Tuesday 11 October 2016

Soak It Up - Choosing the Right Tub!

One cannot and should not underestimate the feeling of soul invigorating luxury a deep, relaxing soak after a gruelling day at work or home can provide! Choosing the right tub for your bathroom is an important decision and extremely significant for your overall bathroom design.
A master bathroom without a bath is almost like a house with no kitchen. Statistics prove that a nice bath tub in at least one bathroom in the home, is a higher selling point than two large showers. A tub exudes the illusion of space, luxury and an opportunity to pamper yourself. If you have small children, and just one bathroom, a tub becomes a necessity. If you have the luxury of two bathrooms, then a small tub with shower combo for the family or guest bath and a gorgeous free standing tub in the master ensuite is on the top of the 'must have' list!
So here are my top things to consider when choosing a tub before renovating or planning your bathroom design.

Dimensions, space, installation and weight
It is extremely important to figure out the space you would like to allocate to your new bath tub. This means breaking out the measuring tape and figuring out the dimensions of your bathroom, the space for the tub and check whether or not the floor of the bathroom is strong enough to withstand the weight of a fully filled bath tub. For example, cast iron baths are gorgeous to look at but impractical and unsuitable for second floor installations due to its sheer weight when filled with water!

There are various tub options to suit your space.
  • Alcove setting (like the one above)
  • Freestanding bath for a resort style design
  • Island baths
  • Undermounted tubs
  • Drop-in spaces
  • Inset baths with tiled ledge around the tub
Design Tip: Measure and plan plumbing and waste hole placements at the design stage for freestanding and island baths to avoid unnecessary expenses later.

Surface Material
This refers to the material the tub is manufactured from. Again there are several options ranging from builder grade right to designer tubs. And there are pros and cons to every option.
  • Cast Iron Baths: Heavy, durable but not suitable for second floor installations due to weight
  • Acrylic Tubs: Expensive but super durable and lightweight
  • Steel tubs covered in enamel or porcelain: Scratch and impact resistant, affordable and very durable
  • Marble, cultured marble, solid surfaces: Seamless in nature makes it so desirable, very expensive but durable
  • Fibreglass Tubs: Inexpensive, strong, lightweight but short lifespan 
  • Copper Bath Tubs: Very expensive but beautiful!
Design Tip: Think about complementary or matching toilet suites and basins when choosing your tub surface material and style.

Size matters! 
Size does matter when choosing the right bath tub for your home and family. One size does not fit all.

To check whether or not the tub is right for you, literally jump into it before buying it. Sit in it, lie in it, roll in it, pretend that you are having a bath, lean back, rest your head and extend your feet. See if it is comfortable and fits right down to your toes! Trust me, you'll thank me later!

Bath tubs come in various sizes ranging from 1200mm to over 1800mm.
Design Tip: When choosing a spa bath, consider the size of the tub and the number of jets for the ultimate luxurious and pampering spa experience.

Today there are a myriad of options available in regards to special bath features.
  • Spa baths with jets
  • Air baths
  • Whirlpools
  • Hydro Thermal Massage systems
Design Tip: When choosing and installing a bath with jets and jacuzzi features, ensure that your contractor or plumber leaves an access to the motor in case of repairs.

The Price Tag
The most important point to consider is the cost. This would of course be based on your budget. As a guideline, you could be looking at spending the following depending on your choice of tub.
  • Fibreglass tubs starts at $300 - $800
  • Good quality acrylic baths can cost anywhere between $800 - $1500
  • Cast Iron bath tubs can set you back from $500 - $2000
  • Steel tubs with enamel or porcelain coating can cost anywhere between $200 - $500
  • Copper and marble baths can cost an exorbitant $4000 and upwards
Design Tip: A stylish bath and shower combo is great for small compact spaces and homes with small children. 

A tub is functional, a design feature but mostly it is emotive. It signifies relaxation, leisure, 'breathing space' and most importantly a feeling of luxury and indulgence in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. Depending on the tub you choose, you can create a sense of high impact drama or a refuge of serenity in the bathroom. Which is your favourite? Or what sort of a tub do you have in your bathroom?

Till next time...soak it up!
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