Center bathtubs have become increasingly popular options for today’s bathrooms. With their spacious and elegant designs, center bathtubs take the spotlight in any bathroom. Here is an in-depth look at why center bathtubs take top billing.
An Overview of Center Bathtub Designs
Center bathtubs come in various shapes and sizes to fit different bathroom layouts. The most common designs include:
Round Center Bathtubs
Round center tubs make a dramatic statement in any bathroom. They offer a classic, timeless look that suits both traditional and contemporary decor styles. Round tubs are available in varying diameters, with some large enough to accommodate two people. Their sloped sides create a comfortable reclining experience.
Oval Center Bathtubs
For a touch of modern elegance, oval tubs lengthen the round tub design. Their elongated shape fits well in large bathrooms, leaving ample room to stretch out and relax. Built-in or freestanding options are available.
Rectangle Center Bathtubs
Rectangular center tubs maximize bathing space with their long, straight walls. Models with integrated steps on one end provide easy access. These tubs work well in small and large bathrooms.
Why Center Bathtubs Take Top Billing
There are several key reasons why center bathtubs have become the star attractions of today’s bathrooms:
Focal Point of the Room
As the room’s central feature, a center tub commands attention. It serves as a striking anchor point around which the rest of the bathroom revolves. The tub becomes a beautiful and functional work of art.
Center tubs evoke the pampering experience of a spa. There’s nothing like unwinding in a warm, inviting tub surrounded by elegant furnishings. The large water capacity allows for complete immersion.
Center tubs provide designers an opportunity to get creative. Unique materials, built-in accessories, custom tilework, and lighting effects help make the tub a one-of-a-kind showpiece.
Compared to standard tubs aligned with walls, center bathtubs offer more room to stretch out and soak. There’s space to fully submerge the body. The openness creates a relaxing vibe.
Feng Shui Benefits
In feng shui design, the central placement represents strength and balance. Water represents prosperity and healing. A round tub can highlight circular flow.
Popular Design Styles for Center Bathtubs
Center tubs look fabulous in all types of bathroom designs. Here are some of the most popular decor styles used with center bathtubs:
For a sleek, modern look, concrete and stone center tubs complement the clean lines and minimal accents of contemporary rooms. Freestanding tubs make a striking sculptural statement.
Ornate clawfoot tubs, built-in step-up models, and vintage-inspired fixtures give center tubs old-world charm. Subway tiles, beadboard, and brass finishes work well here.
This bridge between traditional and contemporary blends elements of both. Oval tubs, lighter colored stone, mix-and-match materials, and uncluttered shapes strike an elegant transitional balance.
Classic apron-front center tubs and vintage fixtures play up the traditional farmhouse vibe. Touches of wood, tile, wicker, and floral patterns complete the pastoral look.
For a retro 1950s-60s aesthetic, look for colorful center tubs, splayed legs, geometric tile, and funky metallic fixtures. Keep lines and decor clean and simple.
Center Bathtub Materials
Center tubs are available in an array of different materials to coordinate with surrounding bathroom materials:
enameled cast iron – glossy, durable porcelain coating over cast iron for vintage or classic designs
acrylic – lightweight, affordable plastic that retains heat, available in many colors
fiberglass – adept at sculpted designs, molded of glass and plastic composite
porcelain – chips fused onto steel or cast iron, providing a luxurious enameled surface
natural stone – marble, granite, travertine, limestone bring elegance along with high cost
solid surface – acrylic and natural minerals create a seamless, stone-like appearance
stainless steel – sleek, shiny, modern look, often used for smaller vessel tubs
Key Considerations When Choosing a Center Bathtub
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when selecting a center bathtub:
- Space – Measure your bathroom to ensure the tub will fit. Allow ample walkway space around the tub.
- Plumbing – Confirm that water lines, drains, and vents can be properly configured.
- Weight – Check floor load capacity and reinforce if needed. Many stone tubs are extremely heavy.
- Use – Consider bathing needs like couples sharing a tub or the desire for a soaking experience.
- Style – Choose a tub shape and material that coordinate well with your bathroom’s overall decor and color scheme.
- Budget – Center tubs span a wide range of pricing. Set realistic expectations based on costs.
- Accessories – Determine if you’ll want any accessories like faucets, showerheads, jets, or mood lighting built into the tub design.
Installation and Placement of Center Bathtubs
Proper installation is key to enjoying the beautiful focal point of your new center tub:
Locate all supply lines and drains. Address any access issues for getting the tub into place. Prepare the floor with a level, reinforced foundation.
Provide extra support at the drain location. Ensure the floor is level. Some tubs require anchoring to prevent shifting. Others have foam or bead feet.
Build out the tub surround to the desired depth. Secure plumbing and waterproof the framed walls. The tub gets anchored to the studs.
Position the tub away from windows to control humidity and condensation. Allow open walkways for safer entry and exit.
Drain and Overflow
The drain kit seals the underside. Check proper height above the trap. The overflow drain prevents water from overfilling.
Faucets and Fixtures
Follow manufacturer instructions for cutouts and holes to ensure tight seals and prevent leaks. Take care not to damage the tub surface.
Maintaining and Cleaning a Center Bathtub
Follow these tips to keep a center tub looking like new:
- For most materials, use a mild detergent and soft cloth or sponge for regular cleaning. Avoid abrasive pads. Rinse and dry entirely.
- Check the manufacturer’s care instructions. Some tubs may require special cleaners, sealants, or stain prevention treatments.
- For hard water stains, use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Let soak, then rinse. For lime buildup, apply lemon juice and baking soda.
- Avoid harsh chemicals that can strip finishes. Chlorine bleach and alcohol can damage many tub materials.
- For deeper cleaning, fill the tub with a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution. After soaking, drain and rinse thoroughly with plain water.
- Prevent soap scum buildup by rinsing the tub fully after each use. Wipe down with a squeegee or soft dry cloth.
- For most materials, rebuffing and polishing maintain the tub’s shine. Use designated tub and tile polishers.
Elegant and Convenient Built-In Accessories
Today’s center tubs offer a wide array of optional built-in features that enhance relaxation and convenience:
Integrated and Invisible Jets
Strategically placed jets deliver a luxurious spa massage experience. Newer models hide jets seamlessly within the tub design.
Digital Controls and Options
Digital controls allow users to easily adjust jet speed, temperature, and pulsation modes. Programmable settings provide one-touch convenience.
Microbubble Air Systems
Tiny, oxygen-rich air bubbles permeate the water for a refreshing and invigorating soak. This option provides therapeutic benefits.
Inline Water Heaters
On-demand heaters maintain any desired temperature for the duration of your bath. Some systems also work to sanitize the circulated water.
Custom lighting transforms the bathing environment. Underwater LED lights in changing colors help create a relaxing or energizing vibe.
Built-in diffusers pipe in subtle, calming essential oil scents like eucalyptus, lavender, or vanilla to enhance the bathing ritual.
Bluetooth Sound Systems
Connecting a Bluetooth speaker allows you to easily stream spa playlists or other audio. Volume controls keep music levels just right.
Unique Center Tub Designs
For those desiring a truly one-of-a-kind tub as the bathroom’s crown jewel, custom designs take center tubs to the next level:
Oversized tubs allow couples to enjoy a bath together. Some models feature dual temperature and jet controls for individual comfort.
Unique Shapes and Silhouettes
New cutting and molding techniques allow for stunning original shapes like catalyptic, convex, or starburst tubs.
Tubs with Integrated TVs
Waterproof televisions built into the foot wall create a home theater experience. Fog-free glass shields the display.
above the trend center tubs
Sculptural tub decks with reclining backrests elevate soakers above the water surface for a relaxing alternate perspective.
Tubs with Surround Sound
Integrated speakers in the tub walls or floors allow you to immerse yourself in beautiful music. Volume adjusts for the ideal acoustics.
Custom fire bowls or water features at the foot of the tub add an elegant focal point. New technology makes this a safe enhancement.
Center Bathtub Placement Ideas
Keen attention to placement is key to maximizing the aesthetics and functionality of a center tub. Some top options include:
Centered placement highlights the symmetry of a round or oval tub. The space feels balanced and the tub has 360 visibility.
Shifting the tub slightly off-center creates a sense of visual interest and flow around the tub. Lines of sight remain open.
Full View Placement
Positioning the length of a rectangular tub parallel to the sightline upon entering draws the eye through the whole space.
Turning the center tub at an angle contrasts with the room’s straight lines. It livens up traffic flow.
Aligning the tub with picture windows frames beautiful views. Keep lounging areas opposite windows for privacy.
Footwall Focal Points
Curving walls, partitions, or half-walls at the foot of the tub form an inviting backdrop without blocking light.
Frequently Asked Questions About Center Bathtubs
Homeowners often have many questions when planning a center bathtub installation. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
How much weight can a center bathtub hold?
Most quality center tubs can handle 60-100 gallons of water, equivalent to 500 pounds or more. Check manufacturer specs and reinforce floors as needed. Some two-person tubs hold up to 200 gallons.
What plumbing considerations are needed?
The drain and overflow kit assembly is critical, along with supply lines for the faucet. Shower fixtures may need additional plumbing. Convenient access to connections simplifies repairs.
How much space is needed around a center tub?
Ideally allow 24-30 inches walkway on 1-2 sides of the tub. This provides safe access. For two-person tubs, allow 32-36 inches clearance on both long sides.
Can I add jets to a tub that didn’t come with them?
Yes, many companies sell jet upgrade packages designed to retrofit basic tubs. But choosing a tub equipped with pre-drilled holes simplifies adding jets later.
What are the best center bathtub materials?
Personal style preferences vary. Cast iron and natural stone offer classic elegance. Acrylic and solid surface provide durability and affordability. Each material has pros and cons.
How difficult is a DIY center bathtub installation?
Due to critical plumbing work, most installations are complex. Professional expertise ensures safe setup and prevents leaks or other issues down the road.
How can I get waterproof lighting into my tub?
LED flexible tape lighting adheres to surfaces to illuminate the tub safely. Wireless Bluetooth light bulbs are another easy option requiring no wiring.
Enhance the Luxury of Your Center Bathtub
Turn your bathroom into a relaxing, spa-like oasis and let your new center tub shine with these enhancements:
- Add a tranquil water feature like a stand-alone waterfall or fountain. The pleasant sights and sounds of flowing water create serenity.
- Warm things up with radiant heated floors. After a soak, always enjoy stepping out onto cozy warmth.
- Enable multisensory experiences with audio speakers around the tub to stream spa playlists or nature sounds.
- Pick towels, curtains, accent pillows and wall art in coordinating colors for an immersive, high-end look and feel.
- Create a relaxing aroma by placing a few drops of lavender oil into the tub as it fills for a soothing and calming bath.
- Keep drinks or devices safely nearby with a compact floating tub tray that holds essentials.
- Give the room a spa vibe with warm-tone ambient lighting and candle sconces on dimmers to set just the right mood.
- Install a wall-mounted essential oil diffuser right by the bathtub and add your favorite essential oils.
With their elegant designs, relaxed soaking tubs, and tranquil ambiance, today’s center bathtubs offer the ultimate bathroom luxury. Taking center stage, they transform bathrooms into relaxing at-home spas. With creative and custom options abounding, including models with built-in features like chromatherapy mood lighting or hydrotherapy jets, there are endless possibilities for making your new center tub the stunning showpiece of your bathroom. Paying keen attention to details like material, placement, accessories, and the overall decor will help ensure your investment in a center bathtub delivers an exquisite, indulgent bathing experience for years to come.