Would you whirlpool again?

seekingsunAugust 12, 2013

We are in the conceptual stages of our bathroom gut and reno. My wish list has a 6ft tub. My hubby has his eye set on a whirlpool type tub (also 6ft). For some reason I feel against that and not really sure why...I guess I am thinking of maintenance and that it might be harder to clean.

Would you install a whirlpool tub again? Any cons of which we should be aware? We have a toddler who will be the main daily user of this tub (until we potentially redo the other bathroom down the road). As I sit here with sore muscles from weekend yard work a big whirlpool tub sounds really nice though! :)


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It would be a shower combo (I think, unless we end up doing major plumbing changes to add a seperate shower stall). We are on a slab and I would love to add radiant heat under the tub. I wouldn't say budget doesn't matter but we will be doing a lot of the labor work ourselves with family help so we can spend a little more on materials. If that extra info helps!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:02AM
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You already know if you are a soaker or not and it sounds like you are. I am and I love the whirlpool as well. I don't use the jets as much as I used to, because they are kinda noisy, but they do make for good bubbles (just don't use an oily product). Maybe newer ones are quieter. We also did a 6 ft tub, but my tall husband almost never uses it, and it is almost too long for me, even though I'm 5'8. I will do a shorter tub next time.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 11:21AM
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The biggest issue that you will run into is the fact that you want to use this for a tub and a shower. That's a bit cross purpose if you want to use both functions regularly. The deeper the tub, the better for soaking. But, the harder it is to step over to use as a shower. With you wanting to bathe kids in it, that's also a strike against doing a deep tub. A tub shower combo also has to have an integral tile flange to be waterproofed correctly. There just aren't that many 6' tubs out there that will have that.

Speaking of that 6' dimension, you should visit some bath showrooms. I'm almost 6' tall, and a 6' tub would be too long for me. When that happens, you keep slipping down in it, and it's not comfortable. A 66" tub would be the perfect dimension for me. But, everyone's bodily proportions are different, and you need to try a few and decide what works for you.

If I were you, I'd take a look at your space and see if I could carve out or add on room to separate the tub and shower functions. It will work better on a daily basis if you can do that. If your home also has another tub in it, I'd plan on using that to bathe the kids in too.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 2:03PM
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I have a large two person whirlpool tub in my second floor bathroom that was there when I purchased the house. I need a new water heater for the house so haven't used it in a while, but if/when I redo the bathroom, my wish list would include a smaller whirlpool tub. I just found that it takes so long to fill, it is a deterrent to use, esp when I am tired. I would enjoy a smaller bathtub size unit more. It would be quicker and easeir to use, take less hot water, and be just as nice. because of the large tub, there is a tiny separate shower that I refuse to use because it is so small. I end up using the downstairs shower/tub combo daily. So my recommendation would be to get the smallest one you both feel comfortable in and get it as a whirlpool. I would use the second bathroom much more if I had that.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:21PM
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I installed a soaking tub without the whirlpool pumps and all the seals and lines and openings into the tub. I wanted it simple and easy to clean. One thing I did do though was to wrap the underside in extra styrofoam insulation so it will stay hot longer in the winter when I use it most. I insulated the tub and the tub surround I built for it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:25PM
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In my previous house the master bath had a 6 foot soaking tub and a separate shower. We had the area wired for a whirlpool tub, but decided to save money and install only a soaking tub.

During the 17 years we lived in the house I think my wife and I only used the tub about once a year. Soaking in the tub was good and a whirlpool would have been better, but we seldom had the time to just sit in a tub. It also took a long time to fill the tub, so you had to be patient.

However, our two boys used the tub frequently when they were growing up. As babies it was a little big, but still worked. When they got older we let it fill up and then they used a snorkel to see how everything looked under water. The large tub was easy to access and had a lot of space, so it was like a little swimming pool for toddlers. We had a window seat in an adjacent window, and that was a great place to sit and watch them. However, it's probably not the typical use for a soaking tub :).


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:49AM
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No. I love my tub and use it almost every night in the winter. But I never use the jets. Too noisy and hard to clean. Cant wait to replace it with a plain old soaker.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:27AM
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You mention placing radiant heat under the tub. If you are considering heating wires under the tub, I remember reading that this is against recommendations. I can't remember why. If you used a whirlpool, don't they have heaters to keep the water warm?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Is an air jetted tub an option for you? I rarely go a night without using the air jets. With Fibro Myalgia and MS (not to mention a bad lower back) I wouldn't be able to move without my Bain Ultra air tub. I've had it since Jan 2008. There are days where I use the jets twice a day if needed due to body pain. I didn't buy a water jetted tub for maintenance reasons and sanitary reasons. My tub is 19" deep. I wash grandbabies in it all the time but will admit that a lower tub would be easier. As for stepping in and out of a deep tub for shower use...ya gotta get in and out of it for a bath too so I'm not sure what the shower issue is about. Anyway, might be something to look into :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:46AM
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When I purchased my whirlpool tub, the number of gallons used was a prime consideration - for both the time to fill and hot water heater capacity. Plus I wanted room for a larger shower. I love my Neptune Wind whirlpool and it only needs a max 55 gallons!

In addition to left or right facing, its available as a soaker, a whirlpool, three types of air and several combinations. Since its smaller your husband may not find it ideal but it would be easy for bathing a toddler.

Also when I was researching I learned manufacturers have addressed the older maintenance problems with changes like reconfiguring the slopes of the piping. I also chose to have an ozone system in mine (I liked Neptune's ozone better than others because it turns on after the bath and not during.) There are products on the market that claim to keep a biofilm from forming in the jet system - I'm using one - don't know if its necessary but as a microbiologist I'm grossed out by biofilm :)

I was lucky to have a mega bathtub store within reasonable driving distance - I believe their claims of over 400 tubs on the showroom floor! If you can, you should sit in any tub you're considering... it needs to be comfortable for your body to really enjoy it. I was initially going for a different look but discovered it wasn't the right "fit" for me. There were a number of other models with my lower gallons criteria so I was able to try them on until I found the right one - just like Goldilocks!

(Gotta put a plug in for my favorite online bath store - I got a great deal on my whirlpool during one of the frequent sales at Qualitybath.com)

Here is a link that might be useful: Neptune Wind

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Several folks have commented about the time to fill an oversized tub. You can minimize fill time by making sure your feed lines for hot and cold water and any fixtures are at least 1/2" diameter. I think the next size up is 3/4". I can't remember which I used. Be sure your water heater is sized so you can fill your tub without having to wait for it to re-heat. I think my water heater is the standard 40-gallons and it does fine with my 5ft soaking tub. My old water heater was also 40-gallns but I had to fill the tub from it in two increments, waiting for it to re-heat the second increment.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:52PM
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