Page 13 - Ultimate Bathroom Planning Guide
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STYLE GUIDE
Baths
Thanks to smart materials and a variety of installation options, it’s easy to create a soothing soaking spot in any bath.
TUB MATERIALS
Different tub materials offer perks that  t various price points and lifestyles. Take a look at the options and determine what will work best for you. Keep in mind, however, that not all tubs are available in all materials.
CAST IRON tubs are among the most durable and long-lasting  xtures in the home. These tubs are extremely heavy; even a small cast-iron tub will likely require extra  oor support.
ACRYLIC has a high-gloss look that’s similar to enameled cast iron but weighs much less. Acrylic is more durable and less prone to color-fade than  berglass tubs. Repairs are much easier than those that must be made to porcelain surfaces.
FIBERGLASS tubs, also referred to as gel-coat  berglass or  ber- glass-reinforced plastic (FRP), feature a glossy, easy-to-clean surface. It’s not as expensive as acrylic, but it’s also not as durable and can crack if something hits it hard enough.
COMPOSITE tubs are made from an engineered material coated in enamel. They offer the heat retention of a cast-iron tub at a third of the weight—so they are ideal candidates for upper-level bathrooms.
CULTURED MARBLE is a solid-surfacing material – comparable to quartz countertops – that is produced from crushed marble set in resin and then covered with a clear gel coat. Scratches can be buffed out of this material, but cracks can’t be repaired.
PORCELAIN-ON-STEEL tubs offer the look and heat retention of cast iron at a lighter weight. Prices can vary, but keep in mind that you generally get what you pay for; lower-priced models tend to chip and have a little bit of an echo.
INSTALLATION METHODS
Select an installation method that works best with your space requirements to transform your tub into a stunning focal point.
ALCOVE Commonly referred to as a recessed tub, this installation is used for rectangular tubs adjacent to three walls. If you’re replac- ing a standard tub, take note of the drain location as you face the accessible side—this is how you determine if you need a left-hand or right-hand installation to match up with existing plumbing.
PLATFORM Tubs made for platform installation drop into a deck structure usually built into its own enclosure, often adjacent to the shower. This method works well with whirl- pools and air baths, since space below the deck can house and hide pumps, plumbing, and hardware. (Keep these parts accessible with a removable panel.)
UNDERMOUNT The difference between a platform tub and an undermount tub is mostly a matter of aesthetics. An undermount’s rim is covered with a deck top—usually stone or tile that coordinates with surrounding materials—and it’s supported from underneath, rather than hanging from the deck as a platform tub does.
FREE-STANDING As the name implies, this tub stands on its own on the bathroom  oor without additional support, creating a stunning focal point. This type of installation must be placed close to plumbing lines; ask your professional if this is an option in your space.
SOAK IN SERENITY
To enhance your soaking spot, consider selecting a whirlpool, air tub, or soaking tub. A whirlpool forces water through strategically placed jets, while an air tub pushes a soothing, steady stream of air into the water. Because extra plumbing is required, whirlpools tend to be more expensive than air tubs. Extra-deep soaking tubs allow you to submerge your entire body and are available as built-in or free-standing models.
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