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Copper Tub Buying Guide

Copper Tub Buying Guide

Choosing a new bathtub can be a long and research-intensive process. With so many varieties and materials, it can be hard to differentiate what makes one tub more unique than another. How can one stand out from the norm of white acrylic or cast iron? A copper bathtub just might be the solution you are looking for! Other than being a stunning showpiece, there are many benefits to copper you may not know about. Read on to learn all about copper as a material and how one can benefit from a copper tub.

MATERIAL DESIGN

Copper as a material dates to prehistoric times and even one of the major ages of man was named after a copper alloy – The Bronze Age. World histories tell us how nearly all major civilizations, from Egypt to the Roman Empire, relied on copper for tools, cookware, and more. Copper itself is extremely durable, malleable, and can be molded into nearly anything without cracking or breaking. When shopping for a copper bathtub, it's important to look for one with joints that have been welded and not soldered. Welding provides a stronger, longer-lasting joint. Soldered joints tend to experience splits or breaking after a while. Another advantage of welded copper tubs is the joints are less visible with a new copper tub and barely visible after the bathtub has aged.

GAUGING QUALITY

Copper thickness determines the quality of the copper itself and is another important factor in determining which copper tub is right for your home. The gauge of copper is the most important thing to consider. The higher the number, the thinner the copper. Generally, avoid 20 gauge and choose a copper gauge 16 and under. Thicker copper will last decades longer and require little to no repairs compared to thinner gauged copper bathtubs. The later can be dented easier, leak, and even produce noises when filling with water (yikes). You also want to consider the percentage of copper purity compared to what other materials were used to forge the tub. The percentage to aim for is 97% copper or higher for the highest quality copper available.

COPPER FREESTANDING BATH STYLES

FREESTANDING DOUBLE ENDED

Rounded at both ends, the freestanding double ended copper tub offers the option to bathe on whichever side you want. Both ends are sloped mildly for extra comfort. A double ended tub can also accommodate two people comfortably if you choose a larger size. These types of tubs are great for spacious bathrooms. Adding copper to the equation gives your bathroom even more of a wow factor! The drain and faucet are typically located in the center of the tub in this style.

FREESTANDING DOUBLE SLIPPER

Single slipper tubs were made to resemble a shoe slipper, and double slippers are a more refined version. Think of the double slipper bathtub as the cousin to the double ended, but with raised ends for reclining comfort on either side. This tub would be perfect for a couple’s suite, as well as someone looking for an ergonomic alternative to traditional bathtubs for its natural positioning of the head, neck, and back. Double slipper copper freestanding tubs are available in either all copper, all nickel with copper construction, or a combo of both a copper exterior and a nickel interior to suit the look of your space. Like a double ended tub, the faucet and drain location will be at the center of the tub.

JAPANESE SOAKING

A small space can be a challenge if you really want a freestanding tub. A Japanese soaking tub could just what you are looking for! In addition to saving space, these tubs are deep, allowing most of your body to be submerged during bathing, in most cases up to your shoulders thanks to its built-in seat. Due to its deep construction, this tub keeps the water warmer longer, offering a therapeutic experience. Drain location is at the bottom center of the tub and mounting the drain opposite of the seat would be standard practice.

COPPER BATHTUB FINISHES

SMOOTH

After being molded, the material can then be pressed further to create a smooth finish. This is a highly polished look for those seeking clean lines in a more modern bathing space.

HAMMERED

Quite the opposite of a smooth finish, the rough and rugged hammered finish is created by master craftsmen, who hammer small to large indentations into the copper to create a unique hammered finish to each piece. A hammered copper soaking tub is sure to add a unique focal point to your master bath.

PATINA

Every copper tub comes with this finish as it is inherent to copper itself. Often referred to as “the living finish”, copper builds what is called a patina, which is a layer of protection formed after being exposed to and combining with oxygen in the air and minerals in the water. Any dings or scratches will become part of the finish and heal itself. The patina will only become more unique as it ages. If you’ve seen a green penny before, or even Lady Liberty (The Statue of Liberty) herself and wondered if your copper bathtub will turn out this way, don’t panic. Indoor copper and outdoor copper age differently due to the difference in exposure to rain, saltwater, and other elements that can cause different chemical reactions.

COLOR

Want your tub to look like a shiny new penny, a well-aged masterpiece, or somewhere in-between? All these colors are available dependent on your individual needs, how often the tub will need cleaning, and the color palette of the bathroom the tub is being placed in. These are just some considerations when choosing which shade of copper fits your space.

Copper Tub Buying Guide

HEALTH BENEFITS OF COPPER

Copper itself resists bacteria naturally and kills almost 99.9% of typical bacteria it encounters, making it a registered antimicrobial material with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Copper also helps with joint pain for people suffering from arthritis or other ailments, it stimulates the brain and boosts your energy. The body absorbs hints of copper naturally as you bathe, therefore exposing yourself to copper during a long soak in the tub is an easy way to supplement copper for those afflicted with the aforementioned diagnosis rather than ingesting vitamins. Since it is a metal, a copper tub retains heat longer than other materials such as acrylic or porcelain. Copper is also 100% recyclable!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

SHOULD I MEASURE MY BATHROOM BEFORE BUYING A TUB?

Not only should you always measure the space where you plan to install the tub before making a purchase, but you also need to measure any stairways, hallways, doorways, and any other possible openings the tub will go through to its final placement destination. Keep in mind, copper tubs are extremely heavy as well so they may be difficult to carry up large or steep stairways.

WHAT SIZE SHOULD I GET?

That’s up to you after you measure the space it’s going in. The tub should comfortably fit in your bathroom as well as be able to accommodate every member of the household comfortably.

ARE COPPER TUBS EASY TO MAINTAIN?

Copper is pretty low maintenance, but it does need more attention than other materials to protect its classic look.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY COPPER TUB?

Use a mild dish soap with a soft microfiber cloth or soft sponge to clean the tub frequently. This applies to both copper and nickel finishes.

DO I NEED TO WAX MY COPPER TUB?

Prevent grime, mineral buildup, and scratches by waxing the tub as needed with designated copper wax products.

WHAT SHOULDN’T I USE TO CLEAN COPPER?

Do not use any acidic based or abrasive cleaning products as they can permanently damage the finish.

CAN YOU USE BATH SALTS IN A COPPER TUB?

Do not use bath salts in a copper tub. Salt damages the tub’s patina and will corrode and tarnish the appearance of the copper over time.

HOW CAN I PREVENT SPOT PATINAS ON A COPPER BATHTUB?

Sometimes your copper tub won't patina evenly, creating small areas that patina more quickly and look different than the rest of the bathtub. To avoid and uneven patina, ensure your bathtub is completely dry after each use.

CAN I REMOVE THE PATINA FROM MY COPPER TUB?

Absolutely. If you're unhappy with your tubs patina over time and prefer the copper's initial shine, you can buff your copper bathtub with a copper polishing cream. Make sure to only use the cream once or twice, as it can damage the copper itself if it's used too much.

The prevent the patina from returning, apply a clear lacquer to the surface of the bathtub. Keep in mind, once this has been done, the patina will never come back. Moving forward, only use pH- neutral, non-abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the lacquer.

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