Bathtub Buying Guide

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.

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 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 bathroom
  • Living finish gains patina gradually lending 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

Natural Wood

  • Remarkable, difficult to find highlight for your bathroom
  • Patina develops eventually for a unique appearance
  • Handcrafted construction for a one-of-a-kind showpiece
  • Can be customized to your specifications
  • Environmentally friendly; wood is harvested from government-approved sustainable forests

Stone

  • Statement-making look because of intricate detailing and shapes
  • Handcrafted from stone for natural, hard to duplicate style
  • Good heat retention capabilities
  • Extremely heavy and durable
  • Can be customized to your specifications

 

    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.

     

    Style

    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 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.

     

     



    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.

     

    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.


    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: Many 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.

    • Custom Painting: We provide a custom painting service for the outside of any acrylic or cast iron tub. This gives the tub a very particular look designed to coordinate with the room’s color scheme.