by Trisha Berendt
Whether you are remodeling an existing bathroom or building a brand-new home, you will have to choose a tub for the space. When you consider measurements, water-heater capacity and electrical outlets, picking a tub requires pre-planning to ensure you get the right one. One bathtub may be perfect for an open space without a shower, while another may need to be dropped into place against a wall. Knowing what you need ahead of time will ensure you get the best bathtub for your space. Read over this guide to learn how to choose a bathtub.
Measure. Measure your space to ensure you buy a bathtub that will fit in your bathroom. Measure the area where the bathtub will sit and write down the dimensions. Also measure your door frame to make sure you can get the bathtub into the room before installation.
Check the water heater. Determine whether your current water heater can handle the capacity of a new bathtub, especially if you're getting one much deeper than the original. Consult the water heater's manual to see how many gallons of hot water it can hold at one time. Match this with the water capacity of the potential bathtub to ensure your baths will stay hot and relaxing.
Consult with an electrician. Consult an electrician if you plan to purchase a whirlpool bathtub. You'll need a grounded electrical panel and circuit in order for the tub to run properly. If you don't have the correct electrical conditions, you may need to have them installed professionally before you install the whirlpool bathtub.
Choose the right material. Fiberglass is inexpensive, light and durable, while porcelain is heavy and resistant to corrosion or abrasion. Cast-iron bathtubs have a long life but cost more than other materials. Marble looks elegant and expensive, but it has a high chance of chipping and cracking. When shopping for materials, consider the color of the bathtub as it relates to the rest of your bathroom's design. Tubs can come in varying shades of white and grey, or even bright colors like pink and green.
Consider your space. Consider your space when choosing a new bathtub. Most bathrooms accommodate a traditional drop-in tub. Others have open floor space to be used for a free-standing bathtub, such as a claw-foot tub. Determine where your bathtub will go and pick either a free-standing or drop-in bathtub according to the space.
Remember the shower. Make sure you choose a bathtub that allows shower installation if you want this added feature. Not all bathtubs allow for showers, so it's important to pick one that does before purchasing and installing one in your bathroom.