How to Choose the Perfect Bathtub
When designing your bathroom a big important feature is the bathtub. Coming home from a hard day at work and taking a relaxing bubble bath could make a tough day transform into a great day with the turn of a faucet. There are a few things to consider besides the color when picking the perfect bathtub for your bathroom. You do not want to get an inexpensive tub that you will have to replace and spend more money replacing it and fixing the design of the bathroom around the replacement.
The surface of your bathtub is important for different reasons. There are a lot of choices and most have benefits and drawbacks.
Porcelain or enameled cast iron bathtubs are the tubs a lot of us grew up with. They are very durable, but due to their weight and need for extra support under the subfloor they are no longer popular. The porcelain does not hold the warmth of the water and the cast iron tubs are more expensive then the newer style tubs.
An acrylic bathtub is the most popular of tubs available right now. They are easily maintained and cleaned, very durable and lightweight. People with kids love how easy it is to clean with non-abrasive cleaners and a cloth. It is resistant to high temperatures and mildew. Acrylic is affordable and if the finish loses its shine, it can be buffed back into shape.
European Steel Enamel
The European steel enamel tub is gaining popularity in the US due to its resilience and hard surface free from porousness. It is very hygienic and easy to clean.
For a less expensive bathtub you could consider a gel-coated fiberglass tub. These tubs are not long lasting, but they will perform well for a while, as they are lightweight and strong. They do get stained easily and are prone to get mold and mildew, which can be hard to clean.
Another consideration should be the size and shape of the bathtub. You want to pick a tub that will fit in your bathroom and not under or overwhelm it. The bathtub can be a focal point, but be careful to keep the size proportionate to the design of your bathroom. Think about the size of the person who will use it most.
Do not buy a big tub just because you think having a huge tub would be nice. A larger tub takes a lot more time to fill, you may run out of hot water and for a smaller person a big tub could be uncomfortable. There are some great features when considering the shape of your tub. You can find a tub that contours to your back, you can have armrests and for the disabled or elderly you can factory installed grab bars.
It is important to have the tub coordinate with the color of the granite countertops in your bathroom. Having beautiful granite countertops and a completely different color bathtub can ruin the whole design. As with any room make sure every new piece blends well with the design of the surrounding furnishings.
A great feature you can add when buying your bathtub is jetted or air baths. These can really relax the bather and add extra value to your home. With massage systems in your bathtub you will want to choose the system with care.
The air jets are small and hard to see which is a good thing. The air gets pulled in and blows out hot air, which creates bubbles that massage. A great benefit of the air jets is that they dry themselves; this can ensure that no water is left inside them to get mildewed. You can add bubble bath, oils and salts and they will not damage the system.
The jets in jetted baths are very visible, this can be a deterrent, however, the stream of the jets can be directed at specific areas that need massage. The jets keep some water retention from the last time it was used so it can be less hygienic then the air bath options.
The bathtub you choose is a personal choice as it will be responsible for much of your relaxation. Having an inviting tub that looks and feels relaxing can calm those frazzled nerves and have you looking forward to the reward you give yourself at the end of each day. Whether it is a claw foot tub or a drop-in tub, all that matters is that you find physically relaxing. You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to purchase the perfect tub. However, if you have the money to go for the nicer features, spend it. Your tub will be with you for years to come and if you put the right one in, it may even increase the value of your home.
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