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Written By: Luna Wang
Published: 18th, Sep 2021


How to Make a Stone Bathtub?

The natural stone provides an overall basis around which your entire bathroom can be built, which is a huge design advantage. Regardless of what look, you are going for – a completely modern look or a mid-century natural aesthetic to match your stone basin – a stone bathtub is a perfect choice to incorporate a luxe look and a relaxing accessory.

Black Natural Stone Bathtub

The natural stone provides an overall basis around which your entire bathroom can be built, which is a huge design advantage. Regardless of what look, you are going for – a completely modern look or a mid-century natural aesthetic to match your stone basin – a stone bathtub is a perfect choice to incorporate a luxe look and a relaxing accessory.

There is a distinct beauty in natural stone bathtubs that can become a true centerpiece in your bathroom all the while offering a source of personal enjoyment and relaxation. You can find a wide variety of natural stone bathtubs in the market, however, if you want to create one at home by yourself, you must do so with proper information and tools.

Although making your own bathtub is not easy and inexpensive process, it can be done. While bathtubs can be built from wood, concrete or tile-covered masonry, stone bathtubs are probably the wisest choice. The easiest process is to build a tub with a concrete baker board and tile it.

A homemade bathtub can generally cost over a purchased tub, but there are advantages to it as well. It can be shaped as per your liking to fit an unusual space or made longer, taller, or wider than typical tubs.

How to make a natural stone bathtub?

Natural stone bathtubs are a sleek and modern addition to any luxury bathroom. If you are planning to make a stone bathtub, you will need to consider the size of your bathroom, the structural, and support needs of your home and the tub, and the look you are looking for.

Since a highly specialized skill is required to craft a natural stone bathtub, you might need to browse for some information from local contractors. Stone bathtubs can be fabricated off-site and brought into the home for installation.

Tools you would require are a hammer, chisels, carbide-tipped tools, diamond saws and grinders. You will need tools for further refinement of the bathtub, a tracing tool for more precision edges, rasps and rifflers smoothing, and a small grinder and sandpaper for shaping and polishing.

You need to choose a natural stone block, carve it out, polish the interior surface for a smooth touch; you can polish the exterior surface as well.

The process:

  1. If you have access to big river stones, then you should choose on of these giant builders to make your natural stone bathtub. The luxury of using a natural stone is that you can employ any size and shape you can posibly imagine.
  2. Measure the size and shape of the tub and start carving with a hammer and chisel. Be sure to make small impacts so you wouldn’t damage the stone. Large chunks of stone will start to break away until the shape is defined and the center is hollowed out. You need to hollow out the stone, leaving enough space serving as the edge of the bathtub.
  3. Once you have the structure of the stone bathtub, rough in the plumbing for the drain and faucet. Do not forget to include these, otherwise, there will not be any water inlet and outlet and your project will be a failure.
  4. Carefully measure the size of the drain and drill an appropriate-sized hole in the tub where the drain will go. Cover the drain base opening with tape to keep any debris from falling into the drain.
  5. Then you will have to polish the inside of the bathtub. You can use sanding tools and small grinding tools to smoothen any irregularities that your bathtub surface may have after a chiseling process. You can also lay tiles on the tub floor to give it a smooth surface.
  6. You can always polish the exterior as well, but it is recommended to leave the chiseled, natural look of the hand-carved stone bathtub. It adds an individual character to the rock and leaves the imprint of the stone-cutter's work.

How to make a concrete stone bathtub?

A concrete tub is usually made using some kind of mold. If you want to take on the challenging task of making a concrete bathtub on your own, you should learn a few tricks of the trade beforehand.

The mold is secured with the transitory framework, and then a special concrete mix is poured or hand-picked in or around the frame. Once the concrete dries and hardens, the frame is removed and an extensive process of adding finishing touches begins.

The finishing touches may include filling any voids in the surface and sanding, staining, polishing and sealing the concrete. After that, you need to add trim details such as drain covers and faucet hardware and make all the final water inlet and outlet connections.

Tools you would require to make a concrete bathtub include – hard integral Styrofoam, lightweight chainsaw, sanding tools, prime tile plaster, synthetic plaster mesh, tile bonder cement, and cement plaster mix.

The process:

  1. You will need to start by taking a big-sized hard integral Styrofoam block and carving its insides using the lightweight chainsaw. Refine any irregularities in the surface by sanding tools. Remember to cut out spaces for tubing and drain.
  2. Thereafter, you need to mount the Styrofoam bathtub with prime tile plaster and add synthetic plaster mesh using prime tile binder cement. Cover the entire surface area overlapping inside and out with these materials and make a thicker layer.
  3. After that, you will have to reinforce the inside bottom of the bathtub with thick cement plaster mix with nylon fiber while positioning the drain pipe and securing it in the place.
  4. Once the base is done, start placing cement plaster mix for additional support all around the bathtub. You can be creative and improvisational with the materials and tools.
  5. Pour fiber cement plaster mix to strengthen the tubing section. Then cover the entire surface of the bathtub in concrete mixture and smoothens the surface.
  6. Once the filling coat is complete, it is time to scrape and sand the plaster coat. Then, humidify the surface and add another coat – all the while perfecting any imperfections in the shape or finish of the bathtub.
  7. Dry sand the surface. Lastly, humidify the surface and apply the last coat of pure Portland cement with acrylic additives and pigments. Give it a final sanding and enjoy your homemade bathtub.

Comparing and Contrasting between Natural Stone Bathtub and Concrete Bathtub

Weight: The weight of a natural stone bathtub and concrete bathtub is almost the same.

A stone bathtub is cut down from a large stone block, each weighing a few thousand pounds. They can usually be lifted with heavy cranes and could use many people to bring them inside living space. The installation takes quite some time and energy as well.

On the other hand, the concrete bathtub can weigh from 500 pounds to some 1,000 pounds. It takes plenty of time to make a concrete bathtub at home and it could take plenty of time and energy in the installation process too.

Durability: Both natural stone bathtubs and concrete bathtubs are durable in nature and can last for years with proper care.

The natural stone bathtub is a long-lasting addition to your bathroom. It is very durable and highly strong, therefore, it will not chip or crack like an inexpensive acrylic tub. Besides, if you accidentally damage it somehow, it is quite easy to mend any minor damages on a natural stone.

In comparison, a concrete bathtub is durable and can last for a few years with proper care. However, unlike the natural stone bathtub, concrete tubs do not do well when exposed to weather and natural elements much. They can crack under dry weather and may start leaking afterward.

Maintenance: If you are going to take your time and make a natural stone or concrete bathtub at home, it is obvious that you will have to invest time in maintaining them.

Maintaining a natural stone bathtub is easy. The material requires similar to a typical bathtub such as regular cleaning and polishing to keep the shine maintained. It is a sturdy material that rarely gets damaged, but if you have somehow managed to inflict some scratches on your stone bathtub, fret not, you can always mend any damages. Remember, the long-lasting and durable nature of the natural stone bathtub will only serve you if you regularly clean them.

A concrete bathtub can crack over time and can keep developing mold in the crevices if you do not clean and maintain it on a regular basis. If you manage to avoid these hazards, you are inviting disease and the possibility of injury to your home. To get rid of the mold, you can use anti-fungal bathroom spray and use it with care.

Price range: If you are going to make your natural stone bathtub or concrete bathtub, the price range can vary somewhere between $1,000 to 10,000 for both tubs.

However, if you are buying your tubs from stone-tubs.com, both bathtubs will be available at the almost the same price range and with customization options.

Frequently asked questions regarding DIY stone bathtubs

Stone Bathtub

Q: Can I build a stone bathtub at home on my own?

A: Yes, you can build a stone bathtub at home on your own. Building a stone bathtub at home is not an easy task and can be quite expensive. A homemade bathtub will usually cost more than a purchased tub, but gives liberty to shape it any way you require.

Q: Why should I invest time and money in a stone bathtub?

A: A natural stone bathtub is a superior choice to its counterparts. You can either invest in a natural stone bathtub or a concrete tub, and these will add to the aesthetic of your bathroom while offering a relaxing space.

They can retain heat up to ten times than an acrylic bathtub and are more durable. They are sturdy and their thick walls mean they are well-insulated.

Q: Can I tile my bathtub?

A: Yes, you can tile your entire bathtub. Tiling an entirely concrete bathtub is a fun project. For this DIY project, you can easily stick tiles to your concrete tub. But you must remember to apply an ample amount of grout once the tiles have adhered to the tub.

Q: Is stone the best material for making bathtubs?

A: There is no other material like the stone that can add an extravagant quality to your bathroom. Natural stone is the best material to make a stone bathtub.

It has many attractive qualities including – stone can last hundreds of years, the stone retains water heat for a longer period and polished stone surface could be very easy to clean and maintain. Moreover, if there is a scratch or minor damage, you can always use sandpaper to smoothens the surface.

Q: How do you clean a stone bathtub?

A: Stone bathtubs are easy to clean and maintain. Any minor cuts and scratches on the surface of your stone bath can be easily removed as stone surfaces are in some ways renewable. To clean your stone bathtub, you need to wipe the tub dry with a soft cloth after each use.

To negate the development of hard water deposits, you should clean the bathtub regularly with a granite and marble cleaner. Do not use any acidic household cleaners, wipes with harsh chemical cleaners or abrasives as these components can inflict serious damage to the stone.

Q: Can I make a concrete bathtub at home?

A: Yes, the bathtub can be made from concrete. Concrete offers a wide number of applications as it is a durable and versatile material, which is not much expensive. With some skill and time investment, you can craft concrete into beautiful bespoke bathtubs to add character to your bathroom.

Q: What kind of concrete can be used in bathtub manufacturing?

A: Both usual thinset mortar and floor leveling compound are suitable to manufacture bathtubs. It offers comparable support for the bathtub and can provide a certain aesthetic quotient to your bath space.

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