by Paul Sanders
A well-designed master bath is the height of luxury, and the heart of any bathroom is the bathtub. When it comes to your luxury bath, a soaking tub can be part of a relaxing retreat that melts away stress. Here are the main types of soaking tubs you can use to create your own personal spa.
Free-standing tubs: This category includes all soaking tubs that are designed to stand outside of any walled enclosure. You will find the old-fashioned style of clawfoot tubs and pedestal soaking tubs in this group. The free-standing tubs have the advantage of little contact with heat-stealing surfaces, like the floor or walls. They also free you from the compact enclosed feeling that smaller bathtubs have.
Drop-in soaking tubs: These soaking tubs are designed for a specific holding enclosure. The enclosure itself can be flush with the floor of your bathroom or set in a poolside deck; it also can be a custom enclosure of your own design. This type of soaking tub blends well with your surrounding decor and your desired enclosure since it features no style, other than the color of the basin.
Framed soaking tubs: The soaking tubs in this class are similar to free-standing tubs, but they are supported by a metal or wooden frame that holds them off the floor. Framed soaking tubs are often used in bathrooms with modern, minimalist designs.
Corner baths: You can probably guess that these soaking tubs are designed to occupy corners in your bathroom. They work especially well in a corner with windows, taking advantage of the natural light. Corner soaking tubs tend to be larger than other soaking tubs and are similar in design to whirlpool baths. They're typically drop-in tubs, although many are designed to be free-standing installations.
Jetted tubs: Many of the soaking tubs mentioned above also fall into the jetted tub category. With massage and bubble jets, these soaking tubs work away tension as you bathe. A jetted tub may accommodate multiple bathers with reclining surfaces or built-in seats. Chroma-therapy lights can also create a relaxed mood as you bathe.