Recently I had a client who was remodeling their master bathroom. They really wanted a two person tub, but what makes one tub better than another? And how do you select a two person tub?
First, there are two ways to achieve the two person tub, side by side is one way, but the most popular would be to have a tub where the couple face one another. That means the drain really needs to be in the middle and not on one end or the other. The double sloped sides are very important, and should be a comfortable recline. Also, it should be longer than a standard 60” tub, 66” or preferably 72” if you have the room.
2nd, you will want to consider the capacity of the tub. Most water heaters are only about 50 gallons, but a two person tub can take over 100 gallons to fill. Not only will you have to add water heater capacity if you select this, but to take routine single person bath will take a lot longer to fill. There are several ways to limit capacity. The first way is to go with a narrower tub. The second is to select a tub with interior contours. The contours take up water volume and can actually make a tub more ergonomic to recline in. With the afore mentioned client, I initially wanted a very simple stylish rectangular tub, but the 72×42 rectangular tub took almost twice the water capacity of the hourglass shaped tub with contours. 94 gallons vs. 51 gallons. I could have gone narrower, but the bathroom scale was too big for a 36” wide tub. In the end I wanted the wider 42” tub more than the square sleek narrow tub.
Lastly, I also decided that I could achieve the sleek look I wanted by under mounting the tub instead of deck mounting it. Under mounting a tub (similar to under mounting a sink) requires that the top of the tub be perfectly flat, and it’s installation is more expensive than a deck mount because now you introduce a stone slab into the costs, but this bathroom was to be luxurious, and that fit. One other reason, to select the Mona Lisa pictured above, was that the 42” width of a top mounted tub becomes about 36” once it’s undermounted. The tub isn’t any smaller, but the flange of the tub is under the deck, so you only see the opening. If I’d used a 36” tub, the opening would have been even narrower in appearance; something to consider, if you are under mounting a bath tub.
Every application is different. I spent an hour looking over specifications and on the phone with the manufacturer. Other questions that I’m not discussing here include the air jet options, the tub materials and installation requirements, sometimes it’s just about knowing the right questions to ask, and that’s where experience comes in handy. If you need help selecting the right tub for your project, and live in our area, I hope you’ll stop by and let us help.
Tara Hutchens, CKD, CBD
(Certified Kitchen Designer, Certified Bath Designer)