The freestanding tub has come a long way. Just 10 years ago you could stumble across the old-fashioned, wild-west kind with the cast iron, lion claw feet. You and four friends could even lift one end of it. They were a lucky find at transfer stations or even on street corners in old Toronto neighborhoods. Collectors and renovators looking for authenticity simply had to peel off the “FREE” sign and take her away. Good luck finding a true vintage one curbside now.
Molded Freestanding Tubs Are What’s “In”
Today there are thousands of sleek and stylish designs to choose from. Molded freestanding tubs are making their mark as the cool feature to have in a brand new bathroom renovation or in custom homes. They are elegant, can be timeless, and always stand out as a central design element.
Accentuating the ahhh factor is a plethora of choices when it comes to fixturing. Long, graceful stainless steel or brushed nickel stems with coiled shower heads rising from hidden connections. The look is dramatic and fun and you can create just about any vibe you want.
The Tub That’s One Step Ahead!
Taking first prize in the fun vibe category is this tub by Bathroom Galleries (www.bathroomgalleries.com). A traffic stopper at this year’s Home Show in Toronto, this shoe-shaped tub was the talk of the floor. At our Alair Homes booth we had people asking us if we’d seen the ‘shoe tub’ – “It’s a high heel! You gotta check it out!” So, off I went… and sure enough, they had a high heel tub.
The shoe part of the design may have been a little clunky for the cover of Vogue but people were suggesting that they should send one over to the Bata Shoe Museum. I snapped a pic and sent it to my wife. It then got sent around through social media. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was trending on Twitter (OK, that might be a stretch). In any event, people were stopping. Many even lay in it. Some thought it was over the top. Others thought it was a riot. I got chatting with the Bathroom Galleries guys who let me in on a little secret… the tub was a bit of a prototype and they didn’t think it was going to fly. Feeling a bit sheepish, they even debated putting it on the floor. By late afternoon the shoe tub got shifted to front and centre. By day two I think they had orders for three of them (at something like $5000 a pop). Nobody’s sheepish about the shoe now.
When planning that new bathroom make sure you check out your options with a knowledgeable bath expert and take the time to visit some showrooms and websites to nail down what you really like, what you want from a functionality standpoint, and what works within your budget. While a shoe may not be your thing, you don’t want to miss out what the industry has to offer.
Dave Young, Alair Homes Aurora