soaker tubs fitted with piping, an electric pump, and water jets which circulate massaging water. They come in a multitude of sizes, styles, colors and designs and are often made of fiberglass/acrylic or cast iron. Some whirlpools are quite compact so test the comfort level by hopping in, before you buy it. Whirlpool tubs come in two basic types: alcove (which look like ordinary bathtubs) and drop-in model (installed in the same fashion as a drop-in bathtub).

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Tip from the Pros

If you want to add a large jetted tub to your project, consider adding a water heater dedicated to that tub. A large jetted tub can hold up to an average of 75 gallons or more, which can easily overextend your existing water heater and cause problems in the future.

Money Saving Tips

Consider re-glazing a tub instead of replacing it, especially if it is still in relatively good condition. This can save you more than half the cost of a tub replacement-and minimize the dust at the same time!

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