A bathtub is one of those house equipment that we probably have never thought about how it is made or how it came to exist. Well, in case your curiosity is now aroused, it is about time you knew the story and science behind a soaking bathtub.
The first bathtub to be invented in the history of the United States was installed on 20th December 1842 in Cincinnati. Adam Thompson is the man with the brains behind it all. The bathtub was made using mahogany lined with sheet lead. He first exhibited it to four guests who had attended a Christmas party. It was after this day that the invention of the so-called bathtub caught fire and spread all over the country like in the wilderness.
The entry of the bathtub to the knowledge of the public was through the daily Cincinnati paper. With nothing like that having ever been seen before, the invention was thrown against every negative rock. Some called it an artifact for epicureans, some termed it to be undemocratic and medical authorities said it was dangerous to human health. Laws from councils and legislatures were crafted to suffocate the idea of using bathtubs.
It was not until 1850 when Vice President Millard Fillmore visited Cincinnati while on a tour that he dared to use the famous bathtub and became a zealous advocate of the same. He had it installed in the White House when he became President. Since then, the invention of the bathtub has been appreciated and adopted in households. It later became a common house property not only for the rich but every other member of the society.
The design of the bathtub has been improved since it scaled in popularity over the times. Today, a soaking bathtub is made through the assembling of petrochemical materials. The petrochemicals are heated and mixed with stabilizers, resins, fillers, dyes and other chemicals. The resultant reaction converts the substance to a polymer composition and dried into cyclic sheets.
The composition and the properties of bathtubs such as the weight, feel, heat retention capability and the price depends on the material used to manufacture it. The material also affects the durability, cleaning efficiency, size, shape, fragility, color and installation measures of the bathtub.
There are a number of materials in the market that are used to make bathtubs. The properties of these materials bring the difference in preference among purchasers.
Among the materials used to manufacture bathtubs is porcelain-enameled steel. It is made up of steel sheets that are covered with porcelain enamel. The tub is expensive because of its durability, lightweight and easiness in cleaning. The material allows the tubs to be made in a variety of sizes. Porcelain-enameled steel tubs, however, have some limiting factors. It has a fragile surface that can easily chip when materials are dropped on it. When a chip occurs, the surface can begin to rust. The tub doesn't come in a variety of shapes and colors. It also records a high heat loss.
The use of acrylic tubes to manufacture tabs is popular due to their versatile nature, durability, wide range of options and low costs. Acrylic tubs are made using acrylic sheets enacted with fiberglass. This is done in a vacuum. Unlike porcelain-enameled tubs, the surface is repairable whenever a defect occurs. They are also durable, affordable and light in weight. Acrylic tubs suffer from the effects of abrasive cleaners if scratched. During installation, the stress points must be reinforced well too.
Fiberglass is another bathtub material. This tub is made of a stratum of surface coat, resin with polyester, enacted with fiberglass. They are cheaper than acrylic tubs and less durable. Fiberglass tubs are lightweight, easy to install, clean and maintain and the surface can be repaired upon damage. For a shower and tub combination, fiberglass would be the best option. The disadvantage associated with these bathtubs is that their finish tends to fade, they have limited color options and their surfaces can crack and scratch.
Enameled cast iron is a terrific bathtub material. These type of bathtub is made using iron that is molten. It is then spread with a sheet of porcelain enamel. A cast-iron tub is said to be posh although it is very durable. Its unique property is its heaviness that is incomparable to the rest. This property acts as its biggest and probably only disadvantage making it extremely difficult to install without leaving out the fact that it needs a strong reinforcement to the floor. The surface of this tub can be redone. It also has a thick enamel that is resistant to chipping and scratching, unlike all the other materials. The tub has a timeless look that can come in multiple colors.
The last material in the list is cast polymer. It is also called cultured marble, granite or onyx. Tubs of this kind are made from engineered natural stone and solid surface materials. Though these tubs are made from natural stone, they are still affordable. Their surfaces have the capability to restrain from stain. Scratches can be polished again to smoothness.
Modern bathtubs consist of various parts that serve each of its functionalities.
The bathtub has water supply pipes that supply both cold and hot water. Modern-day bathtubs have a dial tap that controls water temperature by controlling the amount of hot or cold water. The diverter pipe reroutes water from the lower tube to the shower head. Shutoff valves turn the water flowing into the tub on or off. Planar cross is a four-way pipe connector used for controlling water flow. The rim is the upper edge of the tub and the drain is the part where water drains and enters the drain pipe. There is a dedicated pipe for both hot and cold water called the cold and hot water supply. Lastly, the overflow control. This is a part of the tub that ensures that water left running doesn’t flood over the rim.
It is a common notion that a bathtub has only one use. That is from those who haven’t endeared themselves to try out new things with the bathtub. The bathtub has a multiplicity of uses other than that of just lying in there like a soaking material and taking a bath. Of which, actually lying in a bathtub full of water is still taking a bath, in a way. A tub can be used to wash other things other than a human being. The bathtub is not only useful when it's full of water. When it is empty, a bathtub can be a nice tool to dry your clothes or other materials from. Casually, it can also act as a kind of a store where you put things that would spoil the tablecloth or carpet.
Bathtubs have become basic household equipment that some people can never imagine life without them. It takes one to know the full story of a thing in order to appreciate it, just the way now you will give more credit to tubs than you have never imagined you would.