There are many types, styles sizes and accessories associated with bathtubs. I always thought bathtubs were pretty boring until I started researching for a remodeling project. We currently have an old, white, cast iron bathtub that is built against a wall with no surround or curtain, not even a shower curtain liner. Not very decorative, but functional.
When purchasing a bathtub, one of the options available is a whirlpool bathtub. They can be equipped with either air jets or water jets. This was confusing to me, as I have always thought they were the same thing and used a different system. Not true – not all whirlpools are created equal!
In the past, the whirlpool bath was available only with water jets. Now you can get them equipped with either water jets or as air jet bathtubs. Let’s explore the difference.
It was my thought that water jets just shoot water at you; however, they do more than that. The design of water jets allow them to force water through four to eight large jets that swivel and open and close to readily adjust water pressure.
Extra jets can be add to your tub so that they specifically target your feet, upper back and or neck. A more vigorous massage is achieved while you also get a soothing soak at the same time. This technique supplies a more therapeutic massage. A much welcomed relief at the end of a stressful day at the office!
The air jet bathtubs supply a soothing, all-over bubbling environment by propelling air through dozens of small holes. Air jets do not recirculate the water the way water jets do, thus allowing you to add bath salts, scents and oils to your tub without the danger of contaminating your system. Typically, the air jet system is considered easier to clean and maintain.
There are many options available on both styles. Some of these include motors with different horsepowers, independent water heaters, basins made of different materials, slip resistant finishes, safety rails and shutoffs just to mention a few.
Most tubs are equipped with a one or two horsepower motor. The two two horsepower variable flow motor is considered to be the best because it muses less energy and provides more power.
An independent water heater ensures that your tub is filled with hot water and the temperature is maintained throughout your bath.
The tub basin can be made from cast iron, acrylic or fiberglass. Cast iron is long-lasting and high end, but is especially heavy. You need to make sure your floor can support it. Acrylic comes in any size, shape and color and is by far the most versatile. Fiberglass is the least expensive and the easiest to install.
Now that you know the difference between the water and air jet bathtubs, you can easily decide which whirlpool you want, select your options and soak your way to a stress-free nirvana – happy bathing!