Skip to Content

What To Do With Space At End Of Bathtub [Ideas Explored]

Utilizing as much space as possible in a home can sometimes feel like an endless task. Do you have extra space towards the end of your bathtub and have no idea what to do with it? Well, we've done plenty of digging and have a few suggestions to share. Let's dive right into them.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Start simple if you want to find a way to use the space at the end of your tub. Generally, people use this added space to hold bath/shower products, like soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and oils.

Additionally, you can use the section at the end of your bathtub to place candles or incense on. Furthermore, adding a shelf or two can be helpful if you have various people using one bathtub, so there are endless possibilities here.

As we begin, we will cover all things bathtubs and discuss how to use the space toward the end of one. Whether you want to take on a small DIY project or have more products than storage, we're here to offer some guidance. With that said, let's get into this post!

Spacious and elegant bathroom with big bathtub, white tiles, washbasin with wooden cabinet with drawer and big mirror - What To Do With Space At End Of Bathtub [Ideas Explored]

Why Is There A Space At The End Of A Bathtub?

Bathroom, body care products and towel . Bath preparation. White interior of bathroom. Shampoo, shower gel and other bathing accessories. Toothbrush and soap dispenser. details of bathroom

Typically, you'll see a space towards the end of your tub. This is built-in to many bathtub designs to hold your products and even make for seating while you're in the shower.

Most often, this additional space won't be more than a foot or two long but will span across the entire width of your tub. Again, every bathroom has a different layout, so your tub may offer much more or less extra room.

The configuration of your bathtub will also affect how much end space it offers. For example, a huge soaking tub without a shower combination may offer very little end space, while a shower/tub combo usually leaves that coveted seating or storage section.

What Can I Do With The Extra Space At The End Of My Bathtub?

As we covered, it's good to use the extra end space in a tub for storage. Especially if you have multiple people using one bathroom, adding a storage shelf for products can be helpful.

Furthermore, you can place candles, incense, and other spa-like items here. Your bathtub should be a place to unwind and relax, so don't be afraid to treat yourself.

Regardless, make sure to use your tub in a way that fits your lifestyle, whatever that looks like.

KINCMAX Shower Caddy Basket Shelf

These shelves work well for shower/tub combinations, stick to the wall, are rust-resistant, stainless steel material, and have a brushed black finish.

Follow this link to see them on Amazon.

Should A Bathtub Have Shelf Space?

Yes, it is good to include some shelf space in a bathtub. Whether this means built-in structural shelving or storage space, or even wall caddies, you want to have a place for products.

However, if you have a more traditional tub design, likely, you won't have the same end space as a fit-in shower/tub option. Instead, you'll need to purchase additional shelving to put near your tub.

Again, this is different for everyone, so you may not need to change anything.

How Much Space Do You Need Around A Bathtub?

White bathroom with bathtub, toilet and black and white mosaic floor tiles

Although there aren't specific code requirements for a bathtub, you should give your fixture about 60 inches of clear floor space for length and then 30 inches for the width.

Typically, bathtubs will follow these basic dimensions, so accomplishing this won't be hard. If you choose to have a custom tub, you want to leave enough space for your fixture to fit into your bathroom without being too cramped, so it's good to speak with your contractor.

How Much Space Should Be Between Bathtub And Wall?

Ideally, you want to leave about 200 millimeters (roughly 7.9 inches) between a freestanding tub and the wall. Of course, if your bathtub is built into the wall or is a part of a shower combination, you don't need to leave additional space.

On top of that, you want to leave about 300 millimeters from each end. According to Caroma, leaving ample room around a freestanding tub can make a huge difference in your cleaning.

If your fixture doesn't have enough space between it and the wall, it's more likely for dirt to build up. They also cover how leaving room around a tub helps for tiling, so that's another thing to consider.

Is It Better To Have A Freestanding Tub Or A Shower/Tub Combo?

For those debating whether a freestanding tub or shower/bathtub combination is better, this comes down to your space and lifestyle. Generally, it's easier to have a shower and bathtub combo, as this allows you to do both in the same area.

Also, shower/tub combinations tend to be relatively cheap, usually only being a few thousand dollars. On the other hand, freestanding tubs can be challenging to install and expensive to purchase.

Furthermore, freestanding tubs will require all-side cleaning, while a built-in shower/tub combo only needs the front and inside wiped down.

Are Freestanding Tubs Out Of Style?

Unfortunately, freestanding tubs are phasing out of trend. Although they are still somewhat popular for remodeling, interest in shower/tub combinations is increasing.

This goes for new construction homes and renovated spaces, so you may want to skip out on the freestanding design. Again, that's not to say installing a stand-alone tub is a bad choice, but it could affect your home's resale value.

According to Collins Tile & Stone, like vessel sinks, freestanding bathtubs tend to create more opportunities for dirt and water damage in your bathroom, hence the declining interest in them.

So if you are thinking of redoing your bathroom(s) and want to keep it easy to clean and resealable, a shower/bathtub combination may be better.

Should The Toilet Be Next To The Bathtub?

Spacious and elegant bathroom with big bathtub, white tiles, washbasin with wooden cabinet with drawer and big mirror

Although you don't necessarily need to have your toilet and tub next to each other, this is a common design choice. Figuring that a bathroom will be on the smaller side, it's normal to keep your fixtures close to each other.

That said, make sure to leave around 30 inches of clear floor space between your tub and other fixtures, regardless of their size. Doing this will keep your area maneuverable and easier to clean and maintain.

You can also put your toilet into a separate water closet if you have enough square footage, which is our recommendation. Considering you want to be able to relax while soaking in the tub, looking over a toilet could dampen the mood.

How Close Should The Bathtub And Sink Be?

Generally, you can follow a similar 30-inch clearance between your sink and bathtub. As we mentioned above, you want to leave enough space between your bathroom fixtures, regardless of the layout.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends leaving 30 inches by 48 inches of clear floor space in front of a sink, so keep that in mind.

Again, it's best to speak directly with your designer or contractor about exact measurements, as every space is different.

How Much Does It Cost For A Tub Surround?

If you want to add a tub surround to your bathroom, expect to spend between $600 and $1,800 on average. In general, adding a surround to your existing bathtub won't be super tricky, but it can be costly depending on the material/design you choose.

The cost to replace a tub surround is roughly $300 to $600, so if it's time for a refresh, that's a good place to start. Furthermore, acrylic and fiberglass tub surrounds cost $200 to $1,000, while solid surfaces could set you back upwards of $2,000.

Figuring that you don't need a surround if you have an existing shower/tub combination, you may want to skip a freestanding option.

Is A Tub Surround Worth It?

If you want to have space around your bathtub, installing a surround is worth it. A surround can cost you upwards of $2,000, so adding one into your bathroom isn't cheap.

However, if you desperately need shelving and don't want to tear out your existing tub, this is the next best thing. On top of that, surrounds can give your bathtub a more elegant look, so they play a significant role aesthetically.

To Wrap Things Up

Two bottle of body wash lotion and shower gel on top of white ceramic bathtub in bright bathroom against window with natural plants

Whether you want to renovate or need bathtub storage ideas, knowing what to do with the space at the end of your tub is essential. From what we found, you can use this extra end space for shower/bath products, like shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and oils.

Additionally, you can place candles, incense, and other spa items here to help you relax. At the end of the day, your bathtub should be a place to unwind and feel comfortable.

Regardless, make sure to leave ample room around your bathtub and other fixtures, and don't be afraid to install a shower/tub combo instead the next time you renovate!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related home posts below!

Why Do Bathtubs Peel? [And What To Do About It]

How To Fix A Slow Draining Bathtub [6 Different Methods

How To Tell If A Bathtub And Shower Are Fiberglass Or Acrylic