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7 Essential Tips for Choosing the Perfect Bathtub

7 Essential Tips for Choosing the Perfect Bathtub

2019 Jun 10th

If you're looking for a total relaxation, taking a long hot bath is usually one of the things that top most people's list. You can just feel the stress seeping out of your whole body and circling down the drain.

But picking and buying a bathtub for that glorious soak? That's a process that could be fraught with enough stress for ten baths if not done properly.

Here are seven essential tips on how to choose a bathtub so that you can skip the stress and focus on all the soaking in your future.

1. Space

One of the first questions you need to ask is how much space you have. In fact, this is the most important consideration of all.

A standard bathtub is about 60 inches long, 30-32 inches wide, and 20 inches tall, though there are many nonstandard sizes and shapes to choose from now. Note that non-standard sizes may cost more so check with your supplier or salesperson if budget is a concern.

That said, it won't do you a drop of good if the tub can't actually fit in your bathroom.

Start by taking measurements of your bathroom dimensions. You should also find out what walls contain the plumbing pipes--adding new pipes will create a far more expensive project.

2. Design and Theme

Aside from available space, the design and theme of your bathroom is another one of the most important consideration.

While there seem to be a million bathtub styles on the market, half of them won't align with your bathroom.

First, you have to consider the type of tub, which significantly changes what kind of bathroom it would work in. Some of the most popular types of tubs include:

You also have to consider the style of the tub and how it fits with the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. A rectangular modern tub would work well in a sleek, monochrome, modern bathroom, but an oval clawfoot tub would look completely out of place.

3. Functionality

Obviously, when choosing a new bathtub, you will have to consider the primary use of it. While taking baths in it is one of the obvious purpose for getting one, you have to go a little deeper than that as there's more to consider than just this.

Do you want versatility? If so, you'll be well-served by a tub/shower combo. This is for bathrooms that don't have enough space for separate tub and shower area. basement and retro-fit renovations are most common projects to use this type of tub.

Do you want relaxation? If so, you'll want a deep-soaker. Probably about 17" from the bathing floor up to the overflow. Throw in some air jets, chrome therapy and even aromatherapy and you wouldn't wanna get up from there.

Do you want accessibility? If so, you'll want a handicap-friendly walk-in tub. These are perfect for care facilities and homes of people with disabilities, have mobility challenges or recovering from illness or surgery.

Do you want a statement piece? If so, look for a tub with a standout design that draws the eye. A freestanding tub will be perfect as they come in a variety of modern at eye-catching shapes and custom finishes that will make it one of a kind.

This is especially important if you're investing in a bathtub as part of a home remodel. Don't just think about what you want now--think about what will serve you well for many years to come.

4. Material

There are two primary factors influencing your choice of material: price and comfort.

Remember, you'll be spending a lot of time in this tub, so you want to test each material to the touch and find one that feels right for you.

Some popular bathtub materials include:

  • Acrylic
  • Stone/ Stone Composite
  • Copper
  • Cast-iron
  • Gel Coat

Each material has its own set of pros and cons.

Gel Coat for example, is relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and durable, but it is non repairable once it gets nicked and cracked. It will also show wear more easily over time.

Acrylic is lightweight, affordable, and offers you a wide variety of color and shape options. It can be repaired and restored like new and is easy to clean and maintain.

Cast-iron is highly durable and heat retention they say is great, but it's significantly heavier than other options so you will have to make sure that your bathroom floor is reinforced and can hold the weight of the tub especially once you've added water and a person's weight to it.

5. Comfort

If you want to enjoy lots of relaxing baths in a particular tub that you choose, make sure that you will want to actually be in it first and that means the tub must be comfortable for you. This is a non-negotiable consideration because having a gorgeous tub in your bathroom means nothing if you don't really have the desire to hop into it because it's just not comfortable.

What makes a tub comfortable depends largely on your personal preference. The size, shape, water depth and even armrest features will all contribute to this. If you have a very specific or particular taste, it is recommended to go to showrooms that display tubs and actually try and sit in them. This will let you get a good idea on how comfortable each tub is as it will be almost impossible to tell just by looking at a picture on a catalog or on the internet.

6. Features

We've talked a lot about the practical side of purchasing a bathtub, but the bells and whistles are what make a bathtub fun.

Most tub manufacturers offer a wide array of extra options, especially if you're investing in a top-of-the-line tub.

Ever thought about chromatherapy? A chromatherapy-equipped tub comes with underwater LED lights that you can change to suit your mood. Same concept with Aromatherapy that's supposed to influence your mood.

If you want a hot tub without paying for a hot tub, air jets and whirlpool features are still going strong. Add a heated backrest, heated bathing well and a bath pillow for a complete spa experience.

7. Budget

Of course, your options are always limited by one deciding factor: your budget.

The cost of the bathtub itself depends on the materials, style, size, and any additional features included in the tub. The cost of the project will include the cost of installation and any changes you have to make to your plumbing or flooring to accommodate the new tub.

However, your budget depends primarily on why you're changing the tub. Maybe you want a tub that you'd be happier with for the long term. If you plan on being in your current house for many years, it may be worth it to splurge a bit.

That's an entirely different matter from replacing a tub for the purpose of flipping a house. In that case, you want to buy a tub that will make the house competitive without curbing your overall profits too much.

Ready to Pick a Bathtub?

If you're looking for a bathtub, you've come to the right place.

We know that the bathtub is one of the most important features of your bathroom. That's why we strive to bring you the best options for your money.

Click here to check out all of our bathtub options, whatever your style and budget may be.