Before you rush into all the pretty details of a bathroom remodel look closely at the issues with each component.
Today I will review some important things to think about with bathtubs.
At first you see the beautiful bathroom and then the view but take a minute and notice that he tub spout and handles are on different ends of the tub
1. Be sure there is clear access to the faucets in order to turn them on and off without having to reach over a toilet, the tub itself or some other obstacle. If you have a decorative spout you want to mount on the back side, separate the handles from the spout and mount them on the front or side.
Here the spout is at the back and the hand held spray and the faucets are placed on either end leaving room for entering in the center. There is also an access panel on the right side of the tub for the plumbing but it is disguised as paneling
2. If you are installing a whirlpool or air tub be sure you allow for an access panel to the motor in case repairs are needed. It’s also a good idea to have easy access to the faucets.
The access panel is visible here but should have been made of the same tile or faux finished to match so it wouldn’t stand out.
3. Contractors like to install top mounted tubs because they are easier to install and less expensive to install than undermount tubs. But remember that top mounted tubs need plenty of room around them so that that water pooling on the outside won’t be a problem to clean up. Dont’ cramp the faucets so close to a wall or glass shower that you can’t easily clean up.
This tub doens’t have much clearance and luckily is is undermounted not top mounted.
4. If you are installing a tub into a deck be sure to add extra insulation around it so the water will stay warm longer. Cast iron retains the heat the best.
5. Although they are sometimes very attractive, deck top mounted tubs are not as comfortable to get in and out of as under-mounted tubs because they interfere with a person being able to sit comfortably and swing their legs into the tub.
This top mount tub has very high sides which is uncomfortable to sit on because you are on two levels.
This top mount tub has a low profile which will be easier to sit on and get in and out. The space for the faucets between the tub and glass shower wall is where water splashed from the tub gets caught. If there is a small space at the back of the tub (not in this photo but maybe in the one above) it is really hard to access and keep clean.
6. The edge in front of a deck mounted tub should not be more than 6″-8″ or it will be difficult to get in an out of.
This tub is flush mounted with the tile so the side where you sit to enter is flat and comfortable.
7. While steps in front of a tub look nice, they are not safe because there is not enough leg room for the person getting in and out of the tub and they can create a safety issue.
Here is an example of narrow steps leading up to a tall tub. Whose feet are that small? I can only imagine kids climbing up and jumping off.
This soaking tub has a much broader step and about 18″ from the step to the tub so it’s much easier to get into.
8. If the tub is too low or sunken it is also hard to get in and out of.
This tub is striking but so low it would be difficult to get into and you would also have to reach over and low to reach the handles. OK for the young but not easy for most people. Swimming pools have ladders to enter and exit and that would help a situation like this. The drain around the sides is interesting.
9. If the tub has a shower over it, I recommend an undermounted tub so there will not be water trapped on the ledge between it and the shower glass. The height of the tub on a tub shower combinations should be no higher than 18″ (with 21″ maximum) because it is hard to get in and out if any higher.
Although this tub is separate from the shower there is not a lot of room to clean around the faucets because of the raised edge of the overmount tub and the small space behind the faucet which captures water.
10. Is the floor in front of the tub (and shower) slip resistant? If not it can be a safety hazard.
This tub has a recessed drain and teak planks just outside the tub.
Using small scale tiles on the floor also addresses slippage becasue of all the extra grout.
11. Plan to include a niche, shelves or landing area large enough for your bathing supplies and don’t forget to have a towel rack nearby.
Here are some ways people have addressed the issue for free standing tubs. Notice that the tubs both have the faucets in the back which might make it difficult to test and adjust the water before getting in. The tub on the right has walk up access to reload the shelves.
Here is a solution used at a built in tub. Notice all the space around the faucet (mounted on the tub this time instead of the deck) so clean up will be easy.
12. If you are using a freestanding tub be sure it is easy to get in and out of and is comfortable. Try it out in the showroom.