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How do I Choose the Best Jetted Bathtub?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 16, 2024
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The two most common types of jetted bathtub are air-circulated tubs and water-circulated tubs. An air-circulated jetted bathtub will feature massaging jets that force air into the water, while water-circulated jetted bathtub models will push water through the jets to create the massaging feel. Each type of tub has advantages and disadvantages, as well as price differences according to size and extra features. Before choosing which one is right for you, consider how much space you have in your bathroom for a tub as well as your overall budget for purchasing and installing the tub unit in your bathroom.

Once you have determined your budget and size requirements, determine which jetted bathtub system will work best for you. Water-circulated jetted bathtub units force water through the jets, which propel the water into the main body of water in which you will bathe. This system keeps the water warmer for a longer period of time, and the massaging motion of the water is likely to be much stronger than air jets. Such tubs will, however, require much more maintenance and cleaning, though some water jetted bathtub units now feature self-cleaning options. You will not be able to use bath salts or oily soaps such as bubble bath in such tubs, as these chemicals can clog the jets as oil builds up.

Air jetted bathtub units will allow you to use bubble bath and other oily soaps, as well as bath salts, since the water will not circulate through the pumps, causing buildup. Air jets will, however, cool the water more quickly, which means your bathing time may be shortened or you may have to refill the tub with warm water while using the tub unit. Air jetted tubs also do not create as strong of a massaging motion as water tubs do, though the maintenance requirements will be much lower on an air tub and the tub is likely to be less expensive than a water jetted tub.

Consider the materials used to make the shell of the tub as well. Fiberglass and acrylic are the two more common types of materials used for tub shells, though other materials are available. Fiberglass is likely to be less expensive, but it is easily damaged and the color will fade over time. The coating over the fiberglass can also wear out after time, potentially leading to water damage beneath the tub. Acrylic will be more expensive, but it is more durable and long-lasting than fiberglass.

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Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By John57 — On Aug 05, 2011

We have an air jet bathtub in our master bathroom and I really don't care for it too much. When I want a good long soak in a tub, I want to enjoy hot water for as long as possible.

With this tub, the water doesn't stay warm very long. I find that I have to keep adding hot water so it stays warm enough to stay in it for very long.

If I have a good book with me when I am ready for a long hot bath, this gets to be very annoying. I think I would like a water circulated jet tub which would keep the water warmer longer.

By andee — On Aug 04, 2011

I have talked to several people who have jetted bathtubs, and it seems like many people use them very little. My parents have one in their bathroom and I don't think either one of them have ever used it.

We decided to buy a hot tub instead of having a jetted tub installed in our home. It is bigger and although it takes more maintenance, we use it a lot more than we would have used a bathtub.

My husband works construction, so there are many times after a long day that he likes to soak in the hot tub. Many of the jetted bathtubs are not big enough to fully stretch out in and a hot tub is much more comfortable for him.

By LisaLou — On Aug 04, 2011

When we moved in to our home a few years ago, there was a water circulated jet tub in the master bathroom that was already installed.

I was quite excited about this because I had never had one before and thought we would get quite a bit of use out of it. This was a corner bathtub that was a nice size but didn't take up a lot of extra room in the bathroom.

We have not used it nearly as much as we thought we would. Part of the problem is it takes so much water to fill it above the jets that by the time it is full, you have run out of hot water. The only way I know how to fix this is to get a bigger water heater.

My idea of soaking in a tub with cool water is not what I had in mind when I thought of enjoying this jetted bathtub.

By lonelygod — On Aug 04, 2011

If you can afford to spend a little extra on your home renovation I would recommend budgeting to install a water-circulated jetted bathtub made out of acrylic. These tubs are fantastic and they really keep the water hot throughout your bath.

We were sold on a more expensive tub because of the extended warranty that came with it that included ongoing service. We really wanted to purchase something that would have a long life so we wouldn't have to remodel the bathroom for many years to come.

Our bathtub warranty also allowed us to get better home insurance against water damage. This is something you should look into if you are considering the installation of a jetted tub.

By Azuza — On Aug 03, 2011

@SZapper - My parents have a jetted bathtub in their house and I am so jealous! They opted to get the water circulated kind though.

My stepfather has a bad back, so they really wanted the stronger jets. They also don't mind doing the maintenance, so it worked out to be a good choice for them.

By SZapper — On Aug 03, 2011

I used to have an air jetted tub in a house I rented. It was great! It was kind of annoying that the water got cold so quickly. However, I think it was a worthwhile trade off for being able to take a bubble bath!

I was really sad when I moved out of that house-most apartments in my price range don't come with anything as fancy as a jetted bathtub!

By Sara007 — On Aug 03, 2011

For my home I went with the air jetted bathtub because it was a lot cheaper than a water-circulated jetted bathtub and I couldn't imagine giving up my ability to have bubble baths.

When I went to the store to purchase the bathtub for our home I was overwhelmed by the number of options. A good idea to keep yourself from being in the same situation is to scope out your options online before you head into the store.

We were lucky enough to have a really knowledgeable staff member help us with our choice. The most important thing is to set your budget before you head into the store because there are so many gorgeous tubs for sale.

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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