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Free Standing vs Drop In Bathubs

Gene Goforth - Saturday, April 22, 2017
Free Standing vs Drop In Bathubs


This is a question we hear every day: "I want to update my bathroom but I don't know whether to replace my existing bathtub with a freestanding or built-in model.” We are going to explore this today and hopefully help you answer some questions.

Question #1: The first question you need to ask is "What is the bathtub going to be used for?"

  • - Soaking and relaxation
  • - Therapeutic

Many models today in both categories come in therapeutic air and all come as a soaker. Whirlpool is usually not an option on freestanding models. We will discuss the differences in therapeutic air and whirlpool in another blog. If choosing a freestanding with a therapeutic air system, remember that the air motor will have to be remotely placed which could involve running the air lines under a floor from the tub to the motor. Motors can typically be placed up to 15-20 feet away or with a built-in version the motor can be mounted under the bathtub or remote mounted as well.


Question #2: How much space do you have? Freestanding bathtubs make it possible to get you a larger tub in a smaller footprint due to the fact you are not having to build a frame around the tub. If you are wanting to have plenty of room to immerse yourself in the tub and space is an issue then a freestanding version may be the best option. If you are one that wants to create a "spa" or "romantic" environment with candles and a glass of wine or decorate with plants, decorative bottles, etc. then you should consider a built-in version. Pictured below are two examples from Oceania Baths, one of our premier bathtub manufacturers from Canada.


Question #3: What style are you looking for? There are many options in both categories that are available today. Traditional designs like the above photo of the claw foot tub to the more contemporary drop-in design are available in both freestanding and built-in. It is also important to note that if you are going for a built-in version many models are available with a flat deck (see below right) that could be under mounted to give you a large area to sit decorations on.


Question #4: How long of a bathtub are you wanting? The notion bigger is always better does not "hold water" here in all occasions. Typically a 5 foot or 5-½ foot tub is considered a single person bathtub. If your spouse, partner or significant other is not going to be joining you from time to time this may be the best size for you. However, if the two of you enjoy relaxing together after a long and stressful week or the bather in the family is tall you should consider a 6 foot version if space will allow.


Question #5: How wide should the bathtub be? This can be answered much like question #4. Typically a bathtub that is 30”-36" wide is very comfortable for a single bather. You also need to know how much space you have as this will determine the width your space will accommodate. If you are considering a tub for the two of you or you just feel more comfortable in a larger tub there are many models available ranging from 36”-42” wide.


Answering these five questions will help make your decision making much easier.

We have American made bathtubs by Hydro Systems, Canadian made products like Oceania and Blu Bathworks, as well as our Italian designed tubs by Lacava. Feel free to contact the showroom directly at info@ahdok.com or by phone at (405) 607-0420 or toll free at (888) 573-5231. We will be happy to help you select your perfect bathtub and answer any questions you may have.



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