4 Types of Bathtubs and What You Need to Know About Them

Bathroom, Window, Space, Tub

Baths have a long history that spans cultures and centuries. From the pipes found in the Indus Valley to the clawfoot tubs that have been popularised in the UK, bathing has developed along with technological advancement.

Taking baths is simple. Have a container that can hold you and the hot water for an extended period. There are three things you need to have at least: materials that can withstand hot temperature, maintaining the heat, and stability especially when handling the weight. Here are four common kinds of bathtubs:

  1. Clawfoot tub

The clawfoot tub design has been around since the 18th century but only became popular in the 19th century. Traditionally, they are made of metal like cast iron, tin, and copper. It was probably due to the malleable nature of the metal as well as their ability to keep the temperature. The design was later improved after they discovered a way to line cast iron with a porcelain enamel which kept the water warm without the problem of chipping paint. This porcelain enamel has become an iconic part of the clawfoot tub and is a collector’s item for vintage home lovers.

  1. Freestanding bath

As seen by its name, a freestanding bath does not need to be attached or installed. They can stand on their own without any additional support. A clawfoot tub is also a freestanding bath. However, they have gained so much popularity that they have become a category on their own. A freestanding bath can be placed anywhere in your bathroom, since they are do not need to be permanently fixed in place, however, never forget to figure out the draining system. The material for freestanding baths is typically made of acrylic, but they can also come in composite materials like quartz or granite, and steel with porcelain enamel.

  1. Japanese ofuro

The Japanese ofuro is very different from any Western-styled tub. It is a deep basin where the bather sits instead of laying down. The design is compact, typically a square with no sloped edges. Traditionally the ofuro was made of cast iron with a slow fire built under to heat the water. Nowadays, they come in different materials: expensive hardwood, Western-styled porcelain, or acrylic. Their tubs also make use of a re-circulation system that goes beyond just maintaining the heat of the bathwater but reheating it as well.

  1. Soft bathtub

A soft bathtub reacts to the temperature of the water and the weight of the person. Unlike the typical metal or porcelain tubs, a soft bathtub is not jarringly cold or stiff. The design has been around since the early 70s. The tub is made of plastic or foam with a non-slip coating. They are typically used by children and the elderly but can accommodate anyone with an eye for comfort.

Each tub has its history and purpose. Whether you take a bath to wash or to soak and de-stress, find one that not only appeals to you aesthetically but manages to serve you well.

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