Even if you’re not a tub person you should strongly consider adding a bathtub somewhere in your new home. You may never intend to use the tub yourself, but it’s nice having a tub available for bath-loving guests, for bathing children and grandchildren, and for grooming pets.
Many homeowners include a tub in their primary bathroom not only for practical, utilitarian reasons, but also for aesthetics. Freestanding tubs continue to be an extremely popular choice, primarily because of aesthetics. Freestanding tubs are thought of as sculptural showpieces and increase the perceived value of the home.
The information in this episode comes mainly from a very thorough article that I found at bathtubber. com. It’s one of the most comprehensive articles I’ve read on freestanding tubs. The author said the article will help us be fully prepared and informed to buy our own freestanding tubs. So Let’s get right into the content.
You probably already know this, but freestanding soaking tubs are bathtubs that are not attached to the wall. Instead, they stand freely and come in a variety of styles and shapes— from sleek, contemporary rectangles and ovals to more traditional clawfoot tubs.
To choose a freestanding tub that’s right for you and your space, you’ll need to consider the following:
Let’s start with the tub material…
FREESTANDING TUB MATERIALS
Freestanding soaking tubs come in several materials from more expensive cast iron, copper and natural stone to more affordable acrylic and fiberglass. Here is a list of the main pros and cons of each material.
PROS: Lightweight, Inexpensive, Easy to Clean
CONS: Brittle, Porous, Susceptible to Mold and Cracks
PROS: Lightweight, Easy to Install, Glossy Finish, Repels Mildew
CONS: Material is somewhat flexible so can feel unstable and inexpensive, Surface is Easy to
Scratch and it can lose heat unless it’s insulated
PROS: Durable, Retains Heat Well
CONS: Heavy, with tubs weighing 300-500 lbs, may require extra floor supports, Prone to
Chip and Rus
STONE RESIN: Stone resin is made of crushed real natural stone held together by natural or synthetic resin.
PROS: Moderately Priced, Retains Heat Well, stain resistant Easy to Clean, Some Are 100%
CONS: Mainly price-- more expensive than acrylic and fiberglass
PROS: Durable, Retains Heat Well, Gives a very high end look
CONS: Extremely Heavy, Requires Regular Cleaning with special cleaners and sometimes
sealers because it can stain, Expensive
ENAMEL COATED CAST STEEL:
PROS: Can look like a its cast iron counterpart, but it's not as heavy as cast iron, with some
models. weighing as little as 75 lbs which is comparable to an acrylic tub, Durable, retains
heat. fairly well, but not quite as well as cast iron
CONS: Can have a hollow bottom which can feel a bit unstable, Prone to Chip and Rust,
Expensive, but not quite as expensive as real cast iron
PROS: Beautiful, Resistant to Mildew, Chips and Scratches
CONS: Very Heavy, Expensive
PROS: Usually Custom Designed, Retains Heat Exceptionally Well
CONS: Requires Extra Care to Maintain Finish, Expensive
CAST STONE: Made of a concrete slurry that is often painted to look like stone.
PROS: It is easy to clean and maintain when it’s newer
CONS: Once the top coat wears off, it becomes porous and harder to clean, plus cast stone is
I don’t know specific statistics, but from what I’ve seen in my research and search for bathtubs, acrylic freestanding tubs are by far the most popular in the marketplace and the most common in new homes.
Not what should you know about Freestanding Tub Dimensions?
A freestanding soaking tub usually takes up more square footage when compared to a built-in standard tub.
A standard built-in bathtub requires about 13 square feet of space and has a standard depth of 12 inches.
The average freestanding tub is 67 inches long, 32 inches wide and has a soaking depth of 15 inches. A traditional Japanese soaking tub has an average depth of 35 inches and is often round. Professionals recommend at least 3-4 inches of space around the perimeter of the freestanding tub for easy access and so it doesn't .
Although 67 inches is the average length of a freestanding tub, they range from 35 inches and 80 inches. 32 inches is the most common width of a free standing tub, but widths range from 20-59 inches. Now, with all these sizes on the market, there are freestanding tubs for virtually any size bathroom.
If you like an extra deep soak, even beyond the water depth of 15 inches that you’d get with the average freestanding tub, consider a Japanese soaker tub where the water will come often up to your neck.
If you have a small space, but want a freestanding tub, you can position your freestanding tub against a wall similar to a standard alcove tub. This saves space in small bathrooms but gives a more luxurious look as compared with using a standard bathtub.
Shapes and Styles
Most freestanding tubs are often oval, rectangular, or egg-shaped, but you’ll also find circular and square tubs too.
Here are some common styles that you will find for freestanding soaker tubs:
1. Double Ended Tubs
Both ends of the tub are rounded or sloped for back support. This is a great design for two bathers. The overflow drain is typically in the center of the tub so no one is sitting on the drain, and the faucet will be positioned in the center so no one hits their head.
2. Pedestal Tub
A pedestal tub is on a flat, flush platform or stage. This gives the raised look of a clawfoot tub but it has sleek, contemporary lines. A pedestal tub works beautifully in a transitional bathroom which combines both traditional and contemporary elements.
3. Roll Top Tub
Roll top tubs are more traditional and have a thicker rounded rim.
4. Slipper tub
A slipper bath tub features a tall end and a lower end and is designed to cradle the bather in a naturally comfortable position. The sculptural shape can work for a contemporary or traditional bathroom.
5. Double Slipper tub
Both ends of the tub are taller and the middle of the tub is lower to accommodate two bathers. The drain is in the center of the tub.
Clawfoot tubs is the quintessential traditional freestanding tub. The feet of the tub are usually a different color or material than the body of the tub.
When considering the style of your tub, make sure you think about the width of the tub rim. Thinner tub rims look sleeker and more sculptural but aren’t as comfortable for spouses or kids who like to sit on the edge of the tub and chat. Plus those thin rims are less helpful if you ever need to sit the tub’s edge and slide into your bath, instead of taking a big step into the tub. This may become more important as you get older.
If you choose a tub with a thinner rim, you won’t be about to use a deck mounted tub filler. There just won’t be enough space on the tub’s edge. Instead you’ll need to choose a wall mount tub filler or one of those expensive floor mount tub fillers. Many floor mount tub fillers range from several hundred to $1000.
Some tubs come with holes for the faucet already in place, so make sure that the type of tub filler you want aligns with the tub you plan to buy. Or just get a tub without the faucet holes predrilled.
Okay so that was shape and style, what about weight?
That’s another important consideration when selecting a freestanding tub. That’s because you might need to reinforce your floors if your tub is too heavy. The weight of a freestanding tub will depend on the material from which it’s made. Acrylic and fiberglass are generally the lightest weight materials and natural stone and cast iron are the heaviest.
If you decide you want a tub made out of one of these heavy materials, you’ll need to make sure you have enough manpower to carry the tub from the delivery truck to your bathroom. As I mentioned before, you’ll also need to assure your floor is strong enough to support the weight of the tub when it’s holding bathers and bathwater. You may very well need extra reinforcements to support the weight of the tub. It may be less of an issue if the tub will sit on a slab foundation, but if you have any questions about whether your bathroom floor will support your tub, consult a structural engineer. And let your designer and builder know if you are considering a heavy stone or cast iron tub.
Finally, let’s briefly talk about the cost of freestanding tubs.
The tub material is the biggest factor in the price of a freestanding tub. An average-size freestanding soaking tub in acrylic will start around $600 and usually goes up to about $1000. The same tub in stone resin might cost $1500 to $3500. Tubs made of copper, natural stone and cast iron tubs can cost $5000 to over $10,000.
Generally, a freestanding tub itself will cost more than a standard built-in tub. However, it’s easier and cheaper to install a freestanding tub so, in the end, with installation, the cost for a reasonably priced freestanding tub is pretty similar to the cost of a standard built in tub.
1. What tub material does not retain heat very well, making it harder for tub water to stay hot?
B. Stone Resin
C. Cast Iron
The answer is D acrylic. Unless you look for an insulated acrylic tub, which you should, an acrylic tub does not retain heat very well so your hot bath may turn cold sooner than you want. Choosing a tub material that retains heat is especially important if you like long baths. You can also find a few tubs on the market that have heaters in them, but keep in mind you’ll need a water safe electrical outlet near your tub if you want a tub with a heater. Alternatively you can choose one of The other materials for you tub cast stone, stone resin, natural stone, cast iron or wood that will naturally keep your tub water hot longer
2. True or False: The average freestanding tub is 67 inches long and 32 inches wide with a soaking depth of 15 inches.
That’s true. Freestanding tubs of course come larger and smaller but 67 long, 32 wide and 15 deep is the size of the average freestanding tub. And keep in mind that the Length and the wide of the inside of the tub basin, where you sit, will be smaller than the outside dimensions. To ensure your new tub is comfortable, compare the inside basin size of the new tub you’re thinking about purchasing with the size of your current tub’s basin and look for a larger basin if you current tub is too tight. And if you have the opportunity, sit in the tub you’re considering to make sure it’s a good size and a comfortable sit.
Thanks for stopping by.