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5 Things to Consider When Picking the Material for Your Tub Chair

So, you’ve opted for a tub chair (or two) for your home? Great choice! Their soft curves and iconic shape make the humble tub chair a coveted addition to many a living room, reading nook and bedroom across the country.

This is a sound investment that lasts for years, so you want to be uber-confident you have selected the right material. But what colour should you choose? What about a pattern? Fabric or faux leather? The questions are endless…

Thankfully, we have five tips for choosing the right material for your tub chair, enabling you will enjoy it for years to come.

#1 Faux Leather Tub Chair

Faux leather tub chairs are the ideal choice for many reasons. Leather is a natural material, subject to blemishes from one hide to another, and over time, its appearance will change. It is a coveted material because it is robust yet easy to keep clean.

However, leather can be expensive, which is why faux leather is a fantastic alternative. But don’t think about that sticky vinyl of car seats from the 70s! Think instead of high-quality synthetic material that has all of the ‘must-have’ qualities of leather and more. Robust faux leather is easy to keep clean, and as it has a stain repellent ‘film,’ it is also much better at withstanding the vagaries of family life without looking tattered and old.

Leather tub chairs are ideal in any home, from the busy family residence to the quieter abode of bachelor or bachelorette pad. But you still have a decision to make: will you opt for neutral tones, or will you choose a statement colour?

#2 Fabric

Fabrics are everywhere, from on-trend cable knot woolly to the deep pile synthetic fabrics of rugs and throws. You need to choose yours fabric carefully, as some are better for tub chair upholstery than others.

There are two categories of fabrics:

  1. Natural – As with the leather we talked about above, cotton, wool and other natural fabrics are either derived from plants or from animals.
  2. Synthetic – These are man-made materials that are often based on a natural fabric. These kinds of fibres attempt to mimic natural fabrics and improve their best qualities. For example, rayon is the synthetic version or silk; it is just as soft and strong, but less liable to snag or ‘bobble’.

Chenille is a recent invention - this upholstery fabric first appeared in France in the 18th Century. It is created by intertwining many strands of yarn together and twisting them to create a tough upholstery fabric. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar, the skin of which the fabric is supposed to emulate.

It is a commonly used fabric, and a popular choice for upholsterers. It is easy to work with, allowing all kinds of patterns and effects can be created.

Most fabric tub chairs are upholstered in chenille fabric using a mix and twist of synthetic yarns which can either be flat or slightly tufted to give a pile to the finished product. Chenille is a great choice for a busy household (or even an office). This is especially true of shorter piled chenille that doesn’t rub flat or become thin with use.

Thus, you have another choice: will you opt for natural fibres or a synthetic fabric, such as the tough chenille fabric that looks elegant and chic?

#3 Colour

Colour is a personal choice, much like the choice between leather or fabric. Some will opt for bright, gregarious statements of colour, but other people will opt for more muted tones.

Choosing a statement colour

The principle is deceptively simple: any interior design scheme should have three colours. Use two main colours, and a third accent colour used sparingly.

Within the two main colours, you can mix the shades. For example, a colour scheme with blue as the main colour can have furnishings across the blue spectrum from the lightest of sky blues to navy blue. The same goes for the second colour.

The third colour, the one that pulls the design together, should be used sparingly but with boldness, like this bright green sofa in a neutral room. A yellow leather tub chair would also be a great choice.

Choosing a complementary colour

You may choose to use soft furnishings that are more easily replaceable for your statement colour, like the recent trend for mustard yellow cushions and throws. Choosing a great base colour for your scheme can be complemented with a same-colour tub chair. There are many cloth colours to choose from, both in the leather and the fabric range.

Yet another choice: will you opt for a complementary or a contrasting colour for your tub chair?

#4 Pattern

If you are nervous to use too much brightness of boldness of colour, one way of adding interest is to opt for a pattern.

There are traditional patterns, such as the iconic interplay of lines and colour of tartan, or there are playful patterns, such as florals.

Either way, a pattern can hide a multitude of sins! This is perfect if you have children and/or pets, but is also ideal for adding detail to a room.

Here is another choice: which will work best for your home, the block colour tub chair or a patterned fabric one?

#5 Budget

There is no getting away from the realities of budget planning. No matter how little or how much you have to spend on a tub chair, you need to be confident that it is money well spent.

But here’s the great news – as far as household purchase go, the tub chair is one of the most affordable.

But unfortunately, we cannot tell you which is best, because every customer is different. If you want to try something different, consider a patterned tub chair but if you are feeling bold, opt for a tub chair in a statement colour.


A tub chair is a versatile piece, perfect as an occasional chair in the hallway or the bedroom, or for constant use in the lounge. It is a stylish option for the office – the possibilities are endless. Which one will you choose?