How To Choose A Bath? Factors, Types, And Features

Bathroom Remodel
Written by: Emily Simmons
September 2, 2023

When it comes to relaxation and self-care, few things can rival the luxury of a well-chosen bath. Whether you’re renovating your bathroom or building a new one, the bath you choose can make a significant difference in your overall experience. 

Learn how to choose a bath, exploring a range of sizes, shapes, and cutting-edge features that promise unparalleled relaxation. 

What To Consider When Choosing A Bath

Selecting the right bath isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about understanding your needs, the available space, and the type of experience you want. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Size And Space: Measure your bathroom accurately. Ensure the bath you choose fits comfortably, leaving enough space for other fixtures.
  • Material: The bath’s material can influence its durability, maintenance, and heat retention.
  • Budget: Baths come in a range of prices. Set a budget but be prepared to adjust if you find a bath that meets all your criteria.
  • Usage: Will it be used daily or occasionally? The frequency can influence the type and quality of the bath you choose.
  • Installation: Some baths require professional installation, while others might be DIY-friendly.

Different Types Of Baths

There’s a plethora of bath types available, each offering a unique bathing experience:

  • Standard Baths: These are common and fit easily into most bathroom designs.
  • Whirlpool Baths: Equipped with jets, they offer a spa-like experience.
  • Soaking Baths: Deeper than standard baths, they allow for full immersion.
  • Walk-In Baths: Ideal for those with mobility issues, they have a door for easy access.

Freestanding Baths

A freestanding bath, as the name suggests, stands alone without any attachment to walls or floors. It’s a statement piece, often becoming the focal point of a bathroom.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Freestanding Baths


  • Versatility: Can be placed anywhere in the bathroom.
  • Aesthetics: Offers a luxurious and elegant look.
  • Variety: Available in various designs, materials, and sizes.


  • Space: Requires a larger bathroom to avoid a cramped look.
  • Weight: Can be heavy, especially when filled with water.
  • Price: Tends to be more expensive than built-in baths.

Types Of Freestanding Baths

Freestanding baths are made from various materials, each offering distinct advantages:

  • Cast Iron: Durable and retains heat well but can be heavy.
  • Acrylic: Lightweight and retains heat, but can be less durable than other materials.
  • Copper: Offers a unique look, has natural antibacterial properties, and is durable.

Corner Bathtubs

Corner bathtubs, as the name suggests, are designed to fit snugly into a corner of the bathroom. They are a popular choice for those looking to maximize space while adding a touch of luxury. These tubs often have a unique shape, allowing them to fit into corners while providing ample space for a relaxing soak.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Corner Bathtubs


  • Space-Saving: Perfect for smaller bathrooms, corner bathtubs utilize space that might otherwise go unused.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Their unique designs can enhance the overall look of the bathroom, making it appear more modern and luxurious.
  • Increased Capacity: Due to their design, corner tubs often allow for more water than standard tubs, offering a deeper soak.
  • Versatility: Many corner bathtubs come with built-in seating or lounging areas, enhancing comfort.


  • Installation Complexity: Corner bathtubs might require more intricate plumbing and installation processes.
  • Price: They can be more expensive than traditional tubs due to their design and features.
  • Maintenance: The unique shape might make cleaning some areas more challenging.

Types Of Corner Bathtubs

Corner bathtubs come in various styles, each catering to different needs and aesthetic preferences:

  • Shower Combos: These are dual-purpose, offering both a bathtub and a shower. Ideal for those who want the best of both worlds without compromising on space.
  • Alcove Tubs: These are designed to be tucked into a three-walled alcove. They are space-efficient and often come with built-in storage or shelving.
  • Traditional Style: These bathtubs have a classic design, reminiscent of vintage clawfoot tubs but tailored to fit into corners. They add a touch of elegance and nostalgia to the bathroom.

Incorporating a corner bathtub into your bathroom can be a game-changer, especially if you’re working with limited space. By understanding the benefits, drawbacks, and types available, you can make an informed decision that elevates your bathroom’s functionality and aesthetics.

Perfect Bathtub For Your Space

Choosing the right bathtub is not just about luxury and relaxation; it’s also about ensuring that the tub fits seamlessly into your bathroom’s dimensions and design. Whether you have a compact bathroom or a spacious one, there are specific considerations to keep in mind to ensure you select the perfect bathtub for your space.

Considerations For Smaller Spaces

  • Opt For Space-Saving Designs: Corner bathtubs or alcove tubs can be ideal for smaller bathrooms as they utilize corners and recessed spaces effectively.
  • Depth Over Length: If you’re limited in terms of length, consider a deeper tub. Soaking tubs, for instance, are designed to allow you to immerse yourself fully without needing a long footprint.
  • Sliding Glass Doors: If you’re considering a shower-bathtub combo, sliding glass doors can be more space-efficient than traditional shower curtains.
  • Integrated Storage: Some bathtubs come with built-in shelves or storage compartments. This can be a boon for smaller spaces where every inch counts.
  • Avoid Bulky Fixtures: Streamlined fixtures and faucets can make the space appear less cluttered and more spacious.

Considerations For Larger Spaces

  • Statement Pieces: Larger bathrooms offer the luxury of space, allowing for statement pieces like freestanding or clawfoot tubs. These can serve as the focal point of your bathroom.
  • Incorporate Spa Features: With more space, you can consider bathtubs with features like jets, whirlpools, or even chromotherapy lights for a spa-like experience.
  • Multiple Installations: If your bathroom is spacious enough, you can consider having both a standalone shower and a separate bathtub, offering versatility in bathing options.
  • Elevated Platforms: Consider installing your bathtub on a raised platform. This not only adds a dramatic touch but also aids in hiding plumbing fixtures.
  • Accessorize: Larger spaces allow for additions like side tables, bath trays, or even plants around the bathtub, enhancing the overall ambiance.

Wide Variety Of Shapes And Sizes Available

The world of bathtubs is vast and varied, offering a plethora of shapes and sizes to cater to every individual’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a tub that fits into a specific space or one that aligns with a particular design aesthetic, understanding the standard sizes and popular shapes can guide you to the perfect choice.

Standard Sizes In Inches Wide

When it comes to bathtubs, there are a few standard sizes that manufacturers typically adhere to. These sizes ensure that the tubs fit comfortably in most bathrooms while providing ample space for relaxation:

  • Compact Tubs: These typically measure around 48 inches in width. They’re perfect for smaller bathrooms or for children.
  • Medium Tubs: Averaging around 60 inches wide, these are the most common size found in many homes. They offer a balance between space-saving and comfort.
  • Large Tubs: These can range from 66 to 72 inches wide. Ideal for those who love a spacious soak or for couples who enjoy sharing a bath.
  • Extra-Large Tubs: Anything above 72 inches falls into this category. These are often found in luxury homes or spa settings, offering an expansive bathing experience.

Popular Shapes

The shape of a bathtub can significantly influence its overall look and feel. Here are some of the most sought-after shapes:

  • Straight: These are the classic, rectangular-shaped tubs that fit snugly against a wall. They’re versatile, fitting into both traditional and modern bathroom designs.
  • Drop-in: These tubs are designed to be ‘dropped’ into a pre-built frame or platform. Only the inside of the tub is visible, offering a clean and seamless look. They can be of various shapes, including rectangular, oval, or even circular.
  • Whirlpool: While whirlpool refers more to the feature (jets) than the shape, these tubs are often wider and deeper to accommodate the jet mechanisms. They can be both straight and drop-in, but the distinguishing factor is the therapeutic water movement they offer.

Additional Features To Consider

When selecting the perfect bathtub, it’s not just about size, shape, or material. The modern bathtub market offers a myriad of additional features that can elevate your bathing experience from ordinary to extraordinary. These features can enhance comfort, provide therapeutic benefits, and even add a touch of luxury to your daily routine. Here’s a rundown of some standout features you might consider integrating into your next bathtub purchase:

  • Jet Systems: These systems circulate water through jets, creating a massage-like effect. They’re perfect for those seeking relief from sore muscles or simply wanting a spa-like experience at home. There are various jet systems available, from air jets that produce gentle bubbles to water jets that offer a more vigorous massage.
  • Chromotherapy: This feature uses colored LED lights within the tub to create a soothing ambiance. Different colors can evoke different moods and feelings, making your bath not just a physical but also a sensory experience.
  • Heated Backrests: For those chilly days or just added comfort, some bathtubs come with built-in heated backrests. This feature ensures you remain warm and cozy throughout your soak.
  • Overflow And Drain Systems: Advanced overflow systems can allow you to fill the tub higher without the risk of spilling, maximizing immersion. Additionally, rapid drain systems can empty the tub quickly, making it ready for the next use in no time.
  • Built-In Audio: Some luxury bathtubs come equipped with built-in speakers that can sync with your devices. Whether you want to listen to calming tunes, an audiobook, or your favorite podcast, this feature ensures you’re entertained while you relax.
  • Touchscreen Controls: Modern tubs can feature touchscreen panels that allow you to control various features, from jet intensity to lighting, ensuring your bath is tailored precisely to your preferences.
  • Self-Cleaning Systems: Maintenance can be a concern with bathtubs, especially those with intricate features. Some tubs now come with self-cleaning systems that use advanced technology to ensure the tub remains hygienic and in top condition with minimal effort on your part.
  • Aromatherapy Dispensers: Infuse your bathwater with your favorite essential oils. With built-in aromatherapy dispensers, you can enjoy a fragrant soak that relaxes both your body and mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

To provide a better understanding of how to choose a bath, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions.

How often should I clean my bathtub with advanced features like jets and chromotherapy?

While self-cleaning features can reduce the need for frequent maintenance, it’s recommended to clean your bathtub thoroughly at least once a month. For tubs with jets, running a cleaning solution through the system every couple of weeks can prevent build-up and ensure optimal performance.

Can I retrofit my existing bathtub with some of these advanced features?

Some features, like touchscreen controls or built-in audio, might be challenging to retrofit. However, certain additions, such as external jet systems or LED lights for chromotherapy, can be integrated into existing setups with professional assistance.

Are bathtubs with advanced features energy-intensive?

While features like heated backrests or whirlpool systems do consume energy, many modern bathtubs are designed with efficiency in mind. It’s always a good idea to check the energy ratings and consult with the manufacturer about consumption details.

How do I choose between air jets and water jets for my bathtub?

Air jets offer a gentle, bubbly massage, while water jets provide a more vigorous, targeted massage. Your choice depends on your preference: if you want a subtle, relaxing experience, go for air jets; if you’re looking for therapeutic relief for sore muscles, water jets might be more suitable.

Choosing Your Bath

In the realm of home luxury, the modern bathtub stands as a testament to innovation, comfort, and style. This guide will show you how to choose a bath, as with a myriad of shapes, sizes, and advanced features available, there’s a perfect tub for every individual and every space. As you embark on the journey to find your ideal bathtub, remember that it’s not just about aesthetics or size; it’s about crafting an experience—a daily ritual of relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re renovating an existing space or designing a new one, let this guide be your compass, leading you to a bathtub that promises serenity, luxury, and unmatched comfort.

Discover more plumbing and bathroom renovation tips by exploring our resources. Learn more by visiting Bathroom Ready and checking out our guide on small bathroom remodeling.

Bathroom Remodeling & Installation

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