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A Step-By-Step Guide to Picking the Perfect Bathtub

In the past, bathtubs served a strictly utilitarian purpose. Today, they’re one of the most exciting features in bathroom design. Bathtubs are still functional, but they’re also the star attraction.

Whether you’re planning a complete bathroom remodel or you’re updating the tub, you’ll want to read today’s post.

We've put together a short guide on how to pick a bathtub to help make the selection process more comfortable and enjoyable. Please take a minute and go through the steps we’ve provided before you shop for your new tub.

How Do You Like to Bathe?

best bathtub

Most people take bathing for granted, mainly because it’s something the average adult can do when they're half asleep. Don't forget those multi-taskers who shave and listen to the morning news while taking a shower! Sure, bathing is part of your daily routine, but what if it could be something more? 

Humor us and take a minute to think about your preferred method of bathing. Do you relish a warm lingering soak, a refreshing cool shower, or a therapeutic massage in a whirlpool tub?

Are you more like the average American who showers for 7.8 minutes, or can you afford 30-60 minutes to enjoy the full benefit of a whirlpool or soaking tub? If you have young children, they (and you) may feel more secure in a standard tub. Another option if you like the best of both worlds is a walk-in shower and a separate freestanding or drop-in tub.

Consider your lifestyle before you shop for a tub. It will not only make the people in your household happy, but it could also save you from buying the wrong bathtub.

Buying a Tub with the Perfect Fit

best freestanding tub

The size of your bathroom plays a significant role in determining the size of your new bathtub.

If you have space and your home’s structure can support a larger tub, go for it. Freestanding and corner tubs work well in spacious bathrooms. For a room with limited space, consider an alcove, drop-in, or soaking tub.

As far as size goes, you’ll find standard tubs come in two sizes:

  • 60 x 30 inches
  • 60 x 32 inches

When looking at a tub that’s 60 inches long, keep in mind the bathing well will measure 55” x 24” at the top and 45” x 22” at the bottom.

A large, luxurious tub adds visual appeal to your bathroom, but compared to a smaller size tub, it does require more water. If soaking bliss on a budget sounds enticing, consider a Japanese soaking tub. It takes up less space and uses less water.

Understanding Tub Materials

acrylic tub

Once you decide on the best size, you’ll want to see and touch the different bathtub materials. The most common tub materials include:

  • Porcelain Enamel
  • Enamel Coated Cast Iron
  • Fiberglass
  • Acrylic

If you choose an enamel-coated cast iron tub, you’ll have it forever. As you can imagine, it’s durable but heavy, especially when full of water. Select porcelain-enameled steel, and you’ll have a tub with a smooth, durable, easy to clean finish.

Fiberglass tubs are economical and lightweight. However, they tend to scratch easily and don’t wear well. Manufacturers of both standard and luxury bathtubs use acrylic because it’s lightweight but durable, moldable, and features a high-gloss finish.

How to Pick a Bathtub for the Ultimate Spa Experience

tub with jets

You’re dreaming of a bathroom that’s more than a quick stop where you shower, shave and brush your teeth. So, why not create a retreat where you can decompress after a long day? Start by picking a bathtub suitable for a soothing spa experience!

One of the most popular tubs today is the whirlpool. These bathtubs feature an array of options, including:

  • Single or multiple jets
  • Assorted sizes, shapes, and colors
  • Hydromassage
  • Air bath

Whirlpool tubs come in a range of sizes, shapes, and colors to fit your taste, budget, and room size.

Another option for your spa oasis is a soaking tub. Like whirlpools, they come in different sizes and styles—some will even accommodate two adults. One significant concern you’ll face when installing a soaking tub is heating the water, so be prepared to add a hot water booster or on-demand heater.

Picking a Tub with Accessibility in Mind

therapeutic tub

Whether you’re a savvy senior aging in place, or you’re caring for someone with a mobility issue, accessibility matters a great deal when picking a bathtub. Walk-in tubs offer an excellent solution for maintaining independence while enjoying a relaxing soak.

All walk-in tubs are not the same, but most share a few basic features:

  • Watertight door
  • Lower threshold
  • Built-in seat
  • Grab bars
  • Anti-slip floors
  • Handheld showerhead
  • Anti-scald valves

Higher-end models often include therapeutic features, which people with joint disorders may enjoy. Speak with one of our bath specialists for help deciding which features make the most sense for your unique needs. We'll likely have at least a few favorite tubs to recommend!

Excited about Selecting Your New Bathtub?

We hope reading today’s post inspires you to take your dreams of the perfect bathtub to the reality of buying and enjoying a new tub. No one gets more excited than we do about shopping for bathroom fixtures. We genuinely enjoy showing customers how to pick a bathtub that fits their bathroom space and their style.

After you determine your bathing style, you’ll find it easy to choose the size, material, and function of your new tub. We’d love to help you find the ideal bathtub! Get in touch with us today, and let’s talk.

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