How to Choose a Freestanding Tub
If we could choose a freestanding tub by looks alone, the possibilities would be endless.
Beauty abounds with a freestanding bathtub, creating a focal point that says luxury. But there are so many factors involved when picking the perfect one for you. What size? Modern or traditional style? Solid Surface, acrylic or cast iron? Are you are ready to look through our large selection of freestanding tubs? Use the following link:
How to Choose a Freestanding Tub | Bathtub Features
We have developed this guide to help choose the best freestanding tub for your bathroom. We have divided the information into 3 sections:
• 1 Size • 2 Design (including materials, tub style and massage system) • 3 Drain & Faucets
Scroll down the page to read all of the information or use the following links to get the information you need right away:
• Tub Design
Clawfoot: Most are traditionally styled, these baths are raised off the bathroom floor with 4 stylish feet. Find a few with contemporary feet.
Pedestal: Bathtub sits on a pedestal base or the tubs are molded with the look of a base. Style varies from modern to traditional.
Corner & Back-to-the-Wall: These speciality tubs are made to be wall flowers. Tucked into a corner or against a wall, their beauty still blooms.
None of the Above: The majority of the freestanding tubs don't fit into the above categories. They stand on the bathroom floor without the help of a pedestal or legs. Shop by size → to find all of the styles listed together.
• Soaking or Air Bathtub?
All of the freestanding tubs we list are offered as soaking tubs. Some have the option of adding an air system. When shopping our tub listings you will find descriptions that list if the tub is only available as a soaker or both air & soaking:
• Soaking Tub
• Air Bathtub
We also have a selection of Freestanding Whirlpools & Heated Soaking Tubs →
• Freestanding Tub Construction
Some free standing bathtubs are molded as one piece, others come as two: 1) skirt & 2) drop-in bathtub. Put the tub in the skirt and you have a freestanding tub.
If the tub is 2 piece and allows for deck mount faucets, the faucet installation may be easier. It also may mean the motor/blower is located within the skirt. Since every one is different, please check the technical information.
Freestanding Tub Material
The most popular freestanding tubs are made from:
Acrylic: Acrylic sheets are heated then pulled into a mold with a vacuum system. The tub is then flipped over and reinforced with a mixture of fiberglass and compounds.
- Strong, light weight material
- Resistant to scratches and fading
If damaged it can be fixed easily. The acrylic can be buffed to remove fine scratches. An acrylic repair specialist can also fill larger scratches.
Solid Surface: The tub is molded with a mixture of ground natural minerals and binding agents. Many counter tops are created in the same way.
- Sturdy, heavy material
- Non-porous material
- Resists stains, scratches and discoloring
If damaged it can be repaired by sanding and polishing
Cast Iron: The tub is molded from cast iron. Then the inside is finished with a baked-on layer of enamel.
- Sturdy, heavy material
- May require extra support
- Enamel is resistant to scratches, chips and most chemicals
If the enamel is damaged, it is not easily fixed
• Which of these keeps the water warm?
There is a big debate on whether an acrylic or cast iron tubs retain heat better. Some research states that the cast iron tubs needs hotter water to warm the iron, then maintains the water temperature longer. The majority of reports will say that cast iron always feels cooler. Acrylic always seems to stay at the room's temperature. All the reports I have seen state that the Solid Surface tubs do keep their heat longer. I have doubts that any do a great job. Since heat rises, most heat loss is not through the sides of the tub. A customer once shared that she has a large sheet of bubble wrap she uses to blanket the water - no heat loss at all!
• Freestanding for 2?
If a tub has two back slants & a center drain, It is considered a 2 person tub. If the tub has an end drain - one side slopes but the drain end is straight up and down - then the tub has been designed for one bather. Use the technical for the bath to find out the bathing well size and water height. This will let you know if two can truly fit.
• How large of a bathtub to bathe comfortably?
Bathing well is measured at the bottom of the bathtub - the length and width of tub floor. Read More about choosing the right size bathtub →
• How will the bathtub fit in the room?
For all bathtubs you will want to make sure they will fit through doors and hallways. With freestanding tubs installation needs to be considered. Installing the tub usually takes two people to set the tub in place - one on each side of the tub. (photo from MTI Installation Manual)
We see pictures of freestanding tubs barely fitting into an alcove:
This photo could have been photoshopped, if not this tub would have been difficult to install.
• Freestanding Bathtub Drain
They may require a finished drain (will be visible). Others, it is integral to the bathtub (you will not see the piping). You will hear us state drains are universal, you can get them from your faucet company or plumber. In some cases it is better to get them together. Just ask us and we will let you know if your tub needs a special drain.
• Faucets for Stand Alone Tubs
There are 3 styles of faucets for freestanding baths. I will apologize ahead of time, but I must repeat - each one is different, please check the technical information on each one to see the possibilities.
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