Ideal children's bathroom tub- cast iron? acrylic?

wholehousesusieApril 20, 2012

Hi there, my husband and I have gutted a 100 year old home and now must make bathroom fixture selections. 2 bathrooms- one master, one kids. In the kids bathroom, I'm having trouble with tub selection. I want something not too deep so I can reach in and bathe kids easily. I'm hoping to go with acrylic-- I love the look of cast iron, but hate the thought of little heads clunking on it. However, I'm having trouble finding an acrylic that isn't a deep (18" plus) soaker or isn't super cheapy/flimsy builder grade from HD or Lowes. The less deep all seem to be cast iron. I love the concept of the Kohler Villager w/the extra 4" ledge, but it only comes in cast iron.

A. Any recommendations for a good quality acrylic alcove tub that is either 14 or 16" high?

B. Can anyone convince me that cast iron works ok for kids? The house we're currently in while renovating the other has a Maxx/Pearl 20" deep acrylic tub that I love the material of but hate the depth of when trying to give baby daughter a bath.

Rambling done! Thanks for any/all help!!

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We don't have kids, so can't address that concern, but will say that we love our cast iron tubs (Toto 1525's). They have a very solid feel, are deep enough, but not overly deep (our tile guy had us install them so they sit lower than the tiled floor on the outside, which makes stepping in/out of the tub easier), and IMO, a good tub for the long-term.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:26PM
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We have had no problems with cast iron and our kids' heads. Hopefully your kids never slip and konk their head.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:31PM
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We've also only had cast iron for our kids. They last forever, won't get flimsy and keep in mind that the kids grow up so fast - in a few years you won't even remember this concern. We just got the Kohler Expanse for our daughters' bathroom and it's great. Arced like the arced shower curtains sonslightly more interior room, but doesn't take up much more space than a standard tub.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:02AM
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my 4 were raised with cast iron tubs - I was also along w/my 3 sisters. can't blame any bad thought process on hitting our heads on them tho - lol!

never had a problem with them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Cast iron maintains great temperature which allows for tub play. I don't think there is anything better for kids needs.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 2:44AM
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Hmm. Well any tub is fine- surely I have seen head clunks with just about every surface, not just cast iron.

BUT, I will say, the most frequent lost or chipped tooth seems to happen in the tub. Never asked if it was cast iron though, but I might think so.

Again, not that often.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:49AM
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I'm also in favor of CI.

Just get a large tub mat for anti-slip. If your kids will be goofing around in the tub, don't forget about the metal tub spout. The protruding tub spout could be more dangerous than the actual tub material.

There are cushioned tub spout covers if you want to go that route.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Take a look at the American Standard Princeton tub made of Americast. It feels a lot like cast iron, but it is lighter than cast iron (but feels more sturdy to me than acrylic). They are nice and low so its easy to lean over the edge to bath kids. I even bought one for my master bathtub. I don't like deep tubs, I'd rather sit in a shallow, very hot bath and be able to lean over the edge and grab my phone or magazine :-) But you can fill them up pretty full also, if you prefer deeper water.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:38PM
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I will echo the Americast tub. We put the Cambridge (very deep version) in 2 kid's baths. Never had a problem bathing the kids in them. The tub is light enough your contractor will not groan. But it is much sturdier than the acrylics and holds temperature well. They look like the cast iron tubs--very high quality. When we bought our current house, we were pleased that the previous owners had put one in too!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Thanks everyone! Slowly reconsidering CI and am definitely going to do a bit of looking into Americast.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:09PM
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(FWIW, kudos to our plumber, not our tile guy--wonderful as he was, for the tub-setting suggestion)

Our tub has no slip-grips built-in, as do many tubs today, so that might be something to look for. They are not rough or uncomfortable to sit on them, but they serve their purpose well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:37PM
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We're getting the Kohler Villager for our son's bathroom. Right size, reasonably priced, and I liked the fact it was cast iron...I think it feels nicer. Plumbing salesman said I made the right decision, FWIW. She also said it's good for showering when he gets older.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I am remodeling my kids' bathroom right now and I would just echo the statement that the kids grow up fast. Mine are two teens and a preteen, and the cast iron tub we have is sturdy so it is staying.

We did use an anti-slip tub mat all the years they were little. For tiny kids it's while standing up in the tub. For the K-early grade schoolers first bathing on their own, it's getting in and out of the tub, and for that the grab bar would probably help even more than the tub material.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Thanks everyone, I ended up going with american standard americast princeton tub. I know not everyone is wild about the americast, but it would have been a pain in the butt to install CI in the upstairs corner bathroom, and I loved the dimensions of the princeton w/the extra 4" ledge. The "luxury ledge" as they call it, ha! I'll report back on what I think of it! (Hopefully its a good report-- I have no shame in crating it up and returning it if I think it stinks!)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:49PM
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