Freestanding Bathtubs - The Different Sizes and Styles
Freestanding bath tubs have become increasingly popular over the years. Modern and luxurious, with sleek designs created to be enjoyed at your own leisure, and with deep relaxing tubs that are designed to be admired at your leisure, these are not only a source of relaxation, but also add instant impact to any bathroom design. So what exactly is a freestanding bathtub? Quite simply, it's a tub that is usually freestanding, that sits on its own pedestal. Whereas a regular tub or shower combination will sit on a wall that is then "floated" over the floor of your bathroom, a freestanding bathtub is often designed so that it sits flush against the wall.
When these tubs first began to become popular, there were two types available: acrylic and fiberglass. Acrylic is the newer of the two. It has a glass base and is made of a heavy-duty plastic. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is typically made out of fiberglass resins. These are the most popular on the market today, as they're extremely sturdy, as well as fairly inexpensive. These two though, don't always mesh well together.
Today though, many manufacturers have begun to produce these in different styles. Many people prefer the more modern looking acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs, while others opt for the more traditional Japanese soaking tubs. Both of these options can come in freestanding varieties, as well as in corner/in-the-neighborhood tubs, deck bathtubs and clawfoot tubs. Some even go so far as to include a slide in shower attachment.
As you can see, there's a very wide range in size and shape of these units. If you're going for an upscale look in your bath, a freestanding soaking tub is probably the way to go. Other popular shapes these days are the quadrant (four-sided) and rectangle shapes. The oval shaped ones are usually built in the wall, like a standard bathtub, but don't have any additional features built in to them. This type, as with the quadrant and rectangle, also come in a variety of sizes.
The common feature of all freestanding tubs have, however, is the standard tub drain. The reason for this is to prevent "pooling" water when taking a bath or shower. A separate faucet is installed for this purpose, so you won't need to worry about running a plumbing drain as you would if you had a freestanding tub with built-in faucets. The majority of tubs I can think of that don't have built-in drains have a single lever control, which allows the faucet to be turned on from the side of the tub, and drains the water from the bathtub as soon as it's filled with water. These types of faucets require a separate plumbing drain.
Tub and shower faucets are typically constructed from brass, copper, stainless steel, or some combination of the two. Although brass does look good and is often the material of choice because it's easy to clean, copper looks even better. If you've decided to use a copper faucet, make sure you have a clean chrome finish, since copper looks so beautiful when it's gleaming. As far as installation goes, this type of bathtub will usually require a "bathtub ring" surrounding the entire unit. Installation of this type of bathtub should be left to the professionals.