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What Type of Bathtub Should I Get? Bathroom Remodeling Tips

Posted by Daniel Mizrahi on Saturday, March 10, 2018

If you change your curtains or a light fixture, you want to pick something you will be happy with for quite a while. However, if the charm wears off or you realize some drawbacks, it is not such a big deal to change them again. In the case of a bathtub, though, the commitment is greater. If you are going to install a new bathtub as part of a bathroom remodel, you want to make sure you’re going to like it for a very long time!

With that in mind, it is good to educate yourself on the types of bathtubs available, and what considerations go into choosing one. There may be important factors you aren’t considering, which you should take some time to educate yourself about.

General Considerations when Choosing a Bathtub

When you remodel your bathroom, it’s vital to know your budget limits and choose fixtures accordingly, so of course, the cost needs to be a central factor.

In addition to the purchase and installation costs, every bathtub has operational costs. How much water does it take to fill? Does it retain heat and stay warm, or does it lose heat and require more energy? How much energy does the pump require if you choose a jetted tub?

Did you know that you also need to think about where the drain goes? If your current tub drains at one end, and you replace it with one that drains in the middle, this could increase your plumbing costs dramatically.

Another factor is the size. You may really like a certain type of tub, but there is a chance it won’t fit in your current bathroom layout. If you aren’t prepared to have some walls moved, you will need to keep the size of the bathroom in mind. Of course, it also needs to be big enough, and comfortable to sit in. Even if it feels embarrassing to step into a showroom tub, go ahead and do it; make sure it fits! (Just keep your clothes on!).

If your bathtub sits directly on the ground-level foundation, then weight is not necessarily an important factor. However, if your tub is on a second floor (or higher), then you need to make sure the floor will hold the weight of the tub. While some tubs weigh as little as 50 pounds, others can weight up to 1,000. Add to that the weight of water and the occupant(s) of the tub, and you could end up with a disaster if you’re not careful!


Different Types of Bathtub Materials

Fiberglass and Acrylic tubs: These tubs are lightweight and well-insulated, so they retain heat and are not very loud. Additionally, they don’t break easily, and they are repairable if they do suffer damage. They are also less expensive than some other materials. On the downside, they can scratch with abrasive cleaners, and the have some weak points (stress points) that need reinforcement during the installation process.

Steel Tub with Porcelain Coating: This type of tub is often the cheapest, and it is stronger than fiberglass or acrylic structurally. However, it also has some drawbacks. These tubs are heavy, and they lose heat quickly. The porcelain coating also tends to chip when items are dropped or struck against it, which can lead to rust.

Cast Iron: Bathtubs made of cast iron are extremely heavy, making them sturdy and long-lasting. Their enamel coatings are thicker, so they are less subject to chipping. While the metal takes a while to heat up, once it does, it holds the heat very well.

Cast Polymer: Similar to engineered stone countertops, this type of tub looks elegant and can be quite affordable. They hold heat well and don’t tend to be loud, and they are also easy to clean. However, they can be brittle, sometimes leading to irreparable cracks. Also, they have a gel coat that can wear out with use.

There are also unique bathtub materials that are produced just by specific companies, boasting certain advantages or improvements. Ask your bathroom remodeling company if there are any other materials they would recommend that you look at.

Bathroom Remodeling in the Los Angeles Area

Are you considering a bathroom remodeling project? Open Hand Remodeling is a full-service company serving the Los Angeles region, including Burbank, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale, and the surrounding communities.

If you have any questions about bathroom or kitchen remodeling, or if you would like a free project estimate, please contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you!

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