Looking to buy a new bathtub but don’t know where to start? Whether you are looking to install a new bathtub or simply replace an old tub, the vendors below are a great place to start. Today, we will look at several vendors and what they can provide to a new customer as well as provide tips on what to look for in a new bathtub so you can purchase the right fit for your home.
Badeloft is a fairly new company which primarily offers freestanding bathtubs. While their options are more limited to freestanding bathtubs, they are quickly making a name for themselves when it comes to stone resin freestanding bathtubs. Although their bathtub selection may be limited compared to other vendors, Badeloft remains one of the top choices for stone-resin freestanding bathtubs. Stone resin is a composite material that is lightweight and is equally durable as some of the higher end materials on the market, all while remaining very affordable.
A long standing provider of bathtubs, Home depot offers a wide variety of bathtub types which include freestanding, drop-in, alcove, shower combos, walk-in, alcove, and whirlpool. Similar to their diverse bathtub catalogue, these bathtubs are available in acrylic, fiberglass, stone resin, cast-iron and porcelain enameled cast-iron. The benefit of purchasing from Home depot is that you can physically touch and feel the bathtub in person to see if it is up to your standard. Additionally, Home depot offers a 180 day return policy should anything go wrong and they also have experts on hand to consult for installation and other advice you may need to care for your bathtub.
Another selection in the home improvement field, Lowes offers a large variety of bathtub types including freestanding, drop-in, alcove, shower combinations, walk-in and whirlpool. These bathtubs are available in acrylic, fiberglass, solid-surface and cast-iron. Similar to Home depot, Lowes provides a place for you to consult experts and inspect your bathtub in person before purchasing. Should you find the bathtub is not to your standards, you can return your bathtub to Lowes within 90 days with receipt.
A large internet retailer, Overstock offers a wide variety of custom bathtubs as well as mass manufactured ones as well. This means that Overstock is one of the few retailers where you can purchase about every type of bathtub style, color and material. From freestanding, drop-in, alcove, shower, walk-in and corner, Overstock offers every installation style as well as every material ranging from fiberglass, acrylic, solid-surface, stone resin, cast-iron, copper and wood.
The primary advantage of Overstock is that you are able to purchase just about any bathtub type you want in the material you want from online vendors. The drawback to this is that you can’t physically feel or look at the bathtub in person and the quality of a bathtub can’t be verified until purchase. Additionally, Overstock’s return policy is not hassle-free if you find fault with your bathtub choice, so be cautious.
Another online marketplace, Wayfair offers both custom-made bathtubs and mass manufactured bathtubs. Similar to Overstock, Wayfair is one of the few sites where you can purchase nearly every type of bathtub and material. These bathtubs include freestanding, drop-in, alcove, shower, and walk-in. The advantage of a site like Wayfair is that you are able to purchase a higher end bathtub that you can’t buy at most major vendors. Bathtubs on Wayfair are available in acrylic, fiberglass, stone-resin, cast-iron, and copper. Items at Wayfair can be returned within 30 days but their policy is unclear about bathtubs in general, making it a bit more of a hassle compared to other vendors
As one of the largest online marketplaces, Amazon is another contender for buying a new bathtub. They offer your typical freestanding, drop-in, whirlpool and shower combo options. These bathtubs are also available in acrylic, fiberglass, cast iron and stone resin. The benefit of ordering your bathtub from Amazon is that you can easily hunt for an affordable price range for your bathtub.
With so many vendors, you have a high chance of finding a bathtub you like. The disadvantage to this is that Amazon’s return policy is on each individual manufacturer so if you find a bathtub you are dissatisfied with, it may be quite difficult to return or get a refund. Similarly, since it is an online marketplace, you can’t see or touch your bathtub until it is delivered to you so you have no way of guaranteeing it’s quality.
Costco offers a wide variety of bathtubs, mainly corner, drop-in, freestanding, walk-in and shower options. Their material options are limited to mainly acrylic lined with fiberglass and other acrylic composites. Conversely, their color options are similarly limited, giving you only the option of white. The primary benefit of purchasing your bathtub from Costco is that you can physically see the bathtub in the store and walk-out with it on the same day.
This will differ from Costco to Costco however, and a majority of their bathtubs will still need to be purchased online. That being said, they offer a wide variety of bathtub types at reasonable prices. That, coupled with their 1 year warranty and 90 day return policy makes Costco fairly hassle free when purchasing a bathtub.
A large plumbing manufacturing based in Kohler Wisconsin, Kohler specializes in home improvement fixtures. They manufacture all styles of bathtubs including drop-in, freestanding, alcove, undermount, and corner bathtubs. Their materials are fairly limited to acrylic, litho-cast, and cast iron. They provide a 45-day return policy on all their bathtubs and have an online retail presence.
American Standard is a large manufacturer of plumbing fixtures based in Piscataway, New Jersey. They construct freestanding, drop-in, walk-in, corner, and alcove bathtubs usually in their specialized material known as Americast. Americast is an enameled grade steel that is bonded with a high-quality porcelain surface. If you are looking for an American Standard bathtub, you can check their online store-front or many retailers that carry their products such as Home Depot, Wayfair, and Amazon. American Standard offers a 30-day return policy on all their products.
A large multinational retail corporation, Walmart offers an enormous range of bathtubs and bathtub materials. Many of these bathtubs are constructed from composite materials, drastically reducing their price, but they may not last as long as typical bathtub materials. However, many of these bathtubs are for children and are not designed for long-term bathing use. For long-term use, Walmart offers acrylic and fiberglass options in freestanding, alcove, drop-in, and undermount styles. They also provide jetted tubs for additional comfort. For all bathtubs, Walmart offers a 90-day return policy.
An online retailer under the parent company of Ferguson PLC, Build.com specializes in bathroom, kitchen, lighting hardware, and appliances. They offer soaking, freestanding, alcove, whirlpool, drop-in, air, undermount, corner, and walk-in bathtubs. They sell bathtubs manufactured by American Standard, Kohler, Jacuzzi, Miseno, and Signature. The advantage of shopping through Build.com is that you can purchase bathtubs from many of these manufacturers but at a reduced price. In addition, Build.com offers deals and sales for its products, making it a great place to start your search. Build.com offers a 90-day return policy and offers a full refund as long as you fulfill the following requirements:
- All returned merchandise must be in resalable condition
- The product must be free from scratches and/or defects
- All merchandise cannot have been installed
- You must have the original packaging for the item
- There cannot be any writing or labels on the packaging for the item
- Packages must be sent back by customer via a traceable source, such as FedEx or UPS. Please do not use USPS
- All items must be returned with their assigned return authorization (RGA) number. Items returned without an RGA number may delay credit
An upscale home furnishing chain with both physical and online storefronts, Pottery Barn offers limited but high-end bathtub choices such as a 66-inch Obanta Freestanding bathtub, a Cerrillo 67-inch Clawfoot, and an Emryn 66-inch copper bathtub. Each bathtub can be finished in brushed nickel, accenting the luxurious aesthetic. Pottery barn offers a 30-day return policy with any of their bathtubs and a limited warranty on any defects concerning porcelain, cast iron, mineral cast, or acrylic. For those looking for a high-quality bathtub and price is no object, Pottery Barn provides exactly what you need.
All Modern is another retailer operated by Wayfair that offers bathtubs with modern and contemporary sensibilities in mind. Started in 2006, AllModern offers acrylic and solid surface tubs with freestanding, drop-in, alcove, and undermount installation types. This is in line with their modern design choice, ensuring that your bathtub is updated with modern styles. Similar to Wayfair, the advantage of All Modern is that you have a wide selection of bathtubs to choose from and a 30-day return policy. Remember that their return policy is a bit vague, making it difficult to return your products.
7 Additional tips for buying a new bathtub
Here are a few additional tips to consider when choosing a new bathtub for your home:
1. Understanding who will be using the bathtub
When purchasing a new bathtub, consider the bathtub’s user. Normal freestanding bathtubs and drop-in bathtubs might pose a challenge for young children and elderly due to their height and the potential of slipping on the material when it is wet. To combat this, installing non-slip surfaces or hand-holds can make your bathtub feel much safer. Additionally, you can also install steps or a small ladder to allow young children to access the bathtub. Lastly, there are several bathtub types such as walk-in and corner bathtubs that are designed for the elderly and smaller bathtubs are more kid-friendly.
2. How much space does your bathroom have?
When purchasing a new bathtub, it is important to consider the space available to you. Bathtubs are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes so it is important to find one that can actually fit in your bathroom. Freestanding bathtubs are the largest bathtub, but they carry the benefit that they can be installed anywhere, whereas drop-in bathtubs are technically smaller, but they require at least two adjacent walls to be installed. So before you go hunting for a new bathtub, measure out your appropriate space carefully to avoid any headaches.
3. How much weight can your floors hold?
Similar to your bathroom’s space, it is important to understand how secure your floor is. A full bathtub can weigh anywhere between 300-500 pounds so it is key that your floor can support that amount of weight. If you are unsure of how secure your floor is, consult a professional who will analyze the age and the material of your floor and can provide stress tests to give you an accurate range of how strong your flooring is.
4. Knowing the different Materials
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing a bathtub is the material it’s made out of. Different materials provide you with drastically different bathing experiences, installation considerations, resale values and durabilities. Cheaper material such as fiberglass and acrylic are easy to install, come in a wide variety of styles and colors but have poor durability and last anywhere between 20-30 years. More expensive material such as granite, cast-iron, stone-resin and copper are significantly pricier, but with proper care, can last 50-100 years or sometimes even several lifetimes.
5. Installation Considerations
Bathtubs are heavy objects and cumbersome to install. When choosing a bathtub, it is important to look at how it is installed in your home. As stated previously, freestanding bathtubs are remarkably easy to install as they can be placed anywhere in your home. A drop-in bathtub will always require a carved out recess and at least 2-3 adjacent walls, limiting their flexibility. Installation considerations will also affect removing and replacing your bathtub in the future, so it is best to consider your options carefully and choose a bathtub that is easier to install.
6. Understanding resale value
In general, the quality of your bathtub will ultimately affect the overall resale value. Resale value is dependent on the difficulty of install as well as the overall quality of the bathtub. Trends play a factor in this as well, with freestanding bathtubs being just as popular as drop-in bathtubs despite their ease of install. But, a golden rule to follow is that typically, the more expensive a bathtub is to install and purchase, the higher value and return you will get on resale.
7. Evaluating How comfortable the tub is
Your bathtub should always be a point of comfort in your bathroom. This will largely depend on the material and feel of your bathtub. This is why it is important to physically see your bathtub before you purchase it as it allows you to sit in it and relax. If you can’t sit in your bathtub and feel comfortable, then it may not be the right fit for you.
Buying a new bathtub can be an overwhelming and expensive undertaking, so it is important that you do the proper research and see which bathtub type and material is the right fit for you. There are a wide variety of different vendors available, many with great customer service policies, so don’t hesitate to see and feel these bathtubs in person so you can more easily choose the right fit for your home.
Eric is the founder and president of Badeloft USA. He has been the president of Badeloft’s US division for over ten years and oversees all marketing and branding aspects of Badeloftusa.com.
His expertise lies in small business development, sales, and home and bathroom industry trends and information.
Contact us with any business related inquiries.