Types of Bathtubs & How to Pick the Right One for You

For many people, bathing is to both clean their bodies and entertain themselves after a hard-working day. Therefore, using a suitable bathtub is quite essential for your physical and mental health.

Today, we will introduce to you the main types of bathtubs available in the current market, give you a detailed buying guide as well as answer the most asked questions.

Here we go!

Types Of Bathtubs

1. Freestanding Tubs

As freestanding tubs come in various patterns, we will only review them generally.

Owing to their impressive visual impact, these tubs  improve the look of your bathroom dramatically.

You can place them near walls (but you had better not) or toward your bathroom center, and add some brushed chrome or metal faucet accents for optimal aesthetics.


  • Outstanding appearance.
  • Esthetic and graceful looks.
  • Variable positions and styles.


  • Storage areas for necessary toiletries like conditioner, shampoo, or soap are unavailable.
  • Require additional customization.
  • Close-to-wall models are difficult to clean while centered ones take up too much space.
  • Expensive.
  • Not suitable for older people, children, or the disabled.
  • Their heavyweight can badly affect the weak floors.

You can observe four freestanding tubs’ models below.

a. Contemporary firm bottom freestanding tub

b. Bowl-shaped freestanding tub

c. Claw-Foot Tub

d. Freestanding bathtub in a recess

2. Alcove Tubs

This type of bathtub is practically designed for not only functionality but also the formality.

As you can see, the shower is usually installed just above the top and the tub structure mainly focuses on convenience.

Thanks to being space-saving, they are very popular in modern homes.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • User-friendly.
  • Cleaning and maintenance are effortless.
  • Users can upgrade their appearance.


  • Require to be placed next to walls.
  • No special experience.

Read more: Top 7 Best Alcove Bathtubs – Reviews & Guide 2019

3. Japanese Style Tub

As known as the soaking tub or Japanese Ofuro, this type of tub brings about peace and bliss.

The freestanding design, combined with gently sloping walls, will surely give you a spectacular visual appeal.

However, Japanese soaking tubs are often only for soaking and relaxing after people have cleaned their bodies under the shower.


  • Stunning design.
  • Artistic presentation
  • Easy to get in and out.
  • Good for relaxing.


  • Storage areas for necessary toiletries like conditioner, shampoo, or soap are unavailable.
  • Very costly.

4. Hot Tub

When it comes to hot tubs, we are referring to happy moments of deep-soaking and resting in the warm water.

Featuring air jets, hot tubs are often situated in luxurious bathrooms with tiled walls, panoramic windows, and marble floors for maximum relaxing experience.


  • Incredibly relaxing
  • Users can feel like they are in a spa/resort.
  • Hydrotherapy for people suffering arthritis and achy joints.


  • Very pricey.

5. Drop-in Bathtubs

You might hear people calling these as deck-mounted or platform tubs, too.

In this model, the tub rim is designed to be as flat as the surface they are mounted in.

It is also a standard design for whirlpool tubs as well as air tubs.


  • Deliver premium and deluxe spa experience.
  • Deep soaking helps us to relax.
  • High-quality bearings.
  • Multiple safety features.


  • It is challenging to enter and exit these tubs.

Commonly, there are 4 styles of built-in bathtubs as follow.

a. Conventional drop-in bathtub

b. Built-in bathtub with stairs

c. Drop-in tub in the corner

You can see two kinds of these tubs as follows.

i. Triangle-shaped model

ii. Rectangle-shaped model

d. Centered built-in bathtub

e. Undermount Tub

6. Walk-In Tub

The last type of tub is often for people having mobility problems.  Instead of forcing people to step over one side of the tub, it can be entered and exited  without effort thanks to the flat surface.

This tub features a special device at the door to hold and contain water and a release button to drain water after use.


  • Easy to use.
  • Good for disabled people.
  • Many smart features and designs.


  • Quite narrow.

How to Pick the Right Bathtub for You

We know that after the introduction and analysis of types of tubs above, you might have known your favorite type of tub. However, you will still need some more advice before you rush to purchase your best-loved tub.

Let’s see what you have to think about carefully so that you can choose the most appropriate product.

Shape and Size

You cannot ignore the shape and size of your next bathtub for a number of reasons.

First of all, if the tub is too big or its shape is unfit for your current bathroom, can you redesign or enlarge your bathroom? Even if possible, would you want to do that?

Furthermore, you will also do not want to sit uncomfortably in a tiny tub. Don’t talk about relaxing when you even cannot clean your body well!

Besides, a lengthy tub is unfavorable for those who want to rest their feet on the front edge of the tub, and a shallow tub is insufficient for people loving to submerge their whole bodies.

As a result, consider the dimensions and form of your tub carefully!


Most bathtubs are made from fiberglass or acrylic (or acrylic-coated fiberglass) due to their extreme compactness and affordable prices.

However, acrylic is studier, scratch-resistant, and can keep heat well while fiberglass is not so excellent.

Unfortunately, these cheap options, although common, are not the most aesthetic and durable ones. So, if you can go big on more heavy-duty and spectacular tubs, then you have many other choices to consider:

  • In spite of marvelous sturdiness, durability, and heat-holding capacity, cast iron is rather pricey.
  • Steel is nearly similar to cast iron in all aspects except for inferior longevity.
  • Marble is extremely eye-catching and has various patterns, but it will cost you an arm and a leg to purchase and maintain.
  • Copper delivers a one-of-a-kind aesthetic appearance that most people would love at first sight, but it is priced as a small fortune.
  • Luckily, a cast polymer tub is fairly long-lasting and keeps heat well yet more affordable. It can also be faked as a stone tub.

These materials can not only enhance your tub’s life but also decorate your bathroom in a more artistic and luxurious way. Still, don’t overlook their hassles of weight and maintenance requirements.

Last but not least, before you purchase a heavy tub, be prepared for a high installation expense and a sufficiently sturdy floor, especially those who are going to install it on a high floor on a house/building.

Additional features:

See whether you demand any of these:

  • Tub Lighting — Underwater lighting (or chromotherapy) is a very exciting feature.
  • Speakers — Do you like to listen to music while bathing?
  • Digital Controls — For tubs with added functions such as lights and jets, digital controls help you control them easily.
  • ADA Compliance — ADA compliant tubs are preferable to those with mobility issues.
  • Warranty — Very critical for those not-cheap items.


A conventional acrylic or fiberglass tub without any special features should be approx $200.

Meanwhile, a whirlpool or air bathtub costs at least $700, and a combination of them shall be $1500.

It is a rule of thumb that the more beautiful and durable a tub is, the more expensive it is.

However, before buying a bathtub, you had better calculate all the installation, operation, maintenance, and bathroom redesignation costs, too.


Q1: What are the most common dimensions of tubs?

As we have just learned above, bathtubs come in various shapes and sizes.

However, conventional models are often 60 inches in length, 30 or 32 inches in width, and 14 to 19 inches in depth.

In spite of the same width, free-standing or soaking models are longer with around 72-inch length and 21-to-25-inch depth.

Meanwhile, except for the double depth, the majority of walk-in bathtubs are similar to typical ones in width and length.

Q2: What is a bathtub often made of?

The most classic materials of bathtubs include wood, iron, and copper. Nowadays, in many stores, you can still see heavy-duty cast iron bathtubs that have been enameled.

It is also common for us to meet porcelain tubs that are usually steel-based but enameled with porcelain instead of 100% porcelain composition.

With their glossy cover and sturdiness, fiberglass and acrylic are also widely used by bathtub manufacturers.

Q3: Can I paint my bathtub?

Yes. You can refresh the tub’s acrylic, porcelain, or ceramic coating with specialized tools.

Don’t use ordinary interior paints because they will soon wear out in the hot and damp environment of your bathroom.

In this case, an adhesive epoxy-based coat of tub/tile paint can last  up to 4 or even 6 years.

Q4: Could I resurface my bathtub?

Yes. Many types of bathtubs, such as porcelain, fiberglass, or marble, can be resurfaced to renew their appearances, facilitate cleaning, and increase durability.

The resurfacing process consists of removing the residue of the old coating on your bathtub before creating a new finish to renew the tub’s surface.

Q5: Can I repair my bathtub if it is broken?

Yes. You can fix a number of types of tubs made out of porcelain, cultured marble, fiberglass, or acrylic, etc.

However, it is necessary for you to have the right tools and materials and be skillful enough. Otherwise, it is better to hire a professional.

Final Thoughts

So we have gone through the primary types of bathtubs, how to pick the right product for you, and solved the most typical questions.

Now you must be confident enough to go out there and grab a great tub for your family and yourself. Remember to use our buying guide and combine the factors reasonably to have the best bathing experience.

Do we miss out or make a mistake? Please comment below if you have any further questions or opinions about this topic.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Speak Your Mind