Master Bathroom Renovation and Bathtubs

As you may or may not know, we are planning to renovate our master bathroom this year. It has scope-creeped somewhat from the original “Bathroom” concept, but we’ve now capped the project at a size that we think will be doable and worth the pain.

Our current project now extends from the master bathroom to including expanding the window in the master bedroom from it’s current 4 foot width to about 12 feet, replacing the counters in both bathrooms and the kitchen with Silestone. Adding a couple of extra pot lights in the kitchen and living room, and adding a new fixture in the dining area.

Excluded from the plans, to go on our Someday/Maybe list, are the replacement of the remaining carpets in the house with wood flooring, replacement of the remaining windows in the house and… and… and… the list goes on. Every time you touch something, there is a domino effect for things that you really should also touch “while you’re there”.

Right now we’re hung up on bathtubs. There are lots of bathtubs out there but very few that we really like. It seems that *most* offerings include water jet jacuzzi technologies. I’ve had a whirlpool bath before and I not only disliked it, I hated it. If the jets are not running, the water in the pipes gets cold fast and then any movement in the tub causes the cold water to flow in to be replaced by the still comfortably warm water that you’re soaking in. If you turn them on, any part of your body that is near the jets goes numb after a few minutes. It also make it tough to read anything that you don’t want to completely destroy as the effervescing caused by the air you introduce to the jet stream to delay the numbness from the jets naturally soaks everything in the vicinity.

Ideally I’d like something that just causes the water in the tub to circulate á la magnetoheterodyne (see “The Hunt for Red October” if you don’t know what this is.). Anyway, the closest it looks like we’re going to get is a “soaker tub”.

Holy cow it’s difficult to find one of these that a) Fits into a 5 foot alcove, b) is *designed* for an alcove – most are free standing which means you have to mess around with adhesive-based flanges to protect your bathroom walls and c) have any depth to the water – sure the *tub* may be deep, but then the overflow is halfway down the tub wall. I’d really like to be able to keep both my chest and my knees under water at the same time…

Anyway, we’ve pretty much settled on the American Standard Lifetime Soaker tub (I’m providing a link ’cause it’s amazing how hard these bathtub sites are to navigate). American Standard is our front-runner ’cause of their uniquely high overflow drain. Unfortunately, they do not offer anything in this line without the whirlpool options. Here is their comparable, flanged unit but with no “soaker only” option.

These are not life-making-or-breaking issues, but I’ve decided to try to do this project by getting the stuff I want, rather than my usual approach of a) doing all sorts of research to see what works best for me and then b) buying whatever the store has available ’cause the items I want and that are recommended are never available outside of a consumer’s reports lab someplace on the West coast.

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