One of the most significant additions to your new home is selecting your bathtubs. Choosing the proper tub for each bathroom is an important decision. Just as you had to choose amongst everything from luxury home floor plans to traditional ranch plans, bathtub options are plentiful. Bathtubs can be built-in or freestanding, soaking tubs, shower combinations, or tubs built for two. And each style is offered in an abundance of materials, shapes and sizes.
The size of your bathroom will set the stage for your options. Keep in mind that home style often guides but certainly doesn’t dictate bathroom size. Colonial houseplans, for example, may often feature smaller bathrooms. Tubs can range from 40 to 85 inches in length and 22-72 inches in width and 12-32 inches in depth.
Different sizes account for different functions. A deeper tub is more suitable for soaking, or for people of larger stature. In contrast, a petite person may be uncomfortable in a deep, larger tub. Design your bathroom to meet your needs and accommodate the home’s style.
Built-in and freestanding tubs are the two most common styles in most homes. Built-ins can either be alcove, drop-in or corner designs. Alcove tubs are the standard American bathtub. These frontal exposure tubs are on the shallow side, typically include a shower, and are available with limited customizable options.
Drop-in, or sunk-in, models are sunken into the floor or a tub deck and can also be described as garden tubs. The expansive deep spa tub makes them ideal for relaxing, especially in large bathrooms with a separate shower. The surrounding deck space is ideal for candles and soaking accessories for a spa-like experience. Corner models are similar, as they are situated to the corner of the bathroom with surrounds on the two sides.
Freestanding tubs include an abundance of styles, including the classic claw-foot, pedestal and other legged designs common in many country farm house plans. These models have exposed pipes so they are easier to install, require no additional framework and are often thought of as antique with a certain amount of charm. They are also typically deeper than standard built-in models to accommodate for soaking.
Bathtubs can be made from a multitude of materials. Porcelain on steel (POS) is the most common due to its resistance to corrosion, acid and abrasion. It is also lightweight and moderately priced in comparison to other materials. Fiberglass is also a popular choice because of its price.
It is not the most durable of materials, but can be repaired fairly easily. Acrylic is also used, although are prone to wear and tear over time. Products are available to resurface acrylic and buff out any scratches. On the pricier side is enameled cast iron. With the high cost comes a very durable material as it is extremely resistant to chipping and scratching. Other “high-end” options include marble and granite.