For many homeowners the bathroom just isn't compete without the addition of a bathtub. Bathing really didn't catch on until late in the 19th century and the modern bathroom didn't become standard until after World War I in the US. In many polls the shower outranks the bathtub as the most popular choice for cleaning up. But for luxurious relaxation, it is the bathtub that quickly springs to mind.


What Is a Bathtub and Why Is It Used?

The bathtub (also referred to as simply "the tub" or "the bath") is a large basin intended to hold ample water for washing a reclined or seated human body. Modern bathtubs include fittings for plumbing, faucets, and water stopper. Families with children often find that it is easier to bathe the kids in the bath than try to bathe them in the shower. Most adults who use a bathtub do so for the soothing and healthful benefits of soaking in warm water. The bathtub is great for relaxing tired muscles and relieving a stressed out psyche.

Varieties of Bathtubs

Bathtubs are available in stand-alone models (such as the traditional claw-foot tubs) or wall-to-wall built-in units (a 5 ft. basin with a flat-panel skirt). A trend in the modern bathroom is to have separate shower and bathtub enclosures, but you will most often find combination shower/bathtub enclosures in US residences due to their convenience and space-saving features. Bathtubs are most frequently made of acrylic or fiberglass. You will also find models made of galvanized steel, wood, marble, cast-iron, and porcelain-coated steel.

Modern Bathtubs

Advancements in production processes have lent new style and versatility to the bathtub. The standard square tub with plain skirt has become almost pass�� as tub manufacturers introduce tubs with curving contours, extra deep basins, room for two, and ergonomic designs. The benefits of hydrotherapy are available in Jacuzzi or whirlpool bathtubs that offer recessed water jets and bubblers to provide massages ranging from gentle to vigorous. The idea of universal design has found its way into the bathroom as well. Bathtubs designed for accessibility feature fold-down seats, built-in lifts, automatic walk-in doors, and sliding walls to assist individuals who might otherwise have difficulty bathing in a tub. One manufacturer has even introduced a soft bathtub made of a fiberglass shell covered with foam and enveloped in an elastomeric material that can help prevent injuries from falls in the tub.

Bathtub Options Are Endless

In terms of aesthetics, bathtub options are virtually unlimited with tubs in every size, material finish, color, and style ranging from the ultra modern to the elegantly traditional, available.