Fixtures are arguably among the most critical choices to make during a bathroom renovation. Together, the best bathroom vanities, sinks, toilets, and tubs create the look and atmosphere of a bathroom.
Depending on the desired style, there are various options to make an impression, and the bathtub has the potential to make the biggest statement of the bunch. From vintage-style claw-foot and soaking tubs to massaging jetted bathtub options, centuries of tub developments present numerous choices for a bathroom renovation.
David Birkes, a general contractor and owner of Birkes Builders in Colleyville, Texas, says, “A great bathtub isn’t just a fixture; it’s a centerpiece that should cater to your comfort and the room’s flow.” The design of a vessel meant for bathing goes back thousands of years, but choosing the best bathtub doesn’t have to take much time or be an ordeal. In this article, we look at all of the key factors that influence a tub’s space suitability and explore a variety of stylish bathtub options.
- BEST OVERALL: Woodbridge 55-Inch Acrylic Freestanding Bathtub
- RUNNER-UP: Vanity Art Freestanding Acrylic Bathtub
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kingston Brass Aqua Eden 60-Inch Alcove Bathtub
- UPGRADE PICK: Cambridge Plumbing Freestanding Soaking Bathtub
- BEST WALK-IN: Empava 53-Inch Freestanding Walk-in Soaking Bathtub
- BEST DROP-IN: American Standard Evolution Deep Soak Drop-In Bathtub
- BEST TWO-PERSON: Empava 72-Inch 2-Person Hydromassage Tub
- BEST FOR SMALL BATHROOMS: Fine Fixtures 48-by-32-Inch Drop-In Tub
- BEST BATHTUB-SHOWER COMBO: Bootz NexTile 60-by-30-Inch Alcove Tub Wall Kit
How We Chose the Best Bathtubs
Choosing the best bathtub for a renovation can make or break the entire project. With the right design, shape, and style, renovators can elevate their basic bathroom setup to something rivaling a luxury spa. Designed to help choose a top-quality tub, this list of top recommendations takes all these aspects into account in each category.
Josh Mitchell, a plumbing technician with Plumbing Lab, a review website for those looking to improve their bathrooms and kitchens, says, “When selecting a bathtub, it’s important to balance aesthetics with functionality and durability. Think about your lifestyle, bathroom space, and budget.” We kept these factors in mind when composing our list of top picks. All our recommended products are made from durable materials and stand out for their craftsmanship and design features. We offer choices in various bath styles to suit a wide range of aesthetics, from contemporary freestanding tubs to more classic farmhouse or midcentury styles.
We know that bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, so we gathered a variety of bathtub sizes to ensure shoppers can find one that fits their space.
Our Top Picks
Figuring out what goes into choosing the right bathtub for the bathroom design of a renovation can be a challenge, but the actual shopping is when the fun begins. Our list aims to help, with any one of these bathtubs being a perfect fit for that bathroom renovation.
- Type: Freestanding
- Size: 55 inches long by 31.75 inches wide by 23 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- Installation of this tub by noncertified personnel may void the warranty
The sleek form of this freestanding tub from Woodbridge adds a stunning focal point to modern interiors. An oval-shaped design and curved sidewalls create the artful minimalist look that is ideal for newly renovated spaces. The 55-gallon tub is 55 inches long by 31.75 inches wide by 23 inches tall, allowing an adult to enjoy a relaxing soak without feeling cramped. It features an overflow and a drain, with multiple finishes available for the polished metal fixtures.
Woodbridge utilizes a fiberglass-reinforced acrylic with a nonslip bottom, creating a robust and smooth surface for easy cleaning. This sturdy acrylic tub can handle up to 1,000 pounds.
Get the Woodbridge bathtub at Amazon or Wayfair.
- Type: Freestanding
- Size: 59 inches long by 29.5 inches wide by 24 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- The classic styling looks like a cast iron tub without the weight penalty
- Multilayered construction includes thermal glass fiber and insulating resin to retain warmth
- Adjustable feet concealed underneath allow for precise leveling of the tub
- Some people feel that the construction of the drain assembly should be more robust
Bathroom renovators looking for a high-quality acrylic bathtub with a modern farmhouse flair may want to check out this Vanity Art model. Made from fiberglass and resin, this freestanding tub is coated with a durable white high-gloss finish that is both stain- and scratch-resistant, allowing it to stay clean and smooth for years. It is 59 inches long by 29.5 inches wide by 24 inches tall.
The Vanity Art freestanding tub fits a variety of home designs, from modern to farmhouse. It features smooth, curvy lines and a pedestal-style base for extra flair. The base also hides four adjustable legs, making this bathtub more useful in bathrooms that aren’t quite level. It comes with an integrated overflow and drain, which are both finished in chrome.
Get the Vanity Art bathtub at The Home Depot or Wayfair.
- Type: Alcove
- Size: 60 inches long by 30.688 inches wide by 22.063 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- With a little ingenuity, it can be installed in an alcove or be freestanding
- The tile flange allows for a watertight seal between tub and 3 surrounding walls
- It is unusual to find a tub this large at an affordable price
- Overflow and drain are not included, which increases the overall cost
Replacing a dated alcove tub with a modern one doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The Aqua Eden 60-inch bathtub from Kingston Brass proves it, with all the style of an updated model at an affordable price point.
Volume can often be an issue with alcove tubs, but that’s not the case with this model from Kingston Brass. It is 60 inches long by 30.688 inches wide by 22.063 inches tall, providing an overall capacity of up to 58.2 gallons.
This tub features acrylic over fiberglass construction, with an integrated flange for tile or a surround. It comes predrilled for an overflow and drain (available separately) with left- and right-hand drain options.
Get the Kingston Brass bathtub at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.
- Type: Freestanding claw foot
- Size: 68.6 inches long by 28.5 inches wide by 29 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- Elegant double-ended design is ideal for a romantic or relaxing soak
- Classic claw-foot style adds a luxurious touch to bathroom decor
- Multiple finishes available to best suit a bathroom’s color scheme
- Faucet and handles not included, requiring separate purchases
This claw-foot slipper tub from Cambridge Plumbing will bring a touch of elegance and romance to the bathroom. It’s a freestanding soaking tub that combines timeless charm with modern functionality and an acrylic construction built to last. Measuring 68.6 inches long by 28.5 inches wide by 29 inches tall with a 13-inch soaking depth, it has a spacious interior that’s perfect for a relaxing bath and is even big enough to accommodate two people.
The feet come in three finishes: oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, and brushed nickel. Since this tub doesn’t come with a faucet, shoppers can choose a fixture that matches the style of their bathroom.
Get the Cambridge Plumbing bathtub at Wayfair or Walmart.
- Type: Walk-in
- Size: 52.5 inches long by 26.5 inches wide by 40 inches tall
- Material: White fiberglass
- Extra-wide door and ultralow threshold ideal for those with impaired movement
- Faucet, control knobs, shower head, and grab handles are all preinstalled
- Available in various lengths to suit bathrooms of all sizes
- There are occasional reports of leaks or rust with drain and overflow
When slips and falls are an ongoing concern, this walk-in tub can enhance safety and comfort all at once. The 94-gallon bathtub provides the space to bathe leisurely without having to step over a tub wall. It has an integrated seat that allows the average adult to sit in water comfortably up to their shoulders, creating a relaxing feel for extended baths.
The extra-wide door creates a waterproof seal when closed using the long, easily grasped handle. This tub is 52.5 inches long by 26.5 inches wide by 40 inches tall. It comes with faucet trim and drain hardware, and it fits in a standard tub alcove, making short work of installation.
Get the Empava soaking bathtub at Amazon.
- Type: Standard
- Size: 60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 21.5 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- Molded armrests and contoured lumbar support maximize the bather’s comfort
- Design allows for installation as either a drop-in or undermount tub
- The top-mounted overflow allows 3 inches more water depth than standard tubs
- The deep soak drain is a requirement but costs extra
Anyone looking to install or replace a drop-in tub in their modern or midcentury bathroom may want to consider American Standard’s Evolution soaking bathtub. Unlike most drop-in tubs, this one offers plenty of hot water volume with its 60-inch length, 32-inch width, and 21.5-inch height. This tub also has a deep-soak maximum drain to allow for more water than typical drop-in tubs.
This soaking bathtub features a square design that will fit well in a modern or midcentury tub alcove. It benefits from acrylic and fiberglass construction, allowing it to stay lightweight (just 74 pounds), even with its robust size. There are contours inside for back and armrests, allowing maximum comfort while soaking.
Get the American Standard bathtub at Amazon, Lowe’s or The Home Depot.
- Type: Whirlpool
- Size: 72 inches long by 48 inches wide by 24 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- A wide range of jets soothe all areas of the body
- The Underwriters Laboratories-certified 1.2 horsepower pump provides powerful water flow
- Controls and accessories are included and are predrilled for ease of installation
- Instructions aren’t intuitive and might be difficult to follow for some
Those looking for a tub with space for two may want to give Empava’s acrylic whirlpool bathtub some consideration. This tub is 72 inches long by 48 inches wide and holds 177 gallons of water, providing plenty of room and volume for two people to hang out and relax.
This Empava tub features 10 water jets, including four in the lumbar region of the back, two on each side, and two by the feet. Powering those jets is a 1.2-horsepower water pump. The Empava also comes with the fixtures required, making this tub an all-in-one purchase. There are two built-in water-resistant pillows for leaning back and relaxing.
Get the Empava Hydromassage bathtub at Amazon, The Home Depot or Empava.
- Type: Drop-in
- Size: 48.25 inches long by 32.125 inches wide by 19.125 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic
- Will fit in small bathrooms while still offering good bathing depth
- Has a glossy porcelain finish that is safe for bath oils or salts
- Can be installed with right or left drain and has strong, supportive feet
- Dimensions can vary up to 0.375 inches, so measuring tub space is vital
Finding the right soaking tub can be particularly challenging when remodeling a small bathroom. This drop-in tub from Fine Fixtures is a compact and attractive solution. Made from a fiberglass-reinforced acrylic, it’s only 48.25 inches long, and its 19.125-inch depth is comparable to that of many full-size soaking bathtubs.
This is a drop-in tub that can be installed with either a right or left drain. It also benefits from strong feet, meaning that unlike many alcove tubs, it doesn’t need a mortar base. It has a glossy porcelain finish that Fine Fixtures claims will never crack. It is also safe for use with bath salts and oils. A 54.125-inch version is available for those with slightly larger bathrooms.
Get the Fine Fixtures bathtub at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.
Photo: homedepot.com The NexTile tub wall kit from Bootz enables DIY remodelers to create a professionally finished alcove quickly and easily.
- Type: Bathtub-and-shower combo
- Size: 60 inches long by 30 inches wide by 60 inches tall
- Material: White acrylic and compression-molded composite
- Has grout-free porcelain finish surfaces that are easy to clean, attractive, and durable
- Nails directly to studs for fast installation with built-in leveling
- A useful storage niche for soaps, shampoos, sponges, and other bath items is preinstalled
- Both faucet and shower fittings need to be purchased separately
Installing a bathtub-and-shower combo in an alcove is a popular, stylish option that can make very effective use of the space available. A common drawback, though, is the time and effort required to tile and grout the walls. The NexTile alcove tub wall kit from Bootz gives DIYers the chance to give any bathroom a sleek, professional-looking upgrade.
This kit includes a 60-inch white acrylic Maui bathtub and four wall panels with a built-in storage niche. These are made from a composite material that has a realistic tile and grout finish. They are screwed directly to the wall studs and interlock for easy assembly. All components fit through standard doorways, and according to the manufacturer, fitting can be managed by a single person. Faucets and shower components are not included but are easy to accommodate.
Get the Bootz bathtub at The Home Depot.
What to Consider When Choosing a Bathtub
Tubs come in a range of types, sizes, and capacities to suit particular spaces and bathing preferences. A tub that matches its purpose and the chosen bathroom style aligns with the functional and aesthetic elements of the fixture. Bathtub materials like acrylic, fiberglass, and metal affect durability, price, and other factors.
Before diving into other considerations, consider the type of bathtub that may be best. Tub varieties include the following main categories.
- Standard bathtubs, as the name suggests, are the most common type. This includes models that drop into framed openings and alcove tubs that fit into three-wall recesses. Standard tubs come in an array of sizes and are usually rectangular or oval in shape.
- Freestanding tubs act as a focal point for bathroom decor. They can be installed where plumbing allows and used as a bathroom centerpiece. They come in many shapes and sizes, with sloped and curved backs to accommodate the bather in a relaxing position.
- Claw-foot tubs are a popular freestanding variety of bathtubs. These antique-style tubs have four feet to support an oval-shaped basin, and those feet usually feature intricate designs. Claw-foot tubs look incredible in the right bathroom, such as an early Victorian, a farmhouse, or a Craftsman-style home.
- Corner tubs are designed to maximize bathroom space efficiently. They’re typically triangular in shape and fit snugly into the corner of a bathroom, making them an ideal choice for smaller or uniquely shaped spaces. A corner tub often has a wider rim and can accommodate more than one bather, making it perfect for a luxurious soak.
- Soaking tubs encompass other designs, including freestanding and claw-foot. These deep tubs allow the bather to submerge their body in a comfortable position for a long and relaxing bath. Soaking tubs often feature a contoured oval or egg shape to surround the bather, with high backs that serve as a backrest and a headrest during deep soaks.
- Whirlpool tubs include water jets that cycle bathwater throughout the system, providing a massaging effect that relieves tense muscles. They are available in stand-alone and drop-in units and are often corner tubs. Whirlpools are often large with room for jets (usually between six and eight) and enough water volume to pump the jets. There must be power available wherever a whirlpool tub is installed, as the pump will run on electricity.
- Walk-in tubs have a watertight door and a low threshold, allowing bathers to enter and exit the bath safely. These tubs often include a built-in seat for added comfort and multiple handles to reduce the risk of slips and falls. Walk-in tubs are available in different sizes and types, including alcove, freestanding, and whirlpool.
Matching the style of a bathroom’s bathtub to the bathroom sink, toilet, and the specific design style of a home may be a goal. Luckily, manufacturers offer choices that include many designs.
- Modern and contemporary bathrooms can benefit from a freestanding bathtub with sleek, simple lines.
- Midcentury aesthetics lean toward angular designs, which could include a drop-in or square freestanding style.
- Industrial design embraces the look of metal like stainless steel, copper, and brass. Many of these are freestanding tubs but also feature hammered or antiqued finishes.
- Farmhouse-style bathrooms can go several ways, but their tubs are generally white and shiny. Pedestal-style freestanding tubs and drop-ins installed in rustic-chic alcoves are popular choices.
- Traditional designs often yearn for claw-foot tubs. These staples of traditional-style homes make a big statement, and today’s models are lighter in weight than the vintage versions.
Bathtubs come in a variety of sizes, with freestanding bathtubs having the greatest flexibility. Since they don’t need to fit into specifically built alcoves or drop-in recesses, they come in nearly any length or width. Freestanding tubs are commonly between 60 and 72 inches in length, with a basic width in the 30- to 32-inch range. The same size ranges are found with claw-foot tubs.
When retrofitting a new tub into an older alcove or recess, size is an important consideration. The most common size is 60 inches long by 32 inches wide, making retrofits a bit less complicated. However, there are oversize options for larger alcoves or recesses, so be sure to measure the current tub before ordering a new one.
Bathtub capacities vary across types, and the intended use of the tub can help narrow down this choice. For instance, 50 gallons or so should suffice for children’s bath nights or cleaning up a muddy canine companion in a standard bathtub. Most standard tubs and alcove walk-in tubs have a capacity below 70 gallons.
Those who want a true soak experience should consider a capacity of at least 60 gallons. For an extra-deep soak, there are freestanding and claw-foot tubs with capacities of up to 80 gallons. A small to midsize whirlpool tub usually falls in this range as well.
On the upper end, freestanding walk-in tubs may hold 90 gallons of water or more. Larger whirlpools have even higher capacities, and a two-person model’s capacity may exceed 170 gallons.
Acrylic and fiberglass are the most common tub materials. These tubs are lightweight, affordable, and easy to install—which is why they’re so attractive for DIY renovations. Fiberglass tubs are more durable than acrylic tubs, though these materials are not as long lasting compared to some others.
Steel and cast iron tubs are heavy-duty and resilient. They typically have porcelain coats and can be refinished when the coat starts to wear and show its age. But these tubs are incredibly heavy, sometimes requiring an entire team to maneuver one into an upstairs bathroom.
Less common materials such as copper, stone, and marble offer a unique visual appeal due to their rarity in most bathroom spaces. These materials are more expensive and are used in high-end bathrooms.
Beyond jets, comfortable contours, and large capacities, some other features could make one bathtub better for a particular renovation than others.
- Built-in overflows drain the water out of the tub once it reaches a specific level. This feature can prevent water damage caused by a forgetful bather.
- Some tubs come predrilled for hardware, allowing a spout to be installed (and sometimes a shower head) without drilling through the new tub. Simply order the tub and the trim to match it.
- A bath pillow is sometimes included with soaking tubs and whirlpool tubs for added comfort and support.
- A remote control is provided with some whirlpool tubs, allowing users to operate the jets without accessing the control panel.
- LED lights are featured in some high-end tubs (often whirlpools) for ambiance and visual effect.
From style to size, there is a lot to consider when looking for a new bathtub. If you have lingering questions about selecting the best bathtub, the following section will address some of them.
Q. How much does a bathtub full of water weigh?
A gallon of water weighs just under 8.5 pounds. Most of the tubs on the list above weigh between 90 and 160 pounds and hold between 50 and 60 gallons of water. These stats combine to create a range between 515 and 670 pounds. However, a cast iron tub may exceed this, so it’s important to ensure adequate support if fitting one upstairs.
Q. What is the standard size for a bathtub?
Manufacturers design standard tubs to fit alcoves measuring 60 inches long by 32 inches wide.
Q. How long of a bathtub should I get?
In most cases, a 60-inch tub will more than suffice. But if you’re a taller-than-average person or want a more luxurious experience, consider a bathtub that’s 67 inches or longer.
Q. How do you clean a bathtub?
If your bathtub is soiled beyond what a standard bathroom cleaner can handle, here’s a trick: Fill the tub with hot water and a gallon of vinegar. Let that soak for a few minutes. Then use a sponge to scrub the surface, using baking soda as an aggregate to loosen the stains. Fitting a fan in the bathroom can reduce the dampness that attracts dirt and mold to the tub and other surfaces.
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