Imagine your worries melting away to a symphony of tiny bubbles! Take your home spa experience to the next level with a jetted tub or whirlpool – but first, read this simple guide for stress-free spa tub shopping.
Break Out the Tape Measure
Whirlpools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not every tub in the showroom will fit in your remodel space.
Measure accurately and add an allowance for the deck: Most whirlpools are installed by being dropped into one. If you want room for candles, oils and other goodies you’ll need to account for this additional space.
Pro Tip: Also measure height/width of doorways the tub will need to pass through. Often, older homes feature narrow doors or staircases that could leave you bathing on a flatbed or sidewalk!
Installing a jetted tub in an upstairs bathroom requires special consideration.
Whirlpools are much heavier than standard tubs, particularly when filled with all that water and two people. Consult with your contractor to see if you’ll need additional stabilization or reinforcement.
Plumbing, Wiring & Configuration
There’s more to installing a whirlpool than ripping out your old tub and sliding in the new one. Consult with a professional plumber and electrician before purchasing any tub to ensure your home can make it work.
Remember that a spa tub requires a motor box for the pump, and that it needs to be accessible.
If your bathroom requires a wiring or plumbing reconfiguration, ask for an estimate prior to buying your whirlpool.
Time to Pick Out a Tub
Now that you’ve determined which specs work for your situation, here comes the fun part: heading to the showroom to find your tub!
- Think about how often you’ll use the tub. Sure to soak more than once a week? Feel free to select a water-jetted tub. Jets only on occasion? Consider going with air jets to avoid stagnant water collecting bacteria in the pipes.
- Next, consider whether you’ll need romantic room for two.
- You’ve covered frequency, now comes length. An inline-heater is a must for lovers of super-long baths.
- Consider how the tub shape will integrate with your overall design aesthetic. Pair your whirlpool with different fixtures to see which combination looks best.
Pro Tip: Never buy a tub you’ve never sat in. Head to the showroom in comfy clothes, take off your shoes and climb in for an imaginary dip. Different tubs will be more or less comfortable for different people.
The same goes for testing out oversized tubs. Bigger isn’t always better and some homeowners prefer the support of a 5-foot tub. An extra-large whirlpool can drain a smaller water heater, so shy away from a massive tub or be willing to upsize your tank.
Be sure to talk with your designer and contractor about how installation will affect other aspects of a renovation.
For example, the added water vapor may require better ventilation, higher quality paint or wall tiles around the tub area.