Bathtubs are making a comeback. Why? Because these soaking and luxury inducing tubs are proving to be a good return on investment (ROI). People – particularly those with children – often consider a bathtub to be an essential factor in the reason that they will buy a house – often with a bath/shower combination – over one with just a shower.
People with mobility issues, may find a walk-in tub is ideal for their needs as this model is safer than traditional tubs. Loft dwellers, however, may opt for the truly different and unique.
How to find the perfect tub?
A bit of a difficult question, as bathtubs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. So where does one ever start, particularly when it comes to renovations? Do your research and find out here.
Bourse through the options and decide what type of bathtub would be your best bet: recessed, drop-in, clawfoot, standing, walk-in. Be sure to measure the area you have to work with and make sure it is going to fit before pulling out the credit card.
Then again, when doing renovations, it is possible to plan the bathroom around the tub and have it as the feature. A bright red clawfoot enameled cast iron bathtub, for instance, makes the room a conversation started and is a piece of art on its own.
How much do bathtubs cost?
Well, that is sort of like saying “how long is a piece of string” or “what is the price of an engagement ring”? On the topic of rings, a fast Internet search revealed the most expensive ever was the Wilfred Rosado engagement ring valued at $10 million and given to Mariah Carey by James Packer. Since he called the wedding off, she got to keep the ring. Enough gossip, back to bathtubs.
At the fell-off-the high-end of the market is Le Grand Queen. This bathtub is carved from a ten-ton slab of Caijou – an expensive and rare gemstone – and the bill comes in at about $1,700,000 which puts it out of the range for most first-home buyers.
Those heading to live off-the-grid might want to consider an old-fashioned tin tub with water heated from solar panels or on a wood-stove.
In between these extremes, there are styles and budgets for everyone. The tub/shower combination is the most popular choice. It offers a quick dip or a soothing session with a good book, wine, and scented candles. And choices are always good, particularly when it comes to how you like to get clean and ROI.
What materials are bathtubs made from?
When it comes to constructing bathtubs, there are five materials that make the most-used list.
The number five position is held by cast polymer that can be made to look like onyx, granite or marble. The pros of this choice are that cast polymer is affordable and easy to clean. The downside is that it can develop unrepairable cracks if the gel covering wears thin.
Nudging into the fourth level on the list is enameled cast iron. This high-end option can be described as durable, it has a timeless appearance, and it is an investment that will last. One problem with enameled cast iron, however, is that it literally weighs a ton. Consequently, the floor may have to be reinforced to be able to support the weight of the bathtub.
The smack in the middle of the range is fiberglass. The surface is layered with coats of a fiberglass reinforcement applied after the polyester resin has dried. This material is lightweight, inexpensive and an ideal option for a shower/tub combo.
Second on the materials list is acrylic. Although more expensive than fiberglass, acrylic is also light and durable. Another perk about this option is that it can be moulded to all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors making it a great option for those who want to get away from the comfort-zone of standard white.
The winner? Porcelain enameled steel. This affordable option is found in many bathrooms. Another selling feature is that it is available in standard sizes. This is ideal for people who want to replace a tub without having to renovate the entire bathroom. Just be careful not to chip the surface, as rust may form.
To shower or to bath?
There are die-hards in both camps of this preference. Bathers will want lots of time, a bottle of bubbly, and a good magazine. The eco-friendly types may opt for a navy shower. This save-the-planet heater holds 11 liters – about 2.3 gallons – of hot water, which doesn’t promote singing as the water gets too cold too quickly.
If in doubt – and there is adequate space – the bathtub/shower seems like a logical choice. The commuter can run through it in under four minutes, while the bather can wile away four hours soaking.
The most important points are to consider your space, preferences and budget. Maybe Le Queen Gran can go on the wish list while taking navy showers.