What type of bathtub do you choose when remodeling?

janesylviaJanuary 27, 2012

I am going to have my bathroom remodeled. Currently, my bathtub is enameled steel. The glass door looks old and needs to be replaced. Since enameled steel chips easily, it would be better to have the bathtub replaced as well, which is at least 10 years old. My contractor said it would be better to choose an acrylic bathtub, since it looks more beautiful, and holds heat well. Enameled steel bathtub chips easily.

We went to home depot, and he suggested a bathtub of poly composite (acrylic) material. I don't know if the acrylic are more prone to scratch or stain than enameled steel. I once in a while dye my hair.

What type of bathtub do you choose when remodeling your bathroom? Any suggestion or sharing of experience is greatly appreciated.

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I am in the beginning stages of my renovations. I am ordering an acrylic tub over other choices for several reasons; price, weight,(bathroom is on second floor) and ease of care. I currently have an acrylic all-in-one shower/tub unit and it is still in perfect shape after 23 years...the reno is just to update colors, etc.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:06AM
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Thank you very much, terrijm. Would dyeing hair possibly stain the acrylic bathtub? I have no problem with my current enameled steel(porcelain on steel) tub.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:59AM
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We installed two cast iron tubs recently. They are solid and supposedly retain heat better than some of the other options available. If your floor can support it, I wholeheartedly recommend them. Ours are Toto's BTW.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Our old beige tub is cast iron (actually American Standard Fawn - a quite hideous shade), and we plan to replace it with the Kohler Bellwether cast iron tub in white.

It's very easily cleaned if you dye your hair.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:28PM
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biochem, just in case you don't already know, I wanted to warn you about something that I, unfortunately, learned about the Bellwether tub after we installed it. The front of the tub is sloped so a standard tub spout isn't long enough for the water to fall into the tub. Instead, the water hits the overflow drain. It still goes into the tub but it wouldn't take much for someone to redirect the water onto the tub rim and then onto the floor.

Kohler puts this info in the "Dimensions and Measurements" pdf on their website but you can easily miss it (I did).

Thankfully, I was home when the plumber noticed this problem as he installed the spout. I had him remove it immediately. It took me a lot of hunting but I found a tub spout that is long enough (6-1/2" to center of stream) with a style and finish that blends well with our chosen fixtures and finishes (satin nickel) and is only $30 more than the spout we'd chosen, unlike another I found that was $230 more (ouch!).

Oh, if only I'd know this beforehand, I would have chosen the Mendota. It was more money - which is why we didn't choose it - but it would have saved me many headaches. And in the end, between extra plumber's time and extra spout costs, it might have been a wash.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Lisa, Thank you very much for mentioning this! When you say 6 1/2 inches, is that the overall length the spout must be? The specifications on the spout I have picked out on the Product Dimensions pdf page is 6 1/2 inches from wall to what looks like the stream. So that would work?

The things one has to think of! OMG.

Here is a link that might be useful: Delta Victorian Monitor series

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:15AM
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We use cast iron.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:20AM
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You're welcome, biochem! I'm glad I saved someone from the headache I experienced. But you're fortunate that you actually chose a tub spout that should work, according to my plumber. And - what a coincidence - it's the exact same spout (in a different line) that we're going with.

Yes, it's 6-1/2" to water stream, the spout s/b 7-1/2" long if the one I found at HD is anything to go by (that one was too angular to go with our fixture choice). The spout we started with - American Standard Portsmouth - was only 5-1/4" to water stream and 6" long.

My poor bathroom is going to be so confused. We chose the Hansgrohe shower head because we like the flow better and the finish and style went well with American Standard's Portsmouth line. The shower control is Portsmouth. And now the spout if Delta. I will know but I'll bet no one else will ever notice our all-inclusive plumbing party in the tub. ;-)

And yes, you're right, the things one has to think of. We're planning our master bath/laundry room reno and I'm feverishly checking every single spec sheet to make sure I don't encounter a similar problem.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:41PM
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biochem, I just got a call from the plumbing supply company. That spout is 6-1/2" from wall to center of stream and 7.09" long.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Lisa, thanks so much! Woot! :D

Getting very excited as we picked out the tub surround tile and the floor on Saturday, and I talked to the woodworker today and he's ready to start on the cabinets. Going to swing by tomorrow morning on my way to work to pick out doors.

Woot! Woot! Bathroom is happening!

(Sorry Jane for hijacking your thread.)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:44PM
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You're welcome!

And, yes, sorry, Jane for hijacking your thread.

But to get back on topic, I'm in the process of picking a new tub for the master bath reno. I had planned on getting another cast iron tub since that's what we put in the boys' bathroom and I like the durability and longevity of cast iron tubs. However, I may end up with an acrylic (the Underscore, suggested by Lynneblack) because of cost. Redoing bathrooms is expensive, redoing a master bath is even more so. I'm the only one who takes baths and I don't do it often enough to warrant the extra cost of a cast iron tub to replace the 6' whirlpool tub we have. We have a separate tub and shower set-up so not sure if my decision process helps you or not.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Our house was built with a cheap acrylic tub/shower unit 20 years ago. It started getting difficult to clean just five years later. At around 15 years, it developed a small hole in the sidewall. (We think it was from bathing the dog and her sharp nails.) We had one kid in college and another who was very ill at the time = no money. We patched the leak and I kept getting more and more creative with the cleaning products just to make it look decent.

Finally, kiddo #1 is healthy and kiddo#2 is graduated. We're about to embark on the long needed bathroom remodel. Unfortunately, we are still on a budget. The only thing I didn't want to budge on was NO ACRYLIC TUB. But our bath, the only full one in the house, is up the stairs and around a tight corner into a small 8x5 room, with the tub at the back.

Our bath guy says, sure, he can put a cast iron tub in there but he'd probably have to remove, then rebuild, a wall to do so. There would go the budget.

My alternative is to use an acrylic unit because they have a little "give" and he could get it into the room without demolishing anything. "I don't want acrylic!" I say, but he tells me there are nicer ones than that piece of junk I have in there now. How much nicer? Really nice. Of course you still have to build a floor up around the bottom of it and put in some insulation if you want it to feel like cast iron though. "And how much is that going to cost?" I ask.

And the answer is -- too much.

"There is another option," he says. Then he pulls out this gorgeous hunk of solid surface material and tells me he can put in a walk in shower made out of that stuff, with a premium showerhead and control for the same price as doing an "okay" job of installing a mid-range acrylic unit.

Did I tell you I only have one full bath? No other tub in the house?

I'm going with the walk in shower anyway. THAT'S HOW MUCH I HATE ACRYLIC.

BTW, according to shower guy, the lifespan of an acrylic tub is 20 years.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:18PM
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