Tub Options for Your Bathroom

White built-in soaking tub under window.

Bathtubs are available in a wide range of styles from freestanding claw foot tubs to built-in tubs with a shower surround.

Materials for bathtubs include:

  • Fiberglass: Lightweight. Can crack on impact. Abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull finish. Least inexpensive.
  • Acrylic: Lightweight. More durable than fiberglass. Abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull finish. Low to moderate cost.
  • Steel: Durable and heavy. Can have hollow sound. Low to moderate cost.
  • Cast Iron: Very heavy and durable. Expensive.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: This style of tub found its way in American bathrooms for decades. A free standing claw foot tub, and they’re available today. And if you really want to make a statement in your bathroom, you can do it with this. It’s available in a lot of different colors. I even installed one of these one time that was candy apple red, that made a statement.

But if you decide to go with this you’re going to spend a little money. It’s close to $5,000 without the faucet, and it’s extremely heavy. So you want to make sure your floor will support it, and that you have plenty of help to bring it into the bathroom.

Other free standing tubs are available in more contemporary designs, also called vessel tubs. And you can see these in just about any kind of style or shape that you can possibly imagine.

But the most common type of tub is one that’s nailed to the wall and it has a surround. But there’s about three different types of options there they are available for the choice of those tubs. This particular one is an acrylic, also made in fiberglass. They’re very similar, they are fairly easy to keep clean.

And one of the big advantages, they’re very inexpensive. Starting out at a little over $100, going up to a more stylish one like this, is around $550. Another advantage is we’re able to really pick up some nice design with a lot of the molded patterns that they have so a lot of advantages there. Disadvantage, it can scratch, so you have to be careful when you’re cleaning it.

Now, another option is a steel tub. Steel tubs again, very reasonable starting out at around $100, probably topping out at around $300. But they’re a little more limited in the number of colors and sizes that are available. One disadvantage there, I hear people talking about it has kind of a hollow sound, maybe they just don’t feel very safe in the tub.

For those people, they are great candidates for cast iron. And cast iron is what this tub is made out of, as well as the freestanding claw foot tub we looked at earlier. And I mentioned it was heavy, well, this can weigh as much as three to 500 pounds. Extremely durable, people love how it’s easy to keep clean. And also they like the secure feeling that comes along with a cast iron tub.

Now these will start at around $350, and go up to just as much you want to spend with different colors and shapes that are available. And this particular one runs around $750 for the style that we have here.

Now again, with it being heavy, you need to make sure that you have a good foundation under it, or if it’s a wood subfloor, make sure it’s strong enough to support it. And when you’re bringing it in place, even though it’s very durable, it still can chip the enamel, so you have to be careful with that.



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