Air Tub vs Jetted in Master Bath

jpa2400February 10, 2007

I am looking for feedback on the pros\cons of air tubs vs jetted.

If you are using an air tub please post up your feedback.

Any information on good brands would be welcomed!

Biggest con I have heard so far on the jetted tubs is that they are prone to leaking over time and the air tubs confined.


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One rap you hear on jetted tubs is that the pipes can harbor bacteria, but if you have chlorinated/chloraminated water, I don't really think its a big issue.

Jetted tubs are more forceful, therefore probably better if you are looking for a specific theraputic use [great for overused muscles, some back complaints].

Air tubs are gentler, more for general relaxation.

A well built jetted tub shouldn't leak. My Kohler hasn't, in 26 years.

Since I'll eventually have a nice soaking pool outdoors [natural hot spring], I'm sticking with a jetted tub to pummel my legs after a hard day on the ski hill or bike: makes a huge difference to how I feel the next day.

Some tubs have both....

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 12:15AM
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Will get many different opinion. I prefer (much) air tubs over jetted tubs. I like Bain products.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 7:06AM
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Just took my first look at some air tubs. The Bain Ultra (Amma line I think) and Jacuzzi's Gallery line. The Bain has different speeds/force of air but not different motions, whereas the Jacuzzi offered a wave motion and a pulsating motion?? The Jacuzzi was 43" wide, Bain, 36. Sure seems like one's water bill will be going up if one gets one of these The Jacuzzi has a 600 watt heated blower to keep the bubble hot. I don't know about the Bain. Does this sound like enough? After a lot of consideration, I'm choosing air for less noise, an all over effect vs targeted and the maintenance issue. Can anyone tell me if these two models are a good compromise of cost and quality/efficiency?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I put a Bain air jetted tub in our new home in Dec. '06 and am very unhappy with it. I have owned water jetted tubs before and been happy with them. I thought this would be even better. I find the massage action to be essentially missing at any intensity. However, the water splashes out of the tub making reading in the tub for relaxation impossible. The air coming out of the holes around the bottom of the tub feels cold and cools the water down dramatically. I used a sensor and found that in 20 minutes of 50% intensity and high heat the water in the tub dropped 13 degrees in 20 minutes. Very unsatisfactory! Within 5 minutes the water temperature was uncomfortable. The pump is located within 10 feet of the tub and is in a heated closet. There is no way I could stay in this tub for as long as 45 minutes to an hour which I used to do in the water jetted tubs. I have called the company twice and have done what they have suggested with no significant improvement in performance. I wish I had never splurged on this tub. I now use it solely as a soaking tub. What a disappointment! Two days ago the drying cycle came on twice at random times and the tub hasn't been used as a jetted tub for over a month and hasn't been used even as a soaker tub for about a week. We had to unplug the pump to stop it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 6:51PM
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Sorry to hear about your disappointment with your Bain. I agree the water does cool significantly with the air jets on, but I found this to be true with my Jacuzzi water jetted model as well. The air is warmed, but not enough to prevent heat loss.I think only an in-line water heater solves this problem, and of course this is not available with an air jetted tub. I simply add more hot water as needed to keep the temperature comfortable. As far as the drying cycle coming on by itself, this is a feature of the tub that you can control. The drying cycle will come on once per day at the time you set it. It is easy to do this without realizing it. Go to Menu, Other, drying cycle, then choose either enable or disable.
I love being able to use bubbles or other bath products that can't be used in a jetted tub, and no icky junk coming out of the jets.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:09PM
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I tried both of them and decided to go with the jetted tub. I like the more powerful jets of the jetted tube over the bubbles. I did not like the water cooling effect of the bubbler either. It was sorta like sitting in a bathtub full of likewarm Fizzies, even at the highest setting. I wanted more of a massage. I've ordered my jetted tub with an in-line heater to keep the water hot for as long as I want to soak. We're also going with a whole house gas tankless water heater for unlimited hot water.

There is more maintenance to a jetted tub and I'll miss my bubble bath, but when I overdo the exercise, my sore muscles will be very happy I chose the jetted tub. I tried one out after a long run and workout and knew immediately I wanted one.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:10AM
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DW is the only one who uses the master tub. And then only rarely, so we chose a bubble air version of the Maax Palace. You don't have to spend two-hours flushing black crud if you don't use it for months at a time. Secondary ensuite has an AS bubble air. No problems with that either. And both are way quieter than whirlpools. I never understood how it was supposed to be relaxing sitting on top of something that sounds and vibrates like a cement mixer. I get enough of that on the job site.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 1:27PM
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We have a jetted tub. The noise doesn't bother me (it's worse for the people sitting downstairs in the family room when it's on than it is for the person in the tub). After the remodel (we kept the old tub), it did take about 2 hours to clean the jets, but it hadn't been used in 6 years due to a leak. Now that it's clean and operational, it takes little time to keep clean.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 1:50PM
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I have an air tub and do miss the more powerful soothing benefits of the jet tub. Nice to use oils, etc now tho.
BTW, my sister bot a "Jason" jet tub--she said all the parts go in the dishwasher for easy clean up. That's what sold her--tho I haven't asked if she's used the tub, much less cleaned the jets!!!

Only real regret is that I didn't get a larger (longer) tub. I did buy a narrow one so I'd use less water to fill, but my knees are more bent than I realized they would be in a 66" tub. I so wanted to be able to stretch out--and I did/do have the room. oh well, ....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 1:33AM
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I *much* prefer jetted over air tubs.

I have some major back problems and my DH has minor ones - which is definitely a factor in wanting a firmer, more shi-atsu style massage experience in the tub. We've had a combo tub but simply rarely used the air part. But - we're either soakers or shi-atsu types - whereas others like the more gentle effervescence (I bet I would have too, when I was less prone to muscle cramping).

We've recently done the B and B thing where you book a room with an air tub and then one with a jet tub - and then compare ( fun! ). I can see where people would prefer one over the other ( but we still prefer the waterjets, even though the places that have them are less expensive - we need the deep massage).

If a person can afford it - get both, otherwise be sure you know which option fits your body/relaxation needs. I joke about the airbaths (just fill your tub up with 7-up - you'll love it) - but that's because my nerve damage makes it less perceptible (damage I didn't know I had until I got into comparing sensations). It's true the air is quieter - which some regard as more relaxing, but I'm prone to playing music while I relax - and well, the volume of the music exceeds the jets and I like it that way. Other times, I just like the roar of the jetted white water.

Again, I totally get how some people like effervescence instead of rapids. What do you think you'd really like if you could only have one? Or...could you consider both?

(We are about to purchase a jetted tub with the Ozone system, which most good models have - so we're not worried about bacteria, I'd want an ozone unit whether I had air or jet).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 1:39AM
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The new Jacuzzi tubs come with an Ozone sterilizer. We have a 150 gallon tropical saltwater tank with an ozone sterilizer and that takes care of the black gunk that used to collect in the PVC in that system, so I trust the ozone sterilizer to keep black gunk from collecting in the new tub. [b]Chelbell[/b], thanks for the heads up on the length issue - I was considering a 66 incher too, but I'd like to stretch out!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:01PM
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Chellbell How tall are you? I am 5'4 and it seems as if the 66 allowed for stretching when I tried it in the showroom. Now I am wondering.

Worthy Does the water stay warm in the Maax Palace?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 11:42PM
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We replaced a jacuzzi with an Aquatic Whirlpool, air jet tub. It is big enough for 2 (so was the jacuzzi) but narrower, so it takes less time to fill. I like it. Seems cleaner than than the jacuzzi--no gunk. We put body sprays in the shower for the deep massage. (Can't see them in this picture; the are opposite the hand spray side.)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Be careful with air jet tubs - not all brands are created the same. I have had nothing but problems with my Bain Ultra jet tub. My tub would turn on randomly throughout the night, so I would be in bed and hear air rushing from the tub in the middle of the night. Within a year of installation the lights on the keypad stopped functioning. Called their customer service department and they will not honor their warranty. Apparently their electronics and keypads are poorly constructed. The Bain employee I spoke to suggested I replace the tub altogether.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:38AM
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What a great forum! I'm remodeling my bathroom from top to bottom and have already learned a lot from this forum. I do have one question. If I get a tub that has both air and jet, can I use bubble bath then, or if I have jet at all, I'll be unable to use bubbles or oil?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Hello, I hesitate between 2 baths model... The Thalassa 60x60 or the Delight 66x36. We getting the walls down so the space is not really a problem. I prefer the inside lenght of the Thalassa and the modern look. But I am worried about the jets location, the bath is large and I plan to have whirlpool and probably combo with air around the bottom.

I am afraid that the jets will be too far away from myself since the inside width of the bath is larger then a normal bath. 31 inchs of interior width compare to around 20 inchs for a normal bath. Am I right to be worry about the whirlpool and air massage for that width ?


This post was edited by Ericcc9 on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 17:56

    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 5:09PM
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I'm not familiar with that particular tub, but usually IME, having the jets further away is a good thing. A large amount of water moving relatively slowly feels good, which is what happens when the jet sprays have space to dissipate; the same water poking and prodding your body forcefully from a narrow jet only 2 inches away can be painful. The far-away jets on the side of the Thalassa are clearly larger than the back or foot jets as well.

The Delight 66x33 on the other hand offers a third air-jet system called Tonic which produces tiny "champagne" bubbles, which IME feel best, clinging to your skin and slowly rolling to the surface. Not sure if this can be combined with water jets on this tub.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 11:47AM
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