How To Find Your Perfect Bathtub
Southern Materials Company understands a long bath can be one of life’s great pleasures. Selecting the right bathtub for your bathroom remodel project can become one of life’s least pleasurable experiences. Which is why we have created this page. Our goal is to help you find the perfect tub because the “right” bathtub can make a bigger difference that you may realize, and at Southern Materials Company, you have a significant variety of options to choose from.
Whether you’d be happy with something basic or are ready to seek out the bathtub that will bring you the perfect bathing experience, you’ve got an array of factors to consider and options to wade through in your search.
Our buyer’s guide to bathtubs will help you go into your search more knowledgeable so you have the information you need to make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know as you start your search for the perfect bathtub for you.
Types of Bathtubs by Experience
When you’re considering your bathtub options, there are two different categories of types to consider. The first relates to the type of experience you’ll have in the bath.
The most common type of bathtub, the standard tub, doesn’t provide any special bells and whistles, but does its job just fine. These are usually right around the same size, at five feet long, 30” wide, and 14-16” high. These come in a few different installation options, including alcove, drop-in, and freestanding.
Whirlpool tubs include jets that are generally positioned at spots close to where a person’s major muscle groups will be as they lie in the tub. The force from the jets provides a massage-like experience that can be relaxing and work to reduce aches and pains for people who often have muscle or joint soreness. Whirlpool tubs cost more, in general, than both standard and soaking tubs.
Soaking tubs are deeper than standard tubs so you can get a fuller soaking experience. Some soaking tubs are also wider or longer as well, to make fitting into them comfortably easier. They’re more expensive than standard tubs, starting at around $200 and sometimes getting up into the thousands.
Air tubs are similar to whirlpool tubs, but instead of shooting water out of a few strategically placed jets, they shoot air out from a number of different jets in a way that spreads the pressure out. The sensation is less concentrated, which some people find more relaxing and pleasurable. Air tubs are generally just a bit more expensive than whirlpool tubs, starting at around $800 and frequently costing between $1000 and $2000.
All these different nice-to-have experiential options don’t have to be exclusive. You can find soaking tubs with jets and tubs that offer both whirlpool and air technology. If reading about the different options has made you feel you simply can’t choose just one, then look for a combination tub that offers all of the experiential options you want. Of course, adding in more features will predictably mean a higher cost, so be prepared to pay more for a combination tub based on the features you’re looking for.
Walk-in tubs are less about indulgence than some of the other types on this list, and more about convenience and need. For seniors or people with disabilities who have a hard time getting in and out of the bath safely each day, a walk-in tub takes a lot of the risk out of the equation. Walk-in tubs can be expensive, usually falling somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000. For the growing number of seniors who prefer to age-in-place rather than move to a senior care facility, the cost is well worth the ability to reduce the risks of an everyday activity.
Installation Bathtub Types
The experiential options are crucial to choosing the right bathtub for getting the experience you need out of your bath, but you also have a more practical concern to consider: installation. There are a few different ways bathtub installation can work and for some consumers, you’ll be limited in your options based on the space where your tub is being installed.
It’s important to understand the kind of tub you’ll need for the configuration you have. A bathtub isn’t exactly something you want to deal with sending back because you got one that won’t work in your space. Here are the main options you have and how to figure out which one is right for you.
The most common bathtub installation option is the alcove bathtub. These tubs are installed between three walls, with an open space on the fourth side. Since three sides are installed along a wall, these tubs only have one finished side. Alcove tubs often include the option of adding a showerhead and faucets as well. These are generally the most affordable option and, in many cases, will be the easiest option to go with if you’re replacing an old bathtub with a new one.
Freestanding tubs are designed not to have any sides installed along a wall. Instead, they stand either on feet, as with clawfoot tubs, or on a base designed to support the tub’s full weight. These take up more space than most of the other tub installation options, since they aren’t tucked into a corner or space in the same way that built-in tubs are. If you have the space available though, many consumers like the stylish options available in this category.
Corner tubs are typically three-sided and installed in the corner of a room as a way to save space. Two of the three sides are installed along a wall, with the third finished and opened. Corner tubs are popular for consumers that have small bathrooms, but still want to be able to fit a tub in there. They have a different shape than typical tubs, so if you’re considering one without having used one before, it’s worth going to storeroom to sit in a corner tub and see how it feels to you first.
Drop-in tubs, sometimes called platform bathtubs, provide only the basic shell of the tub. They don’t have a side that’s finished, instead you can drop them into a frame that’s designed to match the room around the bathtub. These require a more complicated installation process, since you need to install the outside enclosure as well as the tub itself, and they’ll usually cost you more than a lot of your other installation options. If you value your tub perfectly matching the rest of the bathroom though, these give you more control over how the space looks.
An undermount tub is similar to a drop-in tub, but with a deck surrounding the rim of it made of a material like tile or stone, sometimes made to match the floor of the bathroom. As with drop-in tubs, the installation is more involved and costly, but they provide an aesthetic that makes the extra worth it for some customers.
Schedule a Free In-Home Design Consultation Today! Or Schedule a Free Showroom Visit. No matter your bathroom remodel needs, Southern Materials Company has a team of highly experienced bathroom designers ready to help you make the perfect selections for your bathroom remodel.