Early copper plumbing systems which date back to around 3300BC, where discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Indus Valley civilization beneath the palace. On the Isle of Crete a 1.5 meter pedestal tub was discovered, of which was made from hardened pottery. The first cast iron bath tubs were manufactured in 1883, and were basically horse troughs, that had four legs attached and served as freestanding baths.
It was only in the late 20th century that the claw foot tub appeared with a small apron front built in. The claw foot was considered stylish and was much easier to clean and maintain. In 1928 sanitary companies started introducing a selection of design options as well as various colour options, which almost led to the demise of the ball and claw style tubs. As the designs progressed, bathtubs then started having waste and overflow drains and then taps were mounted on the tub.
Free Standing, Sunken or Built-In Bath Tubs
Most bathtubs were commonly white, until more recently where baths designs became available in various different shapes, designs and colours. The two most common styles are the western style where a bather can lie down in the bath, and an eastern style which is deep and short and the bather has to stand up and bath. During the early expansion of bathrooms, freestanding tubs became the most popular choice which caused a rivalry between the various manufacturers.
Over time, the freestanding tubs were ousted and replaced with installation tubs, which in turn made freestanding baths even more popular. These baths were considered a remarkable improvement as opposed to the washing troughs that resembled barrels, although they were still being used during this time. However, freestanding tubs with clawed feet became a trademark and also gained popularity.
Currently these types of tubs are still prevalent and popular today, and one of the most popular are those made from wood which are included in the most exclusive ranges currently offered on the market today. Wooden tubs provide the ultimate in luxury, and many people are purchasing these tubs to increase their personal taste and sense of well being.
Transform Your Bathroom into a Luxury Haven
In addition to wood, tubs are also made from materials such as exmar, petroluce, corian, natural stone, varicor and concrete. Just like wood these materials are also considered luxurious and special, and the choice will all depend on the person’s style and taste. For more affordable options, freestanding tubs are also made from less expensive materials.
Freestanding options are extraordinary as they offer more freedom and enhance the bathroom. One cannot even begin to compare a traditional tub with a freestanding tub as it would be like trying to compare the sea with a swimming pool. These types of bathtubs embody a certain personality and charm, which is the reason for them being exceptional popular.
Decades ago, the claw foot bathtub was considered a luxury and were made from cast iron and lined with porcelain. Nowadays these same tubs are made from modern materials such as acrylic and fibreglass, although they require a lot more water than the traditional bathtub. The western style new production tubs also now include showerheads. There are five popular claw foot styles available on the market.
Classic Roll Rim, Flat Rim or Roll Top Tubs
Pedestal tubs do not come with clawed feet as the tub is suspended on a pedestal which is considered art deco of which dates back to 1000BC. There are also slipper bathtubs that have a raised slope at one end that allows for a more comfortable lying position. There are double slipper bathtubs that are sloped and raised on both ends. Double ended bathtubs are rounded at both ends of which one is flatter than the other.
However, tubs that are freestanding also come with pros and cons as these baths are fairly large and require adequate space all round. They should not be placed in a corner, as it will make cleaning and maintenance difficult. You will also have to take into consideration if the floor and plumbing is able to take the weight, as these tubs are a lot heavier than traditional tubs.