Choosing a Bathtub for Your Bathroom Remodel
When planning a bathroom remodeling project, it used to be that you didn’t have many choices of bathtubs, but today there is a bewildering array of tubs in different shapes, sizes, and materials. How do you choose which kind of tub is right for you? Here are some of the factors to consider when selecting a bathtub.
If you are particularly large or tall, you might be more comfortable in a wider or longer bathtub. On the other hand, if you’re petite, you probably don’t want an extra deep soaking tub. If you like long soaks, you might prefer a tub that has contoured armrests and back support so you can rest easy.
If someone in your household has trouble maneuvering, or if you’re planning to retire at your home, take these factors into consideration during your bathroom remodeling project. Install grab bars in the bathtub area and think about installing a walk-in model, which permits you to enter the tub through a door rather than stepping over the rim.
How are you planning to decorate your bathroom? If you’re going for an old-fashioned look, a claw-footed cast iron tub might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a pampered, spa-like environment, you probably want the luxury of jetted or soaking tub.
Configuration Depending on the layout of your bathroom, it may make more sense to have a free-standing tub in the middle of the room or an alcove tub set into the wall. Jetted tubs often need a platform that raises them above the floor.
Acrylic – This plastic material is economical and very popular for tubs since it is lightweight and can be shaped into numerous designs. It is glossy and can come in just about any color. If scratched, the marks can often be removed through buffing.
Cast Iron – Usually coated in enamel, cast iron is the most durable of bathtub materials. It holds heat well, so it’s ideal if you like long soaks, but it’s heavier than other materials, so you may need to reinforce the bathroom floor. Cast iron doesn’t scratch easily and can last a lifetime.
Fiberglass Gelcoat (FRP): FRP is similar to acrylic in its appearance and cost and can be molded into many shapes, making it a good choice for jetted baths. It isn’t as durable as acrylic and may need to be replaced sooner.