Freestanding Tub Options

Classically styled but with modern touches, freestanding tubs are becoming the new trend for today's upgraded bathrooms.
Tyrrell and Laing Stone Tub in Master Bathroom

Tyrrell and Laing Stone Tub in Master Bathroom

This Tyrrell and Laing Stone Tub becomes the statement piece in this master bathroom. Its form and color create dramatic contrast with the surrounding dark tile and wood walls, adding sensuality and elegance to the space.

Photo by: Tyrrell & Laing

Tyrrell & Laing

By: Kirsten Efird

For a true "wow" factor in your modern bathroom, consider freestanding tub options. These tubs are becoming the centerpieces of today's spa-like baths, in many cases replacing the Jacuzzi and garden tubs that have been so popular in recent years.

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Freestanding tubs are simply bathtubs that are not attached to a wall. They can be placed anywhere that plumbing lines can be installed. There is no exterior deck or surround. These tubs are favored by those who want a true focal point in their bathroom, a beautiful fixture that functions as a piece of furniture.

These statement pieces typically need a larger bathroom space for full effect, but with some careful planning, they can work in smaller spaces as well. Traditionally, these tubs were always of the cast-iron variety, but today they come in a wide range of materials and finishes, such as wood, copper, enamel—even volcanic stone. Old-fashioned tubs made of copper or brass are options as well; they are a stunning focal point and conduct heat well, but they are expensive and high-maintenance.

Remember that traditional cast iron tubs are very heavy; today's freestanding tubs can be made of lighter materials. Acrylic and fiberglass tubs are much lighter than classic cast-iron bathtubs, and they are available in a variety of colors. Some still prefer the classic cast iron, however, because it retains heat well and is the best at resisting scratching, fading and chipping.

The basin of a freestanding tub is supported either by feet or a decorative pedestal base. The design options for these are almost limitless, so you will be able to find something that matches your style as well as your other bathroom fixtures. Choosing the style for clawfoot bathtubs or pedestal bathtubs is a great way to further personalize the look of your unique tub. From traditional to country to French styles, the hardest part may be deciding among all the options.

Freestanding tubs traditionally have been high-ticket items, but with changes in design and material, they are becoming more affordable for the middle market. Tubs start at around $1,000 and go up from there, depending on the design, style and materials used.

In your bathroom planning, do remember that if you choose a freestanding tub, you will most likely need a separate showering area because these tubs are primarily designed for deep soaking. Some manufacturers do have options for shower attachments, however.

A freestanding tub may be the right choice for you if you are looking for an unexpected sculptural element, almost a piece of art, as the centerpiece. They lend an air of sophistication and a spa-like feel that you will enjoy every time you enter your bathroom.

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