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Tub selection for larger people

Rae T
2 months ago

We are gutting our bathroom and starting fresh and the tub choices seem endless. It's a 60x30 alcove, although we could go to 60x31 if needed. Left drain. Right now we have a steel tub from the 70s or 80s that a child can barely bathe in because the soaking depth is around 9" and the edges are a 90-degree angle so it is very uncomfortable.

3 out of 4 of us are 200+ lbs, so I am concerned with the strenth of the base and the flexibility of the tub material from size but also from dropping stuff on/in it.

I am seeing at least 10 different tubs that could go there and they all have different specs. They are all acrylic though, a couple of them are reinforced with fiberglass. I've seen a couple of porcelain enameled steel ones too, but they are so shallow. Cast iron ones are out, too heavy.

I'm seeing some with a 1 yr warranty, some with 25 and some with lifetime. But once you install it and tile it in, what is the point of the warranty? What can they really do at that point?

I'm scouring and went to the Ferguson showroom in person as well as another local plumbing distributor but they only seem to have 1 alcove on display and its always Kohler. I tried some home centers and they only seem to carry freestanding ones. I've also checked amazon, wayfair, and Home depot & Lowes. Mostly just for price comparisons because everywhere seems to cary the same ones generally except seems to carry some lesser known brands, at least lesser known here in Georgia.

The Kohler Archer was nice but very tall. A similar one was Underscore but the back is barely slanted. Kohler only has a 1 yr warranty though and some people tend to love them and some hate them. American standard has the Town Square S one, but are they any good? They are fiberglass reinforced I believe and have a good warranty but I always thought they were the walmart of fixtures, but maybe I'm wrong. I am also seeing other brands like Jacuzzi (Linea - non-jetted), Signature Hardware (Sitka or Bradenton), Jaxpety ( HG61W1911 - Jaxpetty is a Candian brand I believe), and Maax (Exhibit - Maax is also Candian. customer service said they tend to be higher end).

The steel one I saw was at HD and it was Bootz Maui and the soaking depth was 13 7/8" which is the highest of any of the steel tubs that American Standard seems to have. We are used to a steel tub so I'm not against it but I don't know if they make them like they used to (doubt it) or if this particular brand is any good or if acrylic is better. I know acrylic is certainly the most common.

I've asked my plumber for any recs and he just said he can install whatever I get and will use foam and wood underneath for support and had no real product suggestions.

So as you can see, I'm drowning in choices. So please share any insight you have.

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