Soaking Tub Designs

If you want serious relaxation in your bath, then deep soaking tub designs are the way to go. And there are plenty of style options from which to choose.
Peaceful Zen Bathroom With Freestanding Soaking Tub

Peaceful Zen Bathroom With Freestanding Soaking Tub

The unique contours of a bathtub help give this bathroom a peaceful feel.

By: Kirsten Efird

Give your bathroom the ultimate in relaxation with trying a deep soaking tub design. These bathtubs have overtaken whirlpools and garden tubs as the most popular way to relax and cleanse the body and soul. And there are plenty of stylish options to choose from.

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Freestanding vintage soaking tub designs have made a comeback, as people choose them to make a stylish statement in their bathrooms. Cast iron clawfoot tubs are beautiful and classic—and practical for long soaks, since they hold the heat in the water longer. Their elegant designs make them bathroom showpieces, and they're now made in more lightweight materials. A slipper tub has one end raised up higher for even more lounging comfort.

A variation on the clawfoot tub is the pedestal tub. These have much the same shape as the clawfoot tubs, but instead of having feet, they are raised up on a platform or pedestal. These are a great mix of traditional and modern looks and can be made out of various materials. The most striking ones can be made of copper or stainless steel; but acrylic is the most common material used. They are long-lasting and easy to care for, as well as elegant and striking.

Deep Japanese tubs are the ultimate in soaking tubs. These are much deeper than a regular American-style tub—about 27 inches deep—so that you sit upright and the water comes up to your chin, making it a true deep soaking tub. These tubs traditionally are made of wood, which adds an aromatherapy element to your bath. They are not as long as a conventional tub, meaning they can fit in a smaller space in your bathroom.


Roman-style tubs are the most ornate and lavish of the soaking tubs. These are typically drop-in type tubs that will have a tile or stone surround and plenty of deck area for toiletries. As the name implies, these elaborately designed baths often include columns and other details such as intricate tile inlay patterns. Marble is frequently used in Roman baths for an authentic look and feel. These may have steps up to the tub, or the tub can be sunken into the floor like a pool. There are freestanding versions of Roman tubs as well.

Newer to the bathtub scene is the walk-in tub. Primarily used by seniors because of their safety features, these deep tubs have a door for easy access. All of these tubs have a built-in seat and can include a wide variety of other features, including adjustable bubble jets, handrails, adjustable shower heads and nonskid textures. Users of these tubs say the deep soaking helps with arthritis and muscle aches.

Be advised that most of these soaker tubs use more water than a conventional bathtub, so be sure your water heater is up to the task. You can talk to your plumber about installing a larger capacity water tank, or you could consider switching it out entirely for an in-line water heater, which supplies constant hot water that never runs out.

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