It used to be that a tub in the home was a luxury. Those now seem like long ago times.
Between the days of the “family tub” and the modern era, bathing styles seem to have come full circle. Still, the old standby of a tub-shower combination is the most common for homes with a single bathroom, as well as for secondary baths in larger homes.
Options for Bath Tubs
Today, tubs take many different forms — from purely utilitarian to totally personalized and therapeutic. They come in a multitude of styles, materials, colors, shapes and sizes. There are soaking tubs, jetted tubs, walk-in tubs and tubs designed specifically for bathing infants and pets. Costs also run the gamut, from very affordable to really expensive!
It’s a whole new world, and the trend toward separate tubs and showers rather than combination units is strong, particularly for master bath remodels and in new home construction. Enhanced bathing experiences — more like a spa treatment than a simple bodily cleansing — have emerged as the latest trend.
What, then, are the major considerations when you need to choose a tub?
- Material: Cast Iron, usually with a porcelain coating, has for decades been the standard; Enameled steel tubs are similar in appearance, but lighter in weight and not as durable. Other popular materials for manufactured tubs include acrylic, fiberglass, and composite materials. Engineered stone and modern synthetics are used to fabricate tubs, in addition to vanity sinks and kitchen sinks. Some trendy tubs today may be made of wood or metal, including copper and stainless steel.
- Color: Tubs come in a dizzying array of colors, but the most popular is still white. The same is true for the other fixtures in the bath.
- Style: Tubs are available in many sizes and shapes, including round, rectangular and corner shaped. There are long, deep soaking tubs, and jetted tubs built for two; there are also smaller tubs for special purposes like foot baths or for bathing children or pets, and walk-in tubs designed for people with mobility or balance issues. The familiar skirted tub that fits into a three-sided wall alcove is almost always rectangular; other tubs may be freestanding, set into a deck, molded to fit a custom space or incorporated into a “wet area” that also features shower heads, much like a Japanese bathing room.
- Price: While a basic tub may cost under $500, excluding faucet and installation, it is also possible to spend thousands of dollars on a custom designer tub that will be the focal point of a modern bathroom.
The Future of Tubbing
Freestanding retro claw foot tubs from the last century have made a comeback in modern homes. Not only are they visually appealing and comfortable to because of the back support they offer, but they are often placed to capture a view or contribute to a “spa experience” in the privacy of a your master bath retreat. Modern freestanding tubs can have similar lines, but there are a myriad of beautiful shapes, sizes and even outside designs and textures. Some of these free-standing tubs can be equipped with air massage systems. Bathtubs may include varied sensory experiences, with provisions for sound, light and aroma therapy, as well as heat. Whirlpool tubs usually include directional jets. Rotating jets, foot and back jets can be added to fit the user’s specific therapeutic needs. Air massage baths also have a variety of flow features. You can even combine the two types of systems.
Our certified bathroom designers at The Kitchen Master are well versed on modern bath design, and well equipped to assist area homeowners to make great choices for bathtubs and bathroom renovations. Contact us now to schedule an appointment at our convenient Naperville showroom.