Buying a new bathtub can be quite a daunting task. There is so much to know, so many options, differences, sizes, shapes and kinds, it’s a bit overwhelming and it’s an expensive purchase you don’t want to mess up on. Well, knowledge is power and in the case of bathtub shopping it’s also a huge money, time and headache saver.
So, I will try to spare you from some of the aggravation and help you through the sorting process. It will be fun!
Where to start:
There is no better place to start than in your very own bathroom. Before you can even begin checking out the options you need to know exactly how big of a tub your bathroom can hold and what style fits your design. If you are working with a brand new bathroom than lucky you! You can plan the bathroom around whatever tub you desire. If not, it’s a bit more complicated but it makes the elimination process easier in the end.
The next step:
Once you have the size and style decided on the next place to visit is your wallet. Bathtubs come in literally every price range so you have to know your limits. There is always the rock crystal bathtub by Luca Bojola, which costs $790,310.00, if you want something really unique or you can get a standard tub for $100.00. Like I said there is really a wide price range.
Know the terminology:
If you are not familiar with the “bathtub situation” you will learn very quickly that there are many, many different options you can choose from. You will hear the words whirlpool, air tub, combo, freestanding, drop in, soaker and walk in. It can get confusing so I will outline the difference between each.
Whirlpool Tub– according to Consumer Reports roughly 25 percent of high-end bathroom remodels include a whirlpool tub. Whirlpool tubs have concentrated jets strategically placed on the inside of the tub, through which air and water is forced, creating a vigorous, high pressure massage.
Air Tub– an air tub has many more jets than a whirlpool, smaller in size though, through which air bubbles are propelled for an all over gentler massage. It is not as strong as the massage in a whirlpool but it’s highly relaxing, a more soothing, effervescent sensation.
A major consideration when deciding between a whirlpool and air tub is how often you will bathe. With an air tub you can turn on the air after you have drained the tub to dry it out. In a whirlpool the jets trap in water which may grow bacteria if left to long. So if you only bathe 3 times a month the air tub may be a safer, more hygienic option. Another consideration is that whirlpools may be damaged if used with bath oils, bubble bath, etc., air tubs cannot as they only force out air and do not suction. If you do prefer a whirlpool and do not bathe often be sure to ask the manufacturer about cleaning requirements.
Combo– A combo unit offers the best of both worlds. The whirlpool- air tub combo has water jets and air holes. When you crave a deep penetrating massage you can turn on the water jets. When all you need is a soothing, gentle experience you can turn on the air jets. Or if you desperately need air and water you can turn on both systems.
Freestanding Tub– nothing in your bathroom can make a statement like a freestanding tub. A timeless classic the freestanding tub has been around forever, known previously as the clawfoot tub. Now available in both modern and traditional designs the freestanding tub stands alone, open on all sides creating an airy look and feel. Without an encloser the tub becomes a design element of its own, a focal point of your bathroom.
As opposed to the freestanding a drop in tub is any other tub that is installed into a deck or enclosure.
Soaker tub– a soaker tub is a bathtub without any air jets or water jets. Almost every free standing tub is a soaker tub. While many enjoy the benefits of a massage in the bathtub there are still plenty who love the soothing relaxation of a deep, invigoration soak without any disruption. Soakers are available in the widest range of options.
Walk in– designed for safety a walk in tub allows users to walk straight into the tub without having to lift their feet. The tub has an entry door that swings open when it is empty of water. It is ergonomically created for easy access and safety.
You can begin shopping:
You now know your size, budget and the type of tub you prefer. From here on it should be easy and fun. Of course there are still all the different “add-ons” and accessories you can include and many companies to select from but you have made all the biggest decisions- congratulations!
Enjoy your bathtub shopping experience and let meknow how it goes!