Bathtub Buying Guide: What is the Standard Bathtub Size?

The Standard Bathtub Size

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When renovating a bathroom, you may want to replace the bathtub with a new one. However, it is important to measure the area where it will go to ensure you buy the correct size for space and those who will be using it. While there is the standard bathtub size, there are also smaller or oversized tubs on the market.

The Standard Bathtub Size

The size of a bathtub depends on the model that you’re installing in. The two important considerations for buying a tub is the user and the size of the bathroom. However, also consider how it will be used, the size of your water heater, and how much weight the floor in the bathroom can hold.

If the tub is going into a children’s bathroom, then buy a smaller unit, so that water isn’t too deep, and can easily help them bathe when they are young. If the bathtub is going into the master bedroom or guest bathroom, then you buy a larger tub for comfortable use.

Here are some of the bathtub choices to consider when renovating or having a new bathroom added to your house are:

  • Pedestal tubs
  • Alcove bathtubs
  • Oval bathtubs
  • Whirlpool Tubs
  • Corner Tubs

Pedestal Bathtubs

Pedestal Bathtub

A pedestal bathtub is one that won’t be bordered by walls but sits by itself in the bathroom. A popular pedestal tub is cast iron clawfoot bathtubs. They have an elegant, old-fashioned look that people with older homes enjoy.

It is available in several lengths starting at 54” to 72” long. The width is important as well as larger people will want to find a tub that is comfortable to sit. Most pedestal tubs are 30” wide, but you can order some models in wider sizes.

A cast iron tub can weigh 200 to 400 pounds and hold over 50 gallons of water. If the tub is going on the second, or third story of your home, find out if the floor can withstand about 1,000 pounds of weight. Also, your water heater should be able to hold more than 40 gallons if you have a hot water tank.

Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtub

An alcove tub is one that has a wall against one side of the tub and both ends. If you have a smaller bathroom, then it will probably hold an alcove bathtub. The typical size for this type of bathtub is 54” to 72” in length. They are narrower than other bathtubs because they are only 15” to 20” wide.

The standard bathtub size for an alcove tub measures five feet long. A shelf can be installed at the back of an alcove tub for the shorter 54” models, but for the larger 72” tubs, they may need to be installed along a wider wall in the bathroom since they won’t fit in most bathrooms with an alcove.

Oval Bathtubs

Oval bathtub

If you want an oval tub in the bathroom, most models are made to drop down into the floor, or they stand alone in the room. These tubs may appear to be larger than they are because they are wider rather than longer than most tubs. The typical sizes for oval bathtubs are usually 60” in length, but 41” wide. The standard width of most tubs is 30.”

Whirlpool Bathtubs

If you enjoy soaking in a bathtub, a jetted, or whirlpool tub can be a dream come true. There are many benefits to whirlpool tubs including:

  • Better blood circulation.
  • Stress relief.
  • Improved flexibility.
  • Pain relief for people with medical issues like arthritis.

Many whirlpool tubs fit into alcoves as they are usually 60” long and 32” wide. While most models are sit-in bathtubs, there are newer versions that allow users to walk into the tub.

Walk-in whirlpool tubs are designed for older people or for those with mobility problems which may have difficulty picking up their legs and stepping into a tub. The stand-up design is safer for them to use and it doesn’t require them to sit down as there is a seat built into them.

Corner Bathtubs

If you have a large master ensuite, then a corner bathtub may be the type you want to consider. Corner tubs are usually large enough to share a hot bath with your partner as they are as wide as they are long. The typical size of these tubs is 60″ L x 60″ W.

When thinking of how to place it in your bathroom, these tubs should not be considered triangular, but shaped like squares. Since they only have three corners, a shelf can be put behind the corner that is missing to hold your bathing supplies like shampoo, soap, and loofas.

Bathtub Materials

Acrylic – Lighter, more durable, resists cracking; it is non-porous and easy to clean.

Ceramic – Made from clay, affordable, but require more maintenance.

Enameled Cast Iron – Last longer and more color options, coated with thick enamel.

Cast-Polymer – Creates faux marble, onyx, or granite surfaces. Available in many solid colors, but not durable.

PlasticWeighs about 70 pounds. Inexpensive, and provide better insulation, so water doesn’t cool fast. Nonabrasive cleaners should be used.

Enameled Steel – Coated with porcelain-enamel and inexpensive. However, weighs about twice of plastic bathtubs, chipped, and it conducts heat, water cools faster.

Fiberglass – Covered with resin to make less porous, very brittle and inexpensive. Nonabrasive cleaners should be used.

Bathrooms on the second or third story of your house should install lighter materials. As mentioned earlier, a cast iron tub filled with water and a bather can weight close to 1,000 pounds. However, choose the lighter tub.

Considerations for Selecting Bathtubs

Consider several things when you’re shopping for a bathtub. The location of the water pipes will often dictate the type of tub you can buy. The space size will help if you buy a pedestal tub, an alcove bathtub, or if an oval or corner bathtub.

Consider the people who will be using the tub. If your spouse is tall or heavier than you are, then you may need to look at longer options like a corner bathtub. Also, if you want to share a tub with them, the longer will be your best choice.

Think how much hot water your tub will need and capable of handling it. Finally, to choose the correct type and size, consider how to be used. Do you like to soak in hot water after a stressful day or is the bathtub going into your children’s bathroom?


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