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How to Build a Custom Tub in 10 Steps in 2024

Choosing the right bathtub for your home can be exhausting and tedious. Many bathtubs today tend to be the same color, the same general design and have little flexibility in materials and style. So why not build your own bathtub instead? A custom bathtub allows you to choose what materials you want to use, choose a style that is appropriate for your home and can greatly add to the resale value of your home.

Today, we will outline 10 easy steps to consider before building a custom bathtub for your home.  

Modern Bathroom with City Skyline

1. Find Bathtub Inspiration

When building a custom bathtub, it is important to find inspiration and bathtub ideas from other sources. Other bathtubs can provide you with a basic blueprint of what you want or need for your bathroom. This can range from a large or small freestanding tub to a more complex drop-in design or material inspiration such as natural stone or wood. If you do not find bathtub inspirations from the offset of your project, then you should purchase a standard bathtub as it can easily suit your needs just fine.

But for those looking to create a custom bathtub, it is best to draw inspiration from different sources. So peruse different websites, look at social media and get a grasp on what sort of bathtub you want before you start.

2. Know what bathtub materials are best

Now that you have figured out the style of bathtub you want, you should research materials. Bathtub materials dictate how a bathtub looks, feels and how it is maintained throughout its lifetime. Quality material requires less cleaning and maintenance whereas cheaper material is prone to warping, rusting and deterioration if not properly cleaned and maintained. It is for this reason that you should choose an appropriate material for your custom bathtub. This material needs to be durable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing to you, so it is highly advised you do not skip this step.

Higher end bathtub materials include wood, copper, and stone resin or composite materials. It is recommended that you choose a high quality material for your bathtub as it is much more durable, has better heat retention and ultimately will have a longer lifespan than cheaper material bathtubs such as Acrylic or Fiberglass. 

3. Research Reputable bathtubs brands

With your style and material chosen, it is now time to look at reputable bathtub brands. There are many bathtub brands on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Kohler and American standard for example, are both reputable companies that create mass market bathtub styles. Their products are designed and created to appeal to a wide diversity of audiences with broad wants and needs. Because of this, either of these two companies would make a poor fit for a custom bathtub as the color, material and style options will be severely limited.

For this reason, it is key that you research different companies to better understand what materials and bathtub styles they excel at. Similarly, researching reputable companies can also provide better insight on what works and what does not work for your bathtub. 

4. Finalize the type of bathtub to customize.

With many aspects of your bathtub picked out, you may now finalize your design and bathtub. Finalizing your design will not only provide you with a better understanding of what you are going to need for a new bathtub, but also help in determining your measurements and the plumbing required to make your new bathtub work. Additionally, based on what type of bathtub you choose, you may need to provide accommodations in your bathroom such as flush or raised decor to drop your bathtub in or reinforced floors to support a heavier bathtub. 

5. Determine the size of your bathtub

With many logistical elements sorted, you can now determine what size your bathtub is. Small bathtubs are the most affordable option and the easiest to install, but their resale value and functionality is lower when compared to a large sized bathtub. This step will ultimately depend on the size of your bathroom and what you can afford to fit in your bathroom. So consider your priorities for your bathroom before you determine the size of your bathtub.

6. Take Bathroom measurements

Before designing your bathtub, you need to take appropriate bathroom measurements. By measuring your bathroom, you have a better understanding of the space available to you and what size bathtub you can fit in it. If you need a raised pedestal for your bathtub, measurements also help you plan out the space better so you can better accommodate everything you need for your bathroom. Before any construction or renovations take place, understanding your bathroom’s measurements is key to ensure that everything fits properly before you reach a point of no return. 

7. Test bathroom flooring for heavier tubs

Bathtubs are remarkably heavy objects especially when they are filled with water. A full bathtub on average will weigh between 200-500 pounds depending on the size and the fullness of the bathtub. Deeper bathtubs means that the tub can hold more water than traditional sizes which can be problematic for your flooring.

So before you purchase a bathtub, be sure to test out your flooring to ensure that it can support the bathtub when it is filled with water. If it cannot, then you will need to reinforce it to ensure that it can hold the excess weight to prevent any damages or dangerous accidents. 

8. Confirm Proper plumbing is in place

Proper plumbing is a must in any bathroom. If your pipes are not properly aligned, not only will you not have a steady stream of pressurized water, but you may create leaks that can lead to further damages down the road. Before you build a custom bathtub, it is best to space out your bathroom and inspect all your plumbing to ensure that it is up to code. If it is not up to code, the city you are residing in can make your life a nightmare with violations and fees, so it is in your best interest to ensure that your plumbing is in place. If you are unsure of how to approach this step, hire a professional to walk through your bathroom with you. 

9. Consider working with a professional for installation

A professional can provide added insight into any project. Although the price may seem steep, their experience can provide you with appropriate advice on what you need for your bathtub and they can install it for you which is much easier than DIY. Additionally, now that you have spent significant time and money on making a custom bathtub, you don’t want to risk damaging it or making any mistakes during the install process, so it is best to consult a professional. The professional will ensure that the plumbing works and they can inspect your flooring during installation.

10. Add Custom Tile, Surrounds and Décor

With your bathtub installed, you can now begin to beautify the space to make it more inhabitable and attractive. Consider adding a custom tile pattern that helps match the decor and design of the bathtub. Blending aspects of a bathtub’s color and material, you can make the tile blend seamlessly with the rest of your bathroom. And after your walls and floor are done, you can consider additional decor such as lights that highlight focal points, decor such as art or sculptures and mirrors to help tie in the rest of your bathroom

Why you should consider a custom bathtub

 Below are some of the reasons why you should consider building a custom bathtub for your home:

Personal Preference

Many bathtubs on the market share a general uniformity-many are white, drop-in bathtubs made from acrylic. If you want diversity or maybe even a different material, it may be difficult to find a company that can offer what you want in a bathtub. A custom bathtub can allow you to create a bathtub that suits your style and preferences, whether it be material or color. 

Be on Trend

As stated previously, many bathtubs are made to appeal to a mass market. You can be ahead of the trend by constructing something that is unique, using different material than what is offered on the market. Wooden bathtubs are considered quite a luxury due to their rarity and rustic appeal. For many people, having a unique bathtub can create a new trend, making your bathroom and your home instantly more appealing.  

Conforms to your current bathroom style

A custom bathtub is a guaranteed way to ensure that your bathtub conforms to your current style. With many bathtubs on the market appearing so ubiquitous, it can be difficult to find a bathtub that matches your specific aesthetic and needs. A custom bathtub does away with this and provides an outlet for which you can be creative in choosing what fits into your bathroom. 

Resale Value

As stated previously, a wooden bathtub is considered to be quite a luxury due to its unique qualities and aesthetic appeal. A custom bathtub will always be worth more than a mass produced bathtub as it is unique and carries individual charm. If you are looking to add more resale value to your home, consider a custom bathtub.

A custom bathtub is a great way to express the individual style of your home and bathroom. Since many bathtubs are ubiquitous and share many of the same materials, it can grow very monotonous to add more of the same to your home. With a custom bathtub, you can create a bathtub with better materials and build a style that suits your home’s needs. 

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