A Buyers Guide to Whirlpool Baths

Whirlpool baths have become a wonderful addition to modern bathrooms for they allow a relaxing, spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home. Jetted tubs are said to have therapeutic benefits because they can provide gentle, or invigorating massage, which makes them a very popular choice. They come in various sizes, styles and configurations to suit any bathroom. To help avoid confusion, here is a guide that will help you to make the best decision when looking to purchase one.

What is a Whirlpool Bath?

Sometimes called spa baths, a whirlpool bath is a type of bath that has whirlpool or air jets which are controlled by switches found on the deck of the bath or close to it. It is run by a combination of water and air. The suction draws water from the bath into an integral pump where it is mixed with air which is then pushed through the pipes of the bath and forced out of the jets.

Water versus air jet - Which is better?

Water jet baths have larger but fewer jets that target specific muscle groups. Air jet baths have dozens of little jets that make a gentle air bubble massage. With this type, you can use scented oils for a spa-like experience, which is not possible with a water jet tub. However, both provide a relaxing bath, probably why whirlpool baths are also called spa bath tubs.

What are the major considerations when buying a whirlpool bath?

Whirlpool baths come in various styles, a great example being Jupiter baths, and there are some important considerations to take into account when purchasing one. The initial cost makes them a key investment, so it is wise to give it some thought if you want to make the most of your investment and enjoy your bath for many years.

  • Size: whirlpool baths commonly come in single or two-person size, so you need to decide on the size that you require. Think about your needs - who will use it and how often. It is also important to think about the size if you have a limited space in your bathroom.
  • Location: where you intend to have the bath installed dictates the shape, size and style of your bath. Baths come with different drain locations on them and different types of installation. You will need to check this is compatible with your bathrooms space and set-up.
  • Drain location: on most models, the drain is movable or there is a natural space that ensures the pipes can reach to the drainage point. Moving the drainage point can be expensive or restrictive, so in this instance, your choice of bath might be affected.
  • Doorways: You will need to ensure that your choice of bath will fit through any doorways if you are simply upgrading your bathroom. For newly built homes, it is ideal if the bath can be moved first before the doorway or wall is finished.
  • Water supply: your water heater should be able to provide enough water for your bath without affecting the flow from other taps. Ask your plumber if you need to consider installing a tank-less water heater for your bath to ensure the heater maintains the water flow other taps and provides you with a hot bath as you please.
  • Materials: baths now come in various finishes, but acrylic is a good choice as it has a number of benefits including price, insulation, comfort and ease of maintenance.
  • Quality: if you want to enjoy your bath for a many years, make sure it is superior in quality. Check the products reinforcement, colour, support frame, corrosion resistance and valves.
  • Safety: make sure to buy from reputable suppliers and ensure the tub has safety features such as water sensor and residual current device (RCD). Water sensors check if there is enough water for the tub to run safely while RCD switches off current if safety issues are detected.

What styles of bath are there to choose from?

The common types of whirlpool bath are as follows:

  • Recessed: the most common type of tub; it is also called alcove tub and is usually rectangular in shape. It has three sides installed on a wall and one open side for access.
  • Drop-in: also called platform installation tubs, this tub has a deck structure with a rim on the same level as the top. Other style has the tub down into the floor, with its rim flush with it.
  • Corner: here, the finished apron is crescent in shape with two sides open.
  • Freestanding: the freestanding bath commonly has legs that allow it to be placed off the wall.

What are the other features of whirlpool baths?

Whirlpool baths have more features than standard baths. These include thermostatic temperature control which regulates water temperature, water or air massage system, adjustable jets, cleaning system, underwater lighting to name a few. Of course, the number of features affects the price, so decide on the features that you really need.

Shopping for a whirlpool bath need not be overwhelming if you know the practical things to consider. Remember to choose comfort over aesthetics. It is possible to have the two, as long as you check the most important considerations first, such as the installation and drain locations, size, etc.