March 8, 2010

Choosing a Tub for an Energy-Efficient Home

THE CONCORD GREEN HEALTHY HOME now has a lovely boat-style tub standing in the Master Bath.  It's framed by painted wainscot planking on the walls, and sandy large-format tiles on the floor, laid in an offset running bond pattern.  Tub filler by Porcher

The choices in tubs these days can be overwhelming.  Here are the criteria I used in selecting one for this eco-friendly home.

Material - If possible, I recommend purchasing a tub made from cast iron, a timeless material that has been prized over the years for its many benefits.  Better than enameled steel -- which conducts heat right out of your bath water -- cast iron will keep your bath toasty warm.  Plus, it will feel solid as you step in. Acrylic and fiberglass were avoided, which are both plastic, and prone to damage.   Cast iron is heavy, so be sure that your floor is sturdy enough to support the tub, the water and you.  It is also expensive -- look for vintage tubs (the best), or discontinued models to save money.

Shape - This tub's skinny shape provides the user with a deep soak experience while using a lot less water.  Plus, the boat style is a classic that suits the farmhouse architecture of the home.

Extra features - None.  Whirlpool jets and air jets were avoided, as they are high maintenance and become traps for mold.  Plus, those features add to your energy consumption load with every soak you take. 

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