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BathroomHow To Choose A Bathtub According To An Expert

It’s often not until you actually start searching that you realise just how hard it is to choose a bathtub!

For starters, there are aesthetics to think about, namely the colour, shape and texture. But there’s also your floor plan to take into account, the cost, any re-plumbing, materials – and of course, your lifestyle. Because tubs are definitely not a one-size-fits-all fixture.

So, to help you embark on your bathtub search with more confidence, we’ve enlisted the help of bathroomware expert, Ari Zorlu of Paco Jaanson. He steps you through renovators’ most commonly asked questions and sheds light on the most important things to consider when choosing a bathtub in Australia. Let’s dive in!

How do I choose the right bath size for my space?

Image: Canva

According to Ari, the perfectly sized bathtub should balance practicality, aesthetics and comfort. While you may have your eye on a dreamy round bathtub, you need to choose dimensions that are practical for your bathroom.

“When contemplating the installation of a freestanding bathtub, it’s essential to allocate adequate room for manoeuvring and cleaning around it. Ensure there’s a sufficient gap between the tub and the walls, allowing for easy access for cleaning and maintenance.”

Ari Zorlu

In general, the larger the bathtub, the more enjoyable the bathing experience. Why? Well, it means you can completely stretch out, unwind and soak. So, once you’ve ticked off the space needed for cleaning and movement around the tub, take Ari’s advice and choose the largest bathtub that your space permits.

What materials should I look for (and avoid)?

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Each type of bathtub material comes with its own set of pros and cons and your decision depends entirely on your budget and priorities for the room. In Australia, the most common materials used for bathtubs include acrylic, enamelled steel and solid surfaces. Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Acrylic tubs are cost-effective and lightweight but sometimes less durable and prone to scratches and fading
  • Enamelled steel tubs are known for durability and resistance to chipping, scratching, and fading – they’re easy to clean but can be heavy and hard to install
  • Solid surface materials, like cultured marble or composites, offer a luxurious appearance and durability but tend to be expensive.

“Avoiding low-quality materials is the key to ensuring the right choice, as they may lack durability. Consider factors such as budget, maintenance preferences, and aesthetics, as each material has unique qualities and price points.”

Ari Zorlu

What’s the best type of bath?

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The best type of bath varies depending on your individual needs, preferences and the space.

For families, a standard bathtub or a shower and tub combination is versatile and works for both adults and kids. Singles often prefer the efficiency of a walk-in shower or the relaxation of a deep soaking tub. For older people, safety and accessibility is essential. A walk-in bathtub with features such as handrails and built-in seating is wise. Wheelchair users or those with limited mobility may benefit from a roll-in shower with barrier-free access.

Ari Zorlu

If you are really stuck about what type of bathtub to choose, consult with a bathroom professional and they’ll help guide you through the options.

Image: Supplied

The most popular baths in Australia are acrylic freestanding styles and premium solid-surface options – for quite different reasons.

“For those looking to renovate and sell their property, freestanding bathtubs are often considered attractive and can enhance the visual appeal of a bathroom. Acrylic freestanding tubs are a safe and cost-effective choice in this scenario, as they can help keep renovation costs down while still offering a visually appealing feature to potential buyers. However, solid surface bathtubs are worth considering when renovating your home and prioritising luxury and long-term satisfaction. They provide a premium feel and durability, making them an excellent choice for personal comfort and enjoyment.”

Ari Zorlu

Ultimately, the choice between acrylic and solid surface tubs depends on your specific goals – are you renovating to sell or stay? By taking into account your objectives, it’s easier to choose the right bathtub for your space.

Should I choose a black or white bathtub?

Image: Canva

Ari tells us that white remains the most popular and versatile bathtub colour in Australia. But, it’s important to consider how your choice works with the overall design of the room.

White offers a timeless and versatile palette that compliments various design styles. It can make a space feel fresh, clean, and inviting. Additionally, white reflects light, making a bathroom appear brighter and more spacious, which is a significant advantage, especially in smaller bathrooms. Black, on the other hand, can be dramatic and striking when used thoughtfully. It can create a sense of luxury and sophistication but should be used sparingly and balanced with lighter colours or materials to prevent the space from feeling too dark or confined.

Ari Zorlu

It’s important to remember that there is no absolute safest colour choice for interior design; black and white are both timeless. It all comes down to which shade works best with your style and bathroom aesthetic.

Does the price reflect the quality of bathtubs?

Image: Canva

The experts say that, in general, a higher-priced bathtub often translates to a better-quality product.

Higher-quality bathtubs are typically constructed with superior materials, such as durable enamelled steel or solid surface materials, which tend to be pricier but offer enhanced longevity and durability. These tubs are less likely to chip, scratch, or fade over time. Moreover, quality bathtubs often exhibit better craftsmanship, including precision in design, seamless construction, and attention to detail in finishing. These factors contribute to a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing bathing experience.

Ari Zorlu

That said, there are many budget-friendly bathtubs in Australia and you should aim to strike a balance between your budget and the level of quality you want.

What do I need to consider when it comes to installation?

Image: Canva

Before choosing a bathtub, you need to consider a number of installation factors, including placement flexibility, space efficiency, plumbing and drainage, floor reinforcement, access, ventilation and aesthetics. It’s a lot, we know! So let’s take a closer look at how Ari describes each of them:

  • Placement Flexibility: Freestanding tubs provide more flexibility in terms of positioning, as they don’t require a wall for support
  • Space Efficiency: Built-in bathtubs are space-efficient and ideal for smaller bathrooms as they sit flush against a wall
  • Plumbing and Drainage: Ensure your bathroom has the necessary plumbing and drainage connections, as their location can affect tub placement
  • Floor Reinforcement: For freestanding tubs, consider reinforcing the bathroom floor to support the tub’s weight when filled with water
  • Access: Assess whether doorways, hallways, and staircases can accommodate tub delivery and installation
  • Ventilation: Adequate bathroom ventilation is crucial to prevent moisture issues; confirm it meets requirements
  • Aesthetics: Align your tub placement with your bathroom’s overall aesthetic and design for an appealing result.

Therefore, while freestanding bathtubs offer more flexibility, built-in tubs save space. It is vital to prioritise which factor matters most when choosing a bathtub.

Which bath shapes are the most comfortable?

Image: Canva

When it comes to bath shapes, oval and egg-shaped freestanding bathtubs are often considered some of the most comfortable options. However, several factors come into play when sizing them up on a comfort scale.

Regarding ergonomics, oval and egg-shaped baths are designed with ergonomic considerations in mind. The curved contours provide excellent support for your body, allowing you to recline comfortably while bathing. The shape also often offers more internal space than angular or rectangular baths, allowing you to stretch out and relax without feeling confined. Moreover, the shape is aesthetically pleasing and can create a luxurious and inviting focal point in your bathroom.

Ari Zorlu

That’s fine for freestanding baths, but what about inset styles? Well, according to Ari, inset styles are typically designed to fit snugly against walls and are usually rectangular. While they may not have the same ergonomic advantages as freestanding oval or egg-shaped tubs, they still provide a comfortable bathing experience.

At the end of the day, the most comfortable bath shape for you will depend on your personal preferences, available space, and the overall design of your bathroom. It’s essential to balance aesthetics and ergonomics to choose a shape that suits your needs and complements your bathroom’s style.

How long should a bathtub last?

Image: Canva

A well-maintained bathtub, especially one made of durable materials, should last several decades. But, the longevity of a tub depends on usage, maintenance and the quality of materials involved.

“To ensure a lasting investment, look for bathtubs with extended warranties, ideally around 15 years or longer. A more extended warranty period indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and may provide peace of mind, knowing that any potential issues within that time frame can be addressed. Prioritising one with a long warranty, especially for built-in types, will be my best advice. Opting for a bathtub with a 15-year or more warranty, mainly if it’s made of durable materials like acrylic, can be a prudent decision, ensuring that your investment remains protected for an extended period.”

Ari Zorlu

The above comments are provided by Ari Zorlu, Managing Director of Paco Jaanson, a luxurious bathroomware and kitchenware distributor. Ari Zorlu has a long and successful career within the industry, where he has shown deep expertise in the world of high-end bathroom and kitchen designs.

Top image: supplied

To take your bathroom game up a notch, don’t miss our collection of Australia’s most beautiful bath caddies.

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