Tub choice delemas...to whirlpool or not?


Old 03-15-05, 04:15 PM
Da_Pearces's Avatar
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Tub choice delemas...to whirlpool or not?

I want to replace my Barbie-sized tub. Husband and I thought about just putting in a shower and not worrying about the tub until an associate pointed out a standard sized $330-ish whirlpool tub at Lowes. Suddenly, long baths with the sound of bubbles blocking out sounds of screaming kids sounded very good to me so that is what I planned. I go to make sure measurements are gonna work and another associate pointed out the obvious, no heater. The tub won't be able to have a heater with it which means either short or cold whirlpool baths.
Other tubs that will take a heater are more like the $550-600 range, then another $300 for the heater.
I will be installing the tub myself, so I would need to hire an electrician to run the wiring. Final cost of tub with heater and electrical...$1500? I am guessing. This, of course, doesn't include the tile work surrounding the tub.
Question is this....Is this type of tub sensable for people who would usually use it for showers, with occasional baths. And is this all worth it since it is a small master bath (basically room for tub, toilet, and small sink with cabinet). Note: we won't be living in the house for too terribly long, we're military and who knows when we'll move and sell the house.
I know a lot of it is up to personal taste, but I need to consider average taste because of the resale. Sorry about the long post, I have become consumed by this bathroom remodel and want to do it right. Any opinions (besides valium)?
Old 03-15-05, 04:52 PM
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You put in what you want and can afford. If you are basing this answer on resale value, call a real estate office and ask if it would raise your value or chance of sale. They can tell you what buyers are looking for. The choice of tub, shower, tub/shower combo, shower with seperate jacuzzi tub.... is a personal decision. Do not base this on resale potential only as it may cost more than you may gain. Also do you really want to put a dream tub in a home you will only have for a short time?

Ask yourself these questions and then decide.

Good Luck
Old 03-16-05, 06:11 PM
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First, my CON's: Personally I do not like jetted tubs. I especially do not like them when they are the primary bathing fixture. They are more difficult to clean and they take a lot of water to fill deep enough to run the jets. It sounds like you have already discovered the heater (or lack of) problem. If you often use a jetted tub as a tub and do not use the jets, soap scum and dirt accumulate in the plumbing. When you do finally use the jets you can get big flakes of nasty grayish soap scum dirt crud... Low cost jetted tubs can be quite loud. Nothing like a loud pump droning away to kill the fun of a relaxing soak. Most people I know do not use the jetted features after they've had the tub for a while (fad).

Now the PRO's: Jetted tubs are very popular in new construction and remodels. They seem to show well to home buyers (especially ones that have never owned a jetted tub). If you do not have the room or money for a separate spa (hot tub) than a jetted tub may be your only choice. I'm a big water person, so if you don't plan on getting a full sized spa I'd be crazy and get the best jetted tub you can afford (get a nice quiet one with a heater).

In our house we have:
A walk-in shower
A slipper claw foot tub (heater, no jets)
A 300+ gallon spa with jets & heater

My wife and I each use the shower every day, so the shower with it's easy access and functionality gets an "A+" for being the most functional and cost effective.

Once or twice a week my wife will soak in the claw foot tub. It's perfectly shaped for reading a book and drinking a glass of wine. It takes a lot of water to fill, and I never use it; so it gets a "B-". I would give it a "C" if it did not look so good.

My wife and I use the spa about twice a week and I'll go in occasionally on my own. We rarely use the jets. The jets and bubles are fun now and then but I find them annoying for long periods. Even though it is a purpose built spa we use the jets rarely, so we basically have a small hot swimming pool. I give it a "B-" though I should give it a "D" because of the great expense that has been lavished on something that gets used a couple times a week. It gets the "B-" because after owning it for 8 years it still gets used reliably several times a week (not a fad).
Old 03-16-05, 07:32 PM
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Wow, what a great post! Thanks for putting this in persepective like that.
I decided to go with a regular soaking tub. I will wait for the nice tub when we are in a more stable home and I know we won't be moving so much. Let's see, my husband has 7 more years until retirement from the Marine Corps, so I will have that long to dream about my perfect tub I didn't realize they had heated clawfoot tubs. Nice! Thanks again for the information. I think I would have bene quite dissapointed with the low-end whirlpool tub.

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