When it comes to bathtubs, size determines every remodeling decision you'll make. A bathtub's dimensions will, of course, tell you how much space the tub itself will need, but there's more to it. A bathtub's size and shape determine how much water it can hold for soaking, how easy it will be to bend over the tub to wash kids and pets and how easily you'll be able to get in and out of the tub. Consider, too, that you'll need to leave enough space around the tub to comply with local building codes.
How to Measure a Tub
Getting the correct size of bathtub for your space requires an understanding of how to measure the tub. Doing so isn't difficult, but you want to make sure you're measuring the same way as the bathtub manufacturer.
When measuring the width of your existing bathtub, measure from one outside edge to the other outside edge. If the bathtub sits up against a wall or tub surround, you may need to add an extra inch to your measurement to account for the part of the tub you can't see. You'll do the same to measure the length of the tub, this time adding an inch to each end if the ends of the tub are hidden inside a tub surround, deck or wall. You'll only add 1 inch to the width of the tub but add 2 inches to the length if both ends are hidden.
To ensure an accurate measurement, measure at the center of the tub and keep your tape measure straight because holding it on an angle will result in an inaccurate measurement.
Alcoves, Drop-Ins and Undermount Tub Sizes
Alcove, drop-in and undermount bathtubs are quite similar and come in three standard sizes. Alcove bathtubs are the most common, and many homeowners have them. An alcove tub is one that is enclosed by a surround on three sides. Drop-in baths are nestled into an alcove or a peninsula and are surrounded by a skirting. When looking at a drop-in tub, you see this apron or skirt rather than the side of the tub itself. Undermount tubs are also enclosed in skirting, but the top of that skirting extends over the rim of the bathtub. This creates a more cohesive look but does add some cost to the bathtub installation.
According to Badeloft, all three of these styles come in the same bathtub dimensions. The standard size is 60 inches long and 30 inches wide. If your bathroom is small, you can also get one of these tubs that is 45 inches long and 30 inches wide. If you have the space, you can instead opt for a large unit, which will measure 72 inches long and 42 inches wide. At 18, 15 and 20 inches high, you can fill standard, small and large tubs with 16, 13 and 18 inches of water respectively and expect them to hold between 40 and 80 gallons.
Freestanding Bathtub Dimensions
As their name suggests, freestanding bathtubs are those that you can place anywhere in the room rather than attaching them to a wall. These tubs are excellent for soaking, but their size can vary greatly from one style to the next. According to Signature Hardware, a single-ended tub has a faucet on one end and a slope on the other for comfortable lounging. These tubs measure anywhere from 48 to 70 inches long. Double-ended tubs move the faucet to the middle to make room for two bathers, and they're between 55 and 72 inches long.
Slipper tubs are much the same as single-ended and double-ended tubs but feature higher back supports. Single slippers measure between 43 and 73 inches long, and double slippers are 59 to 78 inches long. Old-fashioned clawfoot tubs are 48 to 72 inches long, and freestanding tubs with a decorative skirt measure 52 to 78 inches long. You can also opt for a Japanese soaking tub with extra-tall 27-inch sides and a 40- to 60-inch length.
Freestanding tubs are usually between 30 and 40 inches wide but 24 to 30 inches tall. This can make climbing in and out of a freestanding tub more difficult. It also makes it harder to bend over the tub to bathe children and pets if necessary. These roomy tubs are good for lounging, but they can hold 90 to 100 gallons of water, so make sure your floor structure and hot water heater are both up to the task.
Corner Bathtub Dimensions
Tucking the bathtub into a corner can prove to be an excellent use of space. Keep in mind, however, that although they use space well, corner bathtubs aren't small. These tubs are often reserved for master bathrooms, and like most freestanding tubs, they're designed to offer a relaxing soak at the end of a long day.
Most corner bathtubs measure 60 x 60 inches, stand 20 inches high and hold around 18 inches of water. Smaller 48 x 48-inch versions are also available, and they stand 18 inches high and hold around 16 inches of water. If you like to stretch out a bit more in the tub, opt for a large 72 x 72-inch corner tub. Large tubs are broader so you can spread out more but remain 20 inches high and still hold around 18 inches of water.
Walk-In Bathtub Dimensions
If climbing in and out of the bathtub is difficult for you or someone in your family, the you may want to consider a walk-in bathtub. These tubs feature a door that swings open to make stepping into the tub easier, and they usually come with a built-in seat.
To make it easier to replace an existing tub with a walk-in tub, you can get a walk-in tub that is 60 inches long and 30 inches wide, just like a standard alcove tub. If you want a larger tub but still want it to fit into a standard space, you can opt for a larger unit that still measures 60 inches long but is wider at 36 inches.
If you're dealing with a smaller bathroom, you can choose a small walk-in bathtub that measures only 48 inches long and 28 inches wide. No matter the length or width, walk-in tubs are all tall enough to fill with 30 inches of water.
Specialty Bathtub Dimensions
Lounging in a hot bath feels great, and there are special tubs available for those who want to step up their relaxation game even further. If you want a whirlpool or jetted tub for some extra panache, you'll have several size options from which to choose. You can get these special bathtubs in the standard size of 60 inches long and 30 inches wide, so you can put one anywhere an alcove, drop-in or undermount tub already sits.
If you have the space to do it, however, you may want to go bigger. You can get one of these fancy tubs as big as 80 inches long and 60 inches wide. These large tubs allow you to really stretch out in the bath or invite someone else to join you.
Keep in mind that jetted and whirlpool tubs need electricity to operate, so it's important to install them safely and according to code. Jetted tubs also include an access panel for easier servicing. You'll need to make sure you position the tub in such a way that this access panel isn't blocked.
- Badeloft: Standard Bathtub Dimensions For Every Type of Tub
- Signature Hardware: Freestanding Tub Buying Guide – Best Style, Size, and Material for You
- Badeloft: How Many Gallons Does a Bathtub Hold?
- Overstock: Whirlpool Bathtub Fact Sheet
- Bob Vila: Solved! What’s the Best Bathtub Size?
- Sunrise Specialty: Standard Bathtub Sizes & Dimensions: Which Suits You Best?
Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.