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posted: 9/15/2013 1:02 AM

Is a free-standing tub a good idea?

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  • 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

 
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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