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What is a One Piece Bathtub?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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A one piece bathtub is a style of bathtub that features a molded, one piece design that is put into place against a wall and secured there to prevent leaks and water damage. The far end of the one piece bathtub extends upward on the wall to prevent water from the faucet splashing onto drywall or other types of walls, and the base of the tub is strong enough to support the weight of a person standing in the tub. Thermoplastic is used to create the tub; the plastic is created in a mold that allows the tub to be made quickly and inexpensively.

One of the advantages of a one piece bathtub is the manufacturer's ability to mold shelves or other features directly into the one piece bathtub design. These shelves are useful for storing soaps or other bath objects, and some one piece tubs even feature hand rails for added stability and security. The height of the wall can vary according to the mold, and customers can purchase one piece bathtub units of different sizes to fit a particular bathroom.

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During installation, the unit is put in place and then caulked secured to the wall, and the seams around the one piece tub are caulked to prevent water from leaking behind the tub walls. This design makes for a waterproof system that will reduce the likelihood of water damage. The tub is generally lightweight enough to be worked into place quickly and easily, and most manufacturers design the tub units for easy transportation through doorways and up stairs. The wall and tub are very often secured into a bathtub alcove using a caulk adhesive that must be applied before the unit is put into place. More modern models of the one piece bathtub are designed to minimize the amount of seams that need to be caulked, thereby reducing the amount of places through which water can penetrate and cause damage.

While it is possible to get one piece bathtub units in various colors, white is by far the most common color for these units. White is most often used for several reasons: first, it tends to enhance the available light in bathrooms that tend to be dark, as well as tubs that are dark once a shower curtain is hung. Second, white easily shows dirt and grime buildup, which will allow a homeowner to know when a cleaning is necessary. Third, white tends to fit in with any bathroom color scheme, so manufacturers use white to cut down on production costs.

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