One of the great things about building a custom home is that you can design it to suit your wants and needs. However, our custom home builders always recommend clients to keep resale in mind. One classic selling rule is that every home needs at least one bathtub. Home without at least one tub cuts out a large portion of potential buyers. Plus, who doesn’t love the occasional soak in a bubble bath after a long day? Picking the right tub isn’t as easy as people expect though. There are many different types out there, so let’s break them down.
Free-standing tubs are unconnected to walls or any other surfaces. This is the most classic tub type and one that you’ll find in many old or vintage homes. It requires more space in the bathroom though, especially if you want to reach around it to clean. This style of tub is more expensive though, which could eat into the custom home budget, but it does add an element of luxury to any bathroom. A downside of free-standing tubs is that plumbing is exposed, but there are specialty plumbing parts that look great! Slipper and clawfoot tubs fit into the free-standing category, so if you’re interested in this type of bathtub take a look at those styles!
Alcove bathtubs are the easiest and cheapest type that you can get. This is a pretty basic style, but it’s what most people grew up with. The tub fits against a three-wall enclosure. The walls are then fitted with tiles or panels for waterproofing and aesthetics. Many homes have shower-bathtub combos in the alcove style. Alcove tubes are limited a bit in size, but combo shower-tub alcoves are a great way to fit both into a smaller bathroom. This type of bathtub is a great option if you’re looking to save some money and space. It might not make a statement like a free-standing tub, but it will definitely get the job done. And with a beautiful tile job, they can look just as stunning!
People often confuse alcove and drop-in tubs, and it’s easy to see why. A drop-in is when a deck is built, and the tub is then installed within. This style can be installed in an alcove, which is where the confusion between the two comes in. However, most are installed in a more open area. Instead of having three walls closing it in, drop-in tubs are usually only against the back wall and open on the other three sides. Drop-in bathtubs require more space than alcoves to accommodate the deck portion, and they are a bit more, but they’re still cheaper than free-standing. This style is a great option if you want something a little more open and luxurious than an alcove, but can’t spare the space or money for a free-standing.
As the name implies, corner bathtubs are installed in a corner area of the bathroom. They can either be alcove or drop-in styles, but most go for drop-in. This style was very popular in master bathrooms in builder-grade homes, which means they have a bit of a bad rap. Corner tubs can be used to save space in a bathroom, but they also are a great way to fill an unused corner in a layout. They tend to be larger than other bathtub styles, sometimes as large as hot tubs, and usually have extra features such as jets. They can look beautiful and spa-like when accessorized, but they’re not a favorite for custom homes these days.
For those who may be limited in movement, or want something deeper, a walk-in bathtub may be a good option. This style of tub is deeper than most and is equipped with a door so that people can walk directly in rather than step over the tub lip. Walk-in tubs are a great option for people with mobility issues, and you’ll often find them in older people’s custom homes. A downside of these is that they’re more expensive and that you have to wait for the water to completely drain before getting out. Still, if you’re unable to step into a tub but still want to enjoy a good soak, this is a good option to consider.
A lot of people find that regular bathtubs just aren’t deep enough. If you’re one of those people, consider a soaking tub. Soaking tubs are deeper than other models, and allow you to submerge in the water deeper. Spa-like bathrooms are popular in custom homes these days, and most opt for a soaking tub to complete the look. There are also Japanese- soaking tubs, which are even deeper. The water in these comes up to a person’s chin when sitting, rather than lying down. Be warned though- this style is most costly than others!
Jetted and Whirlpool Tubs
Want your bathtub to feel like a hot tub? Consider a whirlpool or jetted model. These extra features add bubbles and swirls to the water, which not only add to the spa-like feel but also are great for easing aches and pains. The great news is that many of these other types of tubs come with the option to add these extra features. They’ll cost you more, but they’re a great selling feature! One downside is that they have to be cleaned regularly, and not doing so can result in mold and mildew to build up in the jets.