GROOMING TUB GUIDE
By helping you to understand the different types of bathing tubs available, we hope that you will be able to make the best informed purchase for your needs.
Bathing tubs are essential to every grooming salon, and will be one of the three most expensive purchases when designing/setting up a salon. Choosing a tub for a salon involves many deciding factors:
- Which side is the faucet and drain going to be on
- How long should the tub be
- How tall should the tub be
- What materials should the tub be made from
You even need to think about what features the tub will have. All of these are important things to take into account before making your final decision.
Gauge: The gauge size affects the strength, durability, and performance of a tub, so it is one of the most important factors to consider in your purchase. Gauge sizes are numbers that indicate the thickness of the sheet metal used to construct a tub, with a lower number referring to a thicker sheet. This means that the lower the gauge size, the stronger the metal. Within the market, tubs are normally made with 16- to 18-gauge stainless steel, but superior tubs will have a lower gauge size for a stronger, thicker metal and longer durability over time. The 14-gauge stainless steel is 25% thicker than the industry norm and more likely to resist dents and dings over time. Tubs made with a thicker metal cost more but are better long-term investments for groomers. Tubs are one of the most important pieces of equipment in a grooming shop, so it is important to find a tub made of durable material built for heavy-duty work that will stand up to the wear and tear of washing dogs for the long term.
Stainless Steel – The most commonly used grade of stainless steel is type 304. This is used where both the properties of steel and the resistance to corrosion is necessary. It is a low carbon steel consisting of at least 10% chromium by weight. This allows the steel to be more rust resistant and also to form an invisible chromium (III) oxide(Cr₂O₃) layer on the surface of the steel when it is exposed to oxygen. The chromium oxide layer helps to protect the stainless steel from everyday damaging agents, like pet shampoo and hard water. When cared for properly stainless steel offers good corrosion resistance.*
Fiberglass - Fiberglass is a generic term for any material containing thin fibers of glass formed into a woven layer or used as reinforcement. The "glass" is the same essential material that you would find in a window or in glassware. It is made by extruding molten glass through ultra-fine openings that result in thin thread-like fibers that can be woven together to form a rough cloth. The cloth can then be mixed with different resins that allow it to be molded and shaped to a form. The result can be anything from a heat-resistant panel to a lightweight, durable bathing tub.
Zinc Plated Steel - Plating is used in the grooming industry to harden particular metals, improve their paint adhesion, and inhibit corrosion. When protecting steel from oxidation, the zinc coating forms a zinc oxide (ZnO) barrier (a fine white dust that is often referred to as white rust). If left in place, this zinc oxide barrier acts as further protection against rusting.
ABS Plastic - ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic is a common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid, molded products. It has shiny, durable, cleanable, corrosion resistant, and crack resistant properties. ABS plastic is frequently used in the automotive and housing industries.
* Stainless steel should be cleaned routinely with a mild detergent, and then wiped dry. Air drying does not allow the protective chromium oxide layer to fully form.
TIPS FOR GROOMERS
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a tub for your salon.
- Consider where you would like to have the tub located in your salon and talk to a plumber or contractor to determine which side of the tub you will need to have plumbed before you start looking at tubs.
- Take into account breed sizes and space restrictions in your shop when sizing the tub you are thinking about.
- Think about durability and any other special features you would like to have when you are comparing tubs.
- Budgetary factors are important when considering the purchase of a pet grooming tub. This is one of the three most expensive items in your shop - buy something that you will be satisfied with for the long term.
Care instructions for Tubs
Wash your tub with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. Wipe dry after cleaning.
Do not clean tubs with abrasive pads, scrapers, steel wool, wire brushes, hard water (water with a pH reading above 7.0), hydrochloric acid, steam or high pressure water, bleach or any compounds containing chlorine or sodium hypochlorate, or ammonium chloride salts.
CLEANING YOUR STAINLESS-STEEL GROOMING TUB
By Daryl Conner, MPS, MCG