Re: Free standing tub or undermount tub with surround?
I personally have never liked the look of inset tubs or free standing (claw foot) tubs. I prefer the more traditional style tub with the face skirt and a surround that comes down the wall and meets the top edge on three sides. As for surrounds, I prefer cultured granite/stone the most because it has the fewest joints to fail and IMHO looks the best, however tile comes in at a very close second and is a bit more affordable. Even with just a soaking tub (no shower ) you're going to want some type of surround to protect the walls.
As for resale value, sticking with classic, traditional styles, designs, and colors will always be better sellers than whatever the latest fad is.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!