Jacuzzi bathtubs are a type of whirlpool/jetted tubs made by Jacuzzi, the company. Most people use Jacuzzi and whirlpool tubs interchangeably. The truth of the matter is that Jacuzzi bathtubs are just one brand among many whirlpool tubs brands.
So, are Jacuzzi bathtubs worth it? Or rather, is it worth getting a Jacuzzi bathtub? I will in great detail outline all the pros and cons of Jacuzzi bathtubs and every other thing you might want to know about them so that you can make a more informed decision at the end.
Before we move even further, let us first look at 3 products that lots of people have problems telling apart and instead end up calling all of them Jacuzzis.
Jacuzzi Bathtubs vs Hot Tubs vs Spas
The reason that most people refer to hot tubs, jetted tubs and spas as Jacuzzis is because Jacuzzi was the first company to make the first of these products. This can be traced to the mid-20th century when the Jacuzzi brothers invented an underwater pump that could be used to relieve pain in arthritic people by provide joint and muscle relaxation.
After many homeowners showed interest in the product, the brothers then made a bathtub with an in-built whirlpool as most jetted bathtubs are today. Although many companies now make these tubs, folks call of them Jacuzzis, same way they call all toilet paper Kleenex.
But what is the difference between jacuzzi bathtubs, spas and jetted tubs? Let us have a look.
Jacuzzi Bathtubs vs Spas
Depending on where you are in the world, a spa may mean a place where you go for facial treatment, massage, pedicure, manicure as well as make up applications. It could also mean an in-ground body of water with jets to provide hydrotherapy treatment.
In-ground spas look pretty much like in-ground pools (only smaller in size) and you are most likely to find them in a gym or a resort/hotel. In private homes, they are usually attached to the in-ground pools with in-built seats and water jets around the perimeter.
When people ask if a hotel has a jacuzzi, most of the time this is what they are talking about, or just about any other hot tub. But what is the difference between a hot tub and a spa?
The main difference between a hot tub and a spa is that a hot tub is self contained (plumbing and electricals) and portable while a spa is permanently built in the ground either as a stand-alone structure or next to the in-ground pool. Hot tubs are ready to use while spas need time to heat up.
In-built spas are usually constructed as the owner would prefer. Size and design depends on the space available as well as in accordance with the home owner’s preference. Unlike hot tubs that are manufactured in accordance with a standard mold and specifications, in-build tubs differ significantly.
The cost of putting up an in-built spa varies a lot according to size, design, the area you live in among other factors. If you are building a spa alongside a pool, its cost will be significantly less than someone building a stand-alone spa.
In most cases if you are building a spa alongside a pool, the cost of the spa will be about 15-20% that of the pool. For instance, if you are looking to spend $50000 on the pool, the cost of the spa will be between $7500 and $10000.
The main disadvantage of an in-built spa over hot tubs is energy inefficiency. They usually take longer to heat up and spend even more energy to sustain then.
While you can get a nice cover to go with your hot tub, that is not the case with spas. Due to the different shapes/designs of spas, getting a cover is not as easy and even if you do in most cases they are not very aesthetically appealing.
Jacuzzi Bathtubs vs Hot Tubs
A hot tub is an above-ground spa, the major difference between it and an in-built spa being that it is portable and mass produced in accordance to a preset shape and size among other specifications.
In summary, all Jacuzzis are hot tubs but all hot tubs are not Jacuzzis. Jacuzzi hot tubs are made by Jacuzzi, which is a trademarked brand.
Hot tubs are usually full self-contained. You do not need to erect plumbing lines or even elaborate electrical systems to the tub. All its parts and pieces are in-built, and that is why these facilities are also known as a portable tubs.
Since hot tubs are mostly located outdoors, they do not have faucets and drain lines and are instead filled used a garden hose. You can also drain them in their current location and transfer them elsewhere.
In terms relaxation and comfort, modern hot tubs outdo in-built spas by a mile. For one, they have terrific controls meaning you can adjust the water temperature, jet pressure among other features with relative ease.
Unlike in-built spas which take time to heat, hot tubs can be set in such a way that they are always ready to use. While there are simpler hot tubs, the more advanced hot tubs have more jets than the average in-built spa and are more comfortable to use.
Jacuzzi Bathtubs vs Jetted Bathtubs
Unlike in-built spas and hot tubs that are mostly installed outdoors, jetted bathtubs are installed inside the bathroom, usually in the master bathroom. They function more less the same as hot tubs albeit with a few differences.
To start with, a jetted bathtub will be used by either one or 2 persons at a time. Hot tubs on the other hand are used by 2 or more persons. They (hot tubs) therefore a have a bigger capacity compared to whirlpool/jetted tubs.
Another thing to note is that with a jetted tub, you always drain the water after use. This is not the case with either hot tubs or in-built spas. For that reason, jetted bathtubs usually have no covers and filters.
Jacuzzi jetted/whirlpool bathtubs just like Jacuzzi hot tubs are made by Jacuzzi. Not all jetted bathtubs are made by Jacuzzi. Companies like Kohler also make their own whirlpool tubs.
Pros and Cons of Jacuzzi-Style Bathtubs
Now that we know most people refer to any jetted tub/hot tub as a Jacuzzi, lets us look at the pros and cons of installing a jetted/whirlpool bathtub in your house.
Jetted/whirlpool bathtubs have many advantages. Apart from the obvious ones, there are more that you may not have thought off. Here are a few of them:
1. Health Benefits
Warm/hot water improves blood circulation throughout the body. But all bathtubs can do that. Whirlpool bathtubs offer that and massage as well.
They have air jets all round the body of the tub whose pressure can be adjusted to offer a massaging sensation to different parts of the body as the user may want. In short, they alleviate physical and mental stress.
Folks who suffer from ailments such as arthritis have reported to receive relief after soaking in jetted tubs due to the boosted blood circulation and muscle relaxation. Most people also sleep better after a session in the tub.
2. Adds to Home Value
If you have a Jacuzzi-styled bathtub in your house and for one reason or the other you decide to sell it, your house value will definitely go up compared to other such houses with ordinary bathtubs. I know lots of people who purposely look for houses with jetted bathtubs especially the seniors, or someone who takes care of seniors or generally people with limited mobility.
Apart from house resales, landlords who install jetted tubs in their houses can easily target high-net-worth tenants who are ready to pay top dollar for the houses. “Hotels with a Jacuzzi” is a common search phrase in google by people who are about to go on a vacation.
Even if the bathtubs are not necessarily made by Jacuzzi LLC, hoteliers are happy to use the name and charge more for such rooms than rooms with ordinary tubs.
Most bathtubs (like the 3-wall alcove bathtubs) can only be installed in a certain spot and in a certain way. That is not the case with jetted/whirlpool bathtubs.
This tubs can be installed in the middle of room, close to the one of the walls or even in a corner. You can also install them as undermount bathtubs or even drop-in tubs. Almost every drop-in and undermount tubs that I have seen are also jetted.
For the seniors and those with mobility issues, jetted/whirlpool walk-in bathtubs are the best option. A walk-in tub features a watertight door meaning that folks can just walk inside the tub instead of climbing over it.
They also have an in-built seat on one side hence the users doesn’t have to squat or sit at the bottom of the tub. Grab bars and non-slip surfaces contribute to the overall safety of the bathtub user.
The main disadvantage of the walk-in tub is that you have to enter the tub prior to filling it with water and also you can only leave once it has completely drained. If the bathroom is cold then this can be a problem for some people.
There are a few things that you need to know prior to buying and ultimately installing a Jacuzzi-style bathtub. I will list some of them here. Compare and contrast them with the advantages to find out if a whirlpool tub is something you really need or you should just settle for a soaking tub.
1.They are expensive
Jacuzzi-style bathtubs are quite cost prohibitive. On average, the price starts from $1000 for a modest tub to over $5000 for the high-end ones.
Apart from the cost of the actual bathtub, installation costs are also very high. Unlike a regular bathtub which you can install on your own, manufacturers do recommend that you get a licensed plumber to install the tub. I agree with manufacturers on this unless you are a handyman/woman
It is very important that you indeed get an experienced plumber to install a jetted bathtub for you. In most cases, the warranty will not hold if the bathtub was not installed by a licensed plumber. Needless to say, these plumbers are quite expensive especially if you are installing a drop-in or undermount whirlpool bathtub as you will need to build up the platform/deck as well.
2. They need a big space
Jetted bathtubs are usually bigger than regular bathtubs and as such will need a bigger bathroom space. If you are installing it in the middle of the room, it means that it will need to be accessed from all sides and hence you need free space all around it.
Corner whirlpool bathtubs are a good alternative for folks with relatively smaller bathrooms. Just like all other bathtubs, there are small and big jetted tubs too so take your time to measure the space you have in your room against the tub you intend to buy.
3. More utility bills
Since whirlpool bathtubs are larger compared to regular bathtubs, they will without a doubt need more water to fill, and not just any other water but hot water. And what do you use to heat water? Electricity or natural gas.
It goes without saying that your monthly water bills as well as power bills will go up after installing a whirlpool bathtub. If you are using water from a well you will only need to worry about power bills.
Another thing to consider is the size or effectiveness of your water heater against your newly installed jetted bathtub. Can your water heater fill the tub with water and still have enough hot water left for others in the house to use?
In most cases, you will find out that you may need to install a tankless/on-demand water heater to go with your bathtub. This is another added cost.
4. Not very romantic
Sometimes you and your significant other just want to soak in the bathtub with a bottle of wine and rose petals floating in the warm water. That will definitely not happen in a jetted tub for 2 reasons.
The first one is that these tubs are noisy. Noise and romance hardly goes hand in hand. The pump motor running in the background is in my opinion a mood killer. The other reason is that rose petals will not float in a whirlpool tub. And you just don’t want to through things inside these tubs.
For a truly romantic experience, a freestanding double slipper bathtub is more ideal. Freestanding tubs are elegant, stylish and calm, providing a better bonding experience.
5. High maintenance
Jetted bathtubs needs delicate and frequent maintenance, thanks to all their bells and whistles. To start with, you should have them thoroughly cleaned at least twice a month.
Unlike other tubs which are a breeze to clean, whirlpool tubs have so many jets and other crevices that you must get to while cleaning. You have to be careful to make sure that water is not trapped inside the pipes or jets lest mold/mildew starts to grow.
Good Jacuzzi Bathtubs
Jacuzzi jetted bathtubs are more expensive than other whirlpool tubs. While Jacuzzi has been fighting hard to make sure that other brands as well as home improvements stores stop using their trademark to sell other tubs, their war is yet to bear fruits.
So, what is the best Jacuzzi bathtub? Below are some of my favorite:
1. Jacuzzi Corner Bathtub
For people with small bathrooms. A corner bathtub definitely makes sense to install. This tub is triangular in shape to nicely fit in one of the bathroom corners, leaving the extra space for other fixtures.
Apart from saving space, corner bathtubs are stylish and uncommon. These are the features of the Jacuzzi TRS6060WCR2XXA 60-Inch x 60-Inch Tara Drop-In Three Wall Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub:
- Material: acrylic
- Soaking depth: 15 inches
- Type: whirlpool bathtub
- No overflow
- Faucets not included
- Drain placement: center
- Integrated dual armrests
- Capacity: 87 gallons
- Bathtub dimensions: 60 x 60 x 20.75 inches
2. Jacuzzi Drop-In Bathtub
If you are looking for a Jacuzzi drop-in bathtub then the Jacuzzi FUZ7236 WLR 4CH 72″ x 36″ Fuzion Drop-In Luxury Whirlpool Bathtub is a decent one to pick.
Its features include:
- Dimensions: 77 x 40.5 x 27.5 inches
- Installation: drop-in/undermount
- Weight: 265 pounds
- Optional wood decking
- No overflow
- Luxury controls
- 256-mood setting colors
3. Jacuzzi Bathtub with Shower
Often, Bathtub-shower-combos are installed in a 3-wall alcove so that all you need to do is tile the adjacent walls, install a shower head and a hand a curtain. This usually a little harder to achieve with drop-in/undermount bathtubs.
If you are looking for a Jacuzzi bathtub with a shower, the Jacuzzi CET6032WRL2HXW Cetra 60″ x 32″ Drop-In Whirlpool Acrylic Bathtub is a particular nice one. While it is a drop-in tub, you can install it in an alcove and all you have to do is mount a shower head.
Here are some of its features:
- Shape: rectangle
- Dimensions: 60 x 32 x 21.25 inches
- Capacity: 50-60 gallons
- Types: whirlpool tub
- Material: acrylic
- Weight: 114 pounds
- Overflow: yes
- Drain placement: right
- 8 adjustable jets
4. Outdoor Jacuzzi Bathtubs
Outdoor Jacuzzi bathtubs is what people call almost all hot tubs. Now that we know that Jacuzzi is one among many brands that make hot tubs, which is the best hot tub in the market?
In my opinion, the LifeSmart LS350DX 5 Person Outdoor Patio Hot Tub is one of the best in the market. Let us look at some of its features:
- 5-person hot tub
- 28 jets
- Bottom drain
- Material: Molded polyethylene
- Temperature: 80-104 Fahrenheit
- Pump: 2.5 hp
- LED light
- Steps included
- Water capacity: 325 gallons