Replacing a bathtub can be quite the task. They are large, often heavy pieces that are difficult to maneuver into place. Not to mention the old cast iron tubs that you may have to remove which can weigh between 300lb-600lbs. They are worth the effort though; once you see the finished bathroom complete with your feature tub you will be happy that you go through the trouble of replacing it.


The standard North American tub is 60 inches long by about 30 inches wide and would typically sit in a three walled alcove. Don't let the standard stifle your creativity. There are many different materials, shapes, free standing or custom designed tubs available. Anything from a large acrylic soaker tub to a custom built tile air jet tub. To get an idea of what is available, I thought I would give you a basic run down of the styles available.

Apron-front tub

These bathtubs were designed to fit into a three walled alcove, also known as the standard. They come in soaker, whirlpool, or air jet tubs. A whirlpool circulates the water while you soak whereas an air jet tub relies on air bubbles to relax. These apron tubs are open on three sides which would face the wall and are sealed against tile or shower surround. The end that you can see would have an apron or decorative cover which would reach and be sealed against the floor.  

Drop-in Tubs

A drop in is also available as a soaker, whirlpool or air jet tub. A frame and deck are custom built which the tub would be dropped into. This allows for a more integrated design as you can pull trim, wall colour or tile around the tub. Great for customizing or creating a specific style.

Free Standing, Slipper or Claw Foot Tubs

A free standing tub is exactly that; it stands on its own with feet or a base without a frame or box to sit in. This style originally was more traditional but the options have expanded into modern and contemporary styles. You can get a square, oval or egg shaped free standing tubs. Ones with chrome or wooden legs and bright painted bottoms.

There really is no limit to what you can do. The options are endless and you are only restricted by your imagination. If you need some inspiration start by checking out what you friends have or look through magazines and find what appeals to you. Do you like a particular look? Maybe you like an apron bathtub or dream of a spa like drop in. Get an idea of what you like, figure out how much space you have and go from there.

Word of the day: Alcove  

A recess or extension connected to or forming part of a room.


AuthorCamille Pacori