What you need to know before installing a whirlpool tub

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Adding a whirlpool tub to your bathroom can instantly make it more elegant and luxurious. It can transform the room from a basic bathroom into a soothing spa for all to enjoy without even leaving your home. Alure’s bathroom designer Brian Curry explained everything you need to know before choosing and installing one in your own house.

Choose the right style for you
The good thing about a whirlpool tub is that it can typically be installed in any standard 5′ by 7′ or 5′ by 8′ bathroom without taking up too much space, noted Curry. You don’t need to have a large area or undergo a bathroom renovation to properly and comfortably fit one. That being said, you should choose one that fits your style as well as your budget.

“Much like a car, a whirlpool tub comes in a variety of sizes and offers many different features that affect how much it will cost you,” said Curry.

The actual whirlpool tub itself could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000, depending on what you’re looking for. When it comes to the cost of installation, it only costs about $200 to $300 more than a standard bath tub, and doesn’t typically vary based on the model you choose.

Decide how it will be used
If you only plan on using the tub recreationally, then any standard whirlpool tub will work. However, if you’re looking for more of a multipurpose tub that can also be used as your primary shower, the requirements and pricing will change slightly. In addition to your shower head, you’ll need to have a bath filler installed so you have the option of taking either a shower or a bath. Curry advised considering a Roman tub filler, which is basically a large faucet, that will fill the tub with water when you’re preparing a bath. Not only is it functional, but it’s also a way to make your tub appear more luxurious and add an element of elegance to your bathroom.

Another option is a bubble jetted tub. This type features many small pinholes on the bottom and sides of the tub, giving a relaxing effervescent effect. You may also use bath salts and other add ins with this type of bath whereas it is not recommended with the traditional whirlpool jets.

Consider your electricity
While you may not think the electricity you use has any effect on your whirlpool tub, it actually plays a larger role than you think. According to Curry, you may want to consider upgrading your electric service so your new whirlpool tub runs properly and has its own GFCI circuit that’s separate from everything else. If you live in a much older home, you might not have sufficient amp service to run your whirlpool tub. A certified installer will be able to judge whether your home is capable of properly running a whirlpool tub with your current service or if it needs an upgrade.

Should the GFCI circuit detect any water, it will automatically shut off, disabling the tub temporarily, noted Curry. However, even with this safety feature, you should practice caution when using your tub, and keep it far from low-hanging lights and other forms of electricity.

Clean appropriately
As you’ve probably heard, whirlpool tubs can be a breeding ground for bacteria. However, cleaning it regularly with vinegar should keep germs at bay, noted Curry. If you’re especially concerned, try opting for a higher-end tub model, which could include a self-cleaning feature. Running the self-cleaner every now and then keeps your tub from harboring bacteria and can extend its lifetime.