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A Comprehensive Bathtub Buying Guide: Create a Sanctuary Within the Sanctuary of Your Bathroom

I’m sure you’d agree that nothing is more relaxing than slipping into a warm bath after a long day? You might even add a few candles and throw in a bath bomb or two if you’re feeling adventurous. Either way, taking a bath is by far the best way to ease your mind and calm your nerves, regardless of what your plans are for the rest of the day. It’s all about self-care, you know? You might as well give your bathroom a refreshing makeover and turn it into a soothing spa while you’re at it.

Since this plays such a vital role in our day-to-day life, it makes sense that we’re all a little picky when shopping for bathtubs that are both practical and functional. Luckily, there are plenty of options to suit every taste and style out there.

What Are Common Types of Bathtubs?

The fact of the matter is that not all types of baths are suitable for every home, and as much as we’d all want to get the first one that catches our eye, it’s not always the most reasonable choice. Plus, it’s not like you get a new tub all that often, so you need to be careful when choosing an appropriate one. To reach an informed decision, here’s what you should know about the available options.

Freestanding Baths

These kinds of tubs are the perfect combination of simplicity and luxury, which is quite rare these days. As you can probably tell by the name, they’re not directly attached to any walls or corners, giving you the freedom to position them wherever you want.

With their minimalist design and unique look, freestanding bathtubs can be placed in the centre of spacious bathrooms to act as the focal point of the room. Not only does this serve as a stylish and eye-catching centerpiece, but it’s also much easier to clean since you can reach all sides of the tub without putting in too much effort.

Clawfoot Baths

Clawfoot baths are pretty similar to freestanding models, with the only difference being that they’re suspended on four legs instead of going all the way down to the floor. Think of it as 19th-century vintage chic and you’ll get the idea.

The standout feature of clawfoot baths is the sheer variety of designs when it comes to their legs. Some are more traditional and claw-like, hence the name. On the other hand, the more contemporary equivalents offer somewhat more toned-down appearances, with simple monochromatic designs taking center stage.

Alcove Baths

This is basically the standard type of bathtub that’s found in the majority of modern households. They’re commonly referred to as recessed tubs because they’re installed within three-sided wall enclosures that are tailored specifically to their measurements.

Sadly, this does mean that there’s a limited number of design styles, with most alcove baths taking on a classic rectangular shape that’s placed against the wall. So if you want something that’s more exciting, you might want to look elsewhere.

Drop-In Baths

These are basically just a fancier version of alcove tubs, with the addition of a custom shell that wraps around the tub itself. In other words, you’ll need some type of platform to ‘drop’ the tub into, making sure its edges are level with the edges of the platform itself.

Keep in mind that this particular structure can take up more space than alcove tubs, so make sure you allocate plenty of room before you install it. The final look is pretty aesthetically pleasing for a lot of people, but the initial installation can be a hassle to complete.

Corner Baths

If you’re running low on space, then this is the ideal choice for you. As you may have already guessed, corner baths are literally shoved into the corner of your bathroom, leaving plenty of free space to move around and organize all of the other items in your bathroom. They might seem awkwardly shaped at first but the triangular design fits in seamlessly into your décor to create a unique look.

Shower Tubs

Shockingly, this is both a shower and a tub in one. If you’re the type of person that enjoys long baths but also wants to take a few quick showers in between, this might be precisely the kind of tub you’re looking for.

Most models are either L-shaped or P-shaped, widening ever-so-slightly towards the shower end to give you more room to move around. They also come with a reinforced glass panel on the side to prevent overspill and messing up your whole bathroom.

What Should You Look for When Buying a Bathtub?

Simply knowing the usual types of bathtubs isn’t going to cut it because you can still be indecisive even when you know all of your options. Fortunately, there are a few specific considerations that may help you decide on a suitable bathtub to match your needs and preferences.

Size and Shape

The overall size of the tub should match the available space that you have in your bathroom. Getting a larger model can make a smaller room look crammed and disorganized, whereas a small tub can get lost in a spacious area.

Here’s a pro tip – alcove bathrooms are usually on the bigger side, and therefore they’re more appropriate for roomy areas with lots of open space. In contrast, corner tubs or the classic alcove models are more compact and can fit into smaller areas without taking up a lot of room.

Installation Type

In any case, you’ll only install the tub once and you’ll just keep using it as such for however long you want. But then again, why go through a lot of trouble in the first place when you can just keep things plain and simple?

For example, freestanding bathtubs are by far the easiest to install because you just place them wherever you want, assuming that there’s a relevant plumbing system nearby. On the flip side, drop-in models take up quite a bit of time and effort but the end result does make it all worth it.

Price Point

This goes without saying, but you should always consider your budget before shopping. Since alcove tubs are a common sight among Aussie households, they’re inherently more affordable for the general population. But if you’re looking to splurge a bit more, you might want to turn your attention to freestanding or clawfoot bath tubs that will certainly meet those criteria.

Written by Simpson

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