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Bathtub Buying Guide


Sometimes buying a bathtub can become a case of information overload due to the numerous materials, shapes, and styles. Below you will find plusses of each to steer you toward the best fit for your bathroom remodel.

Size & Fit


One of the primary considerations when selecting your new
tub pertains to the actual size. This often closely correlates
to the amount available space in your bathroom. We advise you
measure the tub’s planned location along with any extra room
required for plumbing fixtures (faucets, drains, etc.). Quick
access to the plumbing for any possible upkeep is also advisable.
Generally speaking, we recommend having a minimum of 4” space
between the tub and all surrounding bathroom walls.

Please make sure to measure entryways, stairwells, door openings, etc. to ensure you have adequate space for which to fit the tub. Removal or expansion of doors and other openings may lead to extra labor costs.

If you install the tub above the first floor, some of the heavier tubs (stone) might require extra help for transportation. Further, these tubs may need extra reinforcement beneath the finished floor if it wasn’t originally constructed for bearing such a weight load (please consult your contractor about this).

As a general guideline on selecting tub length, we recommend you sit down with your legs outstretched. Then, using a tape measure, check the length from your hip to your heel to see whether you would comfortably fit in the tub.

Materials


Acrylic
  • Lightweight for easy transport
  • Durable
  • Optional foam insulation for heat retention and reduction of condensation
  • Optional air massage for a soothing experience similar to a spa
  • Popular modern style but also compatible with antique-themed bathrooms
  • No floor reinforcements are required if installing on higher floors
  • Custom exterior painting available
Cast Iron
  • Heavy and durable
  • True to original manufacturing specifications
  • Maintains water temperature
  • Hand-painted exterior and porcelain enamel interior mesh well; inside difficult to scratch and a cinch to clean
  • Custom exterior painting available
Copper
  • Standout centerpiece for the bathroom
  • Living finish gains patina gradually lending a unique character
  • Conducts heat for consistent temperature
  • Inherently less susceptible to bacteria and mold than many materials
  • Optional air massage for a soothing experience similar to a spa
Resin
  • Heavy, man-made stone material withstands regular use
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Features built-in overflow and no exposed plumbing
  • Optional air massage for a soothing experience similar to a spa
  • Minor scratches can be easily buffed using fine sandpaper
Concrete

The popularity of concrete continues to increase and the quality of the material offers a hint as to why. These cast products are available in several finishes and undergo a special bonding process to apply the finish. The items are then sanded to a smooth texture. Each of these sinks will vary in color, shade and markings so each customer will receive his or her own distinct style.

Natural Wood

Natural wood products are available in several finishes and crafted by hand for premium quality. These items develop a natural patina gradually, so furniture wax is recommended to preserve the finish. Further, no abrasive materials should be used on the surface.


Acrylic

Acrylic

Forming - Computerized molding machine makes the inner and outer bathtub

Added Strength - The bottom tub is reinforced by layering unsaturated resin and fiber glass

Assembly - Outer tub and inner tub halves are joined together with high strength glue

Curing - Bathtubs are cured at 130°F for 3 hours

Painting & Polishing - Three coats of automotive grade paint is sprayed on the tub, then polished to perfection

Inspection - All products must pass rigid QC requirements

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Category


Clawfoot

A staple in homes for many years, this tub suggests a liking for the classics. The intricate feet are available in varying styles and arrive to your home attached for added convenience. Pick a finish to match your tub faucet and other decor.

Freestanding

Generally tilted toward the modern end of the design spectrum, these tubs sit on the floor and become a focal point of your entire bathroom due to their stand-alone style. Available in an array of materials, these tubs can perhaps best be described as flashy but not gaudy.




Styles


Double-Ended Roll-Top

The biggest asset of a double-ended roll-top tub is the option of choosing either side for bathing. The walls slope slightly for comfort and can fit two users (if large enough).These tubs will normally have a drain in the middle, meaning you won’t sit on the piping.

Double-Slipper

Elevated on both ends for a pleasant bath, these tubs may allow two bathers depending on the size. The center drain allows you to recline peacefully without sitting directly on the associated plumbing parts.

Modern

This category mostly applies to freestanding acrylic and resin tubs, in particular, those with either very sharp angles or extreme curvature. Certain to leave a lasting impression and very classy, these tubs will impart character upon your bathroom.

Pedestal

An alternative for clawfoot tubs, these models carry an air of distinction and provide a more clean look. Along with a range of sizes, these tubs are available in slipper, double-slipper, and double-ended styles, among others.

Roll-Top

The curved rim of these tubs denotes a sense of importance for these tubs, which can be found in both acrylic and cast iron styles. The bend also makes grasping the tub easier when trying to enter and exit.

Skirted Bateau

Completely mesmerizing visually and equally up to the task in quality, these tubs involve a “skirt” wrapped around the outside. If you want a true showpiece for your bathroom while also factoring in comfort, this tub makes sense. The metal sheet adds another layer to the already stout cast iron.

Slipper

Possibly the most stylish of all tubs, these units enable the bather to sit back, relax and enjoy the benefits of the slope while not worrying about interference from the drain (which is located on the opposite side). As implied in the name, the shape resembles footwear by the same name.




Drilling Options


Overflow Drilling

Another key consideration for your tub purchase is whether to add an overflow hole. Cast iron tubs automatically have these included, while stone and wood tubs do not feature overflows. Resin tubs have built-in, slot-style overflow holes, meaning there will be no exposed plumbing.

However, for most acrylic and copper tubs, you can pick whether to have the overflow drilled. Some customers prefer no overflow to avoid the visible drain pipes while others choose this to prevent running water from causing a spill. Likewise, some local codes require an overflow drilling.

Faucet Drillings

An important factor when choosing your tub revolves around faucet type. This mostly applies to acrylic and cast iron tubs as most don’t have an option. Below you will find a brief explanation of the different versions:

  • Rolled Rim: This pertains to a tub with no faucet drillings and a continuous rolled rim across its entire lip. These tubs only pair with freestanding and bathroom wall-mount faucets.
  • Tap Deck with 7” Rim Holes: Choose this option when you want a faucet attached to the tub’s rim. The tap deck (the flat area on a small section of the tub’s rim) enables faucet holes to be drilled into the rim. The 7” figure references the space between the center of one faucet hole to the center of the other hole. You must select a faucet with standard 7” centers for this to work.
  • Tap Deck without Faucet Holes: Occasionally, a rim-mount tub faucet will not have 7” centers (a standard drilling), necessitating a customer drilling. Certain tubs have this choice available. Your plumber/installer (we recommend a licensed professional) can drill holes into the deck to fit the faucet’s centers. However, only two-hole faucets attach to our tubs; Roman tub faucets and those with three or greater holes won’t work as these would hinder drain pipes from functioning properly.
  • 3 ⅜” Faucet Drillings: Used specifically on the interior walls of certain cast iron and acrylic tubs, this type of drilling was used more extensively in the past but remains popular today. Two holes will be drilled on the inside wall of the tub; the center of one hole to the center of the other will be pre-drilled 3 ⅜” apart. This is a standard measurement for tub wall-mount faucets. The top of the tub will have a continuous rolled rim the same as described on the “Rolled Rim” section above.


Extras



  • MagnaAir System: The inherent angles and curves of a bathtub make it a source of tranquility. Through the addition of our optional MagnaAir jet system, your tub will become a calming influence after a stressful day. We install 16 strategically placed jets on the bottom of the tub, which then project warmed air throughout your body. Please see our “About Air Tubs” section for more details about how these operate.

  • Insulation: Acrylic tubs included in our “Wesley Collection” come pre-insulated. Many other acrylic tubs can be insulated with foam to keep the water warmer longer. This add-on is especially useful for those who enjoy an extended bath session.