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SOAKING IT UP
by Georgina Callan

There’s no question that the hospitality industry has made a huge impact on the interiors of many
American homes in the last decade or two. First of all, the sleek and often sumptuous bedding
fostered the idea of similar styles replicated in bedrooms at home. Entire lines of “hotel bedding”,
to include sheets and mattresses, have been created based on the idea of comfort and style
associated with hotels. To avoid the trek to the kitchen, coffee making stations, a small
countertop for a coffee maker and small under-counter refrigerator, are now seen in the
bedrooms of modern homes. And then there are the bathrooms. New hotels, especially
luxury hotels, have placed great emphasis on spacious showers only, in many cases,
eliminating the tubs, or, at the very least, provided tubs with more features, such
as a curved shower rod that prevented the curtain from getting wet.

Some of the most accommodating hotels, and where space permits, offer guests a shower
and a tub, incentive enough to spend the night away from home to soak in one of
these bathing beauties.  
Diamond Spas stainless steel soaking tub, photo courtesy of Diamond
Spas/Dan Danenberg.
diamondspas.com

While most acrylic or resin tubs are oval, Badeloft USA offers an ergonomic “egg” shaped
option. While most tubs seem to be designed for solo bathing, most manufacturers make
larger versions, sufficiently long and wide enough for two people.
A 60” chiseled stone tub, with polished rim and interior, from  signaturehardware.com

There’s a trend for Japanese soaking tubs, a type of tub that usually contains an
integrated inner seat. Made of stainless steel, or nickel plated material, the tubs offer
a Zen approach to bathing. If you think of stainless steel as a material in which to
wash the dishes (or the family dog), this might take a leap but you’ll find stainless
steel soaking—rather than bathing—tubs growing in popularity and there’s a large
selection at diamondspa.com
Made of a stone resin material similar to Corian, badeloftusa.com

For an updated version of whimsy, and a visual reference that goes back centuries, the
old fashioned slipper tub has been modernized.
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68” Urquhart tub from signaturehardware.com
Winifred Free Standing tub available in measurements from 56” to 71” from
signaturehardware.com

The free standing tub is not a new thing. The simplest form of a free standing tub
is a corrugated metal wash tub. In the 19th century “bathing tubs” were heavy
cast iron sitting atop claw and ball feet. Today’s sleek versions, for the most part,
have one thing in common and that is the need for space to appreciate, from
every angle, the sculptural qualities of the free standing tub.

So if you have space in a remodel or new construction, you may wish to
consider one of these stylish options.  For the modernist, they are sleek and
minimal, two requirements around which a bathroom could be easily
designed. Free standing tubs are offered in a number of different materials.
Acrylic is one of the most popular but many acrylic tubs are made from two
sheets of acrylic and there is a hollow space between the sheets.  While this
contributes to the lightness of the tub, it may also indicate that water will not
stay as warm in the tub as if a solid acrylic material is used.  Manufacturers
attempt to solve this issue by offering “insulation” between the layers, but a
solid acrylic or resin tub that is more substantial may be preferable,
depending on budget. Learn more at www.signaturehardware.com
Resin tubs, or solid surface tubs, made to look like stone, are also popular
options. Although heavier, they will contain heat – no one wants to soak
in a cold tub.  Free standing stone tubs, if your bathroom floor can handle
the weight of 2,000 lbs (plus) are another option.