Re: Tub Choice
Posted by Bob Standaert on May 03, 2002 at 00:45:49:
In response to Re: Tub Choice
: I will be renovating my master bathroom located on the second floor. I would like your opinion as to what type of bathtub to buy e.g. acrylic, cast iron, marble or steel.

Cast iron has the proven record of longevity (50 years plus). Enameled steel is low-budget (don't save a hundred bucks while forfeiting the decades of durability iron gives). Americast claims comparable longevity to iron, but hasn't been around long enough to prove it. Plastic might last 15-20 years, maybe longer if you are really kind to it. Americast feels a little plasticy and doesn't have the rock-solid feel of iron.

Another poster commented that iron is expensive, but it is no more expensive than Americast. You can pick up a good Kohler cast iron tub for around $230 at Home Depot, etc. (I paid $200 for a comparable Eljer model at a local plumbing supply house). The big disadvantage of iron is weight -- iron runs 200-250 lbs, vs half that for Americast. If you have to get the sucker up to the second floor, you'll need lots of help.

: Also what is your opinion of converting a new cast iron into a whirlpool tub and having a plumber install the jetting holes?

Don't do it. To begin with, you'll chip the porcelain, give rust a foothold, and might weaken the tub. Moreover, the jet design, plumbing layout, and electronics, are jobs for an engineer. Your home-engineered whirlpool would probably not meet code or UL standards. Even if it did, by the time you pay a plumber to custom-make it all, buy the pump and other parts at spare-part prices, and deal with all the problems, you're far better off buying a proper, factory-made one. Kohler and probably other manufacturers make cast iron whirlpools, if that's what you want.

: Is there a kit that covers the whirlpool plumbing on a clawfoot tube?

Don't know.

: I like the arylic tubs because of the whirlpool ability, sizing, but not the cleaning and noice levels.

That's life. You get what you pay for.

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