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May 15, 2018 > Rub-a-Dub-Dub: Choosing a tub

Rub-a-Dub-Dub: Choosing a tub

By David R. Newman

Aaaaahhh, there?s nothing as soothing as soaking in a tub filled with warm water. Add some bubble bath, a glass of wine, maybe a book and some candles, and you?ll find yourself floating away, leaving the stress of the day behind. Anyone can enjoy a bath in the comfort of their own home, yet few take advantage of this simple luxury. If this sounds like you, maybe it?s time to treat yourself to a new bathtub.

Jeremy Sanchez, General Manager of Tubz in Fremont, says, ?Most people have a standard bathtub at home, so taking a bath is not a very pleasurable experience. But when you have a tub that is inviting and comfortable, you?re much more inclined to take baths on a regular basis.?

Initially, shopping for a bathtub may sound like a simple proposition, but there are actually quite a few options available, from oval drop-ins, to freestanding, to rectangular alcove tubs, to corner tubs, to walk-ins, etc. That?s why when people walk into the Tubz showroom, with over 400 models on display, it can be a little overwhelming.

Sanchez and his staff encourage customers to kick off their shoes and try the tubs out. This is a big deal as each tub varies in the amount of legroom and back slope. Says Sanchez, ?Customers may love the look of a certain bathtub they see in a photo, but when they actually sit in it, it might feel very rigid, maybe there?s no contour, the water depth is not what they thought it would be, etc.?

A growing trend in the industry is the freestanding bathtub. They look beautiful and add an elegant accent to your bathroom. These come in standard sizes with varying degrees of back slope. Some are designed for two people. A wooden tray that spans the tub can hold a glass of wine or a book. Or you may opt for an oval drop-in with a wood deck or tile surround. Corner bathtubs are another option, and are often roomy enough for two. It all depends on the size and shape of your bathroom.

Many people are familiar with the rectangular alcove bathtub, which sits framed by three walls. The bathing well is roomy, with little slope, as they are used primarily for taking showers. These come in standard sizes, most commonly 5? x 32?, or 5? x 30?. A common mistake is to measure the part of the tub that you see, from wall to wall. In fact, it sits between studs, with plaster and tile overlapping the edge. Alcove bathtubs have an upturned lip along the outer edge, which acts as a protective barrier so water doesn?t work its way into the wall.

Most bathtubs these days are made of acrylic, a natural insulator. While there are also tubs made out of cast iron and gelcoat (another plastic), acrylic has become popular because of its versatility and durability. Says Sanchez, ?You?ll never wear through acrylic. It?s one of the most forgiving surfaces out there. It?s 100 percent nonporous. We can take a permanent pen, draw a little picture, let it sit for two years, then use some rubbing alcohol and it will wipe away completely.?

Adding a system to your bathtub can greatly enhance your bathing experience. Whirlpool jets push water through water, massaging your muscles. Air systems inject warm air into the water from little holes in the bottom, providing a surface massage for your skin. Or you can have both with a combo unit. There is also a new technology called Hydro Massage that can cover your body in millions of tiny bubbles. Tubz will soon feature a handful of bathtub models filled with water that customers can reserve and try out themselves to really experience how these systems feel.

Another type of bathtub that has gained popularity in recent years is the walk-in tub. Designed with seniors in mind, these waist-high tubs have a door and a seat. Just walk in, sit down, and fill it with water. An optional hand-held shower head can be used for rinsing. Some even come with jets. Says Sanchez, ?Aging in place is a term you hear a lot with these, to try and keep people in their homes longer.?

Prices for new bathtubs range from about $600 to $2,000. Those with a system tend to be higher, from $1,500 to $3,000. There are also a variety of faucets and showerheads to match any design. Most homeowners use contractors to install bathtubs ? this is not an easy DIY project.

So take a moment to breathe and relax, to unwind from the stress of the outside world. A new bathtub may be just what you need to soak it all in.

4796 Davenport Pl, Fremont
(510) 770-6427

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