There are many different types of bathtubs to choose from: clawfoot, freestanding bathtub, deep soaking tubs, corner tub with jets and more!
Bathtubs have been around for centuries. Ever since the first tub, people have been looking for new and innovative ways of personalizing their bath time experience.
When you plan on a bathroom remodel the type, size and location of the tub is very important. Mistakes made here are difficult and expensive to rectify.
In this article, I’m going to explore the various bathtub style options commonly available.
Usually made from acrylic or fiberglass. These are generally, rectangle in shape and sized around 60 inches long by 32 inches wide. Designed to fit up against a wall on 1, 2 or 3 sides.
You cover the open sides that face into the room up with attractive panelling. This disguises the ugly plumbing and internal surfaces of the tub.
They will have the holes for the bathtub faucet and drainage made during manufacture.
Perfect for the family bathroom. An ideal purchase for budget shoppers.
Available in white but in does come in other colors. For a master bathroom, you might consider other types of tubs that give a stylish or luxurious element.
A soaking bathtub is like a standard tub except it is longer and deeper allowing the bather to have a long relaxing soak in a hot bubbly bath.
Also, there is usually room for two if you enjoy sharing your bath.
You need to check you have the space before installation.
Air Tub or Air Bath
Here small holes in the sides of the bath that product relaxing and soothing air bubbles.
The experience is much gentler that the powerful jets of a jacuzzi, for example.
In recent years whirlpool baths have become popular as people see bathing as an event to be enjoyed and worth taking time over.
- enjoy a spa like experience at home
- the pump can be noisy
- the jet and sprays in the tub are fiddly and difficult to clean.
- you often can’t use bath oils and body scrubs as they can block the jets.
- you might find you don’t use it as often as you thought you would.
Jacuzzis and Hot Tubs
Jacuzzis and hot tubs are generally placed outdoors. Often enjoyed by groups of people socializing together.
Here is an example of a hot tub in a large master bathroom, very luxurious.
Imagine taking dip and indulge in the luxury of this monster sized spa bath.
Beautiful design statement tubs that are attractive enough to view from from all sides so you can place anywhere it. I have seen these types of bathtub installed in bedrooms to great effect.
Here we have a stunning example of a beautiful large white tub in a stylish bedroom.
Walk in Tubs
These are the perfect tubs for people that are not mobile yet want to have the full bathing experience.
On the side of the walk in tub is a small watertight door on hinges that allows access.
One drawback is you need to stay in the bath as it fills up and drains.
Inflatable Bath Tubs
Useful for visitors that hate showers. Also available in children’s and baby sizes.
A useful design that allows you to have a bath in a small or awkwardly shaped bathroom.
Designs include whirlpool or jacuzzi style and large baths designed for sharing.
They designed these to be surrounded by walls on all 3 sides.
The side facing into the bathroom is covered over with a decorative panel.
An alcove tub provides a great solution to finding space in a smaller bathroom.
This is a more unusual way of installing a tub. A covers the bath edge with a surround that is installed over the top.
This method of installation is often used in more upmarket minimalist designs, since it requires more skill to achieve a perfect look.
As we can see in this picture where the marble is bought over the edge of the tub. Giving a clean minimalist style finish.
Small Inflatable Jacuzzis
These are the ideal solution to anyone wanting a spa experience on a low budget. Designed for outdoor use. Great for outdoor parties in warm weather.
A great way to see if you like and will use a jacuzzi before committing to an expensive and permanent installation of a whirlpool bath in your master bathroom.
Different Size and Shaped Tubs
Tubs these days are available in all kinds of different shapes and sizes
- unusual shapes like corner or tapering tubs.
- large and deep soaker baths
- double ended for two people to bathe at one time
- spa or whirlpool baths
- jetted tub
Picture of a double ended bath designed for sharing. Note how the tub faucet and draninge holes are located in the center so both bathers are comforatble.
Summary of Different Types of Bathtub Materials
One decision you need to make before you buy is the type of bathtub material you want.
Cast Iron Bathtub
They construct these from enamel coated cast iron.
- long lasting with care will last a lifetime
- scratch proof and stain resistant
- can be repaired and reanamelled
- retain heat well for long hot soaks
- a cast iron tub is extremely heavy, so you might need to have your bathroom floor strengthened.
- not suitable for young children because of the depth of water.
- not recommended for people that have mobility issues that will find these tubs difficult to get in and out of.
- very expensive, although it will always have a resale value.
This is the most popular choice for bathtubs. Look out for quality tubs that are re-enforced with fiberglass.
- very lightweight
- easy to clean and maintain
- available in many colors
- comes in a wide range of different shapes, designs and sizes
A fiberglass tub is a generally the cheapest option, however they don’t last as long as an acrylic tub. However you should get at least 10-15 years use from them.
Great buy for anyone on a budget.
An example of a wood bathtub are the Japanese hot tub. They usually make these from cedar or teak.
They do not use these for bathing instead you use it as a soaker tub after having a shower.
- provides a luxury bathing experience
- beautiful to look at
- if looked after will last a long time
- requires more upkeep that a normal tubs like treating and sealing the wood regularly.
- difficult to incorporate into a standard American bathroom
- people need to be educated on the way to use a tub like this
- can be eye wateringly expensive!
One recent popular bathroom trend is copper bathtubs. Beautiful to look at and very stylish.
- stylish bathroom decor idea for a luxury bathroom
- the copper can be coordinated with other copper items like tub fillers and faucets for a complete look.
- requires more care and maintenance than an acrylic tub.
- beautiful to look at
- provide a luxurious bathing experience
- designs include freestanding bath ideas so can admire the beauty of the stone from all sides.
- very expensive
- these products are very heavy so they might not be suitable for your circumstances. Or your floor may need to be re-enforced.
- stone tub installation is a job for the expert fitter.
Here are some tips on choosing the right tub for your bathroom
- make sure the faucet holes are in the right place for the type faucet you choose.
- make sure the tub drain is placed the position that requires that least amount of extra plumbing at installation.
- spend plenty of time researching the tub type and design you want. Mistakes made in research will be very expensive to remedy. Requiring a great deal of upheaval to change once you have completed the renovations.
- I would always recommend white, other colors may look good when you first have them, but what do you do when you suddenly hate the color. Add color into your bathroom with bright accessories like curtains or bath towels.
In this blog post, we have explored the different bathtubs available and discuss why it’s important to know the differences before making your purchase.
I hope it has helped you to make the right choice for your circumstances.