To Tub…or Not To Tub… That’s Just One Of The Questions!

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Kohler Imperator K8334-0

If I had a dollar….

About 4 or 5 times a week I hear the statement… I don’t WANT to put a tub in my Master… but my real estate agent/neighbor/friend… told me that no one would buy my house if it didn’t have a tub in the master.

Until I began working in the plumbing industry- I would have probably been the very same real estate agent who advised that you must- absolutely must- have a tub!  Who is going to buy a house without a tub in the master?   Now I have my answer.   Any of the multitude of people who walk in every day begrudgingly to purchase a tub.  I now have come to believe- as long as there is a tub somewhere in the home, you are all set!  For the money you would spend on a tub- you can have a killer steam shower!  But that”s another blog for another day!  Stay tuned for more on showers and steam soon!

Getting back to today’s topic- tubs!

Now on the other end of the customer spectrum- to the people (such as myself) who LOVE to bathe… who look forward to coming home to their tub, there are so many options out there to choose from!  Freestanding or drop in?  Soaking tub, air jets, or water jets?  Cast Iron, Volcanic Limestone, Acrylic… Oh My!

So lets break it down a little.

Once you have decided to include a tub, the next big question is freestanding vs drop in.  Freestanding are definitely all the rage at the moment.  Several times a day we have people walk in wanting to look at our freestanding displays- and better yet- sit in them!  That’s a big advantage to visiting a showroom.  One of the concerns I hear frequently is how hard it is to get in and out of a freestanding tub.  Many people opt for the drop in simply due to the fact you will have a deck built around to sit on to swing your legs in and the ability to add decorative grab/towel bars to help you get out.

Just because you choose a more “traditional” style tub with a deck- don’t think you are stuck with the same old same old!  My personal favorite would be the under-mount option- a cleaner look that draws attention to the decking and that beautiful faucet you are adding to draw the eye.

If you decide to choose freestanding- the next big decision is do you choose a freestanding faucet or do you build a ledge behind the tub to do a deck mount faucet?  Keep in mind that the investment you will make in a freestanding tub fill can often average roughly the same price as the tub (depending on our next topic- material).  There are alternate options to the tub fill-  I always advise clients not to let that discourage you from the beautiful freestanding tub you are dreaming of- I can help you achieve that dream without breaking the bank.  My favorite freestanding footed tub look?  The white tub with the white feet.  So classy and just beautiful!  And easier to change finishes down the road than going with a tub with a specialty finish on the feet.  I’ve worked on a couple of projects lately with the outside of the tub painted a specialty color.  Those are so much fun!  There are just more options out there than I can even attempt to type out in a blog!

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My number one advice to any customer considering purchasing a free standing tub is to ALWAYS buy a quality tub. There are quality tubs at nearly every price point.  We are talking about something here that holds a LOT of water that you are placing in your home.  Not only that- but you always want to have someone to turn to in the case of any problems.  (Can I be a little redundant here?  Buying local isn’t only supporting your local economy- it’s giving you a level of support you cannot get from a computer.).

Now lets quickly address material.  There are many to choose from.  On the lower end of the price point is your acrylic tub.  There are different levels of quality of acrylic, so you definitely want to consider the manufacturer and discuss your options.  Another popular option is cast iron.  The downside?  It is heavy.  There are different schools on thought over wether it holds heat better or worse than other materials.  My personal thoughts?  It  may take longer to heat up- but metal will hold heat longer- however that water is going to cool a bit in the process of heating the metal.  Now keep in mind- it’s just my personal take on the science behind it as I understand it- every manufacturer is going to explain why their product is better- that is just what makes sense to me.  We also sell another option- it is a volcanic limestone compound.  It has the durability of cast iron but without the weight.

As to soaker vs air jets vs water jets.  The majority of homeowners have a bad taste in their mouths from old water jetted tubs.  They would sit with water inside the lines and just when you would decide you really needed that relaxing, warm massaging bath- you would sit down and hit the jets- and suddenly you were surrounded and soaking in black mold.  Disgusting!  Turns out those jets should have been cleaned on a regular basis prior to use.  The average homeowner wasn’t told that and so that was a really bad experience for most.  The new solution is the Air Jetted tub.  These guys are also called “bubble tubs”.  They give an all over effervescent effect.  The biggest benefit?  They “clean” themselves!  At a preset time after the jets have been turned off they run an airing out cycle that dries the lines and thus prevents the black moldy bath that so many are afraid of!

As you can probably tell- there is so much more to these decisions than I have the time or energy to write about.  However, I will be happy to discuss more in depth what may or may not work with your individual needs and situation.

kesa@kesastephens.design or 770-887-1420 ext 2410

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