Bathtub Buyer’s Guide

bathtub buyer's guide

Table of Contents

What to Know Before Buying a Bathtub, from Styles to Price

If you are planning to buy a bathtub anytime soon then you will benefit from our bathtub buyer guides. What to know before buying a tub? If you want to know the answer to this question then read this article in its entirety because this article is all about the importance of having a reliable guide by your side when you are buying sanitary ware. You will also discover in this article the things that could happen if you will buy a tub without consulting a guide. So before you go to the dealer, read this article first and know all about the bathtubs

When buying a bathtub, many factors affect the price. Before buying a new or a replacement bathtub, consider the type, styles, and materials, how and where to use it, and your budget

In this article, we will guide you on what to know before buying a bathtub from its styles to its prices.

Bathtub Styles

When it comes to bathtubs, there are different styles that fit in almost every bathroom, and each style emphasizes two important elements: space and material. The amount of space you have has a big impact on which style is right for you. You may lean towards an oval self-supporting bath, but there may only be space around the bath.

In addition to space, materials also influence style. For example, some materials are created only in certain styles, such as Copper and natural stone.

Freestanding Bathtubs

Perhaps one of the most popular types of bathtubs is the freestanding bathtubs and it’s not hard to understand why. The freestanding bathtub fits in almost every room and there is no need to install a connecting wall. They also offer a  vibrant eye-catcher in your bathroom compared to most drop-in bathtubs and are about the same price compared to other options on the market.

Clawfoot Bathtub

The classic look that has existed since the early 1800s and is widely popular, the normal design for clawfoot’ has been changed today with more of a modern flair, taking away the pegged claws on the base and replacing them with a more sleek, uniform look. Though if you wished, the clawfoot design is still being made today if you prefer that style instead. These are traditionally long and rectangular and occupy more space than other methods.

In the traditional bathtub style, a clawfoot is a freestanding bathtub that is supported by four ‘claws’ or legs on the bottom. This design dates back to early Victorian era bathrooms and is still widely popular today.

Oval Bathtub

In contrast to the more classic design of the clawfoot, there is an oval bathtub. These tubs are round and symmetrical, like a pool of water. Very popular in apartments and small homes where space is limited, these bathtubs have a more modern look that contrasts nicely with the sharp edges of the rest of the bathroom.

Angled Tub

Finally, if you need an angled design or something different than a regular design, there is an angled style. The angled tub is slightly elevated on one side to support the back and neck while bathing. They are very flexible in size and can be the same size as an oval bathtub or larger than the usual self-supporting style of an oval.

Alcove Bathtub

An alcove or built-in tab is a tab built between the floors of three connecting walls completed on one side. These tubs take up less space and can be combined into a shower combo, which is commonly found in apartments and small homes.

Corner Tub

Similar to the alcove, but much larger on the corner tabs. These are bathtubs that are much larger than typical alcove bathtubs but have similar spaces they fill. Alcove tubs are usually installed next to three connecting walls, usually windows. These tubs are designed for relaxation and therapy and are more like whirlpool tubs than regular tubs.

Drop-In Bathtub

The under-mounted bathtub is located under the surrounding patio or entrance, and the rim is hidden, so the bathroom looks more unified. The drop-in is attached by dropping it in the area with the notch and sealing it so that the edges are easy to see. Except for the visual aspect, there is no big difference between the under-mount and the built-in bathtub. Both are space-saving and come in a variety of styles and materials, many of which can be fitted with a power jet or combined with a multipurpose shower for a more relaxed bathing experience.

Soaking/Japanese style

A “Japanese style” tub or Soaking tub is usually an oval or circular tub. Generally a little taller than a regular bathtub, these are designed to comfortably sit in place for you to soak. These bathtubs tend to come in a variety of sizes, as large homes have a long and elegant style, and small homes, of course, have a much more compact style. The smaller size is generally more popular as an apartment tub.

Walk-in

A walk-in bathtub is a bathtub equipped so that the user can walk and sit without slipping. Inside the tub, there are grooves and notches to provide grip when walking, and usually, there are also handrails to improve balance and stability. These are most prominent in homes with older people, as they allow older people to take a bath without further assistance.

Whirlpool

A whirlpool is a bathtub with a self-contained jet. These jets are either air jets or water jets, but their main function is to massage the user for both relaxation and health purposes. The air jet spa contains dozens of small jets that send warm air to generate bubbles, while the water jet spa has few but large jets that push water out at high speeds. The main advantage of hot tabs is that they create a deeper massage sensation than any other tab on the market.

Air Tub

An air tub is a bathtub with multiple small jets that blow heated air into the water of the bath to create a massage sensation. Very similar to the whirlpool tub, Airtab uses a jet to create a bubbling sensation rather than a deep massage sensation.

The result is a bathtub that does not require frequent cleaning, unlike a bathtub. Conversely, air tabs do not retain as much heat as whirlpools and are suitable for those who want a quicker massage than a long soak.

Bathtub Materials

There are two factors in choosing the right material for your bathtub: price and comfort. Each material feels different, so you’ll spend a lot of time in the bathtub, and it’s important to enjoy the comfort, so you need to test which one is the most comfortable for you. However, the most comfortable materials are very expensive and can be a  bit heavy, so find out what you can handle in the bathroom before you buy.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the cheapest bathtub material and consists of reinforced plastic panels that are finally molded into the shape of the bathtub. Although the material is fairly durable, it tends to chip under strong impact and has the unfortunate property of being porous. Porosity means that it absorbs water on a regular basis, eventually warping the material and becoming more and more unstable over time.

Acrylic

Like fiberglass, acrylic takes a solid sheet of petrochemicals, stabilizers, resins, suitable dyes, heats it, shapes the result into a bath shape, and then reinforces it with fiberglass. Will be formed. Lightweight and available in many styles and sizes, acrylic is popular with both built-in and stationary bathtubs. It looks and feels very similar to fiberglass, but because the material is non-porous, it is much more durable than fiberglass. You should also refrain from throwing things into a regular bathtub, but they are also resistant to chips and large impacts.

Porcelain

Porcelain is made by layering a  mixture of powdered glass and substrate porcelain and enamel on cast iron or punched steel and heating to form a durable coating. As a result, these tubs are fairly durable and not porous, so they will not distort or deteriorate over time. However, the porcelain coating is very sensitive to strong impacts, so be careful not to drop anything. Otherwise, very noticeable scratches will be left on the surface.

Ceramic

Ceramic bathtubs are formed by molding a large number of ceramic tiles together until they harden. The advantage of this method is that ceramic is very similar to clay. That is, it comes in more styles and sizes than any other material on the market. The disadvantage of this is that the ceramic requires continuous maintenance. Otherwise, it will eventually deteriorate and crumble.

Stone Resin

Stone resin is a material that is made by crushing natural stone and gluing it together to provide a composite material that has the look and feel of natural stone without adding weight or cost. Popular because of the balance between cost and quality, stone resin offers excellent durability and heat retention, while being non-porous and very affordable. The only limiting factor for stone resins is the lack of styling options compared to other materials on the market.

Cultured Marble

Made of crushed limestone and resin, this material is as classic as ancient Rome. It retains heat very well and is quite durable while sporting an excellent pearly finish. However,  this material has many drawbacks and is not very popular. Artificial marble, an expensive material with a starting price of $ 700, is also very heavy, making installation even more complicated. If you don’t take care of the cultured marble regularly, it will start to discolor and stain.

Copper

The copper bathtub is custom-made and stands at the pinnacle of luxury bathtubs. This material is extremely durable, retains heat, requires no additional maintenance other than consistent water use, and is aesthetically pleasing. It’s also 23 times more expensive than any bathtub material on the market, with an average price of $ 2,000.

Wood

Like copper, wood is a  very rustic and aesthetically pleasing bathtub material. These bathtubs, made from natural wood and sealed with waterproof wax,  are also expensive at around $ 2,000. Wax lasts for several years, but over time these tubs tend to fail under normal use and are not considered a permanent investment compared to similarly priced copper tubs.

Bathtub Size

Another important consideration is the size of the bathtub. In general, a larger tub is recommended if your home can support it and you have space. When it comes to stationary bathtubs and corner bathtubs, you should always choose these styles if you have the space. However, if space is limited, Alcove, Drop-in, and Soaking may be more suitable. While it looks visually more appealing, a larger bathtub will also require a heftier water bill as it will require more water to fill completely compared to a smaller size.

Smaller sizes also come in more useful variants like the Japanese soaking style, which allows you to sit comfortably and soak. The counter to this is that smaller bathtubs are also not for everyone and some may feel the more compact size of them to be cramped compared to a large-sized tub. To measure out your home and discover which size is more appropriate for your bathroom, you may look at our guide here.

Bathtub Installation

Depending on the size and shape of the tub, installing the tub can be a bit cumbersome, so it’s important to know which style is the easiest to install and which is a little more complicated. In general, alcove and drop-in are easier to install than self-supporting and corner bathtubs, respectively, but this depends on the materials used and the total weight of the bathtub to be installed. If you think it’s too heavy, we recommend that you ask an expert to install it.

Bathtub Price

The price of the bathtub is determined by the quality of the materials used and the choice of your style. As a  rule, small tubs are always cheaper than large tubs, but that doesn’t mean there is a quality difference between large and small tubs. Here we are focusing on the material.

Price per Material

In general, the cost of a regular stationary bathtub is between $ 500 and $ 2000, depending on material costs. Fiberglass is the cheapest, so the average price range is $ 200 to 500. Next is acrylic, with a  normalized price range starting at around $ 500. Porcelain has a wider range, some starting tubs cost about $ 300, but some can cost as much as $ 1500. Fiberglass, acrylic, and porcelain are generally considered cheap materials on the market, with an average price range of $ 300 to 500.

The high-end materials include such as cast iron, steel, and copper. Cast iron tubs start at around $ 500, but can easily go up to around $ 2,000, as the material is much more durable than fiberglass, acrylic, and porcelain. After cast iron is steel, which is fairly cheap at a starting price of $ 300, mainly because the material is quite heavy.

The extra weight usually offsets the cheap side. So, if your home can handle it,  weight isn’t a big negative, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Copper is the last, the price range is very similar to wood, and all of these tubs are custom made, so they start at around $ 1500. Of course, there are cheaper ones on the market, but these are usually not as good as the more expensive ones.

Price per Style

The price of each style varies mainly based on size, so the style also affects the price. The average price range for a stationary bathtub is over $ 600 to 3,000 and does not include installation. The average alcove bathtub is $ 400 to 800 excluding installation. This is a bit complicated because you need to measure and prepare the space for the “alcove”. If you don’t DIY, it costs an additional $ 300 to 400.

Drop-ins are simpler, starting at $ 300 to 900, and most of these are easy to install yourself, which greatly reduces your preparation. Finally, there is a corner bathtub. This is a bit expensive as it tends to have many jacuzzi-like features. These are usually offered at a starting price of around $ 700.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Bathtub

How do you plan to use your tub?

The answer is to decide if a cheap barebone design is enough or if you need one with a bell and whistle. A normal bathtub is simply filled with water, but a whirlpool or airbus has a jet or channel that sends air for massage. Bathtub extras are usually limited to arms or headrests, railings, and non-slip floors. The whirlpool, airbus, or combination tab has many other options, including adjustable jets, ambient underwater lighting, aromatherapy capabilities, a heating blower, and an automatic cleaning system. The more sophisticated your tub, the more expensive it will be.

How much space do you have?

Before you fall in love with a particular tub type, you need to know what your bathroom can accommodate. Standard bathtubs are 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 inches deep, but many other bathtub sizes and shapes are available. To determine the size of the bathtub, carefully measure the bathroom and doorways. Make a note of where the drain is on the floor to ensure that it works with the bathtub design of your choice. Also, some bathtubs cannot incorporate a shower, so before you buy, investigate whether the bathtub/shower combination is a must for your family.

Is the tub comfortable?

Try it on literally before you buy a bathtub. Imagine jumping, sitting and immersing yourself. Do you feel fit and comfortable? don’t be shy. This is the best way to determine if you are satisfied.

Are there special bathtub installation considerations?

When considering a whirlpool, you need to plan for pumps, air switches, and electric timers. Many pumps fit in a tub unit, but some manufacturers have remote pumps that can be removed from the tub by up to 5 feet and hidden in a closet or bathroom. Non-electrical air switches may be located in the tab assembly. Plan to install the electric timer at a safe distance (at least 5 feet) from the bathtub to meet the bathroom code requirements.

Conclusion

A quiet and relaxing bath can add a lot to your life. It can relieve stress, give you a few minutes of absolute comfort every day, and relieve muscle aches. The right bathtub perfectly complements the aesthetics of the rest of the bathroom and adds style and elegance to the room. Or it may be an affordable option that allows you to get the job done and enjoy the warmth without the extra features. Whatever you want most in the bathroom, you can probably find it when you look for an available tub.

As you can see, buying a bathtub requires a lot of planning and decision-making. I know there’s a lot of information, but in the long run, understanding the details and your priorities before buying a bathtub will not regret it later.

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