One of the current trends in bathroom design is to have a separate shower with a freestanding tub. While luxurious whirlpool tubs are one option, many homeowners prefer the elegant simplicity of a relaxing soaker tub.
Away From the Wall, Out of the Corner
If you have enough space in your bathroom, consider putting your new bathtub in a non-traditional place to make it more of a focal point. Build a tub base in the middle of the room for a drop-in tub, or put an antique reproduction clawfoot tub in front of a window (add sheer curtains or frosted glass for privacy). Place a small, decorative table near the tub to hold soap and shampoo products, or purchase a wire rack that fits over one end of the tub. Use a large basket within easy reach for towels. Your plumber or home improvement professional can run the water pipes up from the floor to service the tub.
Type of Soaker Tubs
You can still find many cast iron tub models, but for floors where weight is a concern, a lighter acrylic or resin bathtub might be the best choice. Among the modern designs available in soaking tubs are single sloped ends, double sloped ends, rolled rim bases, no slope, oval shaped and rectangle shaped. Classic clawfoot tubs can be ordered in monochromatic white (even black!), or with contrasting tub/foot colors. Copper, stainless steel, marble and travertine tubs are the ultimate in upscale bathtub designs.
Japanese Tubs: A space saving option is to bring an Asian flair into the bathroom with a round, Japanese soaker tub. These tubs are smaller and deeper, and the bather sits down in the tub instead of stretching out. You can get even more creative with an hourglass, hexagon or drop-in square shaped tub.
Reglazing an Existing Tub
To preserve and revitalize an existing bathtub (whether freestanding or not), call in a tub refinishing expert to give it a fresh, new finish. Most can even take care of fiberglass tub repair too. Taking this simple step could add years of life to your tub, and allow you to put the savings toward new faucets and fixtures.
For more ideas on adding a soaker tub to your bathroom, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.