What Every Homeowner Should Know About Bathtubs 

Updated May 29th, 2023

Bathtubs are often the centerpiece of a bathroom, providing both style and comfort. However, with countless options, materials, and features to consider, choosing the perfect bathtub for your home can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll explore various types of bathtubs, their benefits, essential factors to consider when selecting the right one for your needs, bathtub installation process.

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or looking to upgrade your current bathroom, this will provide you with valuable insights to create a relaxing and enjoyable bathing experience.

Questions to ask yourself when considering buying a bathtub

Where is the drain located?

The location of the drain in a bathtub is an important consideration before making a purchase. Some bathtubs have a central drain, while others have a drain at one end. The drain’s placement can impact the positioning of the tub in your bathroom and affect the overall functionality and design of the space.

Do you need a shower?

Determining whether you need a shower in addition to a bathtub is essential. While many bathtubs are designed to accommodate a showerhead and offer the option for showering, there are certain types of bathtubs that are not compatible with a shower. These include freestanding clawfoot tubs or soaking tubs without integrated shower fixtures. It’s crucial to verify the bathtub’s specifications and ensure it can accommodate a shower if that is a requirement for you.

Can your water heater handle the task of filling your bathtub with hot water?

Another important factor to consider is whether your water heater can handle the task of filling your bathtub with hot water. Different bathtubs have varying capacities, and filling a large bathtub may require a significant amount of hot water. It’s important to assess your water heater’s capacity and ensure it can provide an adequate supply of hot water to meet your bathtub’s needs.

If your water heater is unable to handle the task, you may need to explore replacing the water heater with an alternative solutions such as a larger capacity water heater or a separate hot water system for your bathtub.

Is the weight of the bathtub a problem?

The weight of the bathtub is also a consideration, especially for installations on upper floors or in older buildings. Some bathtubs can be quite heavy, especially when filled with water and occupied by a person. It is essential to evaluate the structural integrity of your floor and ensure it can support the weight of the bathtub to avoid any potential issues or damages.

Is the tub comfortable enough?

The comfort level of the bathtub should not be overlooked. Take into account the design, shape, and depth of the tub to ensure it provides a comfortable bathing experience. Consider factors such as ergonomic contours, back support, and the availability of armrests or headrests. Reading reviews or even physically testing out different bathtubs can help you determine which one is the most comfortable for your needs and preferences.

Bathtub Materials

When considering bathtub materials, there are several common options to explore, each with its own set of pros and cons. Here is a brief overview of some popular materials:


Plastic bathtubs are lightweight, affordable, and easy to clean. They might not be as strong or long-lasting as other materials, though.

Enameled Steel

Enameled steel tubs are durable, resistant to chipping and scratching, and relatively affordable. However, they can be prone to rusting if the enamel coating is damaged.

Cast Iron

Cast iron bathtubs are known for their durability and excellent heat retention. They are also highly resistant to chipping and scratching. They may need additional structural support during installation because they can be fairly hefty.

Cast Polymer

Cast polymer tubs are made from a combination of crushed stone and resin, offering a durable and affordable option. They are available in a variety of colors and styles.

Proprietary Composites

Proprietary composites refer to specialized materials developed by manufacturers. These materials often offer unique features such as enhanced durability, heat retention, or specific design elements.

It’s important to consider your budget, desired durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic preferences when selecting a bathtub material. Additionally, researching specific brands and reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the performance and longevity of different materials.

Different Types of Bathtubs

There are several common types of bathtubs and installations to consider when choosing the right one for your bathroom. Here’s a brief overview of each:


Alcove bathtubs are designed to fit into a three-wall enclosure. They are a popular choice for smaller bathrooms and are typically more affordable and easier to install.


Freestanding bathtubs are not attached to any walls and can be placed anywhere in the bathroom. They offer a luxurious and visually striking focal point and come in various shapes and styles.


Soaking bathtubs are designed for relaxation and deep soaking. They are deeper and often wider than standard tubs, allowing you to fully submerge yourself for a soothing bath experience.


Undermount bathtubs are installed beneath a deck or surround, with only the rim visible. This type of installation creates a clean and streamlined look, with a focus on the surrounding materials and design.


Corner bathtubs are specifically designed to fit into corners, making efficient use of space. They are often triangular or asymmetrical in shape and can be freestanding or alcove-style.


Clawfoot bathtubs are freestanding tubs with ornate feet, typically made of cast iron or acrylic. They evoke a vintage and elegant aesthetic, adding a touch of nostalgia to the bathroom.

Consider the available space, desired style, and functionality when selecting the type of bathtub and installation that best suits your needs and preferences. It’s also recommended to consult with a professional to ensure proper installation and compatibility with your bathroom layout.

Bathtub Installation

Hiring a skilled and experienced professional brings expertise, knowledge, and efficiency to the installation process. They will accurately measure the space, handle plumbing connections, and position the bathtub securely. With their expertise, they can provide guidance on the best placement, offer recommendations based on your preferences, and ensure proper sealing and testing for optimal functionality and longevity.

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