Tubs Soak Up Far East Influence
More homeowners are soaking for relaxation as soaker tubs gain popularity.
By: Rob Fanjoy
The soaking tub trend within the bathroom spa trend is fueled by Far Eastern influences, specifically Japanese. In that country, soaking tubs are more vertical and deep, which provides a pleasing aesthetic for some Americans. But most soaking tubs in this country are a bit longer, wider and somewhat shallower for easier access.
Many Americans also want a little more from their soaker tubs than just the ability to hold 250 gallons of water or more. Ann Roever, senior product manager of Kohler's bathing products division, says these features include such things as effervescence; the ability to turn on only a few jets for a bit more water agitation; and full-blown massage features where all jets are turned on. Many tubs also include aromatherapy (using scents as a relaxation aid) and chromatherapy (using color for relaxation).
Soaking by the Numbers
"The trend began in the mid-1980s with the physical fitness and health craze, as well as the cocooning trend," Roever says. "In the '90s, we saw the trend surge and evolve into an interest in yoga and day spas. Now the trend is moving into the home."
Bringing the spa into the home isn't cheap, though. While most soaking tubs don't require the pumps and additional plumbing of a traditional whirlpool tub, they are usually larger in size and cost more to manufacture, so their prices generally fall in the same range. Ultra Baths can range from $1,400 to $5,000. Japanese-style soaking tubs in copper or stainless steel start at around $4,500. Kohler's flagship Sok tub costs nearly $6,000. As always, the more features a tub offers, the higher the price tag.
But buyers aren't letting that slow them down. "With a day at the spa costing $400 or more, homeowners are instead investing that money into their bathrooms and benefiting over the long haul," Roever says.
Japanese Soaking Tub Designs
Looking for some Asian influence in your bathroom? Japanese soaking tubs are smaller, deep baths that are becoming popular bath fixtures.
Invest in a Soaking Tub for Your Zen Bathroom
Installing a soaking tub gives your bathroom an authentic and relaxing Zen-inspired design.
Soak in the Latest Tub Technology
Transform your bath into an at-home spa with a hot, new tub.
Explore the many options for creating a beautiful bathtub area.
Browse your options for tub faucets, and prepare to install a stylish and long-lasting tub fixture.
Walk-In Tub Designs
If you're concerned about aging in place and universal design in the bathroom, consider installing a walk-in bathtub, which offers a door for easy entry and exit.
Buying a Bathtub Without Getting Soaked
Consider all your options and there are plenty of them when planning your bathtub purchase.
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