Master Bath Remodeling - Choosing A Bathtub - Part 2

Choosing a bathtub for a master bath suite remodel - Part 2

In Part One, we explored some of the factors to consider when choosing the perfect tub, types of bathtubs and materials used in their construction. In Part Two, we'll examine the different kinds of bathtub installations as well as some of the newest innovations and fun features you can add to make your bathtub truly unique for your lifestyle.

Types of Bathtubs: Installation Choices

Much like kitchen sinks, there are several different installation choices when it comes to mounting your bathtub. Your installation is going to be somewhat determined by your design and the type of tub you purchase. If you're going to replace an existing tub with no changes to your infrastructure, then your choice will be determined by the existing installation method.

However, if you're building a new bathroom, or doing a gut remodel, you may have some flexibility in your choice. It will depend on the space available as well as the design of your bathroom. Your designer and contractor can help you to narrow your choices.

Here are some of the most popular types installations available.

• Alcove Tub

An alcove tub is typically rectangular and is the most popular choice for most homeowners. It incorporated a shower into the bathing area, and the tub is usually surrounded by tile walls on three sides. These types of tubs can vary in depth and represent the “standard” configuration.

• Platform Installation

This type of install also goes by the names “platform,” “deck-mounted” and “drop-in tub.” It sits within a raised platform and the rim of the tub is level to the top of the deck. This is a common install for a whirlpool or air jet tubs.

• Undermount Bathtub

An undermount tub is no different than a drop-in, except the the rim is covered by the surrounding deck top usually made of stone or tile. The tub is supported by the floor structure underneath the tub. It's not “hung” like an undermount sink. One consideration if choosing this type of install is the type of deck top you choose. If you ever need to remove the tub, it may make it a bigger job as the stone will need to be broken up in order to get the tub out.

• Free Standing Tub

A free-standing tub simply sits on the floor with no other structural support. Clawfoot, slipper and soaking tubs are examples of free standing installation. For these types of in
stalls you'll need to consider existing plumbing and drainage, or you'll need to move it which can add to your costs.

• Corner Bathtub

Corner tubs are a bit of a hybrid as they can take most of the installation styles listed above. Typically you'll see many triangular shaped platform tubs used in this type of install, but there are other varieties that work in this type of scenario. The primary consideration with a corner install is the location of the fixtures.

Bathroom Technology: Customize Your Bathing Experience!

Today, bathtubs are much more than just a simple fixture that holds water for bathing! Technology has hit the bathtub, and today it's possible to enhance your bathing experience with add-ons like lighting, sound, heat, and more.

Before you make a final decision, here are some add-ons that can take your bathing experience to the next level!

• Contemporary Luxury

If you're looking for high design, a slipper tub offers modern style and a deep soak! It provides a gentle sweep on one end and a graceful look that supports your back, neck, and head similar to a lounge chair! Other materials like a handmade mahogany tub or hand-hammered copper freestanding tub can offer a luxurious focal point to your bathroom.

• Soaker and Air Tubs For Smaller Bathroom
If a soaker tub appeals to you, but you don't have the room, smaller soaker tubs are available. Manufacturers like Aquatic offer a range of smaller soaker and air tubs perfect for a more modest bathroom.

• Heaters and Electronic Controls

Many whirlpool and air jet tubs offer heaters that keep the water hot. Some like Aquatic's HotSoak have a heater and a pump but allow you to limit the water movement for a hot tub experience.

• Soaker-Like Conventional Tubs

Some alcove tubs have features that allow them to be filled more than a standard tub creating a soaker tube-hybrid perfect for a smaller bathroom. American Standard and Kohler place the overflow drain at a higher level in the tub to allow for more water depth.

• Integrating Sound

Today, the bathtub isn't just for getting clean! You can enjoy your favorite music and a light show while you relax in the tub! Kohler's VibrAcoustic tubs combine what they refer to as “soothing instrumental music” that allows you to hear it above the water's surface, and feel it below the water line. If you want to pick your bathing soundtrack, use their DTV interface to listen to your music using your MP3 player or computer.

• Chromatherapy (Light therapy)

If you haven't experienced chromatherapy, it's a great addition to your bathing ritual. Kohler's VibrAcoustic tubs can be fitted with different colored lights that can pulse to the music and add a soothing element, or energize you while to bathe. Jason Hydrotherapy's LED chromatherapy kit provides programmed lights that blend colors mixes and fades among the primary colors in the light spectrum to make your bath not only relaxing but therapeutic.

Your bathtub can be a simple utilitarian fixture, or it can be a place of refuge where you can relax after a long day. If you're shopping for a new tub, you have more choices than ever before regarding style, materials, installation, and amenities. Do your research, speak with your designer or design-build contractor and with a little planning, you can create the bathroom of your dreams!


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.