An air tub is the perfect refuge away from the dredges of your 9-5, helping to create a spa-like environment in your very own home. The bathtub uses air to provide a therapeutic massage through the use of it’s jets, similar to a whirlpool and soaking bathtub, but at a more affordable price point. So let’s see if an air tub is the right fit for your bathroom.
What is an air tub?
An air tub or air bath is a bathtub that is equipped with jets that blow heated air into the bath water, as opposed to a whirlpool bathtub that uses jets that blow heated water instead of air. These jets are designed to provide muscle relief and comfort by massaging your body, providing a more therapeutic soak. It is for this reason that the design of air tubs is typically larger, to allow for higher water capacity, meaning that they will also require a decent sized bathroom to accommodate them.
How does an air tub work?
Air tubs function by having essentially an air blower that pushes air towards a distributor, which redirects the air through multiple jets placed within the tub. This process is much weaker in strength than conventional water jets, but the tradeoff is that air tubs are much cheaper than whirlpool tubs. Maintenance is similar, meaning that air tubs are much easier to maintain, as it simply needs to be turned on to cycle any excess water, but compared to whirlpool bathtubs, they tend to be much noisier.
What types of air tubs are there?
As with nearly every other bathtub model on the market today, air tubs come in a few varieties. These options are designed to fit just about any bathroom, so it is best to understand their strengths to determine if they are the right fit for you.
The largest of the options on the market, freestanding bathtubs are an impressive sight to behold. Aesthetically pleasing, the benefit of this style is that it can be placed anywhere in your bathroom. Although it should be noted that this style tends to be the heaviest, so floor reinforcement is advised.
The more traditional or common air tub style is the undermount or drop-in. This style is placed below an installed rim, giving it more stability while saving space. The drawback is that your bathroom needs to be able to accommodate both the size of the bathtub and the surrounding rim size.
Shower Tub Combo
For those looking for a flexible option, this design combines a shower with a bathtub from the first two styles. This option gives your bathtub much more versatility in offering a shower for those looking for a quicker bathing option while still retaining all the features of a normal bathtub for those looking for a longer soak.
What can airtubs be made from?
Since holes need to be drilled into the material, air tubs tend to be constructed from softer materials, primarily Acrylic and Fiberglass. Other bathtubs, of course, can be used, but these would need to be constructed through custom orders as stated before, these other materials need to be drilled into to make an air tub. The coating is applied to ensure that water does not leak into the material itself, leading to warping or degradation down the line.
Air Bath Parts – what makes them special?
The jets of an air tub are propelled by an air blower through holes drilled into the bathtub. These jets perform the same function as water jets, but they are less powerful.
As stated previously, the air blower is what propels the water in an air tub, providing a more therapeutic bath experience. This differs greatly from whirlpool tubs which require a water injector, meaning that the air blower is much more cost-effective if weaker in strength.
How much do air tubs cost?
Air tubs tend to be fairly expensive, starting at around 900-1200+, very similar to whirlpool tubs however, in the long run, air tubs tend to be much cheaper. The advantage of an air tub is that the jets are powered through the air blower and not water injector, meaning less power drain. They also are much easier to clean and maintain compared to whirlpool tubs, and in the event that something breaks, an air blower is much cheaper to replace than a water pump.
Air Tub vs whirlpool
Outwardly, air tubs and whirlpool tubs are almost identical. However, ss stated previously, the biggest difference between them is the method of how the jets are powered. Air tubs use an air blower that redistributes air through jets in the tub’s design. Whirlpool bathtubs use a dedicated water pump with injectors that power its jets. The result is that a whirlpool bathtub has much stronger water jets that you can control manually. Stronger water jets come at a price as through use and maintenance, whirlpool bathtubs tend to be 50% more expensive than air tubs in the long run.
Air tub vs soaking tub
Although air tubs and soaking tubs fit the same purpose, they tend to differ in small ways. Soaking bathtubs are designed to hold the maximum amount of water, perfect for total submersion. And while air tubs can be used for that same function, their main focus are its jets, which tend to make a decent amount of noise. So for those looking for a more tranquil bathing experience, an air tub might not be the right fit. In a similar vein, soaking bathtubs can be made out of a large variety of materials such as cast iron, copper or natural stone, whereas air tubs are limited to more lightweight materials, largely altering your bathing experience.
Benefits of an Air Tub
- Relaxes muscles
- Helps blood circulation
- Relieves muscle pain such as arthritis, rheumatism and other joint problems
- Enhances mood through the recirculation of natural air
- Can ease tension in the body and reduce stress
Air baths are a great alternative to the traditional soaking tub. They can ease muscle pain and relax your body after a hard days work. For those looking for a cheaper alternative to a whirlpool bathtub, consider an air tub.