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What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Wooden Bathtub?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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A wooden bathtub gives any bathroom a rich, unique look. Like other types of bathtubs, wooden bathtubs have their pros and cons. A wood bathtub makes a beautiful addition to any bathroom, and they can often be made following a consumer's specifications. On the other hand, these tubs are often much more expensive than other bathtubs, and the wood used may warp or crack over time.

Natural beauty and uniqueness are a couple of the biggest reasons that some homeowners would choose a wooden bathtub. The natural grain of the wood is often its biggest asset. Sometimes a manufacturer will stain the wood dark, rich colors, but other times the wood will simply be sealed, allowing the natural color to shine through.

Because wood is often easily worked with, a wooden bathtub can often be made in any size or shape. Wooden tubs are often much larger and deeper than other tubs. This often makes for a luxurious soaking experience.

The hefty price tag of installing a wooden bathtub is often one reason that a consumer will shy away from it. They can often cost thousands of US dollars. Cast iron, fiberglass, and acrylic-coated steel tubs often offer a much more economical choice. Old salvaged wooden bathtubs, on the other hand, may only require nothing but labor. These are a rare find, however.

Because water sitting on wood can cause serious damage, it is likely that a wooden bathtub will not last as long as other types of bathtubs. Excessive moisture can cause wood to split, crack, warp, or rot over time. Many manufacturers recommend using a wooden bathtub at least once a week to prevent it from drying out. Some may think of this more of an advantage, however, rather than a disadvantage of a wooden bathtub.

Many modern wooden tubs are treated with a number of coats of sealer, and some are covered with coats of clear fiberglass. To prevent this clear coating from getting scratched or dull, special care must be taken. When cleaning a wooden bathtub, an abrasive cleaner should never be used. Scratching the surface not only causes it to look dingy, but it can also lead to water penetrating to the wood. Also, harsh chemicals should be avoided.

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