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Article posted: 9/15/2013 1:02 AM

Is a free-standing tub a good idea?

Free-standing baths are self-supporting bath tubs that are finished on all sides with no need to add wood framing.

Free-standing baths are self-supporting bath tubs that are finished on all sides with no need to add wood framing.

 

Courtesy of Kohler

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By Ed Del Grande

Q. After years of saving our money and waiting for our children to move out, my wife and I plan to turn one of our extra bedrooms into a large bathroom. We're going high-end and want to install a big free-standing bathtub right in the middle of the bathroom. Before we start looking at different models, what basic information can you give us about free-standing bathtubs?

A. A "free-standing" bathtub is pretty much what the name says. Free-standing baths are self-supporting tubs that are finished on all sides with no need to add wood framing. Basically, you put them into place and install the plumbing. The old cast-iron claw-foot tubs were the first example of a free-standing bath.

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While you can still get free-standing tubs made with cast iron, solid-surface acrylic is quickly becoming the material of choice. This new heavy-duty material offers comfort, value and beauty, since it can be formed to fit any style. Also, solid-surface acrylic is available in a rainbow of colors and is very easy to clean and maintain.

Just remember, though, that with any free-standing tub, you do need to install a separate showering area since these tubs are designed for soaking only.

Bottom line: While a free-standing bath will add a decorative splash to the bathroom, you don't want it splashing water all over your floor!

• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eddelgrande@cs.com.

Scripps Howard News Service

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