Bathtubs come in a plethora of styles and materials
There are plenty of choices when it comes to bathtubs, but, if you are looking to replace an existing tub, either because you need a new tub or as part of a bathroom remodel, you will probably find your bathtub choices are limited from the beginning. The placement of walls and plumbing fixtures may mean you have to replace the old tub with one that's very similar. This makes the cost if a new tub difficult to estimate because there are so many variables. A very basic bathtub can be had for as little as $200, but super fancy models can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. And that doesn't include the cost of the tub's installation, which can add $1,000 to $3,500 -- or more -- to the bill. And if you're renovating an existing bathroom, the price tag can run even higher if you decide to relocate plumbing fixtures. Knowing this, it's easy to see why it's important to do your homework when choosing the best bathtub for your home.
As for materials, the choices are similarly endless. Acrylic, fiberglass, enamel-coated steel or cast iron are the most common, along with proprietary materials specific to each manufacturer that are an amalgam of steel and iron. In addition, it's common to find bathtubs made from copper, wood and stone, or composite materials made to look like stone.
Alternatives to buying a new bathtub
If the thought of replacing your tub has you thinking of drowning your sorrows elsewhere, there's good news: Most conventional tubs can be refinished, or an acrylic tub liner can be installed over the old tub surface, both of which are much cheaper options than a new tub. Both of those projects are jobs that experts usually recommend be done by professionals and there are plenty of companies that offer that service.
How we found the best bathtubs
We don't name the best individual bathtub models in this report because the variety of products is far too vast. Instead, this buyer's guide is intended as an educational tool to explain many of the factors related to purchasing the right bathtub. We delve into installation options, which include alcove style, drop-in and freestanding bathtubs. Then, we discuss the most popular types of tubs more specifically, giving you in-depth information on soaking bathtubs, whirlpool bathtubs, walk-in bathtubs and bathtub refinishing and liners. We hope this guide will be a great tool to help you find the best bathtub for your home and lifestyle.