Selecting your bathtub is a big deal when planning your bathroom. A lot of other aspects of your bathroom design will depend on what type of bath you choose, and to a large extent the bathtub you choose will set the entire scene in your bathroom. There are a huge variety of tubs available, so it's worth taking the time to really see what's available before settling on one.
Consider what you need in a bath
There are a few things you should think about when making your choice - the first of which is what your needs will be, both now and into the future. A family of four almost certainly needs a different tub to a retiree - although if you're determined to live in your home for the rest of your life, you might also want to consider how useful the tub will be when you get older. Tall people will need long, deep tubs to be comfortable. Elderly or disabled people may not be able to lower themselves into a standard tub, and may need either a step next to the tub, or one that's specially designed for those with limited mobility.
How much space do you have?
Another thing that will define what sort of tub you install is how much space you have available. The size and dimensions of your bathroom will directly limit your choices, especially if you live in an apartment. For smaller bshathrooms, a combination of a tub and a shower may help you make the best use of the space you have available. Even if your bathroom isn't that small, doing so may allow you a little extra space to install a larger tub. Bigger bathrooms will obviously afford far more freedom, and will allow you to consider things like recessed baths, freestanding bathtubs and jacuzzis. They'll also allow more freedom with regards to where you position the bath. In smaller bathrooms, the tub is normally positioned in a corner, but in larger bathrooms you can just as easily install one in the middle of the room if you choose. The average bathtub is around 150cm x 75cm, give or take.
How big is your budget?
Your budget's clearly going to be another factor that determines what sort of bath you choose. Having said that, don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a quality bath. You won’t be replacing it in a hurry, and it will see years of use if you look after it properly, so it's worth paying a bit extra for a comfortable and attractive bathtub. Test it in the store if you want to (a dry run wearing clothes is normally the best option). Remember that in addition to the cost of the tub, you'll probably also need to factor in the cost of plumbing, installation and fittings (specifically taps and a waste). A well made and properly installed bath is a worthy investment.
How will your bath look?
Take time to consider how the bath fits in with your overall bathroom aesthetic. Since the bath will likely be one of your first choices, use it to inspire your other decisions. Consult with a bathroom designer to see what sort of options you have in terms of positioning and style in the space you have available. Even a small bath can be used to enhance the appeal of your bathroom.
Installation and insulation
Once you have chosen your tub, see if it can be insulated before it's installed. Insulating your bath can save you lots of energy and water in bath top-ups when the water gets too cold. A lot of the heat lost in a standard tub is dissipated through the walls and base of the bath. Having a bath insulated, even with cheap insulation, will go a long way to keeping the warmth in the water. To further save water, you can also consider installing hot water enhancements like cold water diverters or have temperature controllers.