But there’s a way to be both, as the Japanese discovered centuries ago when they developed the ofuro, or Japanese style soaking tub.
Diamond Spas in Frederick, Colo., welds recycled copper and stainless steel into tubs that are lined with foam insulation, then buffed to a nice Old World finish. Like kitchen pans, the copper tubs can be left to develop a patina, or rendered shiny with a polishing compound.
Soaking tubs aren’t as complicated to install as you might think.
If you’re putting in a smaller, one- or two-person tub, you’ll actually use less water than a conventional tub. But a four-person version can hold a lot of water — close to 250 gallons, compared to around 50 for a conventional tub. So floor joists need to be able to hold the weight of the water, not just the tub.
Also, make sure you’ll be able to get the tub sideways through doorways.
Many tubs come with an overflow failsafe built in, but you should have a drain in the bathroom floor as well. The river rock bed is an attractive way to hide a draining floor system, but you can also tile the bathroom floor and install a drain.
You’ll need lots of good hot water, so upgrade your system, and consider an inline heater that continuously reheats the full tub.
There are jetted options for many of these models, if you’d prefer some bubbles with your soak.
See full article here.