How to Choose a Bathtub

Written by: Erica Spangler

Design Specialist
Bathtubs are all about comfort and relaxation. Make sure you find one that fits your needs and your space with this Bathtub Buying Guide.

Find your sanctuary by finding out which bathtub is perfect for you.

One of the first decisions you will need to make in your bathroom remodel is choosing a bathtub that fits the design, but also meets your needs for optimal relaxation. Make sure you consider the material so you can ensure the water maintains the right temperature. Consider length to make sure you fit in the bathtub comfortably. And don't forget to have the tub waste at the right height so your tub holds enough water when you are bathing. 

Bathtub Type

Based on your bathroom's space for your bathtub and your needs, this will determine the bathtub type that you will need.

Drop in tubs

  • Drops into a cut out area
  • More finished look
  • Works in a three-wall location

Shop drop in tubs

Undermount tubs

  • Requires the most installation work
  • Deck is commonly built around tub

Shop undermount tubs

Three wall alcove tubs

  • Most common type
  • Built-in three-sided niche
  • Most affordable due to less material

Shop three wall alcove tubs

Walk in tubs

  • Getting in and out of a tub easier
  • Great for more independence
  • Grab bars or door latches available

Shop walk in tubs

Freestanding tubs

  • Placed anywhere
  • Don't depend on walls
  • Easiest install job

Shop freestanding tubs

Corner tubs

  • Typically triangular in shape
  • Fit in a two-wall corner location

Shop corner tubs

Bathtub Sizing

After you determine the type, then you will determine the dimensions you will need.

Length x Width x Height (sometimes height is referred to as depth)

Bathtub Features

Once you have determined the type of bathtub you need, then you will want to consider the different types of features.

Whirlpool jetted tubs

  • Also know as a jetted tub
  • Place water jets near major muscle groups
  • Produces vigorous water movement

Shop whirlpool jetted tubs

Air jetted tubs

  • Feature tiny holes to push air out
  • Step up in function and price
  • Produces soothing water experience

Shop air jetted tubs

Soaking tubs

  • Most common tub type
  • Standard tub without added water features
  • Most affordable type

Shop soaking tubs

Bathtub Materials

You will want to educate yourself on the material options for bathtubs. The material can affect the price, weight and durability of the bathtub.

Copper tubs

  • Durable material
  • Highly visual material
  • Ages gracefully over time
  • Recycled material

Shop copper tubs

Acrylic tubs

  • Light weight material
  • Resists abrasions
  • Large selection
  • More expensive

Shop acrylic tubs

Cast iron tubs

  • Strongest and most durable
  • Absorbs sound the best
  • Very heavy material
  • Make sure you properly support it

Shop cast iron tubs

Fiberglass tubs

  • Durable material
  • Highly visual material
  • Ages gracefully over time
  • Recycled material

Shop fiberglass tubs

Enameled steel tubs

  • Lighter alternative to cast iron
  • Susceptible to chipping
  • Noisier option
  • Small selection

Shop enameled steel tubs tubs

Americast tubs

  • Light weight material
  • Less expensive
  • Alternative to cast iron
  • Retains heat well

Shop americast tubs

Complete Your Bathtub

A bathtub is more than just the tub. I also want to help you find the right faucet, the right shower door if you need it and attempt to answer other questions that may come up as you choose the perfect bathtub.

Bathtub Faucet

You will need to choose the right faucet for your bathtub. If you are doing a shower bathtub combo, you will get a combo faucet with shower head. If you just need a bathtub faucet, you can choose from deck mounted, wall mounted or floor mounted.

Bathtub Faucet Only

Bathtub and Shower Combo

Bathtub Accessories

Do not forget about these accessories to complete your entire bathing experience. While some are just for comfort, other accessories are really important to make sure you have when you purchase a tub.

Bathtub Accessory Basics

Bathtub Safety Accessories
Bathtub Storage Accessories