When you’re in the market for a new bathtub, you want the best. You want a bathtub style that fits your particular interior and that matches the decor of the rest of your home. Living in the Bay Area, it could be modern, traditional or even antique. But choosing a bathtub and getting the most for your money is not always so simple. In fact, it can take some real thought working everything out, including the tricky parts, like fit and installation.
If you’re having problems, check out the following guide and make sure that you’re checking all the right boxes.
Size and Fit
First thing’s first: size and fit. You’ve got to make sure that you have room in your existing bathroom to fit your new tub. Different bathtub types have different sizes, so grab a tape measure and start plotting out the floor space required by the old one to make sure that you have room for the new one. If you’re replacing a shower with a tub, or a shower/tub combination, make sure there’s plenty of room for entering and exiting the tub so you won’t be bumping into other parts of the bathroom, like the sink or vanity.
Quality and Durability
Different bathtubs are made of varying materials, depending on style and budgets.
Many bathtubs are made from acrylic, a kind of plastic material. Like all plastics, acrylic is relatively inexpensive and can look good if you go with a quality manufacturer. Acrylics tend to be popular with tubs that have a lot of moving parts, like whirlpool and air tubs, thanks to the fact that they can be molded into the desired shapes easily.
Cultured marble tubs are right at the top end of the market. When it comes to creating a visual impact, there is no comparison. Marble tubs are made from pieces of crushed marble set into a resin which binds the stone together. Although not as expensive as a marble tub hewn from a single piece of rock, these tubs are pricey and can weigh a lot, which means that they may not be suitable for some homes.
Cast iron tubs had their heyday in the past but, thanks to their vintage appeal, they’re becoming popular once more. The quality of cast iron tubs is high and they tend to be among the longest-lasting of all bathtub materials, so long as the iron itself remains adequately treated.
Fiberglass gel coat is perhaps the cheapest option that you’ll find – a kind of fiberglass-reinforced plastic but they aren’t very durable and tend to discolor over time.
Ease Of Maintenance
Not all bathtubs are equally easy to maintain. Acrylic baths, for instance, are considered to be among the easiest to manage because repairs can be made to them. Repairs, however, are much more difficult to carry out on cultured marble because once the material is chipped, the chip cannot be replaced. Fiberglass tubs can also be challenging to maintain because once they crack, the fiberglass can be a hindrance to any repair work.
Fit and Installation
Both cast iron and marble tubs are very heavy. If, like many people, you have a second-floor bathroom, you may need to reinforce your floor before installing a bathtub like this (which can become even heavier when filled with water).