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What you need to know about free-standing tubs

A freestanding tub is a good choice if

A freestanding tub is a good choice if you're considering a remodel. Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Looking for a place to melt away your cares and relax? Look no further than a free-standing tub. While once looked upon as old-fashioned, the free-standing tub has been updated and is no longer relegated to the sidelines. With sleek and contemporary lines, free-standing bathtubs have made a resurgence and offer a chic and updated look to your bathroom.

No more wallflower

After decades of being built in to the bathroom and integrated into the walls, tubs have cut their ties and are holding their own. A free-standing tub is a wonderful choice if you're considering a remodel. These tubs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, and they take center stage, making a natural focal point in the bathroom.

Material interest

Tubs in the past have generally come in two materials: cast-iron or fiberglass. However, new free-standing tubs can run the gamut in materials. They can still be found in cast-iron and fiberglass, but they can also be found in metals, like stainless steel, copper and brass, or wood, acrylic, resin or stone. Tubs made of stone and resin can be especially heavy, so if one of these captures your heart, take into account whether the flooring can support the weight of the tub. Tubs made of fiberglass, acrylic or metal will have a lighter weight.

Shape and style

There is a range of shapes to choose from in free-standing tubs. One of the most common and quintessential-looking tubs is the old claw-footed variety. These tubs helped define tub shape and style since the beginning of their appearance in the 1800s. There is a long oval at one end that allows the bather to lean against the back of the tub comfortably. This is followed by a single slipper, with the lounging end sloped slightly; the double slipper, with two ends sloped allowing two bathers to comfortably relax in the tub, and a double-ended tub, where both sides are shaped similarly.

But there's still more choice in shape. Tubs today can be oval, square or round. One free-standing tub that is especially nice is a Japanese-style soaking tub. These tubs take up less square footage, but they're deeper and enable the bather to soak up to their shoulders. It's a unique shape and style, but it's perfect for small bathrooms or for a deeper soaking experience.

Details, details, details

Getting your free-standing tub into place will also require you to consider the drain hole and where it is located in relationship to the tub placement. Plumbing should also be taken into account, as it will either need to be free-standing or mounted on a wall to fill the tub.

When determining where to place your free-standing tub, think about it as a focal point. It can be placed next to a window, such as a bay window, or where there is a natural spot in your bathroom where your eye falls as you enter. This is a great way to take advantage of and play up the shape of your tub.

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