How to Choose a Bathtub for Your Bathroom

A modern bathroom with a tub shower combination and vanity.

A bathtub replacement is a major investment, but one that can completely transform the look and functionality of your bathroom. However, a project this great will require a good bit of consideration before you dive in—and one the biggest considerations to make is which bathtub to choose. Deep soaker, traditional, walk-in, or tub/shower combo: When facing a new bathtub installation, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, the investment itself, and the stress of having your bathroom under construction. A quick internet search will provide you with hundreds of lists that feature dozens of bathtub styles, all claiming to be the best on the market. Everyone seems to have a different idea about which tub works best and why. So, how can you find one that lives up to the hype as well as your unique preferences?

If this situation brings up a familiar jittery feeling, there’s no need to fret. Choosing a new bathtub is quite simple once you’ve narrowed down your options. The first step is identifying the bathtub features that matter most to you. The second is finding a tub that checks all of those boxes. To get you started, let’s take a closer look at some bathtub considerations and features:

Bathtub Remodeling Considerations

Unlike showers, where the main goal is to wash as efficiently as possible, bathtubs are designed for relaxation. Since everyone has different relaxation preferences, most bathtub manufacturers have taken to producing a plethora of tub designs that suit a range of unique tastes and budgets. When hunting for the perfect bathtub remodel, keeping your lifestyle preferences at the core of the search is one of the best ways to ensure you choose a model that works for your needs. To organize, here are the top bathtub remodeling considerations:

  • Bathtub style, features, and accessories
  • Tub sizes and installation
  • Budget and materials (luxe or low-maintenance)

While mulling over these core considerations, you’ll be able to identify the bathtub features that you want and then focus on the tub styles that meet those desires.

Narrowing the Field: Bathtub Styles, Features & Accessories

Instead of creating an extensive pro/con list featuring every bathtub style on the market, start your search by asking a simple question: How do you use your tub? The answer will allow you to choose a bathtub style with features and accessories that suit your needs. Here are some of the bathtub styles you have to choose from and the benefits of each:

Alcove Tubs

If you value efficiency above all else, an alcove tub that can also double as a shower base might be the right choice for you. Also called recessed bathtubs, these fixtures are enclosed on three sides by walls and are the most common style of bathtub thanks to their space-saving and—because they can be installed as bathtub/shower combinations—versatile nature.

Deep Soaker Tubs

For maximum comfort that optimizes relaxation, consider a deep soaker tub. These compact baths are shorter but deeper than traditional bathtub installation styles, allowing for an ergonomic design that is more supportive while also saving space in your bathroom.

Standalone Tubs

If saving space isn’t necessarily a priority for you with your bathtub replacement project, or if you have a walk-in shower but would like to also benefit from the relaxation-promoting design of a bathtub, a standalone (or freestanding) tub could likely be the right option for you. These bathtubs do not need to be attached to walls like some other bathtub styles do, so you can have one installed elsewhere in your bathroom.

Jetted Tubs

A jetted bathtub uses hydrotherapeutic features to promote wellness by soothing sore muscles and promoting full-body relaxation. They’re a fantastic investment for just about anyone, whether you’re an athlete or simply someone who could benefit from increased circulation. Plus, they’re available in many different styles to suit your individual needs and preferences.

Considering the space constraints of your bathroom as well as your own functional and aesthetic preferences will help you answer the question of which bathtub style is right for you. Answering this question should reduce the overwhelming quantity of tub choices to a few options that will work for your new bathtub installation.

How to Determine the Best Bathtub Size & Material

Once you have a good idea of your stylistic wants and needs, continue narrowing down your options by finding a bathtub that fits the available space in your bathroom. To do this, measure your walls and calculate the square footage of your space. If you’re looking to cut costs, take note of the current plumbing configuration, and try to stick to it. That may mean choosing a smaller tub to fit an existing nook or an alcove bathtub if the current faucets are wall-mounted. If you like bathtub styles that feature heavy materials and a large water capacity, be sure to have a professional evaluate whether your floor can support the weight.

If you don’t want to sacrifice style or space when it comes to your new bathtub installation, an acrylic tub could be the perfect compromise. These tubs are crafted from a durable, low-maintenance material that is:

  • Easy to clean
  • Infused with silver ions to prevent mold and mildew growth
  • Fully customizable

How to Establish a Realistic Budget

Once you’ve found some bathtub styles and sizes that suit your functional desires and needs for the space, it’s time to run the numbers. For homeowners who are unfamiliar with bathroom remodeling costs, the expenses associated with a new bathtub installation can be an unexpected pitfall. The best way to avoid this is to calculate the cost of your “dream bath” as well as the cost of a mid-range and an economical bathtub installation. Before you choose a bathtub to purchase, give yourself plenty of options so that you can establish a realistic budget. To help with this process, consider different bathtub materials. For example, traditional ceramic tubs will likely cost more than a low-maintenance acrylic tub.

Turn to BathWraps For Your Bathtub Installation Needs

Do you still need some help figuring out how to choose a bathtub? There’s nothing wrong with consulting a professional. Your local BathWraps dealer would be happy to discuss a new bathtub installation with you.