Join now, it's FREE!
If you’re renovating a bathroom or have plans to do so in the near future, you’re probably already aware of how many different decisions you’ll have to make. Freestanding Bathtub
There are so many elements that go into a successful bathroom reno and yet one stands apart. It can represent luxury, relaxation and self-care, so many like to take their time with their choice.
To help you decide, we spoke to Ashleigh from Heritage Home Hardware in Sault Ste. Marie. She explained the most important elements to consider when choosing a new bathroom tub.
Start by considering how you’ll use your tub, how much space you have and where exactly your existing plumbing is located. This is important because it will help narrow down your choice and save you time. There is such a wide range of bathtubs to choose from and you want to be doing a targeted search.
Style is another factor to take into account. Some will want a classic design, while others have a transitional or more modern style. Is there a particular look you were hoping for to complete your vision for the space?
A freestanding bathtub sits directly on the floor and stands alone. It can be placed anywhere in the bathroom, as long as it’s near the plumbing lines.
This kind of bathroom tub often serves as the focal point in a bathroom and can be quite striking. It also looks beautiful when placed against a wall or by a window. Freestanding tubs are available in sleek, modern designs and classic styles; they can also feature exposed plumbing, which many like for its eye-catching look.
Many of us are familiar with the look of a clawfoot tub; it’s a true classic, after all. A type of freestanding tub, it sits on feet instead of being flush on the floor. It can be placed anywhere as well, as long as it is near the plumbing lines.
A clawfoot tub works in a wide variety of décor styles and brings instant charm to a bathroom. Choose exposed plumbing for additional visual interest.
Many of us have alcove tubs, which can also be known as recessed tubs. This is the most common type of bathtub and is also the easiest to install or replace.
A typical alcove bathtub is installed into a nook that is surrounded by three walls. It is quite space-efficient and is an affordable option. This type of tub is available in a variety of lengths, with the drain on the left or the right side.
With a tub shower, the convenience of a bathtub and a shower are combined into one.
This model offers space-saving design and often includes integrated features, such as shelving and grab bars. It may include shower doors and is available as a molded one-piece unit or come in multi-piece kits.
All of these common materials are ideal for bathtubs, and each has its own benefits.
Acrylic bathtubs are easy-to-install and affordable; most homes have one. They’re also lightweight and easy to clean. The material they’re made of is quite thick so it is unlikely to chip, but it can become scratched over time. They come in a range of shapes, styles and colours—even black!
A gel-coated fibreglass tub is an extremely affordable option for homeowners. It is also lightweight and easy to install. Unfortunately, the material is prone to scratches, cracks and fading, but it can be repaired.
Enameled steel bathtubs are durable, easy to clean and affordable. You’ll have to take care when using one because the enamel chips easily and this can require costly repairs.
Another thing to note is that you won’t have as much style versatility with an enameled steel bathtub as you would with an acrylic one. Also, because steel conducts heats, tub water tends to cool.
Cast iron bathtubs are long-lasting, low maintenance and extremely durable. They retain
heat well so you can enjoy a long and comfortable soak. The only downsides? They are more expensive, and they are extremely heavy—so much so that you will likely require additional floor reinforcement and professional installation.
Here’s a bit of a primer to outline the common features most bathtubs share.
Accessories for the bathtub? Of course!
Whenever you install a new bathtub, you’ll also want to look at which tub accessories are available. The best approach is to start by considering the finish of your tub and its style, so that you’re able to create a cohesive look.
A bathtub door is an accessory you might want to consider if you have a tub and shower. Bathtub doors have a modern look and are a contemporary-looking alternative to traditional shower curtains. They are available in a variety of finishes and come in both frame and frameless designs. You can choose features such as soft close and reversible left and right opening.
If you don’t want a full door, a tub shield is another option that works. It gives you a clean, open space while still keeping water in the tub. A tub shield often comes with a panel that pivots, for easy use.
PRO TIP: Make sure the bathtub doors you choose are compatible with your tub.
You can even have your choice of bathtub spout—select the size, style and functionality you prefer.
Prior to installation, review these questions:
If your current tub is in pretty good condition, all it may need is a simple freshening up. You can refinish, reglaze or line your tub to get rid of unsightly chips and stains, and save yourself from having to do a full replacement.
If, on the other hand, your tub is leaking or cracked, it’s probably time to replace it. The good news is that a bathtub replacement can update the look and feel of the entire room. If you are doing a full renovation and want to update the design of the space, a new tub is definitely in order and will make the bathroom feel fresh and up to date.
Consider the following factors when deciding between a freestanding or built-in style of bathtub.
Freestanding tubs are both extremely stylish and versatile. They come in a wide range of styles, can be moved or replaced easily without any structural changes required and you have more placement options within the room, since they don’t need to be placed against a wall. They do require skilled plumbing, but no additional framing or tiling. New reno-size options can allow them to fit into the alcove of an existing tub.
The downside to freestanding tubs is that they are generally more expensive than a built-in tub. They may also require new plumbing, so can be difficult to install.
Built-in tubs are very space-efficient because they sit flush against a wall. They’re generally more affordable and they incorporate a shower and wall storage quite easily. There are fewer design options available, however, and you do have less flexibility when it comes to placement.
Stone Shower Base To help achieve your ideal bathroom, including suggestions on choosing the right tub for your bathroom renovation, visit Heritage Home Hardware or call 705-759-5101.