So, you’re ready to pick out a new bathtub. Maybe you’ve already started envisioning that perfect clawfoot tub, but aren’t sure how to integrate it with your bathroom’s style. Maybe you’re familiarizing yourself with your spa bath options. Or maybe you’re at the beginning of your bathtub journey and need some inspiration. No matter where you fall in the bathtub selection process, this post is designed to be a down-and-dirty guide (no pun intended!) for your needs. Read on for seven handy tips for picking the right tub:
Bathtubs are commonly made of acrylic, cast-iron, fiberglass, cast polymer or porcelain-on-steel.
Lightweight, durable, easy to install, and supportive of a wide range of features and shapes.
Durable, chip- and scratch-resistant, and classic-looking; they are also heavier than bathtubs made from other materials.
Glossy and easy to clean, though fiberglass isn’t as durable as other materials.
Made from solid surface material (comparable to a countertop), which allows for good bathwater temperature maintenance.
Comprised of porcelain enamel-coated steel, and are durable and easy to clean.
Before deciding upon your bathtub material, you’ll want to visit a designer bath showroom to touch and test each type. Most showrooms allow and even encourage you to try out different bathtubs, so don’t be afraid to ask!
There are four main types of bathtub installation: alcove, drop-in, undermount and freestanding.
This tub is surrounded by three walls. This is recommended for those who wish to install a showerhead with their bathtub, as the walls give you more “splashing room.” It also works well in smaller spaces.
This tub sits inside a deck made of marble, granite, or another type of material. The top of the tub is uncovered, and juts out over the deck. Wider drop-ins work well for the outdoors or larger bathrooms, while narrower drop-ins add character to a smaller bathroom.
This tub is similar to drop-ins, but the top of the tub is covered by the deck.
This tub stands alone, so they can be installed away from the wall. This is a bolder look, and is often considered the centerpiece of a bathroom. This type of installation works equally well for larger and smaller bathrooms.
When choosing an installation method, consider the size and shape of your bathroom. You should also consult with your Trade Professional to discuss any structural limitations.
Most bathroom styles fall under 5 main interior design categories: traditional, contemporary, transitional, modern and eclectic.
Made up of classic design elements, orderly fixtures and accessories, gentle curves and neutral colors.
Characterized by clean lines, shades of brown and white, no/little adornment, natural textures and an element of surprise.
The perfect mixture of traditional and contemporary styles. Sleek lines and gentle curves may be combined, and accessories are generally kept to a minimum. Colors are neutral with brown or white accents added in.
Mix and match various bathroom styles in a coordinated manner. These styles are brought together by one defining characteristic, such as color, shape, material or texture.
Recognized by clean lines; a mixture of natural, metal or plastic materials; neutrals with hints of color; bare floors; and an open floor plan.
The ideal style and installation type of your bathtub depends on the size of your bathroom. While a wide drop-in tub may suit a large ensuite bathroom, it may overwhelm the aesthetics of a smaller bathroom. An intricately-designed freestanding tub, however, could serve as a stunning centerpiece for a less spacious bathroom. Consider tapered designs for smaller spaces.
For the ultimate spa experience, envision how you’d use your future bathtub. Do you normally listen to music as you bathe? If so, you may want to consider a bathtub that incorporates audiotherapy. Do relatives of all ages come to visit? If so, a universally accessible bathtub may be necessary.
Other bathtub features to consider include:
The next time you’re at a magazine rack, flip through different home & garden magazines and see what catches your eye. For those who prefer a virtual bulletin board, Pinterest arranges its interior design ideas in visual smorgasbord format. Another resource that’s gaining popularity is Houzz, a home & garden website where users can browse through photos, post their own pictures, and connect with Trade Professionals and other Homeowners.
Installing a bathtub is a complex process, so you want to make sure you’re using the right Trade Professionals from conception to completion. Here’s a list of the Trade Professionals commonly used for bathtub projects and the roles that they play:
Visit a bath showroom to view and try out various bathtubs. A showroom consultant will assess your wants and needs through the selection process and connect you with the right products for your needs.
Your plumbing contractor will install your bathtub. They can advise you on what types of bathtubs will fit your application.
You may need an electrician when installing a bathtub with electrical components, such as a tub that contains whirlpool jets, air jets, lighting or audiotherapy abilities.
For larger projects, interior designers evaluate your bathroom to determine bathtub possibilities. They combine their knowledge of space planning guidelines and their artistic eyes to provide you with a functional, beautiful bathroom.
If your new bathtub is part of a whole room project, you may want to connect with a builder or remodeling contractor. They will coordinate all aspects of the project, including the bathtub installation.
Choosing the right bathtub for your bathroom can be a rewarding experience. For those in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, visiting a Crawford Supply Group showroom is a great way to familiarize yourself with bathtub styles and materials. You can also set up a free Showroom Consultation with one of our knowledgeable team members.