Few things are more relaxing after a long day than soaking in a tub. But to have the perfect bathing experience, it starts with having the right tub. The choice of a freestanding vs. a built-in tub; which one is better? After installing hundreds of freestanding bathtubs and built-in tubs, we have listed the pros and cons of freestanding vs. built-in bathtubs.
Why Should you Choose a Freestanding Tub?
Wide Variety of Choices
Replacing a built-in bathtub with a freestanding tub creates a charming focal point in any bathroom. The shape enhances the space, adding visual interest with style. Freestanding tubs are available in various styles, colors, and materials, making them ideal for matching any taste.
Can Be Placed Anywhere
Aside from condo bathroom remodels, freestanding tubs can go anywhere there is space. The only requirement is that the plumbing is adjusted to accommodate it.
A freestanding tub can be somewhat challenging to get into the bathroom, but other than that, the installation is relatively easy. However, the floor may need adjustments, such as new concrete or reinforcement. In addition, there is less to do than an alcove tub because there are no surrounding walls to waterproof.
What are Some Problems with Freestanding Tubs?
Freestanding tubs are more work to clean. No attached sprayer can make washing down the dirt and grime difficult. Also, these types of tubs are pretty deep. It can be challenging for those with short arms to scrub effectively.
No Shower or Storage
Freestanding tubs lack a shower, which is generally separate. In addition, they have no niches for bottles or soap. There are methods to overcome this. However, a tub sitting in the middle of a room has nowhere to build in storage. You can overcome this problem with tub caddies or separate tub trays.
Freestanding tubs can be extremely heavy, especially when full of water. That means that your flooring may need to be adjusted or reinforced to accommodate them. In addition, freestanding tubs made of cast iron or porcelain are heavier than those made of fiberglass or acrylic.
Why Should you Choose a Built-in Tub?
Easy to Clean
Modern built-in tubs are easier to clean due to their accompanying shower head. In addition, choosing to get a handheld showerhead helps with the cleaning process as it allows you to spray the dirt.
No Significant Plumbing Adjustments
Most bathrooms easily accommodate built-in or alcove tubs. In this case, you are replacing the tub with the same kind. There is no need to change out the plumbing or reroute it. However, depending on the state of the old plumbing, you may need it replaced.
Alcove or built-in tub is the most economical use of the space. The tub and shower are all in one, meaning there is no need to add a separate plumbing system. In addition, there is generally built-in storage and shelving to hold onto any toiletries.
What are some Problems with Built-In Tubs?
Limited in Appearance & Location
Built-in tubs must fit within the space. Therefore, you often won’t have the option to make the tub longer, only deeper. In addition, there are only so many design options to choose from. Most of these options will involve the look of the tub apron and color. Finally, the location of the plumbing is not typically changed. For example, it is not logical to make a left-facing tub into a right-facing tub for no reason.
Installation Can Be More Involved
While a built-in tub does not need the plumbing moved, more is involved in the installation. Built-in tub surrounds are either tiled or covered in acrylic panels. In addition, you may choose to install a shower door. However, custom shower doors take some time to arrive.
Overall, the choice to go with a freestanding vs. built-in tub comes down to personal preference and the physicality of the bathroom. Freestanding tubs come in various style options, can be placed anywhere they will fit, and are pretty easy to install from a plumbing standpoint. However, freestanding tubs are more challenging to clean, have no built-in storage, and may require your floor to be reinforced. Furthermore, many bathrooms do not have the space for a freestanding tub, so a built-in tub is the only option. Built-in tubs are easier to clean due to the shower, require fewer plumbing adjustments, and save space. However, built-in tubs are limited in appearance choices and need more during installation for the wall surrounds.
Envy Home Services is a premier home remodeler in Arlington Heights, IL. Our services include tub-to-shower conversions, freestanding tub installation, and more. We operate throughout the Chicagoland Area, including Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, and Schaumburg.
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