For many of us, a bathroom is not complete without a bathtub of some kind. Nothing compares to the relaxing feeling of soaking in a hot bath – it is a real healing for both our bodies and souls. While a shower cabin might work just fine for a student dormitory, a rented flat or a very small apartment, a bathtub is a real necessity for a family apartment or a big house. Bathing the kids, pets, and even taking a bath yourself will make a real change in your life.
But how does one choose the best bathtub for one’s house? As with any other bathroom equipment, really depends on a few factors, including your budget, size and design of your bathroom, flooring material, etc… However, the popularity of acrylic bathtubs has increased a lot over the past couple of years. If you’re questing what an acrylic bathtub is, it’s a tub made from a material known as acrylic plastic. It has all sorts of advantages compared to other materials people used to make bathtubs out of, like, for instance, iron. Despite being lightweight and looking pretty fragile, it an easily sustain the weight of a grown adult. More and more people started investing into this kind of tub, as it’s fairly lightweight, durable, preserves the temperature of the water for a fairly long time and is very easy to clean. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the composition of your tub should be 100% acrylic – while that is a possibility, it’s highly likely that it will cost a fortune – cheaper alternative reinforced with fiberglass are what you’ll usually see online and in stores.
The acrylic bathtub’s rival, popular before, is the iron-cast bathtub, which has quite a lot of disadvantages in comparison. This brings us to the first question you’ll have to sort out before investing in an acrylic bathtub:
- Why acrylic and not iron-cast?
First of all, it’s lighter. Actually, acrylic tubs are so lightweight that a grown-up can easily lift them up by themselves. Besides, it doesn’t put as much pressure on the flooring material, causing it to last longer. Next, it is and will stay rust-free. Pretty self-explanatory – acrylic is a plastic material which is not prone to rust or any kind of natural decaying. This will spare you a lot of money and headaches on the long run – think about not having to buy rust-removing products, deal with the paint chipping off the iron cast or feel that characteristic rust smell. Next, acrylic bathtubs will preserve an optimal temperature for much longer than their iron sisters. As iron is a heat-conducting material, you’ll be able to enjoy that hot soak for 30 minutes tops, while with an acrylic one, you’ll have hot water around you for way longer than that. Besides all that, it also looks better – with its clean, shiny white edges and lines, it cannot compare with a painted iron tub.
When it comes to installing an acrylic bathtub, there’s really not much of a science to it. However, if you feel like you’re no good when it comes to installing things, or you’re afraid that you lack the necessary tools, you might want to seek the help of a professional. However, even before you proceed to connect the pipes, you’ll have to consider a couple of moments concerning installation.
- How to choose the right shape and size for your acrylic tub?
You’ll need some measuring tape in the first place. Besides knowing the length and the width of the space where you plan to install your bathtub, you should consider the position of your wastewater and faucet holes. If you’re planning to get a regular, rectangular tub, which can be positioned both ways, their position does not matter that much, but if you want a more intricate shape, something like a corner tub or a P-shape one, you want to make sure those are in a position where you can easily connect them to the pipes. The design you want for your bathroom is also important – if you want to preserve a vintage style, you might be tempted to go for a free standing tub. While they may be more expensive, they’ll definitely make you feel like a superstar every time you take a bath.
The depth of the tub also varies, and you have several options to choose from – deep for a comfortable full-body soak from a sitting position, medium for a full-body soak from a laying position, and with different wall heights to provide comfortable depth for both adults and kids.
Phew! You never thought there was so much thinking behind that plain bathtub you use every day, did you? Don’t worry, here’s where that theoretical part comes to an end and we get to the fun part – choosing a bathtub to suit your personal tastes and needs. Check out our suggestions for acrylic bathtubs, and choose the one to suit your needs best!
- American Standard 2422V002.011
A classic shape and one of the best-selling products in terms of acrylic bathtubs is this American Standard 2422V002.011 model. A 32-inch bathtub, made of acrylic plastic with a fiberglass enforcement, this product is very lightweight and easy to install. It features an under mounting option, making it a lot more versatile in terms of installation. As far as installation goes, you might also want to invest in a Deep Soak Max Drain, which is sold separately. This will make for a higher level of comfort for the person taking a bath, as it will allow the water level rise with up to 3 inches more without overflowing.
This unit makes for a comfortable full-body soak, which is brought to the next level by a leveled tub bottom and dual molded-in armrests. With these, you can enjoy a comfortable bath, and your body will be properly supported by the molded contours of the tub.
If you’re considering getting a color choice, this tub is a great product for you. Available in 4 different shades of white, it can appeal even to the pickiest designer eye. Choose between the classic White, Arctic White, Bone or Linen, and the American Standard is sure to go well with any furniture you might have in your bathroom.
This tub is more on the deep side, being best suited for adults who are looking for a deep, relaxing soaking, and is probably not the best choice for making kids fall in love with baths.
A negative aspect of this product may only be the rather high price – but only if you go for the color Bone, which seems to be the most popular and costs as much as $995.88, while the other variations go between $526 and $671. Find them on Amazon here:
- KOHLER K-1150-LA-0 Bancroft Bath
Here’s another classic, rectangular-shaped bathtub that will work well with a lot of bathroom shapes and sizes. It is 32 inches deep, just like the previous one, and it’s also made of acrylic plastic reinforced with fiberglass. This particular model is best fitted for a three-wall mounting, which would make it the perfect choice if you want an alcove bathtub.
One of its unique and most important features is the three-wall alcove installation, which makes it easier for this tub to be placed in an alcove. The lips that lift the edges of the tub when connecting them to your bathroom wall will stop water from getting onto them – and will reduce the risk of mold in those areas.
As far as depth goes, many customers have reported it to be much deeper than they thought it was – which suggests it’s yet another option that won’t really be a good idea for families with small children or for people who don’t necessarily enjoy spending long hours in the bathtub.
This model also comes with both left-hand and right-hand draining system, so this one of those cases when you’ll have to check with your bathroom’s plumbing before purchasing. It also comes with an integral apron and tile flange, which will make the installation process significantly easier.
The KOHLER K-1150-LA-0 comes in several different shades, so it’s also an option for those who are looking for the perfect tub to complement the rest of their bathroom furniture and décor. Choose between classic White, Almond, Biscuit, Dune and Sandbar. The color you opt for will also influence the price of the product, ranging from $599 to $1020. Check out this tub on Amazon here:
- KOHLER K-1123-LA-0 Archer 5-Foot Bath
Another KOHLER product, this tub is a goldmine for color enthusiasts. If you minimalist bathroom was long since looking for the ideal black bathtub, who would still provide a great quality soak, this model might be exactly what you’re looking for. Similar to the previous one, this unit has an overflow assembly and is meant to be mounted between three walls for maximum safety and aesthetic aspect. It also features those little lips that cause the tub to stick to the tiles better, and reduce the water leak to the underside of the tub as much as possible. No mold equals no problems!
This is also one of the most ergonomic and comfort-oriented tubs, as not only does it feature molded armrests, but it also includes lumbar support, which will prove very beneficial for those struggling with back problems.
The surface of this tub is covered with an anti-slippery surface, which makes it a good alternative for both bathing and lathery showers. This and the lumbar support will also make for a great tub for the elderly – as the comfort level of this product will be hard to match.
Another pro for the KOHLER K-1123-LA-0 Archer 5-Foot Bath is its 1-year warranty, that will make sure you’ll get free service in case the tub gives in during the first year you have it installed.
Back to its aesthetic aspect, you’ll have a tough decision to make – choosing between ten different colors. However, if that has no importance for you, just go for the classic white, available on Amazon:
- AKDY AZ-F277 FreeStand Acrylic Bathtub
On to more sophisticated models, this one here is a work of art from any point of view. Its oval shape will look good in any bathroom (the bigger, the better), and its shiny white color will last you for a very long time. As the acrylic plastic itself has the white pigment mixed into it, you need not worry about paint scratches or crack that would destroy the aspect of your tub – this one shall stay the central piece of your bathroom for a long time.
Pretty deep and long, this tub measures 66.93 inches in length and 24.80 inches in depth, making it the perfect choice for couples who like taking long baths together without getting out all sore. Too bad this bathtub doesn’t come with the champagne included as well. However, it does come with adjustable feet, which you can customize to your need – and the tub won’t bring any damage to the floor either.
An issue that you’ll always encounter with standing bathtubs is water spillage – as they are not mounted into the walls, the overflowing system works much slower, so again, if you have kids, or you like to play splashy-splashy in the tub yourself, this might not be the best option for you and your floor tiles. Choose a wall-mounted one – your future self will thank you.
However, if your sense of beauty call for this tub, it will set you back some $1159, shipping included. Check it out on Amazon here:
- AKDY AZ-F278 FreeStand Acrylic Bathtub
Here’s something Salvador Dali would rock – a tub with soft, winding lines, reminiscent of a surrealist landscape. It curves up at one end, leaving the other one lower. Other than making for an interesting visual aspect, this doesn’t have any relevance, but imagine how beautiful will this look in your spacious bathroom!
Much like the previous model, the AKDY AZ-F278 FreeStand Acrylic Bathtub is made from a sturdy acrylic material, which has the paint mixed directly into it – so you can clean it with pretty much any product without worrying that the paint might chip or crack. It’s also a good alternative for all you germophobes out there, as this material is non-porous, making the tub’s surface antibacterial and safe to use multiple times in a row, without having to scrub the hell out of it.
This tub measures 63 inches in length and 30.70 inches in depth, making it an even bigger option than the previous one. Again, you might find it is a perfect couple bathing option, or a really comfortable tub for a taller person. As being tall usually means that no wall-mounted tub is ever big enough for you to immerse into the water completely and comfortably, the unique design of this product will surely make a difference.
The fittings needed for installing will come with the tub, but the tub filler will have to be purchased separately. Kind of a bummer, given that the AKDY AZ-F278 FreeStand Acrylic Bathtub costs $1099 by itself. At least you have a 1-year warranty, so if anything happens to the tub within this period of time, you know you’ll have a free fixing. Check it out on Amazon here:
- AKDY AZF210 Freestanding Acrylic Bath Tub
This freestanding tub will make a great focal point in your bathroom. With its oval shape and smooth lines, not only does it provide a beautiful aspect, but it also sustains the natural position of the person taking a bath – the head, shoulder and feet being slightly raised.
Much like the previous model, this one measures 63 inches in length and 30.70 inches in depth. This makes it one of the biggest acrylic bathtub models available on the market nowadays – being perfect for both singles and couples looking for the perfect soak.
It has a couple of standard features – antibacterial and non-painted surface, non-slippery bottom and great temperature retention – as this tub is one of the few ones out there to be made out of 100% acrylic plastic. As we mentioned before, this material does not conduct heat, and having an acrylic bathtub means at least an hour of perfect temperature water.
Another pro for this model is its double-walled overflow system, which helps the water level stay as high as possible, but without the spillage.
Adjustable feet will come included in this package, but you’ll have to purchase the tub filler separately. Again, this is a bummer which you’ll encounter with most standing bathtubs, so it shouldn’t be criteria for turning this great product down. It is, however, pretty pricey, and you’ll have to pay $1149 for this one on Amazon:
These were our recommendations in terms of acrylic bathtubs you can consider for your bathroom. However, these are definitely not all the options you’ll come across – there’s plenty of other shapes and sizes to choose from. What we covered here are the basic and most popular styles, but you must always consider your and your family’s needs when choosing the right tub. However, do opt for an acrylic tub for your bathroom – it’s probably the best material for bathtubs known to mankind so far.