Popular Bathtub Styles: How to Buy the right Bathtub

A bathroom with a bathtub and glass shower door.

How to Buy the Right Bathtub

When we have more time to ourselves, taking a bath is the leading contender in relaxation. It can warm us up on cold nights, help us unwind after a long and tiring day, or heal our sore and aching muscles. A tub is not just a place for washing but it can also be our personal place for unwinding and self-care. It can be our own little spa where you can enjoy other things like reading, watching, and indulging in some tranquillity. There are many different kinds of tubs in an array of sizes and materials. Thus, it is important to choose the right one for us and our loved ones.

Buying bathtubs may seem like an easy task but we can’t just pick one and go. There are different factors that affect the price. Also, when purchasing a new tub, it is important to note the material, location, use, and your budget. Here are the dos and don’ts of purchasing tubs.


Do consider the Bathtub Styles:

There are many different bathtub styles that accommodate any bathroom of which every style emphasizes space and material. The kind of tub we will purchase depends highly on the amount of space we have. Here are some popular bathtubs that fit different kinds of spaces.

    1. Freestanding – this is one of the most popular styles because it can fit any space without connecting it to walls. It’s also a vibrant centerpiece for a more aesthetically pleasing bathtub. It is also priced fairly. Examples are clawfoot, drop-in, platform, and corner tubs.
    2. Soaking – this type has deeper dimensions that submerge you completely in the water for maximum relaxation.
    3. Whirlpool – this design features jets for a spa experience but the price is steeper than air tubs.


Do consider the Material

Consider the material of the tub to determine the durability, price, and how to clean it. Make sure it’s in tip-top shape and in good quality.

    1. Plastic – this has the best design flexibility because it can be molded into different shapes. Made of fiberglass or acrylic, it is warm and is a good insulator and it weighs the lightest.
    2. Enameled steel – this is the least expensive of the bunch. It is formed with steel that’s coated with porcelain enamel but it is prone to chipping.
    3. Cast-iron – also steel based with a thicker enamel coating that is more durable and impact resistant.
    4. Cast-polymer – this material replicates marble, onyx, or granite but it doesn’t hold up as well as acrylic because the gel-coat can become brittle.
    5. Proprietary Composites – this consists of heavy-gauge steel, resins, and porcelain enamels.
    6. Wood – a rustic design made out of wood that is sealed with water-resistant wax that can withstand several years of use but can tend to break down after consistent use.
    7. Copper – this luxurious material is exceedingly durable, good at maintaining heat, and doesn’t require additional maintenance. It is especially more expensive than any other material.

Do consider the Size and Space 

The two factors have a symbiotic relationship. If we have a large house, then a large tub can be supported by it. Remember that a larger tub, however visually appealing, may cost more and affect the water bill. If there’s limited space then the drop-in and soaking may be more suitable. Smaller styles have ore variants that are useful compared to the bigger ones. Measure the bathroom and find out what size of the tub is more appropriate for the bathroom.

copper tub

Do a Comfort Test

Before purchasing a tub, we should try it out to determine our satisfaction with it. Does it feel comfortable? Climb in and imagine soaking in it. Can we see ourselves relaxing in this tub?

Do Prepare for Installation

How are we going to install the tub? Is it in an alcove? The tub can be free-standing, it can drop into a piece of furniture or something with a cut out for it, and there are tubs with doors in the front that are walk-in tubs which is ideal for people who have a difficult time climbing in and out of the tub. It’s important to differentiate which of the styles are easier and which ones are more complicated to install. It’s best to hire a professional if it gets too complicated.


Don’t Sacrifice Price for Quality:

The general rule is that small tubs are cheaper than larger ones but that doesn’t mean that there is a big difference in quality between them. The main thing to focus on is the material. Regular freestanding tubs roughly cost about $500-$2000. Fiberglass being the cheapest, ranges from $200-$500. Acrylic starts at around $500 while porcelain has a starting point of $300 and runs up to $1500.

High-end materials like cast-iron, steel, and copper are more durable. Cast-iron being cheaper than the other high-end materials starts $300. Wood is priced at $2000 and copper, being very luxurious and high-quality, also has the average price of $2000

So whatever budget we have, invest in good quality materials that won’t trouble us in the future.

Don’t Purchase Blindly

We can’t buy anything just because of friends, co-workers, or celebrities have the same popular bathtubs. Who is going to use the tub? Children, elderly, or just adults? Consider the lifestyle and all the needs of other people using the tub. Taller tubs may be more difficult for children to climb without assistance. This also applies to the elderly as they might need a tub with grips to avoid any unwanted accidents. This can affect the price point and your budget so take note of the physical and height limitations because there are many options for the handicapped that you can choose from.

It’s best to do your research and come prepared before purchasing the right bathtub for our homes. There are questions we must ask ourselves first. Hopefully, this dos and don’ts guide can help us decide which one is right for us.

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