Kohler Caribbean or Sunrise roll top tub?

lisa_aFebruary 10, 2012

Does anyone have either of these tubs? Both are cast iron soaking tubs with a sloped back. The Sunrise (model #812) is a claw foot tub that we can order sans claws ;-) and have installed as a drop-in tub. It's supposed to be similar to the Barclay 68" roll top tub that I tried at a local showroom but it's an inch wider. Both roll top tubs are fairly narrow by US standards, apparently, but I liked how the Barclay cradled me.

I'm waiting on pricing but these will probably come up fairly close (our plumber gets a really nice discount that he passes on to me) so it really comes down to which one I think will suit me best and fit our home's style. Sure wish I could find one of these somewhere locally to try out.

Pamela, the fabulous woman who helped me at Ferguson's, told me that both tubs are quite popular and that she had 2 of the Caribbean coming in for other customers. I was so tempted to ask her if she'd asked her customers if I could come sit in their tub (fully clothed, of course!) once it was installed. I'd be willing to bring bath salts, candles, etc, all the trappings for a wonderful bathing experience in exchange.

Anyhoo, if anyone here has one of these tubs, I'd love to hear from you. TIA!

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Our Sunrise claw foot should be here next week. You're very welcome to come over and hop in! Don't remember the name,but it's a 68" dual. I did climb in a slipper tub and ahhh it was comfy! We tub very little, so went for the dual's look....hope it's okay . Won't be trying it out till the bathroom is all done....about 3 more weeks. I'll report back.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:36AM
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Hi Lisa,
I had the Kohler Carribean for over 25 years! Yes, it hadn't changed in all that time. I installed it in our home originally in a color that became outdated and then replaced it several years ago in Sandbar. Crazy that it even still had the same Kohler code number assigned to it!
It's a gorgeous tub and screams quality BUT things to be aware of are that at 6' long and cast iron, it's god awful heavy. I believe around 600 lbs so if you are upstairs be sure your floors can support it and you have a way to get it up there.
I undermounted it the second time and wish that I had done drop in again. It was a waste of granite and I much preferred the look of the drop in.... somehow the undermount made it look too narrow. Still looked great but I could compare my memories and thought above was a nicer look.
It's long.... I'm 5'7" and needed a bath pillow (which was wonderful though) in order to not be stretching my toes to reach the drain wall. My husband is 6'7" and loved being able to get underwater on the few times that he used it.
I was miffed each time that the grabbars which are required are an extra charge. Using polished nickel, they added almost $400.00 to the cost of the tub!!!! I thought this was highway robbery but paid it anyway because the tub fit the space during our remodel.
I found the old thread here on GW where I posted pics of our remodel... we've since sold our "forever" home and retired to another state where we're building again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to GW thread about Gbsim's bath remodel

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:03AM
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martinca, if you were closer (guessing you're in CA from your screen name), I'd definitely take you up on your offer! I wasn't sure what "dual" meant so I looked it up on Sunrise's website. Nice looking tub! I look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks!

gbsim, thanks so much for posting. Pretty bathroom! It's great to hear how well the Caribbean works for you. I had no idea it's been around that long. I like the look of it undermounted, btw. It gives you a nice granite deck around the tub. Our current tub is the same size - 72 x 36" - with a wide deck so my tile deck is very narrow, leaving me little space to put anything decorative around the tub. But I'm pretty sure we can't swing the extra cost to undermount the tub so I'm glad to hear that you prefer it top-mounted. ;-)

When you lay in it, is the water level deep enough to cover you without you needing to slouch lower in the tub? I've sat in a few that had comfortable backs but I realized that I'd need to scootch down to get all but my upper chest and shoulders below the water line. And I'm not tall at only 5'3-1/2". I discovered Kohler's bath pillow yesterday - slick idea and something I'll definitely need if I get this tub.

We are installing it upstairs but I've checked with our contractor and weight is not a concern, not just installed but getting it upstairs. People always talk about weight with cast irons but the filled weight for acrylic tubs that hold gallons and gallons of water is rarely mentioned. At 8.35 lbs a gallon, the 102 gallon capacity, 5.5' acrylic Underscore tub ends up weighing 932 lbs total. That's 118 lbs more and 145 lbs more than the 52 gallon capacity Caribbean tub and the 62 gallon Sunrise tub, respectively. Both of these tubs weigh less than 100 lbs more, filled, than our current 70 gallon capacity, acrylic whirlpool tub. I was as concerned as you are about weight until my contractor went over the numbers with me and told me that if our 1990's era home's bathroom floor couldn't handle a couple hundred pounds more, we had far more serious structural issues to contend with. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Its been a while since we were there, but it seems like I was underwater! The real problem would be that since you're shorter, you'd need maybe even two bath pillows to be able to touch your toes to the back wall. I float around if I can't touch my toes against something!

I believe the specification sheet shows where the drain height is so that might help.

We had four men and a high school football player struggling to get the tub across the deck and into the bathroom which had door access to the deck. It was crazy. Be aware that you can't lift it by the rim and so it was difficult to carry even when it was still strapped to its pallet.

As I said the extra 400 for the grab bars plus the extra for the drain really aggravated me. You can buy a nice tub for $400 let alone a couple of 14" metal bars!

In the new build I'm going with a Sanijet air tub. I know that I'll miss the quality look and feel of the cast iron, but didn't want to sweat the install and wanted some bubbling action!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Thanks for the info about carrying it in. If that's the one I get, I'll relay that to our contractor and his crew. The tub itself is only 55 lbs more than the cast iron tub we had installed in the boys' bathroom but if it's harder to grip, that will make it harder to carry than just an extra 55 lbs.

I told every contractor during the interview process that we were strongly considering cast iron tubs and then I gauged their reactions to that statement. The contractor we hired wasn't phased (but not much phases him, he's unflappable, a very good thing since I'm definitely flappable ;-) remodeling is stressful). One contractor looked uneasy and said that he'd need to get my hubby's help during install. Seriously.

I have the water depth info but it's hard to know just where that will hit me since I haven't figured out the angle at which I'll be laying and that will affect how much of me is covered by water. I'll have to go back to my high school geometry basics to figure it out. But if you don't recall sticking out of the water, then I would think it would be okay for me, too. Thanks!

Yeah, the required grab bars was an unexpected expense. I found out the plumbers spec'd the polished chrome even though we have brushed nickel finishes on all the other plumbing items. That increases the price (ouch!) but I think it would be funny to have polished chrome just a foot or two away from a brushed nickel spout. I need to get them to revise the quote for me to see just how much more that will cost me.

Sigh. Picking a tub shouldn't be so difficult!

Thanks, again, and good luck with your build!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Bumping up, hoping to hear from others with these tubs.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:08PM
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