HERE IS A LITTLE SECRET THAT YOU may or may not already know: Most people who buy a house with a whirlpool tub use it infrequently even though it may be one of the primary reasons they bought the house in the first place. That unscientific finding says a lot about home buyers, but it says even more about the tub.

Few features in a house are a bigger draw than a whirlpool tub. And the products are hotter than ever. Whirlpools are about comfort and relaxation and luxury, says Shelly Roberts, marketing communications manager for Lasco Bathware in Anaheim, Calif. People love the products even though they don't always have the time to use them, she explains.

Though traditional whirlpool tubs are still very popular, consumers now have another tub option: air technology. Unlike traditional whirlpools, these new tubs circulate bursts of air from tiny holes located at the bottom or side of the tub. “Air tubs give bathers a softer all-over feeling,” says Roberts, as opposed to traditional jets, which give a more vigorous massage.

CHOICE WORKS: Builder's Choice tubs offer high-end features with an affordable price tag, the manufacturer says. Created from seven of the most popular Builder's Choice tub styles, the line is now equipped with a dual air bubbler and whirlpool system. Made from durable Lucite cast acrylic, the tubs are available in a range of sizes, colors, and styles such as rectangular designs and two-person corner units. Lasco Bathware. 800-877-2005. www.lascobathware.com.
CHOICE WORKS: Builder's Choice tubs offer high-end features with an affordable price tag, the manufacturer says. Created from seven of the most popular Builder's Choice tub styles, the line is now equipped with a dual air bubbler and whirlpool system. Made from durable Lucite cast acrylic, the tubs are available in a range of sizes, colors, and styles such as rectangular designs and two-person corner units. Lasco Bathware. 800-877-2005. www.lascobathware.com.

Some consumers want to have both types of technology in the same unit, which is why Lasco has introduced the Builder's Choice series of combination tubs. Air technology is not really new, Roberts says, but such tubs have traditionally run about $5,000. The company's new tub satisfies the needs of buyers who want the option of both technologies, but the unit only costs about $1,500.

West Palm Beach, Fla.–based Jacuzzi also offers combination baths such as Allusions and Affinity with jet technology and pure air. For those buyers who still want the high-end, the company recently introduced its Morphosis line of tubs that costs between $19,999 up to $21,999.

Whichever version your customer wants, whether it's a whirlpool with traditional jets or with air technology, it's clear that the tubs are rapidly becoming a must-have product at move-up price points and above. Fortunately, manufacturers offer a variety of tubs at a range of prices to meet every possible consumer need—and want.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at www.builderonline.com or www.ebuild.com.

AIR WAVES: Living is the new line of oval tubs that is available with three optional air massage systems. Positioned around the interior wall or backrest of the tub, the small openings feature a check valve that gently pushes pre-warmed air into the bathtub without letting water flow back into the system, the company says. Available in different sizes, the tubs also may come with a water heater and mood light. MAAX. 800-463-6229. www.maax.com.
AIR WAVES: Living is the new line of oval tubs that is available with three optional air massage systems. Positioned around the interior wall or backrest of the tub, the small openings feature a check valve that gently pushes pre-warmed air into the bathtub without letting water flow back into the system, the company says. Available in different sizes, the tubs also may come with a water heater and mood light. MAAX. 800-463-6229. www.maax.com.
MIGHTY MORPHING: Known for high-concept products, the manufacturer has introduced the Morphosis line of tubs that marries performance and technology, it says. Measuring almost 91 inches long, the unit has four adjustable TheraPro jets, six chromatherapy lights, and eight back massage jets. It also has a sculpted armrest, contoured backrest, and digital controls. It comes in white with a variety of trim options. Jacuzzi. 800-288-4002. www.jacuzzi.com.
MIGHTY MORPHING: Known for high-concept products, the manufacturer has introduced the Morphosis line of tubs that marries performance and technology, it says. Measuring almost 91 inches long, the unit has four adjustable TheraPro jets, six chromatherapy lights, and eight back massage jets. It also has a sculpted armrest, contoured backrest, and digital controls. It comes in white with a variety of trim options. Jacuzzi. 800-288-4002. www.jacuzzi.com.
ART OF ZEN: Yubune is a Japanese-style tub with a Western flavor. The unit can be used as a still-water soaking tub, or it can be used as a whirlpool massage or thermo-air massage—or a combination of both. Made from Lucite cast acrylic, the tub measures 65 ¾ inches long and 32 inches deep. A variety of upgrades and options are also available, including a cleaning system and an air diffusion system that provides aromatherapy. MTI Whirlpools. 800-783-8827. www.mtiwhirlpools.com.
ART OF ZEN: Yubune is a Japanese-style tub with a Western flavor. The unit can be used as a still-water soaking tub, or it can be used as a whirlpool massage or thermo-air massage—or a combination of both. Made from Lucite cast acrylic, the tub measures 65 ¾ inches long and 32 inches deep. A variety of upgrades and options are also available, including a cleaning system and an air diffusion system that provides aromatherapy. MTI Whirlpools. 800-783-8827. www.mtiwhirlpools.com.