Test tubs for proper size before purchase

DEAR DEBBIE: I’d like some ideas for my bath renovation. I love baths, not showers, and I’ve started looking for the perfect bathtub. Any suggestions? I’m going for an all-white room; I find it soothing, not boring. — Claudette.

DEAR CLAUDETTE: I once did a street survey to see what people preferred, a bath or a shower. There were more shower people, but what was interesting was that people were very adamant about what they liked. Comments that included “Oh, I won’t get into a bath,” or “I hate showers; they remind me of locker rooms!” left little doubt that this was a clear and definite decision. You are a bath person, so the most important part of your renovation should revolve around that.

There are a few pointers when making your selection.

Shop in person if at all possible. The best test is to get into the tub and see if it’s the right size and/or shape for you. Check out the length, depth, inner curves, faucet and plug placement, and, for whirlpools, nozzle angles should conform to your body. Don’t be shy; the stores actually expect you to do this.

The trend is the bigger bath, with all the bells and whistles. Some tubs are enormous, but if it’s too wide, you’ll be floating around instead of relaxing.

The most common tubs today are acrylic and fiberglass. The finish is smooth, warm and easy to clean.

Enamel-coated cast-iron tubs are still being manufactured. They feel more solid, but their weight must be taken into consideration with regard to floor support and hefting it into the bathroom.

The latest styles show stone and tile tubs, which are very spalike, but they can be cold. They take a lot of water to fill and the stone cools the water down quickly.

Enjoy planning your bathroom renovation. It’s a costly undertaking and most of us only get a chance to do it once, so take the time to get it just the way you want it.

You can’t go wrong with an all-white theme. However, there are many shades of white; be careful that tub, sink and toilet match, as white can vary from one manufacturer to another.

Mosaic tiles are once again very popular. They have been applied to the walls and floor of the bathroom shown here. A hint of color can be added to the grout to create a gentle contrast.

Rounded mirrors and smooth curves soften the ambiance, finished brilliantly by a sparkling chandelier over the tub.

DEAR DEBBIE: I am going to paint my bathroom in the basement, which is my husband’s place. He would like it blue. I love the color, but I know that blue is not a warm color. There are no windows, and the floor tiles are white. Is there such a thing as a warm blue color? Or any other suggestions would be truly appreciated. — Sheila.

DEAR SHEILA: You’re right; blue can be a very cool color. But you can please your husband and find a shade that won’t give you the chills. Cornflower blue has the tiniest tint of red in it. Not as warm as lilac, but not as cold as powder blue, it’s one of my favorites. This is a warm, friendly color that looks great with fresh-white trim.

To build up masculine appeal, accent with slate-gray or navy towels, or be daring with an olive green. It will all look wonderful with the fresh-white floor tiles. For a warmer light, choose bulbs with a yellow rather than a pure-white hue.

Debbie Travis is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. E-mail questions to her at house2home@debbietravis.com.

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