My wife and I are having a contractor do a gut renovation of the main (and only) bathroom in our 1927 house.
The current tub is cast iron and has held up well. We plan to have a cast iron tub installed in the 60" x 30" end of the bathroom. When I look for white cast iron alcove apron tubs that cost less than $1000, I see Kohler's Bellwether and Villager tubs.
I like the look and the larger floor area of the Bellwether. My wife and I always take showers. Soaking in the tub is rare, but since this is the only bathroom in the house, I feel it should have a tub.
I haven't found a showroom with the Bellwether on display. I read online that some people have found that the grooves on the floor of the Bellwether trap dirt and are difficult to keep clean. Other than that, I prefer the Bellwether's rectangular look to the look of the Villager.
In anyone's experience do the grooves on the Bellwether trap dirt and make for difficult cleaning? Are the grooves uncomfortable for bare feet?
Are there are other cast iron tub choices less than $1000?
This is generic info, not specific to your request...texture on the bottom of the tub can help from a safety standpoint. New CI is pretty smooth. Throw in some slippery hair conditioner and soap, and it can get dangerous. As an aside, even if you aren't planning to install any safety bars in the tub/shower area now (it's not a bad idea), while the walls are open, have the contractor install cross braces/blocking where you would be likely to put them - take a picture with a yardstick showing where they are. Then, should you decide you want to add in some safety bars, you won't have to worry about trying to find the studs as you'll have a horizontal reinforcement...they could go anywhere along that line. And, since it seems they don't make the silly bars an integral of the typical spacing between studs...this will let you get screws solidly into them and let you put the bar anywhere you want (within reason). There are fasteners that will work to hold bars where there aren't fasteners, but if you did look for a stud, and were only close, you may then not be able to use those, either, since they need room to spread out and a stud to the side would prevent that.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013