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Tracks & Trails

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Bathtub Buying Guide

Cast iron is the most durable and longest-lasting type of bathtub you can buy, and vintage cast iron tubs are very popular. However, if a cast iron tub is too cumbersome to get to a second-floor bathroom in your home, an enameled steel tub is the next best thing.

bathtub buying guide

How long before you need to replace a bathtub will depend on how well it's cared for and whether it's reglazed during its lifetime, which can add ten or 15 years to the life of a tub. A fiberglass tub will last from ten to 15 years. An enameled steel tub can last ten to 30 years, and a cast iron tub can survive as long as the house it's in.

Shockingly, an air tub is not just a bathtub filled with air. Air tubs are similar to whirlpool tubs but instead of jets shooting water, they shoot air instead. The pressure is more spread out and less concentrated than water jets. This is a more relaxing experience for a lot of people. The way they are built ends up costing a bit more than whirlpool tubs. They usually start at $800 and are often closer to the $2,000 price point.

Just reading the different types of bathtubs available likely made clear that you have a lot to consider in making the right choice when buying a new bathtub. To help you figure out the particular features that will make a bathtub just right for your home, here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind.

Bathtubs come in an array of colors and styles. While most are white and offer a fairly classic style, if you want to seek out a bathtub that provides a modern look or complements the colors of your bathroom more than the typical bathtub style would, you have options.

American Standard is one of the premier brands in bathtubs, with a huge range of options and a solid reputation from customers across models and types. Reviewers commonly praise their bathtubs for looking great, having a good price, and being easy to clean. While reviews of different bathtub models point out different things, on the whole, customers across the board are usually satisfied with their American Standard tubs.

The right bathtub can perfectly match the aesthetics of the rest of your bathroom and add some style and elegance to the space. Or it can simply be an affordable option that gets the job done and allows you to enjoy soaking in warmth without any extra features. Whatever you most want in a bath, you can probably find it in your search of available bathtubs.

Rectangular tubs are the most common when it comes to bathtub shape because they fit easily into most bathrooms. If you have the square footage, uniquely shaped tubs such as oval and round take an ordinary bathtub and make it an art gallery-worthy piece. Of course, how a bathtub looks is just the beginning. Assess whether your body will feel supported and comfortable before committing to a particular tub shape.

The most popular rectangular bathtub shape is typically installed directly to three surrounding walls. These alcove tubs, also known as recessed tubs, are the perfect safe-spacing solutions as a two-in-one, bath-and-shower combo. Freestanding tubs, on the other hand, are, as the name gives away, freestanding. You can find these tubs in the middle of a bathroom or attached to just one wall.

Plastic bathtubs offer great design flexibility because they can be molded into many shapes. This is the lightest weight tub available and is also surprisingly durable, thanks to a coating of fiberglass or acrylic.

Synopsis: Senior editor Patrick McCombe gives a rundown of the different materials available for bathtubs, including acrylic, cast iron, cultured stone, fiberglass, and steel. He describes the pros and cons of each materials along with average cost and examples of specific bathtub makes and models. The article also includes an explanation of installation options, from freestanding to undermount, along with details to know before heading to the showroom to buy a new tub.

Sitting in your bathtub after a long day of work is one of the most relaxing ways to ease your stress, which is why it is important to weigh your choices for the best, most comfortable bathtub. However, buying and installing a bathtub can be challenging, especially if it is your first time. You need to take your time and do all the necessary research about tubs.

Size and shape Tubs are not one of those things that are one-size-fits-all. You have to determine how much space you have in your bathroom to determine the size of your tub. You have to ensure it will be big enough for you to fit inside comfortably but also not too big to fit in your current bathroom space. Ensure you also choose a shape that will meet your comfort and space needs perfectly. Budget Bigger and more modern-looking bathtubs are more expensive than the basic ones. Have a budget set aside for the tub, and ensure you go for one that fits that budget. Material Depending on your budget, how long you want your tub to last, and the complexity of cleaning it, there are several materials you can choose from such as plastic, enamel-steel, ceramic, copper, cast iron, acrylic, porcelain, stone resin, fiberglass, or cast-polymer. A good bathroom contractor can set you up with all the information you need.

Most importantly, you must understand where your drain is located or where your drain is going to be located. In a remodel, you most likely will NOT be moving the drain location and thus will want your new tub to have a drain in a very similar location. If you are considering a freestanding tub, it is essential you consider where the existing or new drain location is going to be placed as the tub will sit over the top of the drain location. Also, some tubs don't allow for the installation of a shower, so check before buying if a bathtub-shower combo is a must-have feature for your family.

The next step in a bathtub purchase is determining the size of the new bathtub. This is a critical step, and we recommend downloading our specification sheets listed by model (which give detailed measurements) and sharing the sheet with your architect/installer/designer/plumber. In a remodel, it is quite likely you will purchasing a new bathtub the same size as the original (but not always if you are expanding your bathroom space).

Considered the most affordable, the built-in or standard bathtub is a solo tub or a tub/shower combination often placed in the corner. This category also includes the drop-in bathtub which is installed below floor level, an option to enhance the luxurious feel of your bathroom. It requires less cleaning compared to the freestanding tub, but the surround for a built-in tub can increase the cost of the fixture.

Corian: Many brands use special composites, such as Corian. Corian is one of the solid-surface materials newly used in the bathtub market. It is easy to clean and is nonporous so stains do not penetrate the surface. If properly cleaned, it can resist the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. It is also resistant to scratching, stains, chips and cracks.

The quality of copper bathtubs differ depending on the thickness of copper used to make the tub, the purity of the copper used and the workmanship involved when making the copper tub. Copper is gauged depending on thickness. You will find out that gauge 20 copper is very thin and this means that a gauge 20 bathtub will be cheaper than a thicker gauge 14 or gauge 12 tub. If you are looking for a bathtub that will stand the test of time and need minimal or no repairs in years, go for the thickest copper tub you can afford.

Thin bathtubs have been known to wear quickly leading to leaks and dents. Thin tubs will also produce some noise, especially when filling the tub and this can be a tad annoying. Another factor that comes into play when considering the quality is the purity of the material of the copper used. While this might not be very easy to discern just by looking at the end product, most sellers will tell you the percentage of copper in relation to other metals added. A higher percentage of cooper to other metal is always better as it produces a stronger more durable alloy.

Workmanship is also a consideration when it comes to quality. Different manufacturers will produce different results - even when using the same type and gauge of metal. The overall time used to make the tub, the level of expertise and the general attention to detail will affect the final outcome and thus affect the quality of the bathtub make. Workmanship can be seen. If you keenly look at the options available to buy you can easily tell the product that was completed to perfection, even if all are the selections are made from the same type of copper metal.

Most copper items will come in either a smooth, well-polished finish or a rugged, hammered finish. In most instances, it makes more sense to buy a tub with a well finished and smooth interior especially when considering the level of comfort you expect not just from a copper bathtub but any other bathtub you use. For the outside, you have the option of choosing a smooth and polished finish or the hammered and rugged one for a more adventurous look.

Finishing also affects the color of the metal and consequently the bathtub color. There are four main colors when it comes to copper bathtubs. These colors range from a shiny penny look to darker coffee or dark chocolate hues. Of course more hues do exist, all depending on the origin and age of the metal as well as the type and percentage of other metals used to make the copper tub. Select the color that best suits your style and blends with the rest of your bathroom items as well.

Darker colored bathtubs are always a safe choice for those who do not want to think about extra care and maintenance while using copper bathtubs. Whatever your option, be sure to select the finishing that meets most, if not all your requirements.

There are copper bathtubs in enough styles to suit most, if not all homeowners. There are rectangular and circular bathtubs and many shapes in between all made to fit different users' needs. Some bathtubs also come with decorations like flowers or other attractive designs - especially on the outside. There are some manufactures that are ready to custom make a copper bathtub in a unique style, specifically designed to suit a certain bathroom. The secret when it comes to choosing the right style lies in taking adequate time and going through a number of suppliers until you find the style that fits you. Some manufacturers are known to come up with unique styles every now and then and those should be your first choice when selecting your tub. The fact that a bathtub can also be custom made is a huge plus. While custom made copper bathtubs might come at an extra cost, home owners are given the option of owning a bathtub that is designed to fit their bathroom and meet their unique requirements. 041b061a72


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