The bathtub has been overlooked in most new construction; the classic claw foot actually large enough to allow an adult a decent soak are a thing of the past, and three-wall acrylic inserts with tubs too short and shallow for a full size person to squeeze into have become the gold standard.
In order to take a bath, you have to wiggle around and decide which half of your body should be submerged at any given time, which is usually uncomfortable and deeply unsatisfying.
As a result, soaking in a tub has become a job instead of a time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Don't worry-there is something you can do about this, and we'll help you get started.
Many factors come into play when it comes to picking a choice tub.
Functionality is a big consideration-are you looking for a soaking tub, a jetted tub, an air pool tub, or a combination?
Aesthetics play a major roll. Looks are important, and what it's made of lends functionality as well as style. Acrylic has different practical purposes than cast iron, same goes for enameled steel, copper, and other brand-specific available materials.
Specifications such as shape, width, length, and depth are paramount when looking for a tub that will fit your space. Don't forget important details such as where the drain or tub waste, and faucet holes are located, in case you are looking to use your existing plumbing setup.
Jetted Versus Airpool
Jetted tubs are more common than airpool and have different features. They feature jets such as the ones you find on hot tubs which are positioned to direct warm water to comfort areas such as your lower or upper back, shoulders, or legs, providing a vigorous or comforting massage.
Airpool tubs offer a gentler massage than jetted ones which is also a consideration if you are sensitive, or prefer more of an all-over soothing experience to a focused. Airpool tubs feature several small holes in the bottom of the tub which let in air, offering a soothing, fizzy soak as calming as lying in a bath of warm champagne bubbles.
Jetted tubs use water from the tub in the jets, incorporating pumps to keep water flowing through and conditions sanitary, whereas airpool tubs just release air, so there are different considerations when it comes to cleaning them as well.
Classic tubs, including everything from a clawfoot to the standard rectangular style found in most homes fit into the soaking tub category. These tubs do not have jets or effervescent features, however they also have fewer parts to maintain and provide a very satisfying bathing experience. They come in the broadest selection of shapes and styles, fitting up against walls or free-standing for an elegant look.
Material is more than skin deep. While some tub materials lend more to the color and finish surface, they also have different properties beneficial in different bathrooms. Acrylic is one of the most common materials used as it's affordable, lightweight, and comes in a variety of colors. It is often used in jetted and air pool tubs and especially common in soaking tub/shower all-in-one units. However there are some drawbacks - it can be tougher to clean, it makes more noise while water is running in it, is susceptible to cracks, and doesn't hold the temperature of hot bath water as long as other materials such as cast iron can.
Cast iron is a classic material used in vintage claw foot tubs. If you have an older home and are still using the original tub, it's likely cast iron which nearly lasts forever. However as hearty as this tub is, it is a heavier item and your floor will usually need some reinforcement for the weight before installation. Additionally, the finish can chip or dull over time. But the colors of the finish are often quite vibrant. This is not an inexpensive option, but it will last a lifetime if care is taken.
Think Outside The Box
Most tubs employ the familiar rectangular shape, which is great for most purposes and single person soaks, however some prefer a little more spacious accommodations. Corner tubs utilize different shapes perfect for creating a relaxing space, such as a triangular, round, oval, or even more of a square. Choosing a jetted tub in one of these shapes makes for a therapeutic soak as well as provides room enough for more than one bather.
Something else to consider is the positioning of the drain or tub waste and faucet. Most standard tubs have holes for plumbing at one end, but other locations might be more beneficial for your dream bathroom. Consider faucet installation along the side of the tub, which makes it easier to add and adjust water temperature when you are submerged. Making a change such as this will require some new plumbing, so consult your contractor if you have questions.