Bathtubs have come a long way since the days of porcelain-enameled cast-iron bathtubs that were only an accessory of the rich and the fortunate. Up until James R Wheeler manufactured acrylic bathtubs in the 1960s, not many people were able to afford the earlier versions in their private homes.
However, today, we are stormed by countless variants of bathtubs, each with a unique bathing experience. This article will take you through a learning journey of bathtub types and the one best suited for you and your family. So you can make an informed and unambiguous decision.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Normal or Standard Tubs:
- 0.2 Soaking Tubs:
- 0.3 Whirlpool Tubs:
- 0.4 Air Tubs:
- 0.5 Walk-in Tubs:
- 0.6 More Types:
- 0.7 Alcove Tubs:
- 0.8 Freestanding Tubs:
- 0.9 Drop-in Tubs:
- 0.10 Corner Tubs:
- 0.11 Under-mount Tubs:
- 1 What to Look for in A Bathtub?
Normal or Standard Tubs:
This is the most common type of bathtub that you’ll find in most households, hotels, and spas. They have an average length of five feet and require relatively less installation and purchase costs. You can install it in your bathroom as an alcove, freestanding, or drop-in tub. However convenient, these tubs only provide the user with essential bathing functions and doesn’t come with any add-ons or extra features.
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Soaking tubs are similar to standard bathtubs but have a deeper design for a fully immersing experience for the bather. These tubs are made for additional comfort and are slightly more expensive than standard bathtubs. Additionally, they may vary in size, length, and height to fit user criteria.
These unique bathtubs have water nozzles on specific points inside the tub that works as a spray to apply pressure to specific body parts. The pressure helps release muscle pain and body strains, so your daily bath feels refreshing, especially if you’re tired. They might require extra plumbing in your bathroom to adjust and connect the water sprays.
Air tubs follow the same functional concept as whirlpool tubs, but they use air streams instead of water sprays. The air spray is gentler than water jets and provides a more relaxing bath. So you can opt for an air tub if a whirlpool tub is too noisy for your liking. Note that, just like a whirlpool tub, air tubs also might require extra plumbing.
Walk-in tubs have a sealable door on one side that lets the user enter the container without having to make too much effort. These bathtubs are incredibly useful for senior citizens or people with disabilities so that they can enjoy bath time safely. However, walk-in tubs are expensive, and you might have to cover installation and plumbing expenses.
Bathtubs are further divided into a few categories based on the ways you can install them in your bathroom. We are listing them below:
You can place an alcove tub between three walls, and the fourth side is left open. It only requires you to furnish the open side of the tub, and the rest of the structure stays hidden. Hence, they are convenient for mainstream usage due to low installation and maintenance costs. Lastly, most alcove tubs offer the user with either a faucet or a shower option.
Freestanding tubs have a robust independent base and can stand freely on the floor without wall support. They usually take up more space in your bathroom since you can’t place them in a corner.
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Evident by the name, Drop-in tubs fit into a pre-made platform in your bathroom. These tubs allow you to have more control over how your bathroom looks while saving space. However, their installation cost can be much higher than regular bathtubs, and you might require special plumbing.
Corner tubs are a variation of the alcove and drop-in tubs that help you to save space and keep your bathroom classy. These tubs typically have a square shape, a corner-mount design, and are popular among people with small bathrooms.
Under-mount tubs are similar to drop-in tubs, but their rim is made out of customized or the same material as your bathroom. Identical to other luxurious bathtubs, under-mount tubs have significantly higher installations and plumbing costs.
What to Look for in A Bathtub?
Now that you’re familiar with the various types of bathtubs, it might be easier for you to make a better choice for your bathroom. To further help you out, we’re listing some key features you need to keep in mind before making a purchase.
Your preference matters:
Naturally, it is vital that you feel comfortable in the bath and have a pleasant experience. Some people have unique comfort demands when it comes to bathtubs, so make sure your bathtub choice fits you as well as your family’s needs.
Size of the tub:
The bathtub size is one of the most vital things to consider before making a purchase. Make sure you have enough space in your bathroom to fit an average-sized bathtub. However, not all tubs are the same size, and you’ll have to measure and make space for the new bathtub.
Of course, you want a bathtub that does its required job but isn’t too stressful on your budget. A basic bathtub usually costs around $300 and often has additional installation charges. Furthermore, your water-heating expenses also might increase if you’re getting a deep or more substantial bathtub.
You’ll need to consider a bathtub that melds with your bathroom décor and complements the surrounding colors or patterns. There are many unique and custom-made bathtubs available in the market, so make sure to choose the right style for your bathroom.
Most bathtubs have acrylic or fiber-glass construction that offers a lightweight, glossy, and durable tub, with a manageable cost. You can also choose from several baths made out of cast-iron, steel, marble, copper, or cast polymer.
Bathtubs are usually heavy due to their material composition and may require extra effort in the installation or delivery process. Marble and stone bathtubs are much heavier than the standard ones, and you’ll need to consider the factors associated with their operation.
Lastly, if you are an enthusiast for long baths, some manufacturers add many extra features to some of their bathtub brands for you to enjoy your bath time. These features may include speakers, lights, and even digital controls for the bathtub.