Freestanding Bathtubs

Doing a Bathroom Renovation or building a custom home with your dream ensuite?  One item most clients have a hard time deciding on is whether to do a freestanding tub or a built in tub.    As designers we are asked the question daily, ‘What would you recommend?’  To make the decision a little easier let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of both options.

Freestanding Tub: Our favorite! For the sole reason that the right tub can make a bold statement. There are tons of options in varying shapes, sizes and colour, don’t get us started on floor mount or deck mount faucets… that’s another debate.

Don’t get us wrong there are still times where a good sturdy built in tub will do the job.  Most of the time if we are tight for space we will opt for this option. It’s important to consider your space and select the tub that suites the space best.

So let’s get into the pro’s and con’s:

Freestanding Tub:

The freestanding tub is becoming more and more popular these days. With custom home construction on the rise, people are designing their dream ensuites to fulfill their needs and wants which include a large shower and chic freestanding tub centered under a window...with a view hopefully!


  • Selection:

    • When looking for a freestanding tub there are numerous options from modern to the traditional claw foot to even colored!

  • The Look:
    • Most people will select a freestanding tub based on the look of the tub, not necessarily the practicality or even the comfort of it.  Most of this is forgiven as the sheer fact that it makes a bold statement and can create a unique focal point in the room is all that one needs to select a freestanding tub.


  • Placement in the Room:
    • Freestanding tubs allow you to use your space more creatively, putting your tub in front of the window, allowing one to take in the views while enjoying a relaxing bath. There is no fuss over finishing around the windows, no risk of water getting trapped in the sill.  Adding a chandelier or pendant above the tub also allows you to be more creative with how your bathroom looks and creating that spa get away in your own home.   
    • With Freestanding tubs, you can place them in the middle of the room if you wish, you are not limited needing walls on either side like a built in tub.


  • Cost:

    • Generally speaking, Freestanding tubs cost more than a typical built-in tub.  But if depending on the look you go with there are some reasonably priced options out there.

  • Weight:

    • The weight of some freestanding tubs can be extremely heavy (especially when filled with water) requiring reinforcement in your floors in order to hold the weight.  This shouldn’t be a problem when building new as long as your contractor is aware that a freestanding tub is going in the space they can prepare the space accordingly.


  • Storage:

    • Often, Freestanding tubs do not come with any interior ledge for the storage of your soaps, shampoos, candles etc. However what we are seeing more of is either the purchase of a caddie that sits on top of the tub or even a shelf on the wall behind the tub (often under the window) that can act as a storage ledge. You can also get creative with the shelf. Ie glass, wood, quartz etc. of if you don’t have a window you can do a niche into the wall.

  • Showerless:

    • If you don’t have the space for a freestanding tub and separate shower you may need to consider a built in tub/Shower. Don’t get us wrong you can add a shower head to the ceiling over the tub, but you will then need to consider a wrap-around curtain. This may, or may not hamper the overall look of the freestanding tub.  Most Tub faucets come with a handheld as well which is great for rinsing and in the end eliminates the need for an overhead faucet.