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Ask a plumber: Combo massage bath offers best of both worlds

The BubbleMassage Air Bath with drop-in whirlpool from Kohler.
The BubbleMassage Air Bath with drop-in whirlpool from Kohler. Kohler

Q: We are planning a new bathroom that will feature a separate bathing tub. From speaking with friends and family, some are saying a bubble massage bath is the way to go; others say stay with a hydro massage bath. What type of bathing experience would you recommend for our new bathtub?

Shelly, Tennessee

A: First, let’s discuss the features of each bathing experience. A bubble massage bath usually has more than 100 tiny air jets built into the inside walls of the tub. When the tub’s special blower unit is activated, the user can be surrounded by a cushion of very small air bubbles. This usually creates a very gentle massage. If you are looking for a more invigorating experience, the traditional whirlpool, or hydro massage bath, relies on a pumping system featuring whirlpool jets.

Basically, you’re dealing with two different bathing systems, and it can be a tough choice. However, I have some good news for you. Combination baths are now available that feature both systems in one bathing tub. Some models even feature built-in heaters so the water will stay warm enough to enjoy both experiences in the same bathing session.

Bottom line: If you soaked in all this information, I’m sure you’ll look into a new combination bath!

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com.

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