Bathtub Installation: What You Should Know

The bathtub is the quintessential part of any bathroom. A long hot shower or bath is the most relaxing part of someone's day. A beautiful bathtub can also make your bathroom simply perfect during a home remodel. You can raise the value of your home by adding a whirlpool tub as well. So what are the options and what can you do to make the installation go more smoothly? The first thing to consider is the type of materials and tubs, and what it will take to get any of these installed into your bathroom. You may also be looking for a contemporary or classic look, in which case your choice will be more decided by an aesthetic that you like. The best way to find a good tub is talking to experts at home improvement stores and looking at different selections.

Picking a Tub


What are your choices for tubs these days? The tub is a great opportunity to feature a unique design. You should pick a style that fits your space but also pleases your eyes. You can choose between several different styles of bathtubs, including recessed, freestanding, corner, platform, or the combination shower and tub.

Recessed Tub


A recessed tub has one finished side that shows and is bordered on the other three sides by your bathroom walls. This is the common choice for most homes, because it is easier to install.

Corner tub


The corner tub is also like a recessed tub but you can see two sides of the tub. There is one finished side and one finished end, so that it fits into a corner. Corner tubs do come in various styles, and they can help out a tighter space, creating a bigger impression of space.

Freestanding Tub


Freestanding tubs are finished on all sides and can be placed anywhere in the home, either right in the middle of a room or stuck into a corner. They also allow for different design approaches. Claw-foot tubs are especially pleasing for those looking for unique design. Soapstone tubs are also very modern if you are looking for a contemporary look.

Platform Tubs


Platform tubs have no finished sides but are placed into something that is already built on site, allowing it to go anywhere into the room that the space allows. If you have a need to customize and the money, then a platform tub can definitely be an option for a contemporary look. A platform tub can also sit on top of the platform, so that the tip of the tub is showing. You can also have a recessed tub below the edge of the platform for a clean line.

What About Whirlpool Tubs?


Whirlpool tubs are more expensive, because they are like an indoor hot tub for your bathroom, and it requires a different installation. You should consider your budget if you want to add a whirlpool tub. You also need to make sure that your floor can handle the weight of a full large tub, which means that your floor can support about 40 pounds of pressure per square inch. You should find out how much the tub weighs when full of water and make sure to do the math. You could add an extra support to handle the weight. Whirlpools also come in recessed, corner, freestanding and platform types, as well as different sizes, styles and colors. Whirlpools have a pump which mixes air with bathwater and forces it out the jets, creating those massaging bubbles. You can buy them with single or varying speed pumps.

Necessary Materials for Installation


Once you pick a tub, then you also need to pick out materials. For example, you may want to pick enameled cast iron. This gives a timeless, durable look. An empty tub can weigh over 300 pounds, and over 600 pounds when full of water if you pick a cast iron tub. The enamel can also chip which will reveal the cast iron underneath.

Enameled steel is a lighter option and more affordable. Since it is thinner, it can also chip; and be noisy when water falls in. You can also easily dent enameled steel on installation and the color supply is very limited.

Fiberglass is an affordable alternative. Lightweight, it comes in many styles and colors. However, it will not hold heat well and will scratch and fade. It is also not as durable as acrylic

Acrylic tubs are also available in so many colors, sizes and styles. You will also find that these tubs are more durable than fiberglass, and also lightweight, holding more heat if properly insulated. It is more expensive than fiberglass but it can scratch and stain, especially with hair dye.

Some other options include granite, stone, marble and cast polymers. These are all different options that are thicker than acrylic and hold heat well.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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