Whirlpool tub can fit small bathroom

DESIGN LINE

August 14, 1994|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I'd love to install a whirlpool tub in my master bathroom, but most of the ads I've seen for that type of equipment show a tub sunken into the floor or elevated on a marble platform. Not only can't I afford marble, my bathroom isn't large enough to accommodate the steps that seem necessary to get in and out of these tubs. Are there less expensive and more compact ways to install a whirlpool bath?

A: Sure there are. Some tubs are only 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, and can easily fit into most master bathrooms. It's the generous and lavish surround in those ads that creates the impression that only luxury-sized bathrooms can handle whirlpool tubs.

Marble isn't a required material, either. As the photo shows, a wonderful look can be achieved by using ceramic tile as the surfacing for the deck or platform.

You'll also notice that the tub pictured has no steps. And why should it? Even the deepest model can be fitted into a platform no taller than normal seating height. The tub can comfortably be entered either by stepping over the deck or by sitting on it and then swinging your legs in.

Meanwhile, you can give the bathroom an elegant look through the clever use of form, detail and color. Consider a round or oval-shaped tub, such as the one shown here from the Kohler Co. The tub could then be accompanied on the platform and nearby walls by larger than usual ceramic tiles. Bigger squares help make a space appear larger, especially if the tile is in a light color blending with the tub insert. Make the grouting the same color as the tiles.

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