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Bathtub Shopping Tips

Plumbing & Heating Contractors
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Before you begin shopping for that perfect bathtub, you'll need to do a little homework first. You need to get an accurate measurement of the space where you intend to install the tub. You should also measure the door frames of your front and bathroom door. It won't matter how well the bathtub fits in its allotted space if you can't get it through the doors.

Next, you should check to be sure your water heater can meet the water capacity of your new bathtub. Typically, a bathtub will be filled to 65 percent capacity with hot water. If your current heater isn't large enough to handle the tub you have in mind, you'll either need to upgrade the unit or start looking for a smaller bathtub.

Finally, if you're considering an air jet, water jet, or whirlpool bathtub, you'll need to make sure that your electrical panel has enough size and space for the proper circuit.

Narrowing Down Your Bathtub Choices

The bathtub is perhaps the most durable of all household fixtures, and can last up to 50 years if properly cared for and maintained. Choosing from the vast variety of styles and designs can be a bit daunting, but you can narrow your choices down by considering the following:


How do you intend to use your bathtub? Is it simply a place to bathe, or are you looking for something more luxurious? Do you want the therapeutic benefits of a whirlpool or a deeper soaking tub? Does the tub need to be handicap-accessible or ADA compliant?


Your bathtub should be comfortable and easy to use, so be sure to choose one that compliments the user's body size and shape. Petite bathers might prefer a standard or European tub, which ranges from 14 to 18 inches deep. Taller or larger-framed bathers might find a deeper tub, such as a Greek or Japanese style, more to their liking. If necessary, feel free to climb into the tub at the store and give it a test drive.


Bathtubs come in a number of styles and colors, so you can select one that will compliment your personal aesthetic and the décor of your bathroom. White and cream are by far the most prominent colors, but you can also find fixtures in brown, green, pink, blue, or even maroon. You can also eschew the traditional rectangular model if you'd prefer a bathtub that's round, oval, freestanding, or corner-style.


A bathtub can be constructed from a number of different materials, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Fiberglass is less expensive, but less durable as well and tends to scratch easily. Acrylic costs a little more, but is a good insulator and is more durable than fiberglass. Porcelain on steel bathtubs are sanitary, colorfast, and resistant to acid, corrosion, and fire. On the other hand, they are less durable to direct impact and are subject to chipping and rusting. Cast iron is amazingly durable and an excellent insulator, but is also expensive and heavy. Marble is attractive and gives your bathroom a distinct look, but is expensive, scratches easily, and has a tendency to crack if the water temperature is too hot. Finally, a wood bathtub can be quite attractive, but is high maintenance and isn't nearly as durable as other materials.

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