Choosing the Right Tub Option for Relaxation

Taking time to soak and unwind in a warm, bubbly bathtub offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. The simple act of stepping into a bathtub can help melt away the stresses of everyday life. The warm water helps soothe sore, tense muscles, reducing aches and pains. This can promote better sleep quality, as your body feels more relaxed and comfortable at bedtime.

Studies have also found that regular baths may help lower blood pressure and heart rate. The effects can be similar to deep breathing exercises, creating a tranquil, meditative state. This makes bathing an easy way to boost overall well-being.

Beyond physical perks, baths are also great for mental health. The alone time gives your mind a chance to decompress, taking a break from digital devices and other distractions. This can boost mood, alleviate anxiety and symptoms of depression, and increase general life satisfaction.

Overall, making tub time part of your self-care routine has wide-ranging benefits for both the body and mind. Just 20-30 minutes in a warm, calming bath can wash your worries away.

Types of Tubs

Choosing the perfect bathtub for relaxation starts with considering how you plan to use it and what features will promote rest and rejuvenation. The tub you select should align with your available space, budget, and priorities. Key factors to consider include:

Soaking Tubs

As the name suggests, soaking tubs are designed for a nice long soak. They are spacious tubs with a depth of at least 14 inches so you can immerse your body in hot water up to your shoulders. Soaking tubs come in various shapes like rectangular, oval, and round. They provide a spa-like experience right at home.

Whirlpool Tubs

Whirlpool tubs take relaxation to the next level with water jets that massage and soothe the body. Strategically placed jets target areas like the back, shoulders, calves, and feet. Air bubble jets are also common for a gentle all-over massage. Add in features like vibration, heat, and chromatherapy lighting for the ultimate pampering.

Air Tubs

Air tubs are similar to whirlpools but use warm air instead of water jets. Air bubbles release through holes in the tub floor and walls to envelope the body for a soothing experience. The bubbles stimulate circulation and help muscles relax. Air tubs are quieter than whirlpools.

Combination Tubs

Get the best of both worlds with a tub that combines water jets and air bubbles. These provide customized hydrotherapy options in one tub. Use the water jets for a targeted massage and the air for an all-over calming sensation.

Walk-In Tubs

Walk-in tubs have a door that provides easy, safe access for those with mobility challenges. The door also seals to allow the tub to fill higher for a full immersive soak. These tubs promote relaxation by easing the strain of getting in and out.

Alcove Tubs

Alcove tubs are designed to fit into a recessed space or alcove in the bathroom. This style is great for smaller bathrooms. Alcove tubs come in a range of sizes and can have a relaxing soaking design or add massage features.

Material Matters

When remodeling a bathroom, selecting the right bathtub material is one of the most important decisions. The material affects the tub’s durability, comfort, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. With so many options like acrylic, cast iron, fiberglass, and natural stone, it can be overwhelming to choose the best material for your needs. 


Acrylic is one of the most popular materials for bathtubs today. It offers several advantages:

  • Acrylic is lightweight yet very durable. It is resistant to chipping, cracking, and scratches. Acrylic tubs retain their color and glossy finish for years with proper care.
  • Acrylic provides excellent insulation. The water stays warmer longer compared to other materials. This makes for a more enjoyable, spa-like bathing experience.
  • Acrylic tubs are available in many colors and styles. From classic white to vibrant colors, there are many options to match any bathroom’s decor. Custom sizes and shapes are also possible.
  • Acrylic is easy to clean and maintain. Simple soap and water is often enough to keep the tub looking new. Harsh chemical cleaners are not required.

Cast Iron

Cast iron tubs have been a popular choice for over a century due to their durability, heat retention, and timeless style. However, they have some drawbacks to consider:


Fiberglass tubs offer a lightweight, affordable tub option. The fiberglass material consists of tiny glass fibers suspended in a resin. This makes fiberglass tubs durable yet lightweight compared to cast iron or stone.

  • Lightweight – Fiberglass tubs are much lighter than cast iron or stone, making them easier to install and transport. This also means less structural support is needed.
  • Affordable – Fiberglass is one of the most budget-friendly tub options. The material and manufacturing process keeps costs low.
  • Easy to clean – With a smooth, non-porous surface, fiberglass tubs resist dirt, mildew, and bacteria. They are easy to keep clean with regular cleaning.
  • Durable – While not as indestructible as cast iron or stone, fiberglass holds up well to regular use without chipping or denting. The surface resists scratches and abrasions.
  • Variety of sizes – Fiberglass tubs come in nearly any size and shape to fit bathrooms big and small. The molding process allows for customized sizing.
  • Extremely durable – Cast iron tubs can last 50 years or more with proper care. The thick, rigid material resists chips, cracks, and scratches.
  • Excellent heat retention – Cast iron retains heat well, keeping bath water hotter longer than other materials. This helps create a soothing, spa-like soaking experience.
  • Traditional aesthetic – With their deep, built-in appearance, cast iron tubs fit a classic décor. Many styles have ornate detailing for a vintage look.

Natural Stone

Natural stone tubs, often carved from marble or granite, offer unmatched elegance and style. However, they also come with some drawbacks:

  • Natural stone has a timeless, classic aesthetic that instantly elevates any bathroom. The veining patterns and colors are unique in each tub.
  • Stone tubs have excellent heat retention, keeping bath water hot for longer. The smooth surface is pleasing to soak in.
  • With proper sealing and care, natural stone tubs can last for decades or even centuries, becoming heirlooms passed down through generations.

Tub Sizes

When choosing a new bathtub, one of the most important considerations is the size and dimensions.

Standard 60 inch tubs may feel cramped for taller individuals. Larger sizes like 66 inches provide more leg room. For a truly spa-like experience, a 72 inch tub allows space to completely extend your legs.

The width of 30 to 36 inches allows enough room to sit comfortably in the tub. Wider tubs around 42 inches or more create a double-bather tub with space for two people. Consider if you want a tub strictly for solo bathing or a couples’ tub.

The depth is also key for comfort and function. A standard depth is around 14-17 inches, which keeps most of the body under water. However, deeper tubs around 20 inches or more allow total immersion for a peaceful, therapeutic bath. Just ensure the height is manageable for getting in and out of the tub safely.

Considering your height, preferences for space, and desired depth can help narrow down the ideal tub size for your needs. Measure your bathroom space and layout as well when deciding on dimensions.

Style and Design

When designing your dream bathroom, choosing the right bathtub is one of the most important decisions. The tub style you select sets the aesthetic tone and greatly impacts the overall look and feel of your bathroom. From modern and contemporary to traditional and transitional, International Bath and Tile offers a wide selection of stylish and versatile tub designs to match any decorative theme.

Modern Bathtub Designs

Modern bathtubs feature clean, minimalist designs with sleek, geometric shapes. They often utilize neutral colors like white, black or gray and are constructed from contemporary materials like acrylic, glass or metal such as Hydro Systems Chagall freestanding tub.

The purity of form and lack of ornamentation embody the minimalism of modern style. Rectangular soaking tubs with low profile walls and integrated overflow drains contribute to the streamlined look. Slipper tubs with sloped ends and ergonomic shapes provide comfort and functionality.

Frameless glass tubs make a stunning modern statement, allowing the bathroom tiles or colors to show through for a seamless appearance. Metallic finishes like brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze or matte black metal add sheen and sophistication.

Clean lines, simple shapes, and an absence of decorative details define the modern minimalist bathtub. Their refined, uncluttered look complements both bold, dramatic bathrooms as well as serene, spa-like spaces.

Traditional Bathtub Designs

Vintage charm with a traditional bathtub design that nods to the past while offering modern convenience. Traditional tubs feature ornate details like decorative feet, accents, and aprons reminiscent of clawfoot tubs of yesteryear. Materials like cast iron, porcelain, and copper offer durability and a timeworn aesthetic. Pair a traditional soaking tub with vintage-style faucets and fixtures for a harmonious look.

At International Bath and Tile, you can find traditional tubs with a modern twist. MTI’s Boutique Collection features a freestanding tub combines a classic slipper design with contemporary clean lines. Boutique Collection tubs are available as soakers or with air bath, in white or biscuit with a soft matte or hand-polished deep gloss finish. With a sloped backrest and roomy interior, it’s ideal for relaxation. Explore our range of traditional tubs to find your perfect match.

Contemporary Bathtub Designs

Contemporary bathtub designs are characterized by sleek, curvilinear shapes that make a bold statement. These tubs feature the latest innovations in materials and technology to create a clean, modern aesthetic.

One contemporary design trend is the use of bold colors and textures. Contemporary tubs come in vibrant hues like fire engine red or cobalt blue paired with matte, glossy, or metallic finishes. Natural stone surfaces like granite or marble make for an organic yet modern look. Wood brings warmth, while concrete adds an industrial vibe.

For a seamless, sculptural look, many contemporary tubs have integrated overflow drains and curved interior surfaces. The slope of the tub mimics the curves of the human body for optimal comfort. Contemporary tubs may also feature ergonomic shapes and forms to cradle bathers.

At our showroom, you can view exciting contemporary designs that make a sophisticated style statement. We have the latest models from leading manufacturers like Kohler, Native Trails, and Wetstyle that feature innovative shapes, new materials like engineered stone resin, and integrated technologies like chromatherapy lighting or hydrotherapy jets. Our contemporary tubs will become the focal point of your modern bathroom.

If you are in the market to shop for that relaxing bathtub for your bathroom, please visit International Bath and Tile’s showroom to explore the showcased tub products in person.

We have the most knowledgeable staff available to provide expert guidance and assist you in finding the perfect tub option for their relaxation needs and design preferences.

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