Our Favorite Types of Bathtubs: Which Is Right for You?
A well-designed bathtub can really bring the wow-factor to your bathroom. That’s why this focal point should be one of the first elements you consider when it comes time to remodel your Charlotte bathroom. Even if you were happy with your old tub, this is the ideal time to look at the types of bathtubs on the market today to see what updates have been made in the “scrub-a-dub-dub” industry. You might find something you like better or that meets your household’s needs more efficiently.
Classic Types of Bathtubs Start with Freestanding Models
The most popular bathtub option today for primary suites, freestanding bathtubs were commonly used in America for the sake of simplicity for centuries. Prior to the invention of indoor plumbing, a freestanding tub could serve bathing needs in any home without having to connect to a plumbing system. In those days, bathtubs were made of metal and porcelain.
Today, you can install a modernized version of the same type of bathtub made with acrylic, fiberglass and stone composites for a classic – or contemporary – look. Since a remodeler can easily position a freestanding tub just about anywhere, most modern models don’t come equipped with plumbing fixtures; and rightfully so, as there are three distinct ways to plumb them: from the wall, the floor or the ceiling. Your bathroom designer and trusted remodeling contractor will help you create a design that incorporates plumbing in the best way for your specific bathtub selection, site conditions and level of investment.
While several factors influence the cost of the various types of bathtubs and the fixtures to go with them, a freestanding tub is typically going to be the most expensive of the options to follow. This is why they’re more common in primary bathrooms as opposed to secondary bathrooms that aren’t used as frequently.
Save Space With An Alcove Tub
For many homeowners with limited bathroom space or traditional 5’ x 8’ bathrooms, it’s helpful to focus on the types of bathtubs that you can fit a defined footprint. An alcove tub is surrounded on three sides, making efficient use of the available square footage in any bathroom and allowing you to combine the shower and the bathtub if you choose. While a tub/shower combo is the most common configuration for alcove tubs, there are some instances where the shower is still separate from the bathtub. When combined, alcove tubs are an economical alternative to a separate tub and shower and make a great bathing solution in children’s bathrooms or even guest baths.
Even when you have considerable square footage to work with, because this style of bathtub allows you to combine tub and shower features into one wet footprint, it can allow more space for vanity cabinets, linen storage or maybe even a separate water closet. As long as you don’t need a large tub, a 60-inch alcove tub may leave you with more design flexibility in your bathroom
Drop-Ins Are Popular Types of Bathtubs for Extra Features
When you’re looking for new bathtubs to meet your need for conserving space, the drop-in tub is historically one of the more popular options due to the variety of sizes, configurations and styles available. However, this type of tub is going to be more expensive to install than an alcove tub, since it requires building a surrounding frame and finishing it with tile and a tub deck (typically cut from stone or engineered quartz) to support the tub and plumbing fixtures.
If you have the budget for a more luxurious design, drop-in tubs are available with all manner of bells and whistles for the ultimate bathing experience. From air jets, and heated backs to integrated grab bars and unique colors, drop-in tubs can be configured to represent a variety of comfort and style preferences.
An added bonus is that you don’t need to factor a small table into your bathroom design like you do for freestanding tubs, since the tub deck will keep products, candles, books and beverages well within reach.
Meet A Close Cousin of the Drop-In: The Undermount Tub
If you’re smitten with drop-in tubs, but want an even sleeker look, the undermount tub might be the one for you. Just like the drop-in tub, undermount tubs fit within a frame. The difference with an undermount tub is that it is installed underneath a stone or quartz deck. Thus its rim is flush with the frame that surrounds it, instead of being raised.
Undermount tubs can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, although there aren’t nearly as many options as drop-ins. Overall, they have a higher-end look and function well for smaller footprints. Just like with a drop-in, undermount tubs allow you to get creative with the tile skirt and backsplash.
Address Mobility Issues with Walk-In Tubs
If you have a senior, differently abled individual, or young child in your household, you might be looking for a tub that’s safer to use. A walk-in tub eliminates the need to step up and over a large rim. A walk-in has a much deeper depth than a traditional tub, and these units usually come equipped with an elevated seat for comfort.
Walk-in tubs come with a variety of features, such as water jets and handheld shower devices. If a family member has difficulties balancing themselves or standing for extended periods of time, a walk-in tub can help them bathe more safely. Anyone who wants a deep and relaxing bath can also enjoy this tub.