Chicago Bathroom Remodeling: Are Jetted Tubs Going Out of Style?

Posted by Ron Nanberg on Wed, Jun 1, 2016

Chicago Bathroom Design - Jetted TubsUsually, we write about trending Chicago bathroom remodeling features. While our recommendations are largely based on our own experience with buyers and their preferences, we also rely on data supplied by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

So, it's ironic that this time around, we're bringing you insight into a bathroom feature that is losing steam in the bathroom remodeling world: The Whirlpool Tub.

Soak Tubs & Air Jets Are Replacing Whirlpool Tubs in Popularity

In a recent NAHB survey directed at home builders, whirlpool tubs made the list of Top 10 Features Least Likely to Be Installed in a Home. That being said, soaking stubs and spa-like master bathroom designs are still trending. So, what does that say about the whirlpool tub?

Well, there are a few things that have caused jetted tubs to decline in popularity.

  1. Luxury showers are on the rise. Firstly, luxury shower designs are on the rise. Homeowners who determined their jetted tubs weren't being used enough to justify the extra space they consume have decided to upgrade their showers instead. Similarly, many bathtub fanatics have found that while they enjoy the soak, the jets are superfluous. Instead, owners install a freestanding soak tub and then enhance their shower with multiple shower heads and steam shower functions.

  2. Jetted tubs are bulky. Jetted tubs require more plumbing and electrical work than a freestanding soak tub. Thus, the tubs require more space and a platform or case that is built around them to hide all the extra internal parts. If bathroom space is at all a concern, or if homeowners prefer a more minimalist, modern look, then jetted tubs are a detriment. Freestanding tubs come in a range of designs and profiles so you can have either a traditional or streamlined look, depending on your style preference.

  3. Performance issues. The more mechanical elements are involved, the more maintenance will be required throughout a feature's lifetime. Plus, there are other performance issues associated with jetted tubs. For one thing, the use of bath oils, salts and bubble bath is often limited. Also, many bathers find the noise level associated with the jet function detracts from the reality of a peaceful soak. Finally, Jacuzzi tubs are known to develop leaks - and those leaks can lead to wide-scale damage in interior wall spaces if they aren't tended to immediately. While this is largely related to the bathroom remodeler you select, it's still a risk, and one many homeowners choose to forego.

All that aside: Your Preference is the priority, regardless of what the trend setters or the folks at NAHB say. If you are someone who takes a bath more often than not and loves the feel of jets, then go for it. However, if the "idea" of a jetted tub is appealing, but you aren't 100% sure whether you'd use it on a regular basis, it may not be worth the extra expense.

Not sure if a jetted tub is the right move for your Chicago bathroom remodeling project? Visit Kitchens & Baths Unlimited and we'll work with you to determine which bath tub style makes the most sense for your lifestyle.

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Topics: Bathroom Remodeling

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