Bathtubs. Bathtubs are a prime factor in plumbing. They are of various types: - (1) Wooden cases, with sheet-metal lining, usually copper, Fig. 1; (2) all copper, steel-clad copper, and all steel, suitably mounted, as shown in Fig. 2; (3) cast iron, enameled, with a vitreous glaze fused on the iron, as in Figs. 4 and 5; (4) solid porcelain, potters' clay properly fired, with vitreous glaze fired on, as in Fig. 3; and (5) marble, variegated or otherwise, cut from the solid block. Their cost ranges in the order mentioned, but the types shown in Figs. 1 and 2 are seldom used.

The relative merit of the different materials and types is not so easily designated. Porcelain and marble baths are large, very heavy, and imposing-looking; and therefore are often selected on the score of massiveness, with a view to harmonizing with the dimensions and finish of the house. One would suppose the mass of material in such baths would have the effect of cooling the water to an annoying extent; but careful tests have revealed no appreciable difference in the effect of thin as compared with thick bathtubs on the warmth of water, and but little in their pleasantness of touch to the person. The bath of most pleasant touch was that of indurated wood fiber, which, however, had but little success, on account of its lack of stability.

Most baths are made in from two to five regular sizes, ranging from 4 to 6 feet in extreme length. The general shapes are the French, Fig. 3; the Modified French, Fig. 4; and the Roman, Fig. 5. The various French patterns have the waste and supply fittings at the foot, which is modified in form to accommodate them. The waste water travels the length of the tub to reach the outlet, and generally leaves scum and sediment on the interior while emptying. Baths of the French type are suited to corner positions, or to positions in which one side runs along the wall; but the ideal position for a bathtub, in the interest of cleanliness, is with the foot end to the wall, thus permitting entrance from either side. A medium size is best suited to the usual provision for supplying hot water for bath purposes; and is also preferred by many because the feet reach the foot, enabling a person, when submerging the body, to keep the head out of water, with the shoulders resting on the slant at the head of the tub.

Fig. 1. Wooden Case Bathtub, with Sheet Metal Lining.

Fig. 1. Wooden Case Bathtub, with Sheet-Metal Lining..

Fig. 2. All Copper, Steel.Clad Bathtub.

Fig. 2. All-Copper, Steel.Clad Bathtub..

Fig. 3. Solid Porcelain Bathtub, French Pattern Courtesy of The Trenton Potteries Company, Trenton, New Jersey

Fig. 3. Solid Porcelain Bathtub, French Pattern Courtesy of The Trenton Potteries Company, Trenton, New Jersey.

Fig. 4. Enameled Iron Bathtub with Three Inch Roll Rim Courtesy of Crane Company, Chicago

Fig. 4. Enameled-Iron Bathtub with Three-Inch Roll Rim Courtesy of Crane Company, Chicago.

The rims of baths vary from 1 1/2 to 5 inches in width. The larger rims are easy on the person in getting in and out of the bath, and are often used in lieu of a bath seat. In iron baths with rims large enough, the fittings are sometimes passed through the rim, as illustrated in Fig. 6, thus giving them additional stability and making in Center of Wall Side the stated fixture length include the whole space necessary for its installation. This style of bath fitting is shown in Fig. 7.

Fig. 5. Enameled Iron Bathtub with Four Inch Roll Rim. Fixtures Located

Fig. 5. Enameled-Iron Bathtub with Four-Inch Roll Rim. Fixtures Located.

Courtesy of Crane Company, Chicago

Nominal sizes of baths now include the whole length of the fixture proper. Formerly many awkward mistakes resulted from lack of uniformity, one not always knowing whether to consider the nominal size as inside measurement only or including twice the rim width. In cast tubs, actual measures vary slightly from the nominal, because of the furnace effect when heating to enamel. The variation, however, is not sufficient to be considered in noting the space required, or to require any advance in roughing-in measurements.

Roman baths have ends alike, with the fittings at the center of one side, as illustrated in Fig. 8, and the waste outlet at the center of width and length. In general, they empty with better effect, and may be placed in either right or left corner or free of all the walls; but the best position, everything considered, is with the fitting side near the wall, and not against either end of the room.

Fig. 6. Fittings Passed through Rim of Enameled

Fig. 6. Fittings Passed through Rim of Enameled Iron Bathtub to Give Additional Stability

Courtesy of Federal-Huber Company, Chicago

Fig. 7. Bathtub Fittings of Low Bell Type

Fig. 7. Bathtub Fittings of Low-Bell Type.

Courtesy of Federal-Huber Company, Chicago

Any finish for iron bathtubs, other than plain paint, should be put on at the factory; iron surfaces cannot be ground and the successive coats of paint dried on in place, properly or cheaply.

Waste fittings and the outlets of baths have always been made too small. Slow emptying takes valuable time, and results in the adherence of scum, which necessitates careful cleansing of the bath before it is used again.

The fittings of baths are not interchangeable unless the obliqueness of the tub walls and the depth and drilling agree. The styles of fittings are universally applicable, except that double bath-cocks (Fig. 9) are never placed on Roman baths. All double cocks are provided with detachable coupling and sprinkler, which, fitted to hose, provide a means of spraying the body. Independent spray, needle, shampoo, and overhead shower fixtures, simple and in combination, with or without curtains, are made for use with the various tubs, the tub serving as a receptor for the falling water.