Soaker Tub vs. Air Bubble Tub?

soonermomMarch 2, 2011

After 22 years of a huge (and ugly) faux marble jetted tub we are finally going to remodel our master bath. We rarely used the tub because it was uncomfortable and filling it drained our hot water heater. My question is this - those of you that have an air bubble tub - do you still use and love the air bubble feature after the novelty has worn off? We are definitely going to install a free standing tub and currently I love the Bain Ultra Sanos model. I just want to make sure that the bubble feature is worth the extra $1,000+ dollars.

Our youngest graduates from college in May so our bursar dollars will now be allocated to a master bath remodel!

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We got a Hydrosystem Rachel, undermounted. It is 72" x 36" and absolutely divine.

They offer an accessory called Hydrofusion, which quietly flows the water through the tub and keeps it within 1 degree of what you started with. It was a $200 upgrade.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:17PM
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We just replaced our 72" x 36" whirlpool tub with the same type (drop in). We wanted to go with a soaking tub since the novelty wore off years ago for a whirlpool tub. We changed our minds when a builder told us most people want/expect them when you sell your home. We went back with a whirpool for resell purposes even though a soaker would have been ok for us.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:33PM
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soonermom (or anyone else)

So how did the Bain Ultra soaker/air work out?

Same dilemma for a spec home. The only manufacturers I can find who make freestanding soaker/bubble air units compatible with traditional styling are Bain and Maax.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Worthy, are the MTI tubs too modern for you? They have a large selection of freestanding tubs that you can get as soakers or air. We got a soaker because we are all about low maintanence here, and a big freestander was already a splurge in our budget.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Thanks. I wasn't aware of that brand.

MTI Sundowner Soaker

This freestanding soaker also suggests how one might turn a drop-in whirlpool into a free standing unit.

Flexible plywoods and trims make shapes that were impossible before much easier to devise.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:36PM
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We finished a gut renovation this spring and installed a Bain Ultra Amma. It's a
72 x 42 drop in. Just speaking of our satisfaction with the bubbles and the brand: we LOVE it! I use it several times a week. We put in a luxurious shower and sauna and of all the things we did, I love my tub the most! Good luck with the many decisions you'll be making!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:14AM
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The Bain Ultra tubs (and I would think most airbubble tubs) are very low maintenance unlike many whirlpool tubs that need monthly cleansing cycles. Resale-wise I think alot of people are looking for a master bath with a tub that does something therapeutic, so I don't think it matters if it's air or whirlpool. If you're not worried about resale, I would say do what you feel is right for your lifestyle. Having the air gives you the choice of using the tub as a soaker or as a therapeutic option if your back is hurting, you've pulled a muscle, etc. With the soaker, soaking is the only option you have. I personally, like to leave my options open. Just my $0.02.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:33AM
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I'm digging the look of the Hydro Systems Angel Air Bath. We got a quote for a Kohler Sunward Air Bath ($1551), but I don't like the small arm rest (you could rest your pinkie's on them and that's about it). It looks like you can customize the Hydro Systems tub w/ armrest, no armrest, air bath combo w/ jets, etc. It's about cost here, but we don't want junk either.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Can you do a Bain with a shower as well?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:19PM
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We installed a Kohler air bubble tub when we remodeled 5 years ago but seldom use it. If I had to do it over again, I would go with just a soaking tub and spend the money on another upgrade.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Annieakabigcheese, since no one ever answered your question, I will, even though it was several months ago. You can use the BainUltra tubs with showers. The air completely blows out and dries the tubing after the bath (or shower) is complete - or you can set the controls to automatically run the drying cycle at a specific time every day to makes sure the lines stay dry and hygienic, which would work well if there were multiple shower users.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:13AM
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We chose an MTI Air tub. Best of breed, IMHO. We also added their in-line heater to keep the water warm when soaking. Turns out that injecting air into the tub causes the water to cool off faster than if no air was injected. Manufacturers try to compensate for this by injecting warm air, but the laws of thermodynamics are not easily broken. Air bubbles increase surface area, thus more rapid heat dissipation...

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:13PM
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