Monday, January 20, 2014
Having a bathtub in one or more of the bathrooms in your home can add value to your property. Aside from this investment incentive, a bathtub can also be a great amenity to have. You won’t have to book a hotel room to enjoy a long soak or a bubble bath again.
When it comes to choosing a bathtub, there are many available options, in different materials, shapes and sizes.
Generally, there are two types of bathtubs, freestanding and drop-in. Freestanding tubs can evoke a romantic look with their graceful shape, some even with claw foot designs or other whimsical styles. However, a drawback of freestanding tubs is the difficulty of having a shower. Water may spill onto the floor as you shower, or if you decide to put in shower curtains, the small curved space may have the curtains wrapped around your legs in no time. Decide whether you can concede to this inconvenience for the sake of a great-looking tub. If you have a big bathroom, there could be enough space for a separate shower though.
A more practical option, drop-in tubs are set flush against at least one bathroom wall, where you may install a faucet and showerhead. The shape and size of the right tub for your bathroom will largely depend on the bathroom floor plan and your style preferences. Corner units are also available for corner tub layouts. Drop-in tubs are usually installed on built-in platforms.
Fiberglass and acrylic tubs are flexible design-wise, as they can be molded into different shapes. These plastic materials are lightweight, don’t chip easily but may be damaged by abrasive cleaners. Enameled steel tubs are the least expensive. However, water tends to cool faster since metal is a conductor of heat. Cast iron tubs have thicker enamel coating, making them more durable. A disadvantage is the heavy weight, which might make upper floor installations more difficult.
If you want the look of natural stones such as marble and granite, opt for cast polymer tubs. These come in solid colors as well. However, the gel coating on polymer tubs may wear off over time and cause cracks.
Choose a bathtub material that is well suited to your bathroom style and your sink and toilet finishes.