According to a recent bathroom trends report from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), 64% of surveyed NKBA designers specify soaking tubs in master bathrooms, with 42% expecting that trend to accelerate in 2014. Preferences, NKBA says, are leaning toward free-standing and non-jetted tubs, and manufacturers are happy to oblige. But fear not! If you're looking for built-in tubs or whirlpool effects, there are still plenty of options.
Lending a soft silhouette to the bath, MTI's Designer Collection now include the oval-shapred Parisian with flowing curves. Complementing the bold exterior is an ergonomically designed interior of curved backrests and available air bath technology. The Parisian is available with a number of options including MTI Radiance, a heating system that warms the interior of the tub surface for increased comfort and relaxation, or chromatherapy provided by underwater LED lighting. Available only in high-gloss white Lucite cast acrylic, choose from two sizes measuring 65 1/5 inches long and 32 inches wide, or a larger version at 71 1/4 inches long and 34 3/4 inches wide. Both sizes have a 23-inch depth. MTI | 800.783.8827 | mtibaths.com
Flowing lines and a finely finished surface makes the Evanescence bath an elegant focal point, even in a compact size. The tub is part of BainUltra's ThermoMasseur category of therapeutic baths featuring hydro-thermo massage designed to promote mind and body relaxation, relieve back pain, and improve circulation. Models featuring ThermaSens chromatherapy and thermotherapy are also available. Evanescence baths are available in rectangular or oval shapes each measuring 66 inches long and 28 inches deep; they are 34 or 36 inches wide, respectively. The inner shell's design lets bathers comfortably recline for full body immersion with backrests to support the head and nape of the neck. BainUltra | 800.463.2187 | bainultra.com
An Edwardian design with modern-day benefits come together in Victoria + Albert's Wessex tub. Made from Englishcast, Victoria + Albert's composition of finely ground volcanic limestone mixed with high-performance resins, the tub offers the elegance and visual weight of a cast iron tub, and is even cast is a single seamless form. Unlike cast iron, the Englishcast has inherent insulating properties, so water stays warm longer with less topping off, and no shock of cold for bathers entering the tub. The stain-resistnat material also is can be personalized with faux finishes or custom paint. Wessex measures 59 7/8 inches long, 30 1/8 inches wide, and 15 3/4 inches deep. Victoria + Albert | 800.421.7189 | vandabaths.com
Clean lines and a striking rectangular shape help the Stargaze bath become a focal point in any bathroom. The ergonomic design increases the length of the bathing well and offers lumber support at each end of the tub. Choose from a straight shroud design resembling a straight-sided bath installation, or a fluted shroud offering a more tailored look. The bath also features a wide deck along one side to help simplify faucet placement and installation and provide extra support for users entering and leaving the bath. Available in white or biscuit, in 66- or 72-inch lengths. Kohler | 800.456.4537 | kohler.com
Aquatic's new incarnation of hydrotherapy, Driftbath, provides a gentle and soothing bathing experience. Available on select Serenity Series models, which also include soakers, hot soak tubs, and air baths, DriftBath has dozens of water-only ports located in the backrest and foot areas of the bathing well. Each port individually releases a delicate ribbon of moving water, all of which flow in the same direction to form a soft current. In contrast to typical turbulent whirlpools and air baths, DriftBath simulates the effect of sitting in a calm stream. Aquatic | 800.945.2726 | aquaticbath.com