Natural stone is an excellent element to add to your bathroom design and using it for a bathtub will not only add beauty but will provide long-lasting value in several ways. Natural stone bathtubs can be one of the ways to add a bit of the outdoors to your bathroom if you use a natural cut. A polished cut can be used for Italian or French designs to add a touch of high class.
Types of Stone for Bathtubs
There are a number of varieties of stone that can be used and bathtub ideas are endless. One of the popular ones today is cultured marble. This product is a mix of crushed limestone, resin and topped off with Gelcoat. It is more durable than other standard products but costs less than the natural stone.
Natural stone has a variety of options including marble, onyx, sandstone, travertine, basalt and granite. They are all good choices, come in many colors and are highly durable. However, one thing to be aware of when considering a stone bathtub is the weight. It is extremely heavy, so be sure the flooring can support the weight, especially if the bathroom is on a second or third floor. You will also need to ascertain how those delivering the bathtub will get the tub to upper levels.
There are some differences in the various natural elements and how they look and that could change your bathtub ideas. Onyx, for instance, is a translucent stone that has a polished finish. Travertine can have a rough or smooth finish, but is limited in color to white, off-white and some rust colors. Granite comes in many colors and even with a hint of glitter.
Advantages of Using Stone
Natural stone has several advantages over acrylic or plastic bathtubs. There are three main advantages to using it in your bathroom.
It looks awesome. Natural stone added to any surface instantly adds richness and elegance. Some stones, like marble, are opulent and posh while others, like travertine, lend themselves to more rustic sophistication.
You can be creative with stone. Stone comes in hundreds of colors and with either polished or rough finishes, so there are few limitations in design. They can be mixed and cut for arches and other detailed features, so you have a wide variety of design choices.
Durability is a feature of natural stone. It will last for many years Stone doesn't easily crack or chip. The color could change over time due to humidity, but routine maintenance will prevent or delay this
Surprising Facts About Stone
Most homeowners have certain perceptions about stone that aren't always correct. Here are some things you may not know.
Stone keeps your bath warmer longer. Many people think stone is cold, in part because of expressions like “stone cold.” That simply isn't true because stone retains heat. It prevents the heat of the hot bath water from escaping. With stone, you can enjoy your hot bath longer without needing to add more hot water.
Stone baths come in many shapes. Many people think a stone bathtub can only be installed in a standard, rectangular bathtub shape. That is a myth. One design that is popular for a stone bathtub is oval. It typically is deep too, so you can slip in and be immersed. They can also come in a square shape for a modern look. There are other unique designs like the boat and slipper bath.
Those who want a completely natural look may opt for a bath that looks like a rock pool because it looks like a hole cut into the rock. This is a dazzling design that takes your breath away.
Baths made of natural stone can be carved with intricate designs, making them incredibly rich looking with unique aesthetics. To carve stone bathtub, sculptures first cut the stone down to the size of the tub. Then they hollow out the center and define the shape. The thickness is checked and the tub is sanded. The final details of the tub are carved and the entire tub is polished to finish the product.
Cleaning a Stone Bath
Understand that even though stone is durable, it does require some unique care to keep it looking good. For one thing, stone is porous and will absorb whatever you put on it. That makes it essential to first seal it before ever using it or attempting to clean it.
Another thing to remember is that many harsher cleaners will wear your sealer thin. When that happens, things like mold, mildew and hard water absorb into your stone, discoloring it and shortening its life. Most experts recommend a pH neutral tile cleaner. You can use a mildly abrasive cream cleanser to clean up hard water build up.
The best way to protect your stone bathtub is performing the simple task of using a squeegee to wipe it down after every use. The other thing to monitor is the grout, caulking or silicone around the tiles. You don't want them to wear thin, allowing water to seep behind them. Touching up along your walls and floors should be a part of your maintenance plan.
Repairing a Stone Bath
Repairing minor scratches in natural elements like stone is pretty easy. Instead of drying the stone area, keep it wet. Take a sponge scourer and lightly run the surface, rubbing in a straight line over the scratch. Then switch and run at a 90-degree angle. Rinse the pad regularly and keep lightly rubbing until the scratch is gone. Rinse the area.
Stone Baths Affecting Your Home's Value
There aren't specific numbers relating to how installing a stone bath will improve your home's value, but home experts say remodeling a bathroom does increase the value in resale. Specifically, improving tile and backsplashes with stone go a long way to increase the amount you will get at resale.
Natural stone bathtubs are more expensive than other types of tubs but most homeowners choosing such an option believe the beauty and style of a stone bathtub are worth the extra expense. That especially is true since remodeling a bathroom is a proven way to increase a home's value. It is an investment worth considering.