Beautiful, stylish and high-tech bathtubs
Although they ultimately serve the same purpose they always have, bathtubs have evolved from simple cleansing vessels to elegant, high-tech oases of serenity. With updated features and unique designs, bathtubs now create a calming daily escape from the busy world.
A bathroom evolution
Not just from a design standpoint, but also regarding pure functionality, it is astonishing how far bathtubs have come. A word often used when referring to tubs is “utilitarian”, since they are practical and found in every household. As typical and mundane as they originally may once have been, they are so much more these days. Now with the ability to be more personalized, and as Ian Bush of Noland described it, “a work of art in the home,” tubs make the bathroom one of the highlights of the home.
The materials used and the shapes that are created in are two other ways in which bathtubs have changed. Unlike in years past, tubs are “not just acrylic or cast iron anymore,” according to Mary Soeder, Atlanta showroom manager for Plumbing Distributors Inc. (PDI). Instead, many companies are using materials in production and updated technology to allow for “unique and interesting tub shapes and designs,” she says. Soeder also explains how the vast majority of baths they feature are freestanding (almost 80 percent to be exact), “which was not as common 5 to 10 years ago.”
Types of tubs
Gone are the days of the simple-style baths with an old-time washtub feel. The array of options now available is mind-blowing. When deciding on a type of bathtub to adorn a restroom, homeowners must determine whether each of the new advancements would add to or take away from the Zen feel of their own personal space of serenity. Jetted, soaking, freestanding, completely or partially built-in, footed, or containing back and armrests…these are a handful of the many options to consider.
Perhaps the initial question to confront when sorting through the numerous design and functional choices offered is what the bathtub will be used for: muscle soothing (choose jetted), general use (try soaking), skin therapy (opt for air). This could be a great starting point for narrowing down the possibilities.
It is unmistakable that homeowners are now provided with more than enough ways to individualize their own bathtub through pure function and design, but there is still a realm that has not been touched – technology. Believe it or not, technology has taken this home fixture by storm. Bathtubs now can be personalized with high-tech capabilities. Depending on the type of spa-quality service desired, there is type of tub for every one…a tub that provides therapy through technology.
Chromatherapy is a therapeutic innovation that has added a little flair to tubs. “Because colors affect our emotions, they also can be useful to help heal our bodies and mind,” says Becky Sue Becker of Designs by BSB in Lawrenceville. This practice, also referred to as color therapy, uses lights of various hues to balance the bather’s energy. Red for passion, green for healing, orange for success, and blue for calmness and peace; these are a few of the qualities enhanced through this process and the colors with which they are associated.
The way in which bathtubs maintain water warmth is another important aspect to consider. The material used to create the tub can help hold in warmth, or expel it quickly like cast iron tubs used to. There are also heating techniques to keep water warm during the bath, as well as to heat the surface of the tub, reducing the chill of contact.
Lastly, short of the physical relaxation factor of a massage from hydrotherapy and the warmth of being submerged in water – perhaps with bubbles thrown in for good measure – what else could help one unwind? Music! In this age of being constantly “plugged in” it is no wonder that melodic tunes have shown up in the bathroom. Some tubs are now made with speakers hidden behind walls, allowing the user to be surrounded by songs of their choice.
What is even more impressive than the developments made in bathtub design is the fact that they can be combined to create the perfect at-home spa experience.
Keep it clean
As any homeowner is well aware, cleaning can seem like a full time job by itself. A clean home is a happy home, and the bathroom is no exception. Some companies offer special cleaning solutions that are safe for pipes, and of course the type of material the tub is made of should be considered when choosing formulas for sanitizing. Soeder warns that “once acrylic is worn and discolored, there is no way to restore it.” Knowledge like this is important for the consumer so they can make their bathtubs last.
Additionally, various tubs are self-maintaining. For example, some jetted tubs feature automatic purge cycles that rid air channels of any water left over after use, making upkeep a little easier.
In all, today’s bathtubs are designed to give homeowners the best options for creating a unique spa atmosphere right in their home. Personalization is key to making this place of escape as beneficial as it can be, and design helps make that possible. From classic and complex to modern and simple, there are no limits to tub style.
Now that you see how bathtubs have changed and learned about the options that are now available, explore a little to ensure you find the right tub for you before starting that bathroom remodeling project. After all, you deserve a relaxing getaway no matter how temporary…even if it only lasts until the water gets cold.