Whether you are updating your bathroom to maximize the resale value of your home or renovating it to improve the comfort of the house, finding the perfect shower or bathtub to fit your needs isn’t a minor decision. A shower or bathtub is one of the most important bathroom fixtures, so it is crucial to pick one that suits the grand design vision. Whether it’s a small bathroom remodel or just a shower remodel, the design experts at Quality DesignWorks offer some tips on finding the perfect bathtub or shower for a remodel.
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Finding The Perfect Bath
Ripping out and replacing a bathtub isn’t always the most fun idea, but all the headaches that come with it will all be worth it once you can relax near candlelight in the warm waters of your perfect bathtub. If there are any concerns about maximizing the resale value of your home, a tub is likely the best approach for a bathroom remodel. Picking out the perfect bath shouldn’t be an impulsive decision, and homeowners should consider the following factors during the search.
Easy To Clean
The cute little duckies on the slip-resistant mat on the bottom of your bathtub can harbor deadly microorganisms that can be harmful to your health, as these bath mats are often the most neglected items in a bathroom. Many modern bathtubs have a slip-resistant bottom that the bathtub manufacturer will be able to tell you how to clean. Cheaper materials are prone to scratching, making them harder to clean over time as they become more damaged.
Bathtub Weight & Consideration
Depending on the material of the tub, the weights can vary significantly. For example, a cast iron tub can often weigh upwards of 300 pounds before any water is added. For bathrooms on second floors or those that are unreinforced, this extra load could cause structural problems. Getting something this heavy up a set of stairs will also prove to be a chore, but acrylic and fiberglass tubs are lightweight and easier to maneuver.
If you have ever stepped into a cheap fiberglass tub, you know the bendable, almost squishy feeling of bathtub flexing. Each use and step in a bathtub that has the issue of flexing can weaken the structure of the tub. Cast iron tubs are heavier with less or no flexing. To prevent the bottom from flexing, make sure to get a proper mortar setting under the bottom of the tub during the remodel.
Price is always a factor when it comes to purchasing a new bathtub. Using improved materials and proper installation are the keys to making sure that the bathtub will pay for its self with longevity. Even so, try to set aside quite a bit of money in your bathroom remodel for a new bathtub, which typically costs somewhere between $2,600-$4,100.
Due to their expense, bathtubs aren’t something that homeowners want to replace often, and if they must be replaced, some of the surrounding materials, such as tiling, shower doors, and possibly the floor beneath it will have to be replaced as well.
Fiberglass, or fiberglass reinforced plastic, is the least durable and is more prone to scratching and crackling, and while a crack can be fixed, resurfacing the whole tub is not very economical. Acrylic tubs are very comparable to fiberglass in terms of durability and scratch resistance. Porcelain is a more durable option, but this is dependent on the thickness of the porcelain coating. While this option is more impact and scratch-resistant, the enamel can chip. However, porcelain can be repaired easily. Cast iron with a thick-coated enamel is the most durable because it tends to be thick and resistant to cracking.
Finding The Perfect Shower
When first walking into a bathroom, showers are usually the first thing that draws attention. An efficient shower adds appeal and functionality to a daily routine. When searching for the perfect shower to possibly accompany your bathtub, think about the following factors.
Bathroom Space & Cost
When installing a new shower, make sure to look at the exact size of the walk-in shower and tub area. The measurements need to be precise, and the dimensions need to match the type of shower you intend to purchase. The larger the space typically means the more money that will need to be invested for any long-term bathroom upgrades because a small change to any existing plumbing can be more than expected and more time-consuming.
Valves & Trim
When picking out a shower, a shower will need two main types of valves: the optional transfer valve and the mandatory main valve. To save some money, you can choose to keep the existing valves installed in the wall, but if these valves will need to be replaced in the future, it is best to do it during the remodeling process when the wall is already open. Though the old fixtures can be kept, the trimming surrounding these fixtures may have to be updated.
While there are plenty of options for showerheads, it may be difficult to narrow down your decision. A rain shower head is a top choice for showers as it allows for wide coverage to keep you immersed in the warm and refreshing waters of the shower. Most rainfall showers range from 8-12 inches in diameter and have multiple functions for different types of rainfall. Hand-held shower heads are typically a good option for larger households due to the amount of flexibility they offer. A transfer valve can always be installed for these shower heads if both are wanted.