It seems like a simple enough question, how big is a bathtub? In actuality, there is a multitude of standard bathtub sizes. When most people think of a bathtub, they are generally referring to an alcove bathtub. This type of bathtub fits into an alcove (hence, the name) surrounded by three walls. Bathrooms in older homes were sized for these one-size-only tubs; it was simple to convert them into full baths with a shower above the tub. Today, there are numerous sizes and shapes, so we've researched them all to give you an in-depth look at bathtub specifications.
Here is a list of standard sizes for multiple tub options:
- Alcove tubs: 60” long, 30” wide, and 16” to 18” high
- Drop-in tubs: 60” long, 30” wide, and 16” high
- Corner tubs: 42” to 76” long, 31” to 83” wide, and 17” to 29” high
- Walk-in tubs: 60” long, 30” wide, and 20” to 45” high
- Freestanding tubs: 55” to 72” long, 27” to 32” wide, and 15” to 20” high
Lots of bathroom design decisions are based on the type or size of the bathtub chosen for the room. Before selecting a tub, think about the dimensions of your space. Do you have a square bathroom or a more traditional rectangular space? Even in smaller spaces, there are now designs that make it possible to have that luxury spa pampered feeling. Please read on to learn more about these diverse tub shapes and sizes.
An In-Depth Look At Bathtub Sizes
In recent years homeowners have chosen to deviate from the typical alcove bathroom design, and due to this, there is a wide range of bathtub sizing now available on the market. Here we will delve into some popular choices and the best-suited sizing for your home.
Alcove tubs are the most affordable and popular option for homeowners. They have a simple and clean design that makes them easy to place in a bathroom. You can still add luxury features like jets to modern alcove tubs.
Drop-in (or set-in)
Drop-in, also referred to as set-in, tubs have a built-in platform, and the tub is placed onto the footprint of the platform. They offer an upscale look with rimmed edges, and the platform is typically tiled or fitted to match the rest of the bathroom design.
Corner tubs are also great for smaller-sized bathrooms. They offer a tub but save enough space that you can often fit a shower or storage area in the bathroom as well.
Walk-in tubs are generally used for elderly occupants or occupants with limited mobility who find it hard to step over a ledge to get into the tub. These have a hinged door that can open outward or inward and feature a seat.
Freestanding tubs offer the ultimate luxury feel. They come with either a pedestal base or one or two slipper sides (raised section on either side), and usually feature a stylish, trendy faucet fixture.
Check out "12 Types Of Bathtub Faucets [And Faucet Handles]" for ample options on any tub style.
How tall is a walk-in tub?
Walk-ins, also known as hybrid tubs, range from 20” to 45” in height. They commonly feature a handheld faucet for functionality, along with handrails, hydrotherapy jets for aches and pains, and non-slip flooring.
One consideration for walk-ins with an exterior opening door is the possibility of flooding if the door is not properly latched or sealed. You can also become chilled while waiting for the tub to fill as you have to fill it after you have already entered.
What is a good size for a soaking tub?
One of the most common types of tubs homeowners choose to renovate their bathrooms are soaking tubs. Many non-standard-sized soakers can fit into smaller bathroom spaces, making them a popular option. Generally, anything with an interior water level above 17” is considered a soaking tub.
When choosing a soaking tub, you have to think about the interior water depth. This is from the base of the tub to the overflow valve. So even though the tub's exterior height might be 18”, you will not get an interior water level of 18”. Most standard-sized tubs have an interior depth of 12” to 20”.
Another thing to consider with the larger soaking tubs is the foundation in which your bathroom sits. You need to make sure your flooring can handle a tub that holds a considerable amount of water. You should also make sure you have a hot water heater sufficient to heat the desired water amount. While that deep water level is appealing to most adults, households with small children need to be mindful of the water depth while bathing little ones.
Japanese Soaking Tub
A popular pick for people seeking out soaker tubs is a Japanese soaking tub. Most soakers are designed for the occupant to lay down and soak, whereas the Japanese version is designed for the occupant to sit while being submerged up to the neck. They usually have a water depth of 22” but can go up to 36”.
Deep Soaking Tub
If it’s an aesthetically pleasing deep soak you’re after, there are even petite models of freestanding clawfoot tubs available. They have a length of only 48”, so they’re sure to fit in the smallest of spaces. With a water depth of 28”, you’re still able to take a deep soak.
What is the best height for a bathtub?
Tubs around 18” are best suited for tub/shower combos, so the occupant doesn’t have to climb over a tall surround every day. If you prefer, you could also go with an inset tub. Many bathrooms with an inset design feature steps into the tub, which then becomes flush with a platform or a heightened floor.
What is the most comfortable bath shape?
Bathtubs come in many, many different shapes. From freestanding slipper tubs with raised ends, corner tubs, round, square, oval, rectangular, and even specialty-shaped tubs. What one considers comfortable, you may not. There are typically four common shapes and designs found in most bathrooms: alcove, corner, clawfoot, and drop-in baths. The best advice is not to be shy and sit in the tub prior to purchasing to see how you feel. You may be surprised what you find comfortable.
How long does a bathtub last?
Bathtubs are made out of a variety of materials: fiberglass, porcelain, acrylic, cast iron, and copper are all common materials used.
- Lots of homeowners decide on fiberglass due to its affordability. Expect a warranty of 10 years and an average lifespan of 20 years.
- Acrylic tubs usually come with a one- to two-year warranty and have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Check out, "Acrylic Bathtubs Pros And Cons: What Homeowners Need To Know."
- Copper offers durability, antibacterial properties as well as heat retention. Expect a copper tub to last at least 50 years.
- Porcelain cast iron tubs are the gold standard and have a life expectancy of 50 to 75 years! If the porcelain starts to wear, you can refinish them. Expect the refinished surface to last at least 15 to 20 years.
Bathtub sizes vary, as do shapes, so it's important to measure your available area's dimensions prior to selecting a tub. Don't be shy, sit right in any prospective tub shapes to determine what you think is most comfortable. Go for style and comfort, and you'll find just the right fit for the ultimate bathing experience in your home.