Make the bathtub the focus of your new bathroom
Before you go to buy a new bathtub for your bathroom, get yourself prepared for the questions that the salesperson would ask you. There are several issues you need to consider when buying a bathtub; you’ll have control over some of them, while others are dictated by factors such as the available space in your bathroom. There are tubs that vary in material from which they are made of, aesthetic appearance and functionality. Decide what do you want from it and then see what are your real possibilities. Here are some good pieces of advice that can help you.
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If there are no physical constraints than you may feel free to experiment, but if the space is somewhat cramped than your choice is restricted. Measure the area where your bathtub is supposed to be and consider how you would want to have it installed. What kind of bathtub is it going to be (undermounted, free-standing, corner tub, etc.) and would you like to leave some space for a tiled edge?
Different types of tubs require different install methods, have different personalities, so to speak, and serve different purposes.
• Ordinary bathtub: A general purpose tub or however you want to call it. A simple, ordinary tub that we are all familiar with and it server almost all purposes – bathing, showering, washing clothes by hand or cleaning the dog. It’s placed in the corner of the bathroom or as a 3-wall alcove tub-shower.
• Single and double-ended bathtub: Whether a tub is single or double-ended depends on where the faucet is placed. With single-ended tubs you can use only one side as a back rest. One end is usually vertically steep and the other is sloped. Double-ended tubs provide the luxury of being used by two people, for sharing intimate moments. These tubs come in different sizes.
• Walk-in bathtub: Good for elderly people that have trouble climbing into a tub. These type of tubs have a small door which can be sealed in order to hold the water when the tubs is filled.
• Drop-in bathtub: The shell of the tub is fitted inside a pre-designed enclosure. The enclosures are bought as separate items. For example, most spa bathtubs are drop-in models, but can also be freestanding (suitable for large bathrooms).
• Undermount Bathtub: Drop-in tubs placed in the floor level instead of an enclosure and the tiles cover it’s edges.
• Corner bathtub: Space saving tubs with a kind of a triangular shape are placed in the corner of the bathroom. These tubs are a combination of drop-ins and alcove tubs, but even though it is said that they maximize the space, they can’t be placed in a narrow bathroom.
• You can also choose between tubs with additional and luxurious features such as the whirlpool tubs with bubbles and an in-build motor technology, chromaterapy tubs with underwater LED lights, tubs with resonant speakers, digital controls, etc.
• The least expensive solutions are fiberglass and acrylic. Acrylic material is widely used due to easy maintenance, lightness, strength and affordability. Fiberglass has all these features to, but is susceptible to mold and stains, thus it is not very durable.
• Cast iron is strong, durable and can last for decades. Cast iron tubs are heavy and in need for good support structure and are usually covered with enameled porcelain (enamel can chip off after some years, leading the revealed iron to rust).
• Similar to cast iron tubs are steel tubs. They are also strong, durable, easy to maintain and usually enameled (again, susceptible to rust when the enamel gets scratched or chipped of), but are lighter than the iron tubs.
• Cultured marble has the ability to be molded and formed when poured into a cast, thus is a good material for bathtubs. It is covered with clear gelcoat for a smooth surface and it’s quite a brittle material, so if cracks appear – they’re unrepairable.
• Stone tubs are carved from blocks of natural rocks such as limestone, travertine, granite, etc. They are quite expensive and require special care, but nonetheless, these tubs really are works of art.
As you can see there are many different solutions and various decisions to make when buying a new bathtub. Be sure to bring the right decision, chiefly depending on the constraints of physical space of your bathroom and your budget. Try to look at the quality first and the price second and, of course, choose the kind of bathtub that you will use the most, a tub which is compatible with your everyday needs.
By: Diana Smith
Watch this video on how to choose the right bathtub: