How to Choose a Freestanding Tub

Eidel Weiss Double Slipper 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: Freestanding Bathtubs

Find the Perfect Freestanding Bath for Your Bathroom Project

Scroll down the page to read through all of the tub information or use the links below to learn about size considerations, differences in tub style, or common tub options. 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

Correct Freestanding Tub Size

When planning for a bath the first worry is the over all size of the tub. Will it fit into the space restraints? Will it fit through the bathroom door? Will it be a comfortable fit?

How will the bathtub fit in the room?
Measuring for the tub size
The outside dimensions will let you know if the tub will fit your space. For all bathtubs you will want to make sure they will fit through doors and hallways. What about the tub height? Is it comfortable to step over the tub to get in and out? With freestanding tubs installation also 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)
Freestanding Tub Installation with Two Installers

How large of a bathtub to bathe comfortably?
Inside Bathtub Dimensions
The inside measurements will help you decide comfort level. The bathing well is measured at the bottom of the bathtub - the length and width of tub floor. To see if a tub will fit for you - lean or sit against a wall and measure from the wall to your toes. Check this measurement against the tub's technical sheet for comparison. Will you be able to stretch out sufficiently? Is it wide enough to sit comfortably? Also think about how you lounge. Do you sit against the back slope or do you slouch? I slouch down into the bathtub, making the length of the bathing well not as important as the width and water depth.
Sitting in a bathtub, upright or slouch?

Freestanding with Room 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.

Freestanding Bathtub Styles

• Tub Design
Some parts of design are just a matter of preference. Below are standard style categories to get you familiar with the terms often used. See notes below for things to consider. Some notes on the style:
• Since the feet raise the tub, a clawfoot tub is often shallower than other styles. Much easier to clean around though.
• Do you need a tub rim? Do you prefer a tub rim to set your glass of wine or bathing accessories? Look for a tub with a wider rim or consider a small table to set next to the tub. Tub trays can also be helpful. But make sure the rim of the tub has an even place to set it.
• We also carry some Japanese Style Freestanding 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 will be easier. It also may mean the motor/blower is located within the skirt. Then an equipment access panel on the tub is not needed. Since every one is different, please check the tub's technical information. Freestanding Tub Material
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
- Non-porous
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.
The rim is usually thinner than the tubs made with other materials.

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

Copper
The tub is created entirely from copper which has natural antibacterial properties. Copper is a living finish and will patina over time. Truly a unique tub material.
- Strong material
- Non-porous

Which of these keeps the tub 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! We do have a few freestanding tubs with an in-line heater to maintain the water temperature. You can find these here: Freestanding Whirlpool. Look for "Heated Soaking"

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 or whirlpool jets. Others have micro bubbles or a heated system. We have an article that explores the different systems here: Spa Bathtub

Drain & Faucet for a Free Standing Bathtub

• 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. Only certain tubs have the option of a deck mounted tub filler. The filler on these tubs are a bit trickier to install. For any of the faucet choices you will need to know the tub's dimensions and design. These dimension will answer the following questions:
Is the spout long enough to clear the tub rim but doesn't extend too far into the tub?
Are there armrests that the water might hit and splash?
Is the spout going to be taller than the tub rim?

And when you place your tub faucet (any style) make sure you can comfortably control the water; reach the handles without getting into the tub? Can you reach the water to check the temperature? Do you have to climb over the faucet to get into the tub? (huge trip hazard!).
Also check the faucet's flow rate. These is very true of many freestanding tub fillers. They can be beautiful but the flow rate isn't worth the bother. If a faucet fills at 6 gpm (gallons per minute) and your bath holds 120 gallons - expect 20 minutes of fill time. Change it to 15 gpm and the fill time is cut to 8 minutes.
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