In the Market for a New Bathtub? Here’s What to Consider

Chances are good that if you’re looking for a new tub, you have some qualities already in mind. Perhaps your tub is a tiny bit too short, so your feet poke out of the water, or maybe it’s too shallow, so parts of you rise up above the suds. Or it could just be dingy and ready for a full replacement. Before you take the plunge into a bathtub remodel, there are a few things that you should think about.

What to Consider Before Buying a New Bathtub

(Pixabay / ErikaWittlieb)

Insides and Out

These two qualities are both the most and least exciting aspects as far as bathtubs go. The interior of the tub is the core material, and depending on what you choose, your new bathtub could be delicate or durable.

Consider how much use you are going to get out of it and how much time you are willing to put into its upkeep. Most tubs are either fiberglass or acrylic because those materials are inexpensive and lightweight, but they are also less durable and prone to cracking and discoloration. Metal bathtubs offer an alternative to the traditional tub and give off the industrial vibe, but they tend to be a lot heavier. Other durable options include enamel, concrete, or stone, but again, those materials can get very heavy very quickly, so you have to do a little bit more work to make sure that your floor can handle the weight. Wooden tubs are another beautiful way to bring nature indoors, but they require more upkeep.

Don’t be afraid to surround the outside of your tub with tasteful decoration such as tile or marble. These touches can bring class, clean lines, and interest to any bathroom while staying functional. If prefer a more modern style, some tub surrounds provide the option of painting or engraving artistic scenes or large blocks of color. If you choose to enclose your bathtub with decorative materials, make sure that you are sealing off the area really well so water can’t leak down and pool in the space in between.

High or Low

If you can swing it, there is an exciting new trend in tub installation where the tubs are flush or nearly flush with the ground. This gives a refreshing perspective change if the tub is situated in front of a large window with a picturesque view. It can also make the bathroom seem much bigger than it is, though it can become a safety hazard if you’re not mindful.

Another trend is with tall tubs that you need to use steps to get into. This can make the tub seem more luxurious especially when surrounded with luxury tile and mood lighting.

Size and Shape

Bathtubs come in all shapes nowadays, so you have a lot to choose from. Rectangular or oval-shaped bathtubs are more traditional, but also tried-and-true. If you want to branch out with a more modern look, large, circular tubs are becoming a popular choice. Square tubs can offer a lot of space for soaking, and some wooden tubs even come in natural, asymmetric shapes. The important part is that you try out several different shapes to find one that is comfortable for you and your needs.

  • Fit: This seems like a no-brainer, but before you go and buy a new tub, you need to make sure that it fits in your existing space. If your tub area is sandwiched between three walls, and you don’t have a lot of extra cash in your budget to move the walls, you are pretty limited in how big your bathtub can be. Moving the plumbing could also become a large expense, so it’s most economical to keep your tub in its same location whenever possible.
  • Depth: If you can’t move your walls or your plumbing, you can, at least, choose the depth of your tub. Most standard tubs are between 14 and 17 inches deep, but they can range all the way up to 22 inches deep. This would be ideal if you are planning on spending your time soaking in a luxurious bubble bath after a long day.
  • Weight: Weight is a critical factor to keep in mind when you’re choosing a new bathtub. Depending on the structure of your existing flooring, your dream tub may not be a feasible option. Have a certified home inspector or plumber come out to inspect your flooring to give you a weight limit – and remember, that has to include you and all of the water you’re using to fill the tub. Some materials (fiberglass, acrylic) are lighter than other options (stone, metal), so you may have to do some looking around to find a tub that will fit your weight specifications while being the style you want.

Fixtures and Faucets

This is the fun part of getting a new bathtub! The tub itself is a good way to showcase your style preferences, but the fixtures and faucets can really make the whole design pop. Brushed nickel is gaining popularity because it is easy to clean and resists water damage, but raw pipes can bring in an element of industrialism while jet black or gold fixtures can make a space sophisticated and elegant.

The bathtub is one of the most important aspects of a bathroom, so you shouldn’t take its design lightly. Hopefully, the above suggestions will help you narrow down your focus so that you can choose a tub that you’ll love the look and feel of for years to come.