The whirlpool or bathtub you choose should reflect its uses—and its users. Is it a destination for serene, relaxing soaks, a source of renewal and invigoration or the spot for active kids and busy adults to quickly get clean? The answers will help you choose the bath and water experience that’s the best fit for you.
The first—and most important—step is determining which bathing type will provide the water experience you desire.
VibrAcoustic technology combines ergonomic bathing comfort with sound-wave vibration for an experience of relaxation that literally resonates deep within the body. Using steady beats, the sound vibration and music encourage your breath and heart rate to synchronize with a slower, calming rhythm.
Whirlpools deliver powerful directed massage with jets that adjust for intensity and rotate 360 degrees for precise positioning. Users can massage individual stress points to help release tension, soothe muscle soreness and potentially stimulate circulation.
BubbleMassage technology pushes warm air through 120 airjets positioned along the perimeter of the bath, creating thousands of bubbles for a range of tactile and visual sensations. Bubbles surround, support and massage the body at a preferred level of intensity, helping to center the mind and release muscle tension.
Effervescense technology is designed to move water and air gently through unique ports to create champagne-like bubbles that cling to the skin and surround the bather in a warm embrace.
Simple yet satisfying, a bath is designed to gently support the body’s natural curves and angles so the bather can enjoy relaxing and enjoying the experience of pure, cleansing water.
The type of installation you choose depends largely upon whether your project is new construction, a remodel or a replacement. If you are simply replacing an old bath, you’ll need to match your new model to the room’s existing size and footprint. If your bathroom is still in the planning stages, however, you may be able to choose the tub installation you prefer and design the room layout around it.
In a three-wall alcove installation, the bathtub fits into a recess with walls on both ends and one side. Bathtubs designed for a three-wall alcove are available in a variety of lengths, including 5 feet, 5.5 feet and 6 feet, as well as several different widths.
Bathtubs designed for three-wall alcove installations typically come with two features:
Integral apron – Baths with integral aprons complete the bathroom and provide stylish detail.
Flange – Several bath types have an integral flange or flat rim along the edge that attaches directly to the studs, helping to prevent water from seeping behind the bath surround or tiles.
Most alcove baths are available with the drain at either the right or left side, depending on the installation preference.
Corner baths are designed to fit into a corner of the room. Most bathtubs for corner installations are five-sided, with a triangular basin, and are designed to accommodate two-person bathing.
If your bathroom has space for a separate shower, a corner bathtub can be a good solution for those who enjoy both showers and soaking.
Drop-in baths have a finished rim and are designed to drop into a deck or custom surround. One of the advantages of drop-in baths is that they can be installed in corners, peninsulas, islands and recesses, or can be sunk into the floor. A drop-in bath is supported from below and has a self-rimming edge that is designed to sit over a frame topped with tile or another water-resistant material. Many soaking baths are designed for drop-in installation.
Some bathtubs can be used in either a drop-in or an undermount installation. In an undermount installation, the bath edge is mounted beneath a cutout solid-surface deck material and is therefore invisible.
Freestanding baths can be installed away from the wall, or even in the middle of a room. The bathing area is typically supported by feet or a decorative base.
Drain PlacementThe position of the drain in relation to the bottom of the basin is designated as left, right or center. Be sure to select a drain position that is consistent with the pipes that will be leading to the drain. A reversible-drain bath can be installed with the drain on the right or left side, depending on how the bath is dropped in.
Consider where you want your bathtub faucet. Although many standard bathtubs are designed for wall-mounted faucets at either end, some bathtub styles have the faucet on the side, set in a corner of the bathtub or installed on a deck or tile surround.
Step 2: Length:
The desired bathtub or whirlpool length can be determined by two primary factors: the size of your bathroom (or the length of your existing tub space) and the height of the people who will use the bath.
Length is measured from the head end to the foot end of the bath. A 5-foot (60-inch) bath is a standard size for most installations. Baths that measure over 5.5 feet (66 inches) are generally large enough for two people. Some bathtub styles are available in more than one length.
A good way to determine the right bathtub length is to go to a showroom and “try out” several different models. Don’t be shy about climbing in and testing bathtubs for size and comfort—it’s the most efficient way to learn which model fits you best.
|5 feet and under
Compact and space efficient, these bathtubs often fit into smaller-than-average bathrooms where space is at a premium. This is the most common length. If this length works for you, you’ll have dozens of styles to choose from. Five-foot bathtubs, the most common length, are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, depths and installation types.
Designed for more spacious bathing, some 5.5-foot bathtubs can accommodate two people, depending on their width. Some 5.5-foot models are variations on styles that also come in 5- and 6-foot lengths.
|6 feet and over
Also a popular length, 6-foot bathtubs can be rectangular or oval in shape, and come in a range of depths and styles. Baths larger than 6 feet often include extra spacious shapes, such as round or extra wide, and offer a host of luxurious hydrotherapy features.