You might think that choosing a bathtub is an easy thing to do. But it’s not, when you know that you have A LOT of options.
There are a lot of things to consider aside from your budget like space, style, materials, and even your very own body. If you’re remodeling your bathroom and installing a new bathtub, know your options and explore different types of bathtubs first. Taking long baths will indeed be more enjoyable if you make the right choice.
Types of Bathtubs
Listed below are the most common types of bathtubs. Take a look at each one’s description and decide which is the most suitable for your family. If you have more than one bathroom in your home, it would be wise to install 2 different types of bathtubs. In our house, we have 3 bathrooms with 2 bathtubs and a shower. Our 2 bathtubs have different styles and sizes.
- Freestanding – As the name suggests, a freestanding bathtub occupies its own space in the bathroom. This is the type of bathtub we have in our main bathroom; its style and functionality makes it the centerpiece of our main bathroom. Tubs with bases fall into this category of bathtubs.
- Alcove – This is one of the most common styles of bathtubs and it often functions as a shower too. It only has one finished side, the side facing the room. This is a practical type of bathtub and an affordable one too.
- Drop-In – As the term suggests, this type of tub can be dropped in or inserted into an existing raised platform to hold it. It comes with its own rim and this will support the tub on all sides. A drop-in tub can also be inserted below floor level, so it’s really a flexible model of bathtub.
- Corner – This is the type of tub we have in our small bathroom. This type of bathtub is really not that spacious because of its shape (it’s triangular to fit in a corner). So while this tub is practical, it can be very limiting as far as moving about is concerned.
What Bathtubs are Made Of
Choosing a bathtub doesn’t just involve deciding on the type of tub. If you really want to enjoy your bath time, you should also be aware of the different types of materials used for tubs. This is also important for maintenance as some bathtubs are more durable than others. Go through the most common types of materials used for bathtubs below.
- Acrylic – There’s a reason why acrylic bathtubs are the most popular type of tub. This type of material is so durable and long lasting that the tub itself becomes resistant to chipping and cracking. The tub in our small bathroom is made of acrylic and it’s really very easy to clean. If you don’t know it yet, acrylic surfaces are stain-resistant, so it’s really easy to maintain. Even the installation part is easy because this is a lightweight material. Color options are available for acrylic tubs too, and we chose the color yellow for our yellow-gold colored bathroom.
- Fiberglass – You can choose acrylic bathtubs with fiberglass reinforcements. Although this material is no longer as popular as it was about 10 years ago, it is still a fashionable choice for a tub. You should know, however, that gel-coated fiberglass coating can chip and scratch easily. And it’s really hard to repair such damages on a fiberglass coated tub.
- Cast Iron – This is the type of tub we have in our main bathroom. It’s porcelain coated and you can choose from a wide range of colors too. Ours is colored blue because our bathroom is also painted blue. Since cast iron materials are used for the tub, it’s really durable and good at retaining heat. But because it’s heavy, our contractor suggested that we add some structural reinforcement in our bathroom to support its weight. We did, and now we enjoy every moment of bath time in this fine looking tub.
- Copper – This is an expensive option for a bathtub; but if you have the budget for it, go for it. This type of tub would look great on houses and bathrooms with Victorian theme. The only downside to this type of tub is that it can get scratches easily.
- Enameled Steel – Bathtubs that are made of enameled steel look a lot like cast iron tubs. However, these are cheaper. So if you like the cast iron look but don’t really have the budget for it, you can settle for an enameled steel tub instead. Unlike cast iron tubs, however, these can chip more easily.
- Stone and Wood – As you can already tell, stone and wood bathtubs are quite expensive. But it gives a unique appeal to a bathroom and is a great tub for the main bathroom. Maintaining and cleaning this type of tub can prove to be quite difficult, however, so it’s not really considered a practical choice. Moreover, the wooden part of the bathtub is prone to warping and rotting because of the typical moist environment in the bathroom.
Style of Bathtub – Enjoying Your Bath in Style
If you really want to enjoy your bath time, you can have additional features installed in your bathtub. Just look at some of the cool options you have below.
- Jetted or Hydrotherapy Tubs – Jetted or hydrotherapy tubs come with a pump technology so as to facilitate circulation of water inside the bathtub. Since little bubbles of air are emitted through small jets, the person inside the tub can have a soothing body massage while taking a bath.
- Walk-in Tubs – If there are walk-in showers, there are also walk-in bathtubs. This type of tub can be freestanding or the alcove type; and a door will close and seal itself when the tub is full of water. Walk-in tubs work great for people with limited mobility since a built-in seat is installed inside the tub. You will therefore take a bath in the seating position instead of the usual reclining position.
- Chromotherapy Tub – You can add a feature in your bathtub wherein the water can turn into different colors while taking a bath. Underwater lights can transform regular colorless water into blue, purple, or even pink so as to create a relaxing environment while you’re soaking in the tub.
- Musical Vibration Tub – Waterproof speakers can be attached on the side of the bathtub so that you can hook up your MP3 player on your tub while taking a bath. This set up will provide you with an acoustic bathing experience which is both relaxing and enjoyable.
Does Size Matter?
Size does matter when it comes to choosing the right bathtub for your bathroom. That’s because you should consider your water heater capacity as well as the size of the bathtubs’ occupants in order to have a comfortable and enjoyable bath time.
If you have a 40 to 50 gallon bathtub, for example, your bathroom should at least have a 30-gallon water heater installed. For 50 to 75 capacity bathtubs, a minimum of 50-gallon water heater is needed. And if you have a really big tub, like more than 75 gallons, you should make sure that you have a minimum of 80-gallon water heater.