Fall’s on its way (or it will be in a couple of weeks), and with it comes all the joys of the season so many Torontonians love the most. The slight chill in the air that gives you a chance to actually wear clothes without stifling, delicious pumpkin lattes, divine red wine and long, luxurious foam baths by candle light. You’re starting to look around for that perfect Fall hoodie, the weekend retreat with a fireplace and for anyone in the market for renovations, this is the time to install new bathtubs in Toronto homes. Sure, it’s likely going to require some plumbing work—perhaps even an upgrade to your existing plumbing installation—so you’d better get going if you want it done before the winter sets in.
Toronto bathtubs come in huge variety of shapes, sizes and styles along with a range of plumbing fixtures and accessories.
- Alcove bathtubs – this is usually a built-in bathtub that is installed between two walls.
- Corner bathtubs – these are mostly triangular in shape and are perfect for spacious bathrooms. They’re usually installed in the corner and are the main feature of the room.
- Free-standing bathtubs – this is a retro style that doesn’t require walls or a bathtub surround. Antique styles such as claw-foot tubs are usually free-standing and work best in large bathrooms where they can stand in the centre of the room and act as the main feature of the décor.
- Deck bathtubs – these are often built into a raised surrounding deck resembling a swimming pool.
- Whirlpool bathtubs have jets for a water massage.
- Walk-in bathtubs have a door that opens to enable you to step into and out of the bathtub easily. These are installed mainly in homes with occupants who are elderly or have limited mobility.
- Handicap bathtubs come in a variety of configurations to help residents with special needs.
The range of materials used for modern bathtubs in Toronto is also extensive. You can get them in almost every colour you can think of. The most common materials are acrylic, fibreglass, steel and marble. Acrylic, which is a durable synthetic plastic, is used for most standard bathtubs including the alcove, corner, deck and free-standing tubs. It’s tough, easy to clean and has a gloss finish that lasts a lifetime. Acrylic comes in a range of colours that go the whole way through the material, which means scratches are less obvious and can be buffed out by polishing. It’s more expensive than fibreglass and can sustain damage from caustic cleaning agents.
Many of the newer bathtubs in Toronto homes are made from fibreglass, which costs less than acrylic and also has an appealing glossy finish. These baths are moulded into shape and often come as a complete unit with the backsplash, soap dishes and walls all moulded into place in a single unit. These baths work better in new homes than remodels, because the units are difficult to fit through doorways into existing homes. Size and colour is fairly limited and the gel coat finish tends to wear through over time, which causes the surface to attract stains. However, if you’re looking for a cheap option this is the job.
Metal and Marble
These materials are found less frequently in Toronto bathtubs, partly because they are fairly costly—and difficult—to install. Metal bathtubs include cast-iron, which is heavy material designed to retain the temperature of the bath water. Colours and sizes are limited, but if it’s durability you want then this is the choice to make. Steel bathtubs are lighter in weight and less expensive, but come in limited sizes and colours and are susceptible to easy scratching. Cultured marble is made from crushed limestone bound with resin. It looks gorgeous on installation, but light colours yellow over time and the surface can chip and crack.
Whatever style or material you use when you’re looking at bathtubs in Toronto, keep in mind the size of your bathroom and the location of your plumbing. Consult with your local plumber before you make a final choice, to ensure that the bathtub you want is a viable proposition.