The restorative powers of a relaxing bath are legendary, which is why homeowners list a deep and luxurious bathtub as one of the most desired features of a new bathroom.
Bathtubs are grouped into two categories: soaking tubs and whirlpool, or air jet tubs.
Do you look forward to beginning your day with a citrus-scented soak? If so, consider a soaking tub that enables you to add bubbles, oils, and salts that would damage the jets of a whirlpool tub. However, if you like pulsating jets of water to massage weary muscles, a whirlpool, or air jet tub, is the one for you.
Here is are nine terrific tub styles to get your creative juices flowing:
Designed to fit into a niche surrounded by three walls, alcove tubs are made in 5- and 6-foot lengths.
A freestanding tub supported by sturdy legs and installed with exposed plumbing. Traditionally made of cast iron.
A large tub placed on an elevated platform in a corner of the bathroom. Also referred to as a garden tub.
A bathtub set into a custom, built-in frame and deck structure faced with tile, wood, or stone.
A modern update of the clawfoot, frame tubs are freestanding fixtures suspended in a wood or metal frame.
A small, deep tub designed for sitting upright, rather than lying down. Traditionally made of wood, but new models are also available in acrylic.
This option includes a tub-within-a-tub; a continuous cascade of water flows over the edge of the inner enclosure into a surrounding sink.
A design that is freestanding. Instead of legs, it rests on an oval pedestal base that sits directly on the floor.
Tub Shower Combo
Good for small spaces, this is a one-piece unit that includes a bathtub, shower, and wall panels.
Once you have chosen the type of tub you want, check plans for bathroom measurements. If you are remodeling, the tub must be small enough to carry through halls, stairways, and doors that lead to the room. Also, when you install a larger tub, you have to upgrade to a bigger hot water tank. (Bigger tubs can drain a standard water thank before the tub is filled.) If this is not possible, install a second water heater just for the bathroom.
Among popular styles are tubs for two built on site and faced with tile, stone, wood, or concrete. Other examples include luxurious overflow tubs placed in the middle of a bathroom with plumbing leads in that run up through the floor. Expensive tub designs include soaking tubs sculpted of translucent acrylic, and cushioned seating.
Basic tub styles include sturdy drop-in tubs in a choice of materials and finishes for a reasonable price. For a bit more, opt for an extra-deep freestanding tub with a durable finish, and sculpted contours for comfort.
Whirlpool and air jet tubs circulate water by way of a motorized pump. The size of the tub determines the horsepower needed to move water through the system; larger tubs require more powerful motors. A big-capacity whirlpool will run in the range of 50 GPM (gallons per minute) with a 3-horsepower motor. Look for quiet operation.
Enjoy your new tub!