Bathtubs have come a long way from the earliest known ones over 6000 years ago. They have morphed from public baths to the commonly used built-in ones in the early 1900s. Although the free standing tubs have been around for many years, recently the more elegant claw foot and other freestanding bathtubs have become much more in demand. Over the last several years available designs, materials, colors, sizes and features have grown substantially. There are options such as head and back rests, lights, multiple colors and finishes (matte or glossy), circulating water, and more. Deeper models are available to prevent overflow and also totally submerge the body. The tubs come free-standing and wall-adjacent for tighter spaces.
Once there was only cast iron tubs and then the lighter acrylic ones became popular. Today there are newer, more efficient materials, such as composites, as well as wood, enamel, fiberglass, natural stone and copper.
“Home owners and designers are definitely trying to phase out large built-in bathtubs which take up too much space,” according to Goran Stankovic of Aquiticabath. Contemporary freestanding bathtubs are becoming more popular since they are regarded as the centerpiece within modern bathroom design. Goran says “The most popular freestanding tubs in 2019 were compact models which could fit different types of bathroom applications. Customers have been trying to save space by tearing out old bulky bathtubs and clearing up more space for small deep bathtubs.” His company offers options such as air-jetting, chromotherapy. body sprays and heating systems which help to maintain the warm water in the tub.
Japanese soaking tubs are becoming increasingly popular. They are very relaxing, comfortable and attractive. They allow for a full body soak while maintaining a small footprint in the bathroom. These are available in a variety of materials including traditional wood.
Claw foot tubs continue to be popular in more traditional bathrooms. However, they are becoming less popular as many homeowners are switching to more contemporary models.
There are several advantages to freestanding tubs. There is a reduced installation cost and they can be located anywhere in the room, even in the center. In addition, built-in models require some sort of platform or alcove, which can be costly and are not required on free standing models. Some baths, such as claw foot and those in frames, make it easier to keep the area around and under the bathtub clean. In addition to being esthetically attractive and available in a multitude of styles, many of the freestanding bathtubs are extremely comfortable. The one disadvantage, is some models can be pricey, however they are non-the-less luxurious and spa-like.