Most standard bathtubs are designed to fit next to the bathroom wall, often in a corner alcove of the room. Most homes already have a built-in tub in the bathroom, and homeowners just have to accept its position, whether they like it or not!
If you’re remodeling your bathroom and looking for alternative options, there are several tub types to consider.
As the name suggests, a freestanding tub is designed to stand in the bathroom wherever you want to place it. It’s finished on all four sides and can be an attractive addition to any bathroom. Moreover, this type of design is often considered because it is a portable tub.
Pedestal tubs are a very popular style choice for buyers, as it’s a stylish option that suits most bathrooms.
Freestanding tubs are available in a range of materials, depending on your budget. Cast iron or stone tubs are traditional and can be very attractive, but they’re also more expensive and heavy. Marble is another material that’s used, but it’s a luxury material with a hefty price tag!
Most buyers tend to go for durable and reasonably-priced modern materials like acrylic or fiberglass.
Before we jump into comparing tub styles and prices, what are the general pros and cons of a freestanding tub?
Pros of a Freestanding Tub
- Appearance. Most people who choose a freestanding tub do so because of its appearance. It makes a unique style statement that is often associated with luxury spas, and high-end hotels.
- Placement. Freestanding tubs allow homeowners to use their bathroom space more creatively. Perhaps you’ve got a skylight in your bathroom, or a large picture window opening onto a private garden. You can put your tub in any position that makes the most of these features. Built-in tubs need at least two walls for their install, but with a freestanding tub, you can let your imagination run wild!
- Choice. Whether your style is traditional or modern, there is a vast range of freestanding tubs for you to pick from. Buyers can choose a claw-foot tub made of cast iron and lined in porcelain that’s fit for a royal palace, or a sleek modern egg shape in durable acrylic. Freestanding tubs aren’t limited by space or tiling. Their designers can be extremely creative with shape and construction materials.
Cons of a Freestanding Tub
- Price. Freestanding tubs are usually more expensive than built-in tubs, even though you won’t have to pay an installer. This is because they are designed to look good on all four sides, so the construction is more complex.
- Size. Some freestanding tubs are very tall. It can be difficult for senior bathers, and others with mobility issues, to enter and exit. Children and very short people might also find this bath difficult to navigate!
- Weight. Freestanding tubs can be extremely heavy. Even a relatively lightweight tub made of fiberglass might require a reinforced floor.
- Shower. It’s possible to mount a shower over your freestanding tub, but then you have less choice in the tub’s positioning. You’ll also need a full wrap-around curtain, as the tub isn’t sealed against the wall. This can look very clumsy, and you’ll probably end up with water on your floor, no matter how carefully you shower!
- Cleaning. A freestanding tub on feet has a gap between the bottom and the floor, which can be hard to reach for cleaning. This is where a pedestal tub has an advantage over a claw-foot tub, as it’s mounted directly on the bathroom floor, and water can’t pool under it.
Freestanding Tub Styles and Shapes
- Single-ended tub. This is the most common tub shape and features one rounded end which is sloped for lounging in the water. The opposite end is reserved for the drain and faucet.
- Double-ended tub. These tubs have two rounded ends so you can pick which side you want to sit on. Two people can bathe at once if that’s your preference. The drain and faucet will be centrally located.
- Single slipper tub. This tub shape has one elevated end, and from the side, it forms the appearance of a shoe or slipper. This type of bathtub provides comfortable back support.
- Double slipper tub. These freestanding tubs are raised on both ends for reclining at either side. They are popular tubs in honeymoon suites, as they comfortably accommodate two bathers!
- Clawfoot tub. These come in any of the above shapes and give your bathroom a classic, traditional look. You have to clean the bathroom meticulously after bathing, as water can pool underneath and become a fantastic environment for bacteria and mold.
- Pedestal tub. These extremely popular tubs are reminiscent of the Art Deco era styling, which has made a big comeback in recent years. The body of the tub rests on a plinth rather than on feet. The tubs also come in any of the shapes listed above.
Freestanding Tub Prices
The price of the tub depends on the style, the material, and the company you purchase from. Remember that a freestanding tub will be a little more costly than your standard built-in tub, because of its design features.
You can expect to pay from around $450 for a basic, no-frills pedestal tub, to upwards of $7,000 for luxury tubs from high-end brands. These prices apply to tubs made in the USA – once you start looking at customized or imported European luxury tubs, the sky’s the limit!
Some freestanding tubs have hydrotherapy or whirlpool features included, which increase the price. Hydrotherapy has proven benefits if you suffer from chronic pain or stiffness, or just want a spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home.
Here are some of the most popular freestanding tub brands, and their price range.
|Home Depot||From $645|
|Tub Connection||From $699|
|American Standard||From $955|
Can Seniors Use Freestanding Bathtubs Safely?
While it’s true that walk-in tubs can’t be beaten for safe bathing, they don’t come cheap. If you or a family member has limited mobility or balance, there are some modifications you can add to your freestanding tub to make it safer.
- Install proper grab bars – don’t rely on a lightweight towel rail for the support
- Purchase non-slip mats for the bathroom floor and bottom of the tub.
- Put a slip-resistant seat in your tub, so you can use the showerhead for a safe, thorough wash.
- Make sure toiletries are within easy reach.
- Make sure the bathroom lighting is sufficient to see clearly.
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