For many homeowners, doing a full bathroom renovation or remodel is the largest home project they’ll ever take on. The decisions that have to be made are complicated, and one of the most important is choosing the right tub.
Many will go with a drop-in jetted tub, and for good reason. It’s a great way to get the most out of your bathroom remodel, whether you choose to go for comfort, luxury, a spa experience, or just to create a uniquely personal look for your bathroom.
Here’s what you need to know to get exactly what you want and experience maximum comfort and luxury in your drop-in jetted tub.
Drop-In Jetted Bathtubs: A Definition
Nearly everyone knows something about what a jetted tub is, but the term drop-in can be confusing. To some extent, it’s exactly what it sounds like—“drop-in” refers to the shell of the tub, which is designed and fitted for a specific frame enclosure.
This approach comes with several distinct advantages. Drop-in tubs are easy to design and convenient to install, plus there are plenty of materials to choose from, along with dozens of additional design options.
Drop-in tubs also come with a lip that extends beyond the edge of the tub, which is especially important for those getting a jetted tub or a soaking tub. The lip prevents water from spilling over onto the six-inch area that’s typically added around a jetted tub.
Jetted Tub Options: Jacuzzi vs Whirlpool
There are several options for a jetted tub, but first it’s important to distinguish between a jacuzzi and a jetted tub. As a general rule, jetted tubs are broken down into these two categories:
- Jacuzzi evolution. Jacuzzi is actually a brand name that’s evolved into a common-usage term. Jacuzzis were originally larger units designed for outdoor usage, and they used to feature far more jets than a typical whirlpool tub.
- Whirlpool tubs. These tubs are no longer playing from behind. They’ve closed the gap when it comes to size, possible materials and features, and there are many companies offering excellent choices across the board, whether you’re after luxury, a deep tissue massage or just basic high-level performance.
Jetted Options: Get the Power, Design & Flexibility You Need
Regardless of whether you choose jacuzzi or a whirlpool, choosing the number of jets you want is an important decision.
More jets equals a more powerful bathing experience that’s basically the equivalent of a deep tissue massage, while less will give you a lighter and perhaps more soothing and relaxing experience.
You can also concentrate the jets in any area of the tub you choose. If lower back pain is a problem, for instance, the jets can be concentrated there, or anywhere else where you may have special issues with pain or discomfort.
What Materials Are Available for Jetted Tubs?
When it comes to comfort in a jetted tub, the choice of materials is crucial. For some people, comfort is about design, while others need to budget more carefully. But the choice often starts with the materials used to construct the tub, so let’s start there and do a breakdown:
While fiberglass can be a bit of a compromise when it comes to comfort, it’s a great choice for those on a budget. It’s usually the cheapest choice among jetted tub options, and fiberglass tubs are easy to size and install.
Scratches are a common problem with these kinds of tubs, though, so they’re not a great choice if high-end aesthetics is one of your priorities.
If you’re looking for versatility in tub designs and possible add-on features, you should start your search with an acrylic drop-in jetted tub.
Acrylics are easy to install because they’re relatively light compared to the more expensive options, and they’re also more durable and less prone to scratching. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and dozens of color possibilities as well.
Cast Iron, Steel and Other Metal Options
If you’re doing your remodel based on luxury aesthetics, you should consider these as part of your selection process.
- Cast iron, for instance, offers a particularly timeless look. and from a practical standpoint these tubs do an excellent job of holding heat. They are heavier, though, so you should make sure your subfloor is strong enough to bear up under the extra weight.
- Steel, meanwhile, can create a more modern look, and you can customize steel tubs by using coatings like enamel and porcelain. They tend to be available in more styles than cast iron, too, which is an advantage if you’re looking for a heavier luxury tub with more versatility.
There are other metal options, but they tend to be more esoteric and expensive, so make sure to do some homework whichever one you choose.
Find the Right Size and Shape
Sizing your jetted drop-in tub can seem confusing at first, but the good news is that the basic sizes are fairly standardized. Here are some of the most common dimensions:
- Small: If you have a smaller bathroom with serious size limitations, the dimensions for your drop-in jetted tub will start at around 45 inches long, with a width of 30 inches. Generally speaking, you’ll be looking at a depth of around 14 inches.
- Medium: This is the most common category, with a length of 60 inches, a width of 30 inches and a depth of around 16 inches.
As you’re measuring out the size possibilities, keep in mind that specialty brands usually come with thinner materials than standard retail store tubs, and sometimes that extra inch or fraction of an inch can make a big difference when it comes to comfort.
Larger Tubs, Custom Tubs and Soaking Tubs
If you’re too big or tall for a medium tub, there are other possibilities, especially if you have a decent budget. Taller folks may want to go with a longer tub, while buyers with a larger frame tend to opt for more width.
Depth is important as well. If you want to get easy coverage for your shoulders and neck, you should be looking for a depth of around 19 inches, which will cover your head and shoulders.
Shapes for Drop-In Jetted Tubs
One of the biggest advantages of going with a jetted drop-in tub is that they’re available in just about every shape you can imagine.
The most common shapes are elongated ovals or square, but you can also make a variety of more esoteric choices. These include hearts, triangles, an hourglass shape or almost anything else you can think of if you have the bathroom space and a large budget.
If you’re going for aesthetics in your bathroom model, feel free to consider some of the more esoteric shapes. You can use angles and curves to your heart’s content as long as you have the space to accommodate them.
Slope and Lumbar Support for Extra Comfort
While getting the right size is important, you should also consider a couple of supposedly smaller factors that can affect comfort: slope and lumbar support.
The slope of the tub tends to be based on individual preference, but that’s part of why it matters so much. A steep incline will give you a little more room, but it may make your soaking experience feel like a posture lesson. Make sure you get a slope that helps you stretch out and relax, then let those jets do the work.
If you’ve ever gone the extra mile to get lumbar support in your office chair, you know why it matters so much in your drop-in jetted tub as well. Fortunately, many of today’s contemporary drop-in jetted tubs come with extra lumbar support to make sure you’re comfortable when doing an extra-long bathing session.
Why You Should Consider an Alcove Bathtub?
If creating an intimate space is part of your definition of comfort, you should consider creating an alcove with your bathroom space, then adding a drop-in jetted tub.
Alcove tubs, which are closed in by three walls, are typically used in smaller spaces, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider one if you’re looking to create a uniquely personal space.
Adding an American Standard Walk-in Jetted Tub
Some people have faced special circumstances when they add a drop-in jetted tub, and those with disabilities definitely fall into that category.
Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions available. Walk-in tubs include a door that’s easy to open and close, and they also incorporate features like built-in seating, handrails and non-stick surfaces.
These features are often essential for those with disabilities. The jets provide a soothing or powerful massage that can help with arthritis and muscular pain, and a walk-in, drop-in jetted tub can be used for hydrotherapy to help maintain mobility.
These tubs can also be a major time saver. Many people with disabilities have to travel to get treatment, and having a walk-in tub can lessen the amount of travel they have to do, and in some cases they can eliminate it completely.
There are many companies that make excellent walk-in tubs, and American Standard is considered one of the better ones. The company has been in business for well over 100 years, and their products come with a limited lifetime warranty, plus they offer a variety of customizable features.
Luxury Features to Add Comfort
Lighting is one of the most dramatic design elements you can use for your drop-in jetted tub. You can even get colored lighting, which is referred to as chromotherapy, the goal is to induce relaxation and balance. If you’re going for a spa experience as part of your drop in jetted tub, this is a great choice.
One of the best ways to add comfort via extra relaxation is to go with a sound system as part of your drop-in jetted tub. The choice of music is up to you, of course, but many people choose meditation music or a classical playlist to set the mood.
Digital controls are a relatively new addition to the world of drop-in jetted tubs, but they’re very popular. They add convenience and flexibility to the bathing experience, and they’re an inexpensive add-on that can make a world of difference.
Armrests, Headrests and Ergonomic Design
All of these can be added to increase the comfort factor with your drop-in jetted tub, plus you can add other touches like grab bars, high density insulation, pillows and even a thermal comfort system.
Use Hydro Massage to Select a Great Drop-In Jetted Tub With a High Customer Rating
At Hydro Massage, we understand that comfort is a personal experience when you choose to add a drop-in jetted tub for your bathroom remodel. We can help you solve any issues associated with the installation, then assist you in selecting the best possible products. Our reputation is impeccable, and we can make your dream bathroom come to life.
To start the process, call us at (303) 356-7427, and you can also visit us at hydromassageproducts.com, where you can do a live chat to talk specifics when it comes to drop-in jetted tubs. We also have some great videos and blog posts that will fill you in on how they work, what they cost and how to get the ultimate drop-in jetted tub.
Also Read: Perfect Alcove Whirlpool Tub for Your Bathroom